worriedson714 Member Posts: 333 Member

So my dad struggles with battling this disease often so to all those who are battling like him I am wondering . What is the best thing for a caregiver to do when a survior is feeling down and hopeless as I am sure everyone does ? I know there is nothing I can say to make it easier for my dad no words . Is it best to just be there and listen ? Try to distract him with positive thoughts? Happy new year to all and I admire you all who fight this battle like the hero's you all are .


  • cinda
    cinda Member Posts: 65

    for me more than anything I needed someone to understand the emotional struggle .If you haven't had cancer and you say to him I understand ,in the back of his mind he knows you really don't.He needs this group to go on himself. It makes you feel you found your people..Theres a organization called fouth angel that can match you with  someone who has the same thing he has. I had a couple of people from there call me . but when they said call anytime, I'm just not one for bothering people. You can try to find a support group but if possible let him go alone even if you need to drop him off. He needs to talk honestly and with you there he may hold back. He could try a journal  but promise him again you won't read it ..again he need a place to honestly express his thoughts. I've been where he is . Its scary and lonely..God helped me not feel so alone. listen when he wants you to but know on different days we feel different. do as many normal everyday things with him.we all like forgetting for a little while and feeling normal.Your a good person for asking and careing . He's lucky to have you in his corner, I hope some of these Ideas work and he can get some happy day in the new year.

  • Trubrit
    Trubrit Member Posts: 5,800 Member
    edited January 2020 #3
    An excellent question

    I will put some thought into it, as it has been a while.

    I do remember not being too pleased when people told me I looked good, when I knew without a doubt I looked like Hell warmed over.  

    Don't ever say 'you know you don't feel that way' becasue what you are really saying is 'I don't want you to feel that way'. He wants you to understand how he feels at that point in time.  If he says he just wants to die, roll with it, because he turly does AT THAT POINT; but that point passes and then the fight is back on. 

    While you can definiely weave in the positve thoughts, don't bombard him with them. Don't EVER make him feel guilty that he is not being positive enough, or fighting enough. The fight usually takes a dive during and right after chemo when you are feeling your worst. 

    Oh dear! It is really such a fine line, and I do remember now, thinking that 'damned if they do, and damned if they don't.   My two boys were living at home - one literally got out of the army the day I was rushed to the emergency room and my journey began. They both tried so hard to keep my spirits up, as well as my husband, but sometimes I just could not be lifted enough. 

    So, now I've rattled on about what I felt, my advice, listen to the whisperings of your inner soul - your spirit. I do believe we know wihtin us what is best, if we listen.  What works for one, doesn't work for antoher, so listen to your spirit, and listen to dad. 

    Again I say, what a wonderful son you must be. That alone will help him. 





  • SandiaBuddy
    SandiaBuddy Member Posts: 1,381 Member

    I can only speak for myself.  Distraction with positive thoughts would only annoy me.  I suppose I appreciated people without cancer who would listen, but I do not think that they really understood (not that I spoke of the disease often).  That, at least, is one of the benefits of this board.  When you say "scanxiety" to an outsider, they have no idea what it means.  When you say it to an insider, they understand the sleepless nights and gnawing in the gut.  I am sure your Dad appreciates you being there, and sometimes being silent is the best thing you can do.  With that said, sometimes activity is helpful.  Think of things he likes, and offer to do them with him.  Pizza?  A look at old cars?  A game of cards?  A beer or whiskey?  A funny movie?  Sometimes things like that help, without being patronizing.  And if he declines, sometimes being a silent presence is the best thing you can do.