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SAMDJS SparkPoints: (17,919)
Fitness Minutes: (17,574)
Posts: 152
12/8/12 11:19 A

My family has been under the stress of dealing with cancer since July when my sister and I were both diagnosed with breast cancer. It is hard, and it puts your mind in a fog and it is hard to watch your whole family suffer with anxiety and helplessness.

But you do what needs to be done. You try your hardest to be strong. We have good days and bad days, and on those bad days, we have what my sister calls a "freak out." That's when you just let everything out - cry, scream, hide, get angry, whatever you need to do. And that's okay.

There will be breaks of peace and time to breathe and rest. Take them when they appear. And you will find little blessings along the way. You may not see them right away, but they will be there.

I don't know if this helped at all, but sometimes just knowing that you are not alone in this journey is comforting.

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KANDOLAKER Posts: 1,902
12/8/12 9:27 A

Just a note to send you some encouragement. The others have posted great advice, and I will just add to take the time to stop and take some deep breaths when things are stressful! Wishing you, your Mom, and your Dad the very best!!

SLIMMERKIWI SparkPoints: (138,138)
Fitness Minutes: (33,254)
Posts: 21,851
12/4/12 8:18 P

Hi Tatt - I am really sorry to hear that you and your family are facing such stressful medical conditions. I know from the perspective of having been a caregiver, one of whose specialties was caring for people with this sort of need. I saw first hand how it affected some family members - the feeling of not knowing where to turn, of the uncertainty, and the feeling of being alone.

I strongly suggest that you talk with your Dr and your parents' Drs. It is quite possible that you may be able to get some help with the caring. You could check out Hospice and see if they are able to help. If they are, they are a wonderful source for the entire family. You NEED to be able to have time out, to lighten the load. Hospice have people who can provide some therapy to help you with the emotional side. They can put in place physical things in your house to help - things like chair raisers, special beds, toilet raisers, wheel chairs, etc. etc.

Is there a Church around you where you could turn to for help - even just to come and sit with your parents, or do some meal prep while you and your sister are able to get out for breathers, either together or separately, to do what you each want/need - (perhaps a walk as part of the reliever???) You don't have to be a member of most churches to access this sort of help - they often have some parishioners who have put themselves on a roster for exactly this sort of situation.

As far as exhaustion is concerned, make sure that you are eating nutritiously and regularly. That is very important to help you through. If you don't get the nutrition, then your body can't energize itself. A lot of people end up relying on processed take-outs, and that will drain even more energy. If your mother finds that the smell of food cooking is too much, then perhaps the Church members and/or friends may be able to make some soups/casseroles in their homes and bring to you.

I'm sending BIG hugs your way, and wishing your Mum and speedy recovery, and that your Dad's MS goes into remission. MY best friend has MS.

Kris xx

ODYSSEYQUEEN Posts: 52
12/4/12 7:44 P

I echo a lot of USE2BWILD's sentiments, wholeheartedly. In taking care of my parents' in their final days, a lot of unnecessary animosity passed between my brothers and myself due to the stress of the situation. Eventually, we were able to appreciate each other for the individual contributions we were each able to provide our parents.

In hindsight, I recommend you do just what you did....take a timeout/breather when you need it. A walk was an excellent idea to remove yourself, albeit momentarily, from the situation. I personally have found yoga and meditation to be a refuge which calms my mind and spirit; it helps me recenter and accept that which I cannot change and appreciate what I do have control over. Hang in there and don't forget to take care of yourself, too. In the long run, it will help equip to you be better able to assist your parents.

USE2BWILD Posts: 1,225
12/4/12 7:28 P

Dear Tat, I am praying for you. I took care of my parents until they died and it was the hardest thing I ever did but it was by far the most rewarding and wonderful thing I ever did!! I had sisters who were so difficult throughout the whole thing. It made things even worse. But as they say, your siblings are with you longer than your parents and although it will be difficult, my advice is to hang in there with your siblings no matter what and that means bite your tongue in the tough times.( I chose to forgive them and made efforts to open communication with them after my parents died. ) Please take care of yourself, get plenty of sleep, eat healthy, exercise to release stress. You can only do so much. Give yourself breaks and be extra good to yourself. You are so wonderful to do for your family. You will never regret it.

BROKENBAST Posts: 688
12/4/12 7:14 P

So, just to put this out there, my ma had breast cancer. They removed it, and now she goes for chemo starting Thursday. Apparently, the genetics test says it's the kind that might be elsewhere, and they want to make sure it's all gone.

I'm playing nurse. Yet feel like I'm not doing enough. My dad is shutting down more *He has MS, and has been "waiting for the cure"*. Me and my sister are butting heads. Everyone got frazzled, and I got so tense, I went for a walk around the neighborhood at 10pm.

I just don't know what to do. One minute, we are all positive, next we are driving each other insane. I always feel exhausted. Stressed out.

I just want to sleep for a month, but I know that won't help.

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