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rytngal
Posts: 2
Joined: Nov 2008

I'm desperate for contact with other caregivers. I feel like either screaming or crying I'm so confused.
My husband was diagnosed with lung cancer in September and started chemo Oct. 6. He had a bad reaction to the chemo and was hospitalized. Nearly lost him twice that week.
My "alert" button has been on since all this started. He's doing much better with a different chemo treatment, but I'm falling apart now. I'm angry that he's not the way he used to be because (and I understand) he's so preoccupied with his cancer and getting well. Then i feel so guilty because that's the last thing I want to do is be angry with him. It feels like my feelings about this whole thing are just now catching up with me and I feel overwhelmed.
I've been feeling extra sad. Yesterday was my grandmother's birthday. She died in 2004 of kiedney cancer. I was so close to her and was her main caregiver. I miss her and I'm scared of losing my husband. I've got friends and family who want to help, but I don't know what they can do.
I feel so lonely and overwhelmed.

zahalene's picture
zahalene
Posts: 624
Joined: Nov 2005

be assured that you are completely normal. All the thoughts and feelings you describe here have been related here by many other caregivers time and again. They do not make you a bad person, just human.
I would suggest that you spend a few minutes in organizing a list of practical needs and post it in your house. When someone calls or drops by and offers to help just give them a choice from the list: grocery shopping, yard work, errands, bringing frozen casseroles, driving hubby to doctor appointments, sitting with him while you go for coffee with friends,....the list goes on and on. Those who sincerely want to help will be glad to have a specific job to do. Sometimes help isn't forthcoming simply because 'outsiders' don't know exactly what to do. Some might even prefer just to show up at your house on a pre-arranged schedule (for instance, two hours every Saturday afternoon) and do whatever is needed at the moment.
It takes a little thought and organization to make things run more smoothly in difficult times, but it is more than worth it in the long run.
God bless.

rytngal
Posts: 2
Joined: Nov 2008

That is such a good idea- to think ahead and get organized. I'm a little calmer today. He's really doing quite well today (I keep it in today). I just had a meltdown last week and feel better now. But I still get teary eyed. Little things make tears come to my eyes. I've been treated for depression for about 20 years, so I don't know if my depression is getting worse, or if these tears are normal from my worry and fear that I might lose him.

JON-1
Posts: 2
Joined: Feb 2009

Rytngal, I also know the feelings that come with loved ones with cancer. A few have heard me vent. My mother died 30 yrs. ago, breast cancer. I was a full time care giver for my 1/2 sister who was diagnoised with lung cancer in'06, she passed Dec. 24'07. Now I'm full time care giver for her husband who has brain cancer. The anger is not really at the patient it's with the disease. My sister was gun ho at getting better and it was a difficult time. That was all she was concerned with. All I wanted to do was cry, and scream.She was also my best friend. I was able to put my fear,anger,depression off with help from my Higher power. I don't profess any religion, but prayer helped me an awful lot. Now being a little smarter as to different treatments,and support groups I hope to be able to deal with this situation better. The loss and hurt is still with me everyday, but I have managed to get a grip. If were not right with ourselves we can't help the ones that need it the most. I just want to tell you you are not alone .My prayers are with you and your husband.

iowagirl
Posts: 1
Joined: Mar 2009

I am new here also....am currently living in a hope lodge in iowa city due to the fact that our hospital is over 100 miles from our home. What a wonderful place to have, but nothing is like home. We spend mon thru fri here then go home and i work on weekends and she recoops...ok recap...i am my mom's caregiver. She had squamous cell carcinoma on her tongue small tumor of less than 2 cm. She is now three weeks down on 6 weeks of radiation. No chemo. Somedays it is draining and some days it is GREAT!!!!!

slickwilly's picture
slickwilly
Posts: 339
Joined: Feb 2007

Both of you have my respect and admiration. I know how it feels when we face one loss after another. I also rely on my spiritual beliefs. Others develope their own coping skills. But caring for someone day after day takes a special strength. Starting out with a loving, caring and supportive individual that gives of themselves at a great cost. Both emotionally and financially. I drove 180 miles to my radiation and spent my 5 weeks alone. I drove home on weekends like you do with your mother. My wife was working and we had three children at home so circumstances didn't allow her to be with me. I can't begin to tell you how many times I could of used a hug and someone to tell me everything was going to be ok. Too much time alone lets a person think about negative outcomes instead of positive ones. To have lost family members to cancer and now have a spouse with cancer is beyond my thought process. I guess my wife would understand it better as she has been there with relatives and me. So both of you women are quite special. And I can only pray for the best outcome for both of you. Please take time for yourselves if possible as being a caregiver has to be one of the hardest jobs on earth. You will be in my prayers. Slickwilly

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