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Need Caretakers Support

mindy10
Posts: 183
Joined: Jul 2005

Oh how oh how do you do it. I just came back from visiting my dad who has stage 4 cancer. He is doing very bad right now. He had surgery to drain fluid from his lung because of a tumor and he has gone down hill ever since. He is supose to try once more type of chemo but I think they are going to say he is too skinny and weak for it. I just got back from visiting him. he lives two hours away so I try to go down every weekend or every other weekend to visit. But oh boy is hard to see him like this. Today he looked so skinny and was very very weak. He is in alot of pain now and on pain meds. I know this is the beginning of the end and I dont know how I am going to watch this up until the end. I try to be supportive and Im there for him and I rub his feet and back the whole time Im there but I cant even look into his face because it upsets me so much. I hope he doesnt realize I dont look at him when I talk to him. I just rub his feet and look at his feet. How do you caretakers survive this? I feel so guilty because I pray to god to take him fast so he does not have to suffer. He is so scared and he is not positive at all. He cries alot to. I watched my girlfriends mother die of cancer but she never complained about the pain or dying and never cried so It was easier on her. Sorry this is so long I just needed to get it out because I just got back from visiting him. Thanks for listening. Mindy
Oh how oh how do you do it. I just came back from visiting my dad who has stage 4 cancer. He is doing very bad right now. He had surgery to drain fluid from his lung because of a tumor and he has gone down hill ever since. He is supose to try once more type of chemo but I think they are going to say he is too skinny and weak for it. I just got back from visiting him. he lives two hours away so I try to go down every weekend or every other weekend to visit. But oh boy is hard to see him like this. Today he looked so skinny and was very very weak. He is in alot of pain now and on pain meds. I know this is the beginning of the end and I dont know how I am going to watch this up until the end. I try to be supportive and Im there for him and I rub his feet and back the whole time Im there but I cant even look into his face because it upsets me so much. I hope he doesnt realize I dont look at him when I talk to him. I just rub his feet and look at his feet. How do you caretakers survive this? I feel so guilty because I pray to god to take him fast so he does not have to suffer. He is so scared and he is not positive at all. He cries alot to. I watched my girlfriends mother die of cancer but she never complained about the pain or dying and never cried so It was easier on her. Sorry this is so long I just needed to get it out because I just got back from visiting him. Thanks for listening. Mindy

oneagleswings
Posts: 425
Joined: Jan 2005

Oh Mindy- my husband is also stage 4 and I know so well how you feel- it is heartbreaking to watch the person you love who was so vital fade away and suffer...I wish someone could tell me as well how to handle it...I try to ignore the "outside trappings" and focus instead on his eyes and voice...don't feel guilty wishing for a quick death to avoid all this- I am sure your Dad thinks about that as well...there is no good way to get through this other than take it one day at a time...email me if you would like to chat...
Bev

BEv

pink05
Posts: 553
Joined: Mar 2006

Mindy,

You know I'm here for you. I know it is hard to be strong. I am praying that God gives you and your family strength.

-Lee-

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

Mindy,

i am so sorry that you have to go through this. I hope that your family has hospice involved. They help the patient and the caregivers. Try to hang in there and keep us posted.

Maureen

jerseysue's picture
jerseysue
Posts: 626
Joined: Oct 2005

My prayers are with you and your Dad. I am also stage 4 however at this point I'm not like your Dad but I would like to say that I would want my children to be open and honest with me. I don't think it would be inappropriate for you to tell him that your scared for him. Ask him everything you want to ask at this point he is still here and if you don't you may later wish you had. This is only my opionion and this is only what I would want my love ones to do. Of course being open is my personality. Be brave!

pjenks57's picture
pjenks57
Posts: 112
Joined: Nov 2003

Our dearest Mindy. It is hard and the love you have for your Father makes it that much more difficult. He is lucky that he has you. I am watching my husband in the final stages of life right now. Hospice was here two days ago and they told me we have a week or two and he will be gone. He has put up a hard fight but the end is here. It is very hard to deal with but I think we all are in the same boat of wanting a quick and peaceful end. Right now there is no pain just confussion and swelling. The difficult part for me right now is getting thru all the off the wall talking. He talks about things from the long ago past and the closer it gets to his death the farther back in his memory he is going.
The only thing that is getting me thru is knowing that Ken is going to be with his Father soon. No more pain and suffering. No more dreaded dr appts and CAT scans. No more diarreha and vomiting and mostly no more fear of dying.
I don't know if you are a religious person or not but believe me it helps. I have the love and support of the folks from this ACS site and the love and support of my Church. I wouldn't give either one up for anything. I am sooo very thankful.
I didn't mean to reply to you to bring you down but to let you know that the end is not to be feared. Know my dear Mindy that there are many people like me out here for you and if you need to talk we are here for you.
Take care of yourself and reach out to us when you need to.
Love, Peace, and God's grace on you, your Father and your family.
PJ

