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Staying Positive Isn't Easy...

Posts: 7
Joined: Dec 2010

How do you stay positive, as a 'distant'-caregiver...?

I live two hours from my stepfather who has cancer (NHL)...during his 12 chemo treatments I was at the hospital 2-3 out of the five days a week. I gave up a semester of college to be with him (wouldnt have changed that for anything) and as my luck would have it, my wedding fell right between the last chemo treatment and the return of cancer a second time. So the celebration seemed bittersweet at best.

My mother cant control her overhwelming fears of him dying - and I cant get her to see the positive for the life of me. She says she doesnt want to live without him and has a hard time even taking a moment out for herself to just breath...This has not only taken over his life, but my moms as well.

Additionally, they have to reloacte to a place about 40 minutes from my house, during his new upcoming treatments (give than they can even do them - appointment is tomorrow to find out what options we have). I am now faced with trying to