Being a caregiver will eat you alive, if you let it...and not to let it, you've got to be proactive.
Your terminally ill mate will probably want to stay in the workforce as long as possible, and you should encourage this.
Dying is above all demeaning; the process of a slow death takes away so many of the things that give us self-respect and a feeling of self worth (and the right kind of pride) that anything one can do to combat or at least delay the process is helpful.
But one day, he or she will be home for good...and you will become the primary social contact, and the sole-source for physical and emotional care.
It's natural, and expected...I mean, you didn't marry not to be the support when the "or worse" part of the vow comes to call, right?
But it's still hard, and it's draining. You may literally have someone following you around the house while you're doing chores, or insisting on going to the store with you when yo'd always shopped for groceries and clothing alone.
And you'll want to scream. Not because he or she is unpleasant, You'll want to scream because they're always there, and there are times when all of us need privacy; shopping or vacuuming alone is where we build it in.
To be blunt, they're trespassing on the parts of life that are subconsciously staked out as yours,
You can't diplomatically turn them away without hurting feelings, sometimes quite badly. But what you can do is encourage other activities that will provide a form of respite care that will benefit your spouse, and will benefit you.
The simplest way to do this is to simply encourage interests (within reason). If your husband picks up a magazine on fly-fishing, and allows how he might like to learn to tie flies, don't denigrate it, even if you loathe both fishing and fish. It's a cheap hobby, and even if he can no longer go out to fish himself he can develop[ friendships with people who do...and maybe he can supply them with custom-tied flies.
It will keep his head 'in the game' that much longer, and keep him connected with the world. All for the cost of fishhooks, twine, feathers, and some small tools.
A pet can help, too. Perhaps you've been too busy to get a dog, but your wife grew up with them...and now she's more homebound than not.
The house gets awfully lonely when you're the only one there, and you can't leave. I know; thatis where I am today.
The sound of canine footsteps, the happy bark, even the "Uh, Rufus? Don't lift your leg...uh, there...oh, crap" add life to the world.
And little (or big) Rufus will take the burden into his furry shoulders. (Yes, we have a Rufus; he's a Jack Russell.)
It's easy to fall into dependency, and hard to crawl back out. With a little bit of thought and foresight, you can improve quality-of-life for both your spouse and yourself.
And who knows? You may decide to take up fly-fishing...accompanied to the stream by..."Uh, Rufus? No, please, don't eat the fis...oh, well. More where that one came from, I reckon."