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feel worthless and helpless

weirlion's picture
weirlion
Posts: 16
Joined: Sep 2012

I am the caregiver for my mom who has sclc, she has had one round of chemo, and a few treatments of radiation, we go back this week for second round of chemo and more radiation.Her pain has been very bad, so bad that she has been put in the hospital twice because of it.The biggest problem is the meds they give her for pain works, but it keeps her so out of it, and on more than one occasion meds meant to calm her have had the reverse effect, she goes into a state of complete mayhem, pulling her iv out getting out of bed and falling. I just feel helpless and worthless when she is in this state of mind. I have some help form family and friends until she gets in the crazy stage, no one is avaliable during this time. Its So stressful and I get down and depressed but I try to keep my chin up, but it is getting harder and harder, looking for advice and maybe some encouraging words.

here4lfe
Posts: 294
Joined: Jan 2010

Change her anti-depression meds. Talk to the doctor to see what he advises. Also, ask friends, family, church members, social club members to help with sitting with her while you get a respite.
Other than taking care of yourself, educate yourself on the typical progression of the disease so you're informed of treatment protocols and what to expect.
Hunker down for the long haul, and let your heart guide you.

Best

weirlion's picture
weirlion
Posts: 16
Joined: Sep 2012

thanks for the kind words, i have gotten to take some time to myself and it felt really good. we have appointment the 18th to check the progress of the treatments im just hoping for good results.

Noellesmom
Posts: 1302
Joined: Aug 2010

Pain medications often have this effect on the elderly, causing confusion and extreme anxiety. Ask her doctors and nurses about alternative medications but be aware this is just a tough spot.

Ask for Atavan or some other anxiety-relieving medication and help her stay on it - not just during the high pain times. I know it seems counter-intuitive when the pain meds zonk her out but what purpose is there to her being awake and cognizant of the pain levels?

Helpless and worthless when she is in this state of mind - what exactly do you think you should be able to do, weirlion? She needs the chemo/radiation and the aftermath can be wicked. Being there for her is what you are doing and that is just fine. I am sorry it is so stressful for you - there are many others who can post similar stories and would assure you what you are doing is right.

Hang in there and let us know how YOU and your mom are doing.

weirlion's picture
weirlion
Posts: 16
Joined: Sep 2012

they got her confusion and anxiety under control, really appericiate you taking time to respond to my post, hearing all the words of confidence really helps, thank you very much,

grandmafay's picture
grandmafay
Posts: 1613
Joined: Aug 2009

Caregiving is tough, and all caregivers feel helpless at times. Just remind yourself that you are doing the best you can at this time. That's all you can do. Yes, talk to the dr. and see if there are other meds that will help. Share on the cancer specific board and see if others going through this chemotherapy have similar experiences and what they have done. You are a loving daughter and hate seeing your mother like this, struggling to get through this. You say that you have help. If there is a pattern here and you can predict when she is particularly struggling, ask others to be there with you during the very bad times. Oh, and if the pain meds help her sleep, let her sleep. That sounds like a good thing. Take care, Fay

weirlion's picture
weirlion
Posts: 16
Joined: Sep 2012

Thank you for the kind words, it really helps my heart and mind to hear comferting words, i am her son lol, but i have been called worse than her daughter, Really needed the laugh thank you so much Fay

grandmafay's picture
grandmafay
Posts: 1613
Joined: Aug 2009

Sorry about that. The sentiment is still the same. Hope you are coping. Glad to read in one of your other posts that you are getting away for awhile. When my husband was ill, I even found going to the grocery store a treat. Take care. Fay

MrBadger
Posts: 5
Joined: Mar 2012

Being a caregiver is hard. Physically and worse, for me at any rate, emotionally. Remember you are doing the best that you can. It's hard to keep that in mind. When you do have help try to take a little time for yourself. Even 15 minutes or half an hour can help.

weirlion's picture
weirlion
Posts: 16
Joined: Sep 2012

Thank you for your insite on this, I finally got some time to myself and you were right it helped alot, thank you for taking time to respond it really helps.

Couchie
Posts: 24
Joined: Nov 2010

Part of being a caregiver is being helpless. We would move mountains if we could for the ones we love, if it would relieve some of their pain. But the reality is that we can't. What is happening to our loved ones is beyond our control. Experiencing that is heart breaking, but in reality it's the way things always were. It's just that we're forced to come to terms with it when events like this happen. I would suggest turning to whatever gives you peace with our mortality, whether that be faith, philosophy or taking breaks for yourself to take the time to live your precious moments to the fullest. When I was going through the toughest times, I found that exercise brought me peace. At times, the exercise would border on reckless and perhaps I was tempted to test my own mortality as a kind of "F*** you" to the mortality of my partner. Or perhaps I felt the need for punishing myself because I had it too easy while my partner suffered. There were times that I would go on marathon 14 hours hikes in which I would climb three or four mountains at a time. And whether it was the exhaustion, being forced to face my own physical limitations, being alone in the wilderness, or the quiet, it would bring me peace.

weirlion's picture
weirlion
Posts: 16
Joined: Sep 2012

Thank you for the wonderful advice, you pretty much said exactly how I fell, needing to do something to help and cant, I have plans on getting away for a few days and just try to enjoy my time. Thank you again for the advice it really means alot. thanks couchie

Couchie
Posts: 24
Joined: Nov 2010

I'm glad you found it helpful. You seem like a good guy and I'm happy to help. As helpless and alone as this whole experiences may make you feel, it does unite you with others going through similar circumstances in a strange way. I think a few days away will do wonders.

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