jsabol's picture
jsabol
Posts: 1156
Joined: Dec 2003

Oh, ((((((Mindy)))))),
We lost my dad 5 years ago to metastatic colon cancer. He lived 600 miles from me; and my mom had early Alzheimer's at the time. I would weep the whole trip there and back, right through 2 airports.
He moved into a residential hospice program, after having Hospice at Home for a few weeks. He had tried another round of chemo, but stopped because he was too ill. (Hospice does not usually accept people when they are still receiving chemo.) He received such loving care there, and my mother was very supported by the staff, too. I would highly recommend either the at home or live in hospice to help you both through this hard time. Stay strong through the tears, Judy

terril
Posts: 297
Joined: Apr 2004

Mindy, I pray for you and your dad. Be there for him, and let him know how much you love him. Terri

dash4
Posts: 304
Joined: Dec 2005

Mindy, you are in my thoughts and prayers. I know how difficult it is to watch someone you love dying. Right now I am a caregiver for my husband who is Stage IV--it is very different from what you are experiencing and this may not make sense but when it is 24/7 - it becomes your world and in some ways I think it may be harder coming and going as you are with your dad.
Years ago I lost my brother to lung cancer and Friday was my day to be with him when he could no longer be alone or care for himself. I believe now that he was protecting us and we were protecting him---I really agree with JerseySue--I think you should be honest with your dad about your fears and feelings and allow him to be honest with you--let him know it is okay no matter what he is feeling--I wish I had done that with my brother---what I learned is the dying part is real and even if you don't talk about it -it is going to happen, but you are left without a feeling of closure--it is hard to explain, but as kind as I thought I was being to my brother-I am not sure I really did him any favor by protecting him.
Dash

nanuk's picture
nanuk
Posts: 1362
Joined: Dec 2003

Mindy: your father should not have pain either at home or in the hospice, or elsewhere.He should be getting the right kind and amount so that the pain is not an issue. Hospice will make sure of this..is he talking about his death-how does he feel about it? Is he religious? He needs to talk to you about this, after pain is controlled. Talk to him about his fears, or lack of them..get him to tell you about his relationship with his god if he believes..look him in the face and talk to him about death..he might suprise you, but get his pain controlled first. You can't get your head around anything while in pain. He probably desparately needs to talk about his passing in a realistic way, but noone is usually willing to do this. Pray with him. Bud

Btrcup's picture
Btrcup
Posts: 287
Joined: Jun 2004

Oh Mindy. I know exactly what you're going through. I watched my husband go from a strong 180lb man to 115 lbs. It is very hard to watch. The only thing you can do is be there for him...hold his hand and try to be reassuring. The worst part for me was watching our children with him. We tried to be as honest as we could without scaring them.

Does your dad have hospice care? The hospice center Scott was in was wonderful. Your dad does not have to be in pain. As soon as Scott's pain started, we put him in hospice and we know his last days were more peaceful.

If you need me, I'm here. Please feel free to email me. I'm so sorry you're going through this. You and your dad will be in my thoughts and prayers.

Linda

dosu761
Posts: 1
Joined: May 2006

Hi, Mindy. I am a caregiver for my husband who has lung cancer. He was diagnosed 3/28/05 and has been thru pure hell. At first all I thought about was him, taking care of him. I said to everyone, "Once I know he is going to be ok then I'll think about myself. It's fine to think that way for a while but believe me it will catch up to you. I've been thru it all. All the different emotions that you go thru. I have also thought about him dying quick, but just to relieve my pain. Then the horror of how could I even think like that. You will go thru all the feelings. But the most important thing that I have come to realize is (everyone was right) that you have to take care of yourself first. You cannot and must not let this be your entire world. I got to the breaking point and finally admitted that I could not do it all. I asked for help. Now, I do for him but I do not forget about me. For example this Thursday I'm leaving for Toronto, Cananda for 5 days. Me time. He's not happy about it but that's ok. I'll be back. Hang in there!

bsrules
Posts: 296
Joined: Mar 2004

Mindy,
I am so sorry that yet another caregiver has to go through this from this awful MONSTER!!! I know only to well how you are feeling. I lost my beloved husband 17 months ago to this MONSTER!!! You are doing what you have to. It is the hardest things to do but some how some way the Lord gives us the strength to get through. I think about when I was caring for Bob and I wonder now how I did it. Just being there with your dad is enough. You should ask the Dr.'s and or visiting nurses or Hospice, which ever your family is using. As Bud said," Your father should not be in pain." They have all the drugs to help your dad be congfortable!!!!! Talk to your dad and let him know how you are feeling. He needs you. You are their for him and to listen to every word that he might say.

My prayers are with you and your family!!!!

You are doing the best that you can and that is all anyone can expect from you!!!!

Best Wishes and Prayers for peace coming your way!!

Sue

Believermjh
Posts: 36
Joined: Feb 2006

Dear mindy, dash, Bev, Linda and other caretakers. My husband has cc IV mets to liver & prostate cancer..he is depressed, wasting away...I understand how hard it is to watch..I keep giving it to God...still, some days I just want to scream..the love of my life is hurting and I can't do anything to stop it...I will keep you all in prayer...tia

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