What can I expect as family caretaker

annierae62 Member Posts: 4 Member

My dad is going to begin 8 weeks chemo and radiation for stage 3 non small cell lung cancer. He is 85 and also has congestive heart failure. He has been taking care of his Alzheimer's wife by himself in their own home. They are both somewhat incontinent. Until now, he's resisted all forms of help.

We get along great, and he's finally agreed to let me be a live-in caretaker during his treatment. My question is, is it reasonable to assume I can do this by myself? I am 61, healthy and strong; I feel fully able. But friends have told me I'm being unrealistic.

We have funds to also bring in outside assistance, but he doesn't like that idea.

I am feeling a fair amount of anxiety, mostly of the unknown. Thank you for any advice.


  • annierae62
    annierae62 Member Posts: 4 Member

    P.S. I live 4 states away. I will be leaving my husband behind to care for our farm.

  • Kathy G.
    Kathy G. Member Posts: 244 Member


    I know you requested info several weeks ago, but saw you got no response.

    I am assuming your dad is nearing the end of treatment. I hope all went well!

    I just wanted to tell you my 64 year old husband has stage 1 squamous cell cancer. He was deemed inoperable though bc of many co-morbidities including severe COPD.

    So they did 5 rounds of radiation only. He had no side effects during treatment, but felt somewhat fatigued once done. He regained his appetite which was good. But he did become very grumpy which is understandable given a cancer diagnosis.

    I am in my 60s, but not great health. I found the number of appointments exhausting bc there were more than just the 5 treatments & I found cooking & keeping his meds straight a little challenging. As well as dealing with his grumpiness.

    Otherwise it was not that bad.

    I hope you are making out okay. What a gift to your dad!

  • annierae62
    annierae62 Member Posts: 4 Member

    Thank you for your response and I am sorry about your husband.

    We have 2 weeks to go and similar challenges. All appointments are a 30 minute drive, so it's been all day, 5 days a week, plus cooking/cleaning. It's hard on us (thank goodness my husband joined me) but much harder on him. The radiation is causing him relentless vomiting, diarrhea and fatigue. He was in bed all day yesterday.

    He resisted our help initially saying he didn't expect side effects. He is now welcoming the help, plus finally agreeing with us to get his wife into memory care recognizing he can no longer adequately care for her.

    So far, it's sure been interesting, sad, challenging and rewarding. Lots of quality time, msking up for some lost years.

    Thanks again for writing. I am alone in this except for my husband (and he is a rock.) Turns out my therapist can't even zoom with me while I'm out of state 🙄

    I hope your husband gets some results from his treatment. Though it's difficult, I hope you try to not take the grumpiness personally. Underneath they know all we do is from a place of pure love.


  • annierae62
    annierae62 Member Posts: 4 Member

    PS, his treatment is 6 wks total with daily radiation. He's also having trouble swallowing now, another common side effect