Overwhelmed - Can I just vent to someone who won't judge me, for once???

mom1996 Member Posts: 2

I guess I should start off with our backstory:

After a couple of appointments over the course of about a week that included two different cancer scans and a biospy, my mother in law was diagnoised with stage 4 lung cancer in both lungs and the lymphnods in March of 2015. When giving her diagnosis to us, they actually said that her cancer was incurable and that there was only one treatment option available and that "they would try to manage her symptoms to help give her the best quality of life that they could for as long as she had left".

When we got that diagnosis, I could "read between the lines" and thought I knew what they meant. I begun to mentally prepare myself for what would be a rough road. My husband is an only child and his parents divorced when he was very young so we, or should I say I am her only caregiver. You see my husband doesn't have the best of relationship with his mother or his father; this stems back to his childhood...his grandparents really raised him. So when my mother in law received her diagnosis I knew the brunt of her care would fall on me. The doctors made it seems so dire that they began treatment within the week. 

I done as much reasearch as I could over the first couple of weeks, ask lots of questions, and informed my job that I was going to need time off here and there to take care of her. On April 3, 2015 she began what would be her first chemo treatment. All of the side effects were there that I had read about however, she didn't experience them as bad as some people. Her biggest issue was she hated to drink water and if you know about treatment options, drinking lots of water is vital part of recovering after chemo. So because of that situation she would have chemo on Thursdays and 4 to 6 bags of fluids on Friday...everyother week for the next 8 months. So, this required me to be off of work two days every other week. 

Because chemo made her feel so bad she choose to go off of it from Thanksgiving to Christams of that first year so she could enjoy the holidays. When we returned to the doctor in January, 2016 they told us that she had met her max on that chemo treatment and that they suggested we try the new immunetherapy treatment that had just been approved for her type of lung cancer. So that same week, we began the next phase of treatments every other week. We have been told that basically she will continue this treatment for as long as the treatment continues to work or until she has had enough. So here we are, right at two years later and we continue treatment, every other week.

She has had other major health issue going on over the past two years as well. She was diagnosised with COPD and Emphysema not long after getting the cancer diagnosis, she has an Aortic Aneurysm and they also found skin cancer on the side of her head and on her eye lid. Yet still through all of this she still continues to smoke; which causes its own list of problems (sickness all the time in her lungs, on constant antibotics, etc.)

She has 9 different doctors, 11 different medications (not counting treatment) and some kind of dr's appointments at least twice a month (I try to schedule as many in a day as I can to eliminate getting off of work so much). As far as her health, I handle it all. Basically all she does is open a pill box twice a day or wait for me to pick her up and take her to the dr.


On top of all of that, I think she has some kind of brain trauma of some kind going on. Alzheimers / Dementia runs in her family, her mom and grandmother both died from realted issues.She is irrational to the point of being ugly and rude, she is beyond forgetful, completing forgetting entire conservations. the list goes on. But when I bring the situation up to dr's they just say that she is nder a lot of stress and on lots of treatments and that I need to be more patient and understanding. 

Now to look at her and all shes gone through and continuing to go through, she looks really great, just tired. She still insist on working a full time job (even thought the drs want her to go to part time). She lives by herself and for the most part takes care of herself. So I should be happy, right?...but I can't. 

This is my vent part...I'm so over being more concerned about her health than she is. She rushes every "recovery" that she has. She refuses to do what the dr's tell her to do. She has become so forgetfull that its sometimes scary (to me anyway). I am tired mentally, physically and emotionally...I AM TIRED!!!

I am so ready for this season of life to be over with. When she gets cancer scans, I feel so guilty when the dr's say things look good, no major growth. But I can't find it in myself to be happy! I live each day waiting, sometimes even praying for the other shoe to fall...for things to get bad, so we can get this over with.

I have faith; I BELIEVE in Jesus Christ, He is my redeemer.  I believe He has a plan for eveything. My mother in law has faith. But I can honestly say that I pray for God to end this. For Him to either heal her here on earth or take her on to heaven for her healing. 

I can't talk to anyone here about how I feel. People judge me and think that I am uncaring and insensitive. They actually tell me that I am wrong in my faith for not just trusting God. They tell me I'm a bad person because I pray for God to jsut take her on. I'M THE BAD PERSON??? 

i just don't understand it, I know that when I married my husband that some things just become part of the package. I get that I inherit family and their issues that in a different situation I would run from. I get that, but I'm the bad person??? I'm the one who feels worng for feeling the way I feel. Im the one who should be more caring and compassionate, more understanding. I'm in the wrong???

