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CAREGIVER'S DILEMMA- TO CRY OR NOT TO CRY?

bawa
Posts: 40
Joined: Sep 2012

Hey

My sister 33 years old has been diagnosed of stage four EC two months back. Since then we have been struggling to get her the right care. And in the process when the doctors tell her upfront that she has a few months it becomes difficult to keep her spirits up. She has a two year old son and she starts crying saying she has spent no time with her and why this has happened to her. In such moments it becomes difficult to decide what to say to her. Cant say dont cry and cant say cry. How to deal with such moments, pl advise?

bawa

Ginny_B's picture
Ginny_B
Posts: 537
Joined: Sep 2011

Crying is a way for us to relieve ourselves of lots of emotions. I would just hold on to her and say go ahead and cry. Cry it all out. Repeat, if necessary. Cry with her! I think there was a discussion about crying a million posts ago.

bawa
Posts: 40
Joined: Sep 2012

Thanks for a prompt response, but dos it not create too much negativity and saps people of energy. I really dont know. Seeing her cry is very difficult followed by her questions. Well, may be its ok for her to cry at times.

Bawa

Amjosmom's picture
Amjosmom
Posts: 231
Joined: Jun 2012

Cry... for a minute. Then focus your energy on the fight!! No one knows how long you have! Docs gave my Dad (Stage IV) FOUR months... 2 YEARS ago!! Feel frew to contact me. CSN mail me and I will send you my info. We are in NorCal near Sacramento.

bawa
Posts: 40
Joined: Sep 2012

Thanks for your response. I am glad that with God's grace your dad has fought his way through...I keep telling her that, no doc knows about the time people will live for. Right now its been 20 days she has not been on any treatment. After her first cylce of chemo, which did nt work, she has had radiation and that killed her. Now she is too weak for chemo and we are in dilemmma what to do- chemo or no chemo. She was treated at stanford and then we took her to CTCA, Arizona but they suggested the same line fo treatment as Stanford and for her to be away from her son was painful so we had to bring her back. Now we plan to take her to UCSF. The problem is of resolving this dilemma. OOf!

rose20's picture
rose20
Posts: 282
Joined: Jan 2011

She has every right to cry...she has a 2 year old son and to be told she only has a few months, of course as a mother she would cry.

Tell her to hang in there, my brother was given only a few months to live at his diagnosis and that has been 25 months ago!!

I'm sure she will receive invaluable information here on this site that can advise her on her treatment options once they fully know the details of her diagnosis.

But as far as crying, it is so good to let your emotions out instead of holding it in.
Having a 2 year old son will give her the motivation to fight and to fight hard but it is okay to have tears along the way.

Just hold her close.

I will keep you two in prayer.

rose (sister of brother who was diagnosed August 2010 stage 4 esophageal cancer inoperable.)

bawa
Posts: 40
Joined: Sep 2012

Yes I also believe that this forum gives a lot of strength and support. I want her to share her thoughts with people and read their experiences but she does not want to. I have failed to bring her here. Hope she will soon.

Dont want to force her too much.

bawa
Posts: 40
Joined: Sep 2012

I will surely look for some hospice services in San Jose area of USA. Thats a good suggestion and it will help us all. I appreciate.

Thanks

forme's picture
forme
Posts: 1158
Joined: Aug 2010

Hi Bawa

I don't usually post on this board, but I do follow closely.

Our family has used a wonderful hospice that I highly reccomend. We live near Stanford and this hospice is all over the bay area.
We used them this year for my mom who passed away in February and we used them for my mother in law last year.
If we ever need to use hospice again, I would call them right away. They were so helpful in every way.

This is their information: VITAS Innovative Hospice Care of California 1-866-418-4827

There are many hospice in the bay area, and we know many who have used other ones, but I really believe that Vitas is one of the best around.

Please feel free to PM me if you have any questions about our hospice experience. I would be more than happy to answer your questions.

