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How to ask for help

sheryl912
Posts: 20
Joined: Nov 2010

I am 45 years old, married, with a 15 year old daughter. I was diagnosed in april of 2008, got about a year and a half of remission, and have been fighting this reoccurrence since then. Been on clinical trials, carbo/taxol, Gemzar, now Topotecan, which doesn't seem to be working--we are waiting a ca 125 from last week to decide whether oe not to switch to something else.

I have problems on and off which put me in the hospital. My hubby is trying to take care of me, the house, my daughter, and his job. My daughter at 15 is busy as a bee with one school activity or another. My mother keeps hinting she might be able to retire and help us out. I am starting to feel like both physically and emotionally it might be a very good idea. I want my last days to not only be trying to work out the logistics of getting me to and from the hospital, scheduling treatments and surgeries without getting my husband fired, hell there are days just dragging myself in for a treatment is a monumental task.

Is it wrong, do you think, to ask for help at this point? I am not at hospice yet, but the thought of just having my mom around if I need her, some company during the day (no, I wouldn't expect her to dance attendance on me 24/7), if I need to go to the er in the middle of the nite she could be here to watch my daughter...

Please help. I am getting so tired trying to hold it all together by myself.

ktamp
Posts: 81
Joined: Dec 2011

I have begged my husband to pony up and pay to bring our former nanny/maid from Thailand to the US. She worked for us full time during our 3 years in Thailand. It would solve most of the scheduling conflicts and if God forbid something happens to me, I know she would raise my son the way I would want. My son misses her alot and I know her situation isn't great back in Thailand.

It's not wrong to ask for help. None of us can get through this without a little outside help. I've got a housekeeper coming once a week to do the heavy cleaning. So far my husband's company has been very understanding about the time he needs off but we still run into scheduling problems. I'm trying to figure out how I'm going to get to chemo on Jan 18 and find somebody to be at my house when my son gets home. I wish somebody else would figure it all out. Figure out the scheduling...figure out what's for dinner even. My husband is balancing all his work responsibilities, taking me to most chemo and appointments, and ferrying my son to his after school activities 2-3 days a week.

And I think we always need our moms no matter how old we are. I cried yesterday wishing she was here because my feet were burning so bad. She stayed with me for nearly a week after my surgery and it was a relief. I didn't need her to wait on me but having her presence in the house made everything feel so much less dreadful. It was nice to not be alone during the day.

If your mom has hinted, I would just ask her. Sometimes people don't know what we need because we don't ask. She may think you are holding it all together. I hope it works out for you. That would be a real blessing.

Tethys41's picture
Tethys41
Posts: 1057
Joined: Sep 2010

If you read the book Anti-Cancer, you will see that there is a personality that is common among people who get cancer. We have a tendancy to put our needs behind those of others. In my words, we don't want to be a bother, don't want to make waves, and we want to make it as easy as possible for those we love. Realize that this is not how everyone operates, and you don't need to either. The whole thing reminds me of the story of a very good friend of mine, who 20 years ago was living in a house with 3 other medical students. She'd had a medical procedure and realized at 5 AM that she was bleeding. She went into the bathroom, and litereally bled to death, not wanting to "bother" anyone in the house. Really? She didn't want to bother anyone? Remarkably, she was revived when a housemate came to check on her for some unknown reason. Do what you need to do for you.

Hissy_Fitz's picture
Hissy_Fitz
Posts: 1869
Joined: Sep 2009

Teth....I'm confused.

You said, "She went into the bathroom, and litereally bled to death..."

Then you mention that a housemate revived her.

Tethys41's picture
Tethys41
Posts: 1057
Joined: Sep 2010

She was clinically dead, no pulse, no breathing... Thankfully, however, her housemate was a medical student, and was able to get things going again.

anicca's picture
anicca
Posts: 325
Joined: Dec 2010

People used to believe there was a TB personality. There is no way I believe in any of that kind of (YES) mumbo-jumbo. This is a way of blaming the victim. There is absolutely no scientific evidence that any kind of personality trait is associated with any particular disease, cancer included.

SHERYL -
When you need help, there is no shame in asking for it, and this is something your mother already offered. Allow your mother to help you, for heaven's sake. As a mom yourself, you know that you would do all in your power to help your daughter if necessary. You speak of your "last days"; do not deprive your own mother of the opportunity to spend that time with you and ease your and your family's burden. That's my not at all humble opinion.

DB

Tethys41's picture
Tethys41
Posts: 1057
Joined: Sep 2010

DB,
Everyone deals with this disease differntly in so many ways. Some prefer to believe it comes on as some random act and that there is nothing anyone can do to prevent it. Others prefer to believe that there are identifiable issues that contribute to the disease and that there may be measures they can take to help manage it. There is no blame here. Everyone gets to choose how they prefer to address it.

anicca's picture
anicca
Posts: 325
Joined: Dec 2010

And yet there is a difference between what we can demonstrate scientifically, and what we just suppose.

From the Wikipedia article on Susan Sontag:

"Illness as Metaphor is a nonfiction work written by Susan Sontag and published in 1978. She challenged the "blame the victim" mentality behind the language society often uses to describe diseases and those who suffer from them.

Drawing out the similarities between public perspectives on cancer (the paradigmatic disease of the 20th century before the appearance of AIDS), and tuberculosis (the symbolic illness of the 19th century), Sontag shows that both diseases were associated with personal psychological traits. In particular, she says that the metaphors and terms used to describe both syndromes lead to an association between repressed passion and the physical disease itself. She notes the peculiar reversal that "With the modern diseases (once TB, now cancer), the romantic idea that the disease expresses the character is invariably extended to assert that the character causes the disease–because it has not expressed itself. Passion moves inward, striking and blighting the deepest cellular recesses." "

Radioactive34's picture
Radioactive34
Posts: 387
Joined: May 2011

I so did not want anyone to come help me. I thought I was superwoman and could do it all by mself. Thankfully my family and friends overrode me on it. They just showed up....then refused to leave. :)

It was such a help to know that stuff was taken care of. I shudder to think of the state of my home if no one had helped during the worst periods. It involved me giving up a bit of control...well a lot. But I could not honestly do a lot of things, so I did not have much choice in it.

The ACS volunteer drivers were the bomb. They showed up when I could not drive. My community rallied around me. My neighbors constantly offered to help cook and or drive me too. Take them up on their offers.

These illnesses really brings out your support system. If there is ever a time to use it...now is the time.

Nothing seems to bring out help like the word "cancer."

anicca's picture
anicca
Posts: 325
Joined: Dec 2010

You are so right! I have a neighbor who is a miserable and stingy sort of person in every way, yet when I needed his help one day when I was on my own, he was generous beyond what I had asked for. It showed me that he is really a good person under it all.

DB

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