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How to stay positive?

KJones1969
Posts: 158
Joined: Mar 2012

I have posted in here several times concerning my husband and his stage IV clear cell RCC but today I am asking for me. As the caregiver how do you stay positive and upbeat for your husband or loved one? I try to stay positive but can find myself crying while riding down the road with him in the car.

Any thoughts from any of you cancer patients or caregivers on how to stay positive?

Thanks,

Karen

alice124's picture
alice124
Posts: 860
Joined: Mar 2012

Hi Karen,

It's not easy, and--while I was initially against taking anti-depressants--I finally realized I needed help, and my Dr. recommended. He said that I couldn't provide my husband the support he needed if I couldn't keep my emotions under control. And, at the time, I couldn't. I cried constantly. All it would take is for someone to ask,"How's John"? And the floodgates opened. I also made it tough on coworkers who wanted to be supportive but were afraid to ask how it was going.

I can honestly say that taking antidepressants on a daily basis doesn't make me feel any different. I just don't break out in tears like I was. I'm more even. It may be worth your investigation. Good luck and keep us posted.

KJones1969
Posts: 158
Joined: Mar 2012

You sound like me, soooo against taking anything and I am still against. Since we found out in February I have gotten better but still have at least 4-5 episodes a week with most of them when I am by myself. I start having visions about what is going on and what could happen and get all upset.

Maybe I should try that but not sure. I keep hoping I will get better and better.

Thanks and you keep us updated as well.

garym's picture
garym
Posts: 1651
Joined: Nov 2009

Hi Karen,

As patients the mental side of this journey is secondary to the physical side at least until surgery and treatments are finished and by then we have a better idea what we're facing because so many questions have been answered. We also are not faced with living on without our mate which is always weighing on a caregiver's mind. It is nearly all mental for you as a caregiver and I believe that is a much tougher road to travel. You feel an overwhelming desire to stay strong for us and never break down, but we do maintain an understanding of what you are going through and our desire to help you in return is still there. Don't worry about an occasional lapse with your husband, sharing a good cry once in a while can actually strengthen your bond and desire to fight, its a good stress reliever for you both. Laughter works very well also and it may surprise you how fast one can turn into the other and back again.

Hang in there,

Gary

KJones1969
Posts: 158
Joined: Mar 2012

I agree with the patient having the more physical side. I am soooo thankful to be the caregiver for my husband. Probably the most important reason I am glad that is what I am because I ask 100 questions and he asked NONE! He would go to the doctor and not say one word when I ask probably more than they want to answer but that is okay.

You hit the nail on the head when you say we think about living without our mate, that is the thought that crosses my mind already. The only time he has cried is when we found out, he is sooo quiet and that bothers me greatly. I just have faith and will fight this battle for him when he is weak or tired.

We do have lots of laughter times and I treasure everyone of those even more and more. He is a strong man as I bet you are as well.

Thanks for your kind words and good luck to you!

Karen

Bennette
Posts: 65
Joined: Mar 2012

Karen,

Hello, I am the caregiver for my mother, who is stage IV with mets in her lungs, adrenal gland, spine, left femur and brain. She was only diagnosed at the start of March and moved in with us in mid-April. It is hard, some days easier than others, but here is what I do to handle it, in case any of it will help you. I too cry by myself, when I get a chance to - I still have a teenage daughter at home and one home for the summer from college, so I stay strong for my mom and for my daughters. I do tear up a bit when consoling my mom, but save the big cries for when I am alone OR talking to a close friend. I have a couple people, one a close friend and one is my aunt (one of my mom's sisters) and those are the two people that I call when I need to "vent," which is very calming actually. Sometimes all the sadnes, frustration, and anger gets all mixed up and I just need someone to listen (usually about once a week) that is when I call them. They just listen and tell me they understand - that is really all I need and then I am good to go again. I love my mom dearly, but it does make me frustrated and angry when I can't make it better (mainly when she is having a bad day) and I certainly don't want her to know I am upset as it is not at her, it is at the situation. The other thing I do is, get a way a little bit, I have one of my sisters or one of my aunts come and stay with her for a little while so I can go do something normal, even if it is just to go to the store. It gives me time to stop worrying about her needs and do some every day task. Also, one of my uncles and his wife have started coming over every Wednesday night, if mom is having a good day, they take her out to dinner, if not, they bring her dinner. I actually like this much better because I don't have to call and ask someone for help. This is their way of helping me out and spending time with her and I always know that I have Wednesday night to myself, even if it is just to handle some housework, it is my time.

I haven't done this yet, but it is something I recommended to my oldest daughter who was having a lot of trouble coping when my mom left work (they worked together) and so my daughter was faced with having to discuss her condition endless and be reminded of it every day. I had her start taking a multi-vitamin with a stress reliever formula in it. She started doing much better after one week of taking them regularly. I think sometimes our bodies just need a little more of the things that are good for us when we are going through times of crisis.

I hope some of this helps you out! I feel for you! Hang in there!
Bennette

Texas_wedge's picture
Texas_wedge
Posts: 2807
Joined: Nov 2011

You're doing a great job Bennette. Keep it up, and make sure you keep looking after yourself as well.

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