Hugs
Lisha

Ginny_B's picture
Ginny_B
Posts: 537
Joined: Sep 2011

I think the person that has it hard at that moment is the one who is watching the other one cry. That's a really rough position to be in. Finding the right words is the next hardest. There just aren't any "right" words. Listen, be there, hold her, encourage her. My mom and I didn't cry other than when we got home after being told she had EC.

We were able to talk about life issues. She told me everything she wanted to happen, what to do, how. She was able to plot and plan. As hard as this is to do, it's really important to do. Of course, not when the patient is distraught. Wait for a quiet moment.

You are in a hard position. It's always hard on the patient, but it can be unbearable for the caregiver. We feel so helpless and at a complete loss.

Be strong. Be there.

TerryV's picture
TerryV
Posts: 915
Joined: Jul 2011

I lost my husband (originally Stage 3) to this miserable cancer in June of this year. I recall one night we had together very clearly. I was at my emotional end as Nick's caregiver. I had given all I had, I had watched him give until his strength was sapped - I really didn't see how we could continue. I dissolved into tears. Nick was so grateful to have the focus removed from him. This also gave him the opportunity to support me. This tearful night gave my husband back his role as the man of the house, the support of our family, my strong husband.

Tears can be good. Don't deny her - or yourself.

Prayers to your family!

Terry
PROUD wife to Nick, age 49
lost battle to FEC 06/19/2012

bawa
Posts: 40
Joined: Sep 2012

Did not realise that how losing control over roles could make an impact. Yes sure, this kind of advice has helped me a lot and i now understand it is important to let people cry sometimes but as long as it does not take a toll on their spirits.

Thanks for all your support.

Bawa

TerryV's picture
TerryV
Posts: 915
Joined: Jul 2011

The cancer patient sometimes feels that cancer has taken over their life. It's part of every discussion, it's in every glance or worried look, it's in every offer of help. Without wanting to, they become all about the cancer and feel they lose some part of themselves.

Tears and a chance to support others gives the patient a chance to regain a bit of their "old self". To be something other than about the cancer. Don't let the cancer take control of your sister's every breath, every thought. And don't forget to have a normal "pre-cancer" type conversation with her every now and then.

Terry

cher76's picture
cher76
Posts: 302
Joined: Nov 2010

I don't post very often any more as my husband, dx EC Stage IV in Oct. 2010, passed away on Jan. 4, 2012 after a very courageous battle with the beast. He was a big guy, until this disease took everything from him, but his heart was big as well and he cared deeply about all of his family always. The day he was diagnosed I cried all to the ct scan center. And later we cried together at home. What a relief it brought to share that together. Then we focused on fighting the disease. There were many a night I cried alone after he had gone to sleep, as I too, tried to stay positive always. But when the diagnosis is terminal, who would not be sad, and find the need to cry. Many times we cried together, over the things we had lost, the plans we made that would never happen, and the saddness of knowing that he would not be here to share in our lives. And always when the crying subsided I felt that our bond was stronger than ever. On Christmas Eve, a week and a half before he passed, all of our family was with us, and in the process of taking pictures of the grand kids, my son ask me to take a picture of him and his dad. As they posed for the picture in front of the Christmas tree, my son kissed the top of his Dad's head and said "Dad, you didn't deserve this." that brought all of us to tears, and we all formed a group hug and had a wonderful cry. Then we took a family picture. It is the best picture ever and the one I will cherish always. All of us there, before the tree, with our eyes still glistening from our tears, but smiling none the less, because we knew we had each other to get us through this time.

Cheryl, wife of Rickie, dx EC Stage IV, Oct. 2010
Mets to bones and brain
Lost the battle, Jan. 4, 2012

stephikindred's picture
stephikindred
Posts: 153
Joined: Mar 2012

You may not post often, but each time you do, you touch my heart.
Hugs,
Stephanie

JReed's picture
JReed
Posts: 463
Joined: Nov 2011

Cheryl:

Thank you for sharing this post. I am smiling at the vision of the Christmas photo in my head. I bet it is the best photo ever.

