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A carers biggest nightmare

Posts: 15
Joined: Feb 2006

How does one watch someone they have loved for 28 years who has always been so vibrant and full of life lose the ability to walk due to the mets to their bones from rectal cancer. How does one watch the person they love struggle for breath as they breathe due to lung mets. How does one cope with inability to help the person they love cope with all these things and keep their sanity? They just do......because they have no choice

Moesimo's picture
Posts: 1080
Joined: Aug 2003

I don't know the answers to your questions. Hopefully your loved one is getting adequate pain control. Do they have any kind of hospice where you live? I will be thinking of you and praying for you. Your post reminds us all of how horrible this terrible disease is.


kangatoo's picture
Posts: 2115
Joined: Feb 2004

2 weeks ago I visited a lady friend who has battled cancer for 7 years. On that day I said goodbye to her....we both knew that her suffering would end soon. I am unable to see her again as she is a long way from me but I do know she is now in a hospice and very frail. Today I rcvd. news that a male friend is also very frail and his 6 year battle is nearing an end. Tomorrow I will talk to him and I know it will probably be goodbye.I lost my mum to brain cancer and Jen's stepfather to lung cancer. How do we cope?I guess we all have had to cope with watching the pain and suffering and will all do so in the future. We cope because we simply must endure the strain of it all for our loved ones and friends. We cope because although we can show that pain and emotion to our loved ones, it re-afirms to them that we love them dearly. We cope because it also re-afirms to those that suffer that although we suffer too we have the courage and strength to live on as they would want us too.
I never conceal my emotions to my friends who are suffering....indeed, my friend Janette and I cried together when I said goodbye to her. She knew it was goodbye...she also knew that peace for her was close.
In essence we cope because we NEED to reassure the ones we love that we are dealing with our pain and anxiety.
You do have the courage and strength to deal with this because there is no other way....except the ability to love and be loved.
You have our sincere love, Ross and Jen

Posts: 186
Joined: Nov 2004

God bless all of you. Ross, you've summed it up. There's not much more to add. Jimmy

Posts: 708
Joined: May 2004

I am so sorry. Ross's advice and your post brought tears to my eyes.

As Moe said, they are no perfect answers; but I do believe there are perfect people. You, as a loving care giver - are doing all you can, which is perfect. Just hold them. If they are confined to a wheelchair, wheel them to where they want to go. Decorate their room with things they love. Breathe with them. Simply be there, expressing your love. Cry when you need.

Do contact hospice - they help the patient and their family so very much.

Keep coming here and talking to us. We are here for you.

Stay strong... simply because you need to - and you can.

all my love, jana

Btrcup's picture
Posts: 287
Joined: Jun 2004

I'm so sorry to hear of your struggle. I was caregiver to my husband, Scott, for 18 mos before the cancer monster took him away from me and our children. I can only say it is the worse feeling in the world watching someone you love suffer, but I know that being there beside him made him realize the love I had for him. Just being there helps.


Betsydoglover's picture
Posts: 1256
Joined: Jul 2005

Hello Aussie - these are the worst questions. What a tough time for you (and also you touch on the fears that we all have even when we suppress them.)

Be there for your loved one and it will be appreciated. Talk to them - about nearly anything. As someone said, decorate their room with things they love. It is all so tough for you, I am sure, but I also believe that the more normal conversation you can have, the more it will help your love. So know that any interaction you can have that is even slightly positive will be wonderful. And a good old fashioned cry won't be so bad either. The hardest thing from patient perspective is probably if the "caregiver" gives up when it comes to "helping" and just stops relating to the patient. So keep on loving!

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, none of us are giving up, right? So we all keep pusing forward. I admire you and please know that any small thing you can do will help. Cannot imagine your personal pain, but I am positive your "love" appreciates any and all of your efforts. And know how lucky he/she is.

We'll keep your in our prayers.


KathiM's picture
Posts: 8077
Joined: Aug 2005

We do things out of love that are seemingly impossible. But the hardest of these things is watching a loved one in pain. My love nursed me through 3 very intense bowel obstructions, and cried with frustration that he couldn't help. What he didn't realize is that he was helping, just by being at my side. I say very often that you caregivers have the toughest road, because those of us battling the monster are just focused on victory. We never have to survey the battlefield like you do. You have to hear the doctor's bad news, which you lovingly keep from us to leave us to our hope. You kiss our foreheads like a mother kisses a sick child's, and we feel better. You turn away to cry so we can't see the hurt in your eyes.
Every caregiver has earned their wings, in my opinion. The hardest act of all is the one of saying goodbye. I love you all for your strength.

JADot's picture
Posts: 720
Joined: Jan 2006

I am so sorry to hear about your struggle. The love and care from caregivers like you is really what keeps so many of us survivors alive and going. You did have a choice - you're a good person and you chose to love, to care, to give and for that you're paying a hefty emotional toll. It's frustrating to see bad things happen to good people. I often think that for cancer survivors and for caregivers, cancer make us really find out what we are made of. And you, you are a kind, generous and caring soul.

Please don't lose faith, hope and patience, keep doing what you've been doing - because your loved one depends on it.

I strongly recommend Dr. Andrew Weil's book Spontaneous Healing - in it, there are many examples of healing and hope and ways to come to peace with things.

Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help.


Posts: 425
Joined: Jan 2005

Oh Aussie. (wish I knew your name)
You sound like you are in the same place I was when I posted awhile back "caregivers please respond"...
When people post that God doesn't give us more than we can handle I know they are talking about caregivers too-
Kathi's post about turning away so our loved ones don't see us cry makes tears come to my eyes since it is so true...
there really is no right or feel good response aussie to your post- just know that others feel your pain and I truly pray that you can find some gentleness and peace to help you through this.

Posts: 15
Joined: Feb 2006

Thank you all for the support, as you will all know it'invaluable. I am not normally a religious person, but I will say "Thank God for the day you sent me to this family"

Bev my name is Maria (sorry I forgot to add it to my original post).

Posts: 36
Joined: Feb 2006

my vibrant husband of 43 years is in IVth stage cc mets to liver after almost 5 years colon surgery..he was doing well since last summer, now has ab pain...CT today...also dx prostate last July...I haven't given up & pray God will heal him, but it is so hard...he is barely able to eat or drink anything...I understand what you are feeling...we didn't have children, so it has been the two of us...we still had great plans for living a full life..I will keep you all in prayer..tia

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