6. No, I'm actually okay...REALLY
Look, thanks, and I do mean that.
This isn't easy, not exactly hard if I'm being honest, comedy is hard, but I'm good.
You will be asked a version of "No, but how are YOU doing?" many times over the course of your wife's cancer, so get used to it. It comes from a good place. People have heard that sometimes the disease is tough on the care-giver/spouse as well (there literally is a term for it caregiver stress ) so they want to make sure you are not over-drinking, over-eating or over-porning if that's a thing, and if it is not I call dibs on the next NYT trend article.
My experience is that your brain goes into a kind of shutdown mode - a get the job done semi-comatose state, that allows you to do all the nursing things (blood bags anyone?) without really being aware that it is anything special. And while it is labor intensive, it's not like running a marathon. For one, marathons are pointless exercises in physical vanity. But secondly, it's basically keeping the wife well medicated. And calm. And not bored. So like marriage, really, just slightly more intense.
But take my advice, when people ask , give them something. I had a friend who always wants to know how I'm doing, and my answer is "fine." Because I am. My wife is healing well, and at no time has the prognosis signaled that we are spiraling towards her death.
He generally does not believe me. And when he asked this last time, I told him, honestly, for no cancer related reason but more some late night Netflix bingeing, I was a little tired.
"Ha," he said. "I knew it was getting to you."
Sarcastic me wanted to say "Yup, you got me, I was lying to you all this time but now that you know, you have attained the rank of Cancer whisperer... well done, friend."
Instead I went with "Yeah, maybe you were right." Not because I like to lie to people. And not because he was in any way correct. But because the only thing worse than having your friends constantly ask you how you are doing, is NOT having them not ask.
People care. And I can put on my big-boy pants and let them.
Because if my wife can suck it up for our cancer run, so can I.