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reply to caregivers please respond

oneagleswings
Posts: 425
Joined: Jan 2005

Thank you all so much for your responses
1) to all the caregivers that answered- you made me cry, brought a smile to my face, a nod and a sigh- it is so humbling to read others peoples posts and realize that I am not alone- thank you so very much from the bottom of my heart for sharing your feelings- and if any of you would like to correspond please email me.

2) to the "patients" that replied- thank you for your input- I would like to comment on Betsy's post about "knowing what the future would bring" and that it implicated a "death sentence"...that really was not what I meant- I am a person who always sees a glass as half full and tries to look on the "bright side"..and believes that as long as you are 98.6 and breathing that life is good (I am/was a registered nurse)...but no matter how you look at it- we as caregivers Do KNOW what the future will bring...1) while our loved ones are sleeping- (SAt night at 7:00- we try to carry on and maintain a normal life for our children 2) to relatives, friends, co-workers etc- who politely ask how our loves are doing and we smile and say fine (or not) but know that we can't possible begin to describe what it feels like to watch someone you love suffer 3) we KNOW that on a predictable schedule that there will be tests and we wonder if we are up to the challenge of watching our loved ones faces and eyes as they hear the news (or wait by the phone) to hear if the current medication is doing it's what it is supposed to do.
No- I was not referring to an implication of death- because really - death is peaceful and gentle and if it is time- it is time...what I KNOW the future holds is watching the suffering of someone I love more than my own life....

I know we as caregivers can not walk in the shoes of someone who has been given a diagnosis of cancer- but it is also true that someone with cancer can not walk in the shoes of someone who loves and cares for them.

I pray for miracles for all of us on this board- and cherish the friendships I have made here.
Bev

Moesimo's picture
Moesimo
Posts: 1080
Joined: Aug 2003

Bev,

What a truthful post. Noone knows what the future will bring for any of us--- the patient or the caregiver. Some of you might be sick of my story, so if you don't want to hear it again---just go on to the next post.

I had been a nurse for over 25 years when I was told that I had cancer. I initially thought of it as a death sentence. I cried all the time and wondered what the future would bring for me, my husband and my children who were 14, 17 and 21 when I was diagnosed on March 17, 2003. I never realized how much I was in for the fight of my life. People have asked me what was the worse part--I am not sure. I think the worse part was not knowing the future. Radiation, chemo and 3 major surgeries in 18 mos. were awful. I have had 11 hospital admissions. When I was in the ER last week and had to tell the ER doc my history---he was feeling sorry for me. I had another bowel obstuction. My response was, "Really, I am doing OK. In the scheme of things it could be way worse."

I have learned so much about myself since being diagnosed. I have used my story to tell my patients--look at me. I had cancer and I am still here. I ran into an old friend whose mother I had taken care of shortly after her lung cancer diagnosis. Her mother didn't survive the cancer, but my friend told me that I gave her hope. That meant alot to me.

I also tried to keep my life as normal as possible when I was going through treatment. I am sure that people were sick of asking me how I was and me telling them I didn't feel good.

It has been alsmost 3 years since my diagnosis. Do I still think of it alot. Hell, yes. Is my life better, hell, yes.

I love this site, because you guys have been there and truly understand what life is about now. My new motto, "Don't sweat the small stuff."

Sorry this is so long, I have to go to work now.

Maureen

Betsydoglover's picture
Betsydoglover
Posts: 1256
Joined: Jul 2005

Hi Bev - I am sorry that I overinterpreted your statement. Please chalk it up to me still being in the sensitive stage about my disease. Trying really hard to be positive and mostly doing a great job - I must have been in a slightly down moment when I read your post.

I have often asked myself if I'm better off with me being the cancer patient and my husband the "caregiver" or the other way around. And I have never been sure. I do know that I make a much better patient than my husband ever would! And, as you say, I don't really know what it is like to walk in his shoes. Although, I also have to say that, like Kerry, my husband is not really my "caregiver". We have a great relationship, but he is not very comfortable with the disease and prefers to focus on other things. I've accepted that. And also, I am doing really well so far and even through 6 cycles of chemo did not really feel like I needed much "care". So, I am lucky so far. And, having my children grown helps a lot. I simply cannot imagine dealing with this and putting on the face for small kids at the same time.

All of you caregivers are wonderful. And also under a lot of stress, I know. And both patients and caregivers can relate to being asked how things are going. No one really wants to hear an honest answer to that question. They are all very relieved to hear that things are good and then quickly move on to other topics of conversation. That's one thing that is so good about this board - we don't have to sugar coat anything.

Take care.

Betsy

oneagleswings
Posts: 425
Joined: Jan 2005

Hi Betsy:
Great to hear from you and wonderful to know that you are doing so well- you seem like such a positive person.

It's funny how true it is that we interpret what we read on this site depending on our moods (at least I know I do)..I have cringed at a couple of my responses in the past...

You are right- we don't have to sugar coat anything- and it is so very therapeutic to be able to safely vent our fears...

This board certainly gives me hope- which I continually pass onto my husband...
TAke care
Bev

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