Apr 05, 2013 - 8:25 pm
Hi, all! I'm new to the site. You all look like an awesome group of folks so I thought I'd test the waters...
My mom and I have both been fighting cancer in our own ways since 2007. That year, she was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer (now stage 4, systemic mets) and I started my career as a bone marrow transplant nurse. Overall, this has been an amazing experience. My mom is a tank and has been going about a fairly normal life despite no breaks between treatments, and I really feel that caring for a family member with cancer has made me a better cancer nurse.
Now we are six years into the journey. My mom's still a tank, but she's down to experimental treatments and palliative care and is getting noticeably tired. I have advanced in my practice, and am caring for more and more critical patients for longer periods of time. I live several states away from my mom, so I'll work my twelve hours, come home, get care updates from her and my dad, make sure they're ok, disperse all info to and calm down my little sisters (also long distance), try to get a few hours of shut-eye, then lather, rinse repeat. I'm getting tired too.
Any tips from both medical and personal caregivers out there as to how to balance the two? I love my mom and I love my work. We haven't really been given a timeline for mom's progression, and she insists that I don't need to increase my visits yet from the monthly ones I already make. I don't want the care I'm giving on either side to suffer, but right now I feel like I'm not doing either particularly well.