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Caregiver needing advice on taking mini-vacation

Meowycat
Posts: 54
Joined: May 2013

Hi Everyone,

 

Mom has been fighting metastatic colorectal cancer for two years now. It came back with a vengence in April. The oncologist at the time told us that if she responded well to the chemo regimine it could give her another year of life. My dad and I have been with her every step-the good, the bad, and more often than not the ugly. She's my best friend.

My question to all is: I had scheduled a 4 day vacation to Las Vegas (5 hours from NY) a while ago and I have been on the fence as to going. Is this normal? Obviously if she is medically getting worse I will not go. So far her oncologist says that her numbers have been getting better and her two tumors look as though they have been contained and possibly getting smaller.  A part of me feels slightly burnt out and the other part feels guilty going (this is my own guilt-none that my mother has given as she is an awesome person even in the face of suffering) and leaving my dad alone. I have a wonderful support group. My friends have all said they will take turns coming by the house to take care of mom and give dad a break while I am away and will report in. I'm sure her family would too.

I told her I would play the slots for her and any winnings I would bring home in a duffel bag :0).

That made her smile.

 

Any words of widsom would be most appreciated,

 

Nellie

 

 

LivinginNH's picture
LivinginNH
Posts: 1268
Joined: Apr 2010

Yes!! Definitely go and have fun!  As a caregiver, you need a break every once in a while.  And since you have a great support system in place, it's all good!  :). So go - and no guilt, ok??   ;) 

Meowycat
Posts: 54
Joined: May 2013

thank you LivinginNH :)

 

KathiM's picture
KathiM
Posts: 7870
Joined: Aug 2005

I posted this to expressions page a few years back (given to me by the organization that takes care of my disabled daughters...):

 

Caregiver’s Bill of Rights 

I have the right to take care of myself. This is not an act of selfishness. It will give me the capability of taking better care of my loved one.

I have the right to seek help from others even though my loved one may object. I recognize the limits of my own endurance and strength.

I have the right to get angry, be depressed, and express other difficult feelings occasionally.

I have the right to reject any attempts by my loved one (either conscious or unconscious) to manipulate me through guilt and/or depression.

I have the right to take pride in what I am accomplishing and to applaud the courage it has sometimes taken to meet the needs of my loved one.

I have the right to receive consideration, affection, forgiveness, and acceptance from my loved one for what I do, for as long as I offer these qualities in return.

 

Go!  She obviously thinks it is a great idea if she is smiling!!!!

 

(from a patient-turned caregiver for my beau with a new heart.....)

Hugs, Kathi

Meowycat
Posts: 54
Joined: May 2013

Thank you Kathi,

I'm going to save this and read it from time to time.

LindaK.
Posts: 300
Joined: Apr 2013

Go and enjoy yourself.  I went to FL for 4 days during my husband's treatments.  While I felt guilty, also, I needed a break and it was good for both of us.  I did get a little R&R but I was worried the entire time about him.  Even though our daughter is a nurse and lives about 2 miles away, I still called 4-5 times/day.  Our lives will never be carefree again, but take the opportunities to have a little fun.

I like Kathi's post also!! 

herdizziness's picture
herdizziness
Posts: 3388
Joined: Apr 2010

GO!!!  Goodness speaking as a cancer patient we need a break from our family too, so you as a caregiver shouldnt  feel bad in taking a nice vacation break AND enjoying it,  GO!! I'm off on a mini vacation from my hubby starting the 6th for 6 wonderful days.  If you were my daughter I'd be ticked if you didn't go enjoy yourself, everyone needs a break now and then again from cancer, I try to take them as often as possible (breaks from cancer).

Have a good time, I'm betting your mother is happy to see off to enjoy a bit of fun, and would be disappointed if you cancelled.

Winter Marie

annalexandria's picture
annalexandria
Posts: 2181
Joined: Oct 2011

I would say absolutely GO!  If one of my daughters was spending a ton of time and energy caring for me, I would totally want her to take a break and have a little vacation.  And from a practical perspective, a break can only help reenergize you, and every caregiver needs that once in a while.  It sounds like your mom is stable right now, so this is a good time to go.  Have fun!  Hugs to you and your mom~AA

Meowycat
Posts: 54
Joined: May 2013

So overwhelmed with emotion after reading all the posts. Thanks everyoneWink.

Much love and huggies to all.

