I have this conversation a lot with people who don't know GH or don't know that he's sick:
PERSON: Oh, you're having twins! That's so exciting.
ME: Yes, I'm very excited and a little nervous.
PERSON: Oh, I"m sure. It must be overwhelming. But can you count on your husband to help you out?
ME: (pause) Weeeeelllll, I have the most wonderful, caring husband in the world, and I know he'll do everything he can to help me.
PERSON: You'll be just fine, then.
Sigh. What I say is true. GH will do everything he can to help me. It's just not worth explaining to people that what he can do is sometimes severely limited by his illness. I do sometimes imagine how people would react if my last line went like this instead:
ME: I have the most wonderful, caring husband in the world, and I'm sure he'll do everything he can to help me. But you see, he has terminal cancer, so he can't always do as much as he'd like.
Imagining reactions to this comment mostly makes me tired. I know it's not my responsibility to protect people from my reality, but mostly I'm protecting myself from what they could say. I can imagine all kinds of dumb replies, mostly because I've heard them already. And dealing with the "ohmygosh I'm so sorry" reactions is tiring, too. I don't mean to sound ungrateful for the sympathy, but it's just easier to smile and nod and move on and get what I need emotionally from family and friends. The real problem is that there's no good response, nothing anyone--least of all the strangers and acquaintances with whom I have this conversation--can say to take away my anger, fear, sadness, and despair.