I can't begin to tell you how many sleepless nights I have, or how many nights I go to bed so exhausted that I don't think I actually rest. I have honestly not been "healthy" in almost two years. I find myself taking heartburn medicine, tylenol, advil, something at least once a day. I can't tell you when the last good home cooked meal was that I had, or the last shower that lasted longer than about 7 minutes. 

I am a wife, a mom to an amazing 20 year old son, an employee, a ladies sunday school teacher, I co-chair our counties ACS- Relay for Life event...and I'm the bad person??? 

I know this post has been very long; but I'm jsut looking for someone with absolutely no interest in our situation to help me. Am I crazy? Do I need help? Should I be more understanding and compassionate? Am I wrong in how I feel? Is this normal? Do you every get over it? I just have some many questions...




  • JerzyGrrl
    JerzyGrrl Member Posts: 760 Member
    edited January 2017 #2
    Not wrong or crazy

    You're not wrong or crazy. Probably exhausted, overwhelmed, and burnt out, though. Add resentful, too - after all, hubby's not helping and she's being more than just a tad irresponsible. 

    In the end, she's still a grown-up and able to make her decisions. Same with hubby. 

    What do you need right now? What (that you can control) could give you peace, rest, and focus? Is it necessary that you take her to her appointments? Perhaps she could get a ride from a friend or through her medical group? The American Cancer Society has a program in many areas where they provide transportation (and support) for patients to get to medical appointments. 

    And - these people who are telling you what they think your prayer life or walk of faith should or should not look like do NOT have your best interests in mind. That's something you and God work out. I doubt any sort of Higher Power would tell you, "Suck it up." More like, "Have love and compassion for yourself as I have love and compassion for you." And your HP can handle any ranting you might want to do in a divine direction, too. 

    Please take care of yourself. As you're doing better, your body and spirit can start to heal and regroup. A trip to your own physician would probably be a great idea, too. Even if your husband isn't helping out with his mom, is there some way he could help you by taking some of your burden off? How could you let him know in an, "I feel... and your doing... would help me because..." approach?

    Hugs - !

  • Noellesmom
    Noellesmom Member Posts: 1,859 Member
    edited January 2017 #3
    What you need

    Is a vacation.

    You have caregiver burn out.  It is a very real thing.

    Please go see your doctor.  You need some good sleep and to acknowledge that.

    Wanting it to be over with: anticipatory grief is what you are experiencing. Nothing wrong with that but the human mind and heart can only handle the level of stress you have been experiencing for so long.  

    I know these things because I've been caregiving my husband for almost seven years and my mom for a half dozen before that.  For the last two years my husband has had 52 appointments each year, I work full time, teach Sunday school and I believe I am absolutely nuts.

    Do stop worrying about her. Worry is pointless. It is what it is. She seems okay with her prospects.

    All will be well.  Go get some sleep. Rest. Go to the movies. Live your life.

  • Ladylacy
    Ladylacy Member Posts: 773 Member
    edited January 2017 #4

    I'm sorry but her healthcare it not all up to you.  Regardless of the relationship your husband had with his parents, why shouldn't he be helping?  To leave it all up to you is wrong.  Give yourself a break, a long break because you deserve it.  Let someone else step up and do their share.  I am saying this as a mother of 4 sons who gave me no help whatsoever when their father was fighting his battle.  Of course, they had jobs and lived out of town, but still they could have come home and helped more.  Only one daughter-in-law volunteered to take time off from working and come help but I never took her up on it.  She had children and she needed her job.

    I can honestly say that in my mother's last two years of her life, it was my husband, yes he volunteered, who was her caregiver.  She came to live with us and I was still working.  He took her to the doctor, to the store, or where she wanted to go.  One sister and brother basically did nothing to help out, the other sister was fighting her own battle with cancer and thankfully won.   Even my sisters, during my husband's fight didn't volunteer, and I never heard from my brother.  Families are strange is all I can say.  Thankfully, my husband and I had time to do what we wanted before his fight began and he got too weak to go and do, something which he hated. 

    Step back from your mother-in-law and let others help and don't worry about what anyone else says to you about it.  You have more than done your share.  Take care of yourself because you are important too.  Your husband is lucky to have you.

    Wishing you peace and comfort