Nellie

danker
Posts: 730
Joined: Apr 2012

 

Definetely GO!!! Sometimes as caregivers we dot not  realize our own stress.  It needs relief every so often too!! As my wife's caregiver

I needed a break, which my daughter supplied by sending me to las vegas to spend a weekend with two sons and two grandsons.  We had a blast.  And she got to spend some quality time with her mother.   You do it too. 

Easyflip's picture
Easyflip
Posts: 34
Joined: May 2013

Stay at the Cosmopolitan, eat a Pink's hot dog at Planet Hollywood, see Jeff Civillico ( comedy juggler ) and something by Cirque du Soleil. Oh yeah, win a lot of money too!!!

joemetz's picture
joemetz
Posts: 493
Joined: Nov 2011

Nellie

This is a fantastic question, and hopefully many caregivers get a chance to read everyones comments. I am going to toss out my two cents, before even reading anyone else's, because I truly have strong feelings and opinions on this topic.

I am not a caregiver... but my wife, Dana has been by my side for almost 2 years during this cancer battle... and back in 1989 she was by my side during that battle too. 

now, every "cancer fighter" is different... but personally, I feel you SHOULD GO on that vacation. (I agree that if she was to take a downturn between now and then, yes... maybe you stay home). But, I would bet big dollars that your mom WANTS you to take this vacation. And, if she knows you are thinking of not going because she might not be doing well... I bet she'll be doing great for each day because her being so pleased to know that you (her best friend) is able to take a break from all of this, get a well deserved vacation with many laughs and relaxing included... because she knows that you'll be back, with a renewed freshness that will help the two of you battle on after you come back.

Talk to her and I would bet big money that she WANTS you to go... 

you deserve a break. do NOT feel guilty for leaving... just get away, relax and know that when you return, you will be refreshed to help her and everyone else in your family through whatever you all are faced with.

it is typical to feel a bit of guilt... but take care of YOU.

my best

Joe

 

mom_2_3's picture
mom_2_3
Posts: 937
Joined: Nov 2008

As a mom, what makes our children happy, makes us happy.  You deserve the break and I am sure your mom will be well taken care of while you are away.  Enjoy yourself and if you can, see Cirque du Soleil's "O."  I will never be able to forget the mystical and beautiful imagery of that show.  Loved it more than any other show I have seen....

Bon Voyage!

Amy

marbleotis's picture
marbleotis
Posts: 475
Joined: Mar 2012

As another sick Mom (NED now), just go.  You must take care of yourself so you can take of your Mom.

She will love to here all the stories of your travels.

Good, happy stuff!

Afyer my chemo ended I took a week with my daughters in the mountains.  It was a treasure of laughs, eating, walking, shopping and just plain LIVING!

Maybe when you get back you and her can plan a nice day-trip or close-by over night.

Do not stop living - and that advice is for both of you.

Love always

Lorikat's picture
Lorikat
Posts: 555
Joined: Jul 2011

I have been both the caregiver and the patient...  GO, GO, GO......   You will be much better for the break and it will let your Mom feel less of a burden to you.. (Even though you don't feel that way, she may!). God bless you for caring..

abrub's picture
abrub
Posts: 1528
Joined: Mar 2010

From another mom-patient:  you have to take care of yourself, and you need a breather.  I was so happy that a friend took me away for a few days (off to her cabin in New Hampshire) which gave my husband/caregiver a few days that he didn't have to worry about me.  He knew I was in good hands, and I knew that he needed to come up for air.  (Frankly, the change of scenery did me good as well.)

Everyone who has responded here has resoundingly said to go, and to leave your guilt behind!  Have a wonderful time!

Alice

thxmiker's picture
thxmiker
Posts: 1201
Joined: Oct 2010

As a satge IV patient. I would tell you to go!  I would tell my wife to go!

 

Your mom will be there when you get back.  Have someone look in on her, and be willing to run an errand for her. Teh care givers need a break also.  I was just in the hospital and told my wife to go out with friends and have Sushi. (Her favorite meal.)   We all need distractions from every day life.  Especially if it is stressful. 

 

Have a great trip and do not for get to have FUN!  Your mom will appreciate to hear about all of your adventures.

 

Best Always,  mike

 

Meowycat
Posts: 54
Joined: May 2013

Big Huggies to you all. I put my vacation in at work and I will get the suitcase and tickets for that Cirque du Soleil show.

Thanks and lots of love.

 

Nellie

 

LindaK.
Posts: 300
Joined: Apr 2013

See every show you can, I wished I had seen more when I was there....

serenity101's picture
serenity101
Posts: 79
Joined: May 2013

And don't forget to pack that duffel bag for your winnings!

 

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