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Overwhelmed caregiver

Posts: 2
Joined: Sep 2012

My domestic partner of 18+ yrs was diagnosed 15 mos ago with stage 2 lung cancer which progressed to stage 4. He now has a permanent trach that allows him to breathe and a feeding tube in his stomach for nourishment. These were both necessary since the cancer had moved into the lymph nodes in his neck and paralyzed his vocal chords. He requires almost constant care, and I'm doing this basically by myself. I'm overwhelmed. I recently asked for a family meeting with his three daughters to discuss how I can get some relief and was told that since we are basically a married couple, they are amazed that a spouse would be unwilling to care for him 24/7. It's not that I don't want to care for him, I do...I just need some help. I have no legal responsibility since his daughters all have medical power of attorney. They have suggested that I leave Michigan and go to my place in Florida for awhile but I could never leave him. Can anyone offer some suggestion as to what I can do or say to get some help?

Posts: 844
Joined: Mar 2011

So sorry that you are going through this crap. I do not know where in Michigan you are at but if you are in metro Detroit is a Gilda's Club on Rochester Rd in Royal Oak or the Cancer Support Center in Ann Arbor near 23 & Washtenaw. Both have caregiver support groups and from experience I can highly recommend attending one of them. If you are in western Michigan there is a Gilda's club in Grand Rspids and they do programs in Holland and Lowell. If none of those work check his hospital to see if they offer something.

It is imperative that you talk to a lawyer to find out exactly where you stand. If they have the POA and inherit everything expect to just be cut out. It sounds like they have it planned already. They have a free nurse who is also paying bills.

Posts: 2
Joined: Sep 2012

Thank you for your response. I'm in Lansing but partner is receiving care in Ann Arbor. I'm willing and able to travel almost anywhere so I appreciate the information.

ToBeGolden's picture
Posts: 695
Joined: Aug 2010

No suggestions. But it's tough and unfair when various branches of a patient's family cannot put their differences aside and come together for the comfort of the patient. Rick.

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