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Posts: 4
Joined: Oct 2006

I am so glad to have found this site. My father-in-law was recently diagnosed with cancer. (GBM stage 4) He has deteriorated so quickly in just a few weeks. And what a roller coaster that has been. We are in fighting mode, than we are in hospice care, then fighting mode, and currently hospice care again. I feel so alone most days. Although I know I am not. I just feel like I have to keep some of my feelings and thoughts to myself in an effort to not upset anyone and to be the rock of the family. Somehow through all of this, that is the role I took on. I notice it is taking a serious toll on me. I will be driving in my car and the tears just start flowing. I have days that is all I can do. This keeps me distant from those that need me, so they do not have to see me crying and upset. Although everyone else cries at the drop of a hat, I feel I cannot be that person. As I am writing this, I know how crazy that sounds however, I do not seem to be able to overcome the feeling of needing to be the strong one. I am very sad. Sad for the thought of losing a special person, sad for the way he is currently living, sad for my husband, sad for my children, sad that I am missing out on my own children's life right now as we are caring for my father right now. And if this isn't selfish, I miss my husband. Some days I feel like I am drowning!! Any advice would be appreciated.

Cindy54's picture
Posts: 454
Joined: Aug 2006

Hi and welcome!! I don't post very often but I do read the boards. Sometimes by the time I get to them and do post I'm not even sure if the person is still coming here. But your post touched me. I just wanted to say that you are not alone in how you feel. I am the chief caregiver for my Mom who has battled ovarain cancer. I posted her story on the ovarian board.And shortly I will post my story on this board. It truly is a roller coaster but the end result will be that you will come out a better person than you were at the start. I mean this in a good way. I know there are days when I have done the same thing..cry in the car, scream in the car. And there were times I would get so frustrated, not at Mom but at the disease, that I would be angry. I would then just go over and give her a kiss. That seemed to break the mood and lighten it a bit.You are caught in a tough spot..children to take care of, a husband who needs you. And parents that also need care. In time you will learn that you don't have to be perfect all the time. That not everything has to be done by you. This road that we are on has a lot of twists. But you adjust. And you pray a lot. And someday you will let go of the control and place it in hands that are bigger than yours if you so believe. It is not easy, believe me. But it is rewarding. And we all need some encouragement at times. Not every day has to be perfect. It just has to be. I wish you well and I send you a hug. Cindy

Posts: 4
Joined: Oct 2006

I have read your story and wow this gives me hope that miracles really do happen. Thank you for your encouragement. Being fairly young, this journey has changed me and opened my heart in a way I could never imagine. I admire you for taking the challenge of being chief caregiver. What a job you must have. That tells me just how special you really are. I am trying to cope with reality and not this shell I have put myself in. I thank you because my anger has been towards many people and not the disease which is the place it should be. I wish you the best with your mother. Thank you again for the encouragement. It really does help to see there are others out there on this same journey. Bless you!!

CanadaSue's picture
Posts: 340
Joined: Apr 2006

I am so sorry to hear about your FIL.
I am the caregiver for my husband who is currently battling the beast. I know exactly how you feel, the frustration, the worry, the helplessness, you are not alone. I work outside of the home, and when my husband is recovering from his treatments I feel so guilty for not being able to be there for him, and I have learned I cannot do this all myself. The emotional roller coaster is a hard ride at the best of times, only made worse by this beast, and by trying to be strong for everyone around you. I have a couple very special friends who listen when I feel the need to rant and rave, or to just have a good cry . One friend recommended keeping a journal, but I found it was too hard to put my feelings into words, it only made me feel worse. Our daughter and SIL have been my rock thru out all this, and without them I do not know what I would do. I do not like them to see me when I am upset, so I have learned to hide how I am feeling from them. I know our daughter hides it also as she is very close to her father. There are many days I feel like the rock, but many more when I am crumbling. Reach out for someone, and do not feel you always have to be the strong one

dakotarunner's picture
Posts: 99
Joined: Feb 2004

Hello Jeepnut
I have not been exactly in your position, but have been there for loss of my FIL to cancer, and have had a go round with it myself. It is not an easy row to hoe. With my cancer, I felt as though my family cared a lot. But no one came up to me to give me a hug. It was as though they thought they might catch something from me. Give your FIL a big hug. It will not cure him, but may very well make both of you feel better. Do not feel sad. You are doing a great job. You are facing a great challenge. All of your family can be "the strong one" , if only in support of you. I did not tell my family how I truly felt when facing cancer. I thought I had to be the rock. In hindsight, I would spill my guts if had to do over. Thinking you have to be the rock is both a guy thing and a girl thing, especially if you are the DIL. Be strong, and tell those you love you need a helping hand. Please don't do like I did.

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