Love, Hugs and FEC,
Judy

ABC321's picture
ABC321
Posts: 52
Joined: Oct 2011

My partner James is stage 4 and has been for over one year. we have three young children together (3,5 & 8) and he lives for them. All he wants is to see our youngest daughter start school next year, or to spend just one more Christmas together. We traveled to Sri lanka earlier this year with friends, and have bought tickets for Disney Land (LA) next month. Tears are never far away, for both of us. James is having a PET scan today, and we get the results tomorrow. lots more tears comming up i suspect, but either way, we have something to look forward to...i think that really helps. James loves to plan our holidays overseas, and this may be our last. I remind james to live each day, and not to focus on the future, but thats not so easy to do when you have very young children. James and i were having a cry in one of the kids bedrooms on the weekend, and our two youngest danced back and forth past the door in a congo line singing a show tune...you cant help but smile when you see that...it reminds you how great life is. Our family is strong and will band together when things get tough...the children will be ok, and will never forget who brought them to this earth and gave them such a fantastic start in life. Crying is good, its necessary, to cope with the pain. Live each day, and enjoy the time...life is good, even if it doesn;t feel that way sometimes.
XX

betsi7
Posts: 22
Joined: Jun 2012

My husband has Stage IV esophageal cancer and we have three children under 14 at home --I cry openly because of my experience as a hospice social worker for many years. My patients often told me the strain of not being able to express their fears and sorrows openly because family members wanted to be only "positive". There is huge relief in crying and being with someone who will listen to you process the agonies and losses that come with cancer. Although initially it seems more painful to face the grief-- in the long run it seemed to be healthier. I will find out for myself now that I am the wife and my children are losing their father. We also lost a son, so I know what grief is like and that it is possible to survive. Even though--am struggling mightily every hour of every day since this began.

bawa
Posts: 40
Joined: Sep 2012

Thanks for sharing your experiences. I am glad you shared them so beautifully. All the best for the scan. Can understand how it might feel. Prayers.
Bawa

bawa
Posts: 40
Joined: Sep 2012

Thanks for sharing your experiences. I am glad you shared them so beautifully. All the best for the scan. Can understand how it might feel. Prayers.
Bawa

bawa
Posts: 40
Joined: Sep 2012

Thanks for sharing your experiences. I am glad you shared them so beautifully. All the best for the scan. Can understand how it might feel. Prayers.
Bawa

bawa
Posts: 40
Joined: Sep 2012

Thanks for sharing your experiences. I am glad you shared them so beautifully. All the best for the scan. Can understand how it might feel. Prayers.
Bawa

DanTheMan
Posts: 24
Joined: Feb 2012

Funny thing is im always laughing,smiling but deep down i feel like crying my heart out and its always a struggle....personally id prefer to keep that struggle as i think crying for myself would have a negative impact on my well being...everyone is different though and everybody deals with everything different...I say cry if you want to cry...laugh if you want to laugh...gee jump up dance around and sing silly songs(even if you cant sing)who is to say that what you are doing is the wrong or right way to deal with it?
dan

jaycc
Posts: 130
Joined: Jul 2012

Bawa,
"It is so unfair". Those would the words that broke the ice on one of my husband and I's emotional challenging days. Sisters, of course, have a special bond, and can talk to each other straight out. Think of the ways you usually communicate. If it is with words, use words, if its with hugs use hugs, if its with sharing a song, share a song. If its curling up in a blanket together, do that. There really isn't a right or wrong way at this point in your sisterhood. If one way doesn't feel right, try a few others.
As many have said, the doctor's really don't know how much time you have. Pick a few things that she would like to do within in physical capability so there is something to look forward to, in the hard journey ahead.

My GP said to my husband, "though your time is shortened these are such powerful days. " there is alot of truth in that phrase.

Remember to also, fight, fight, fight these devil of a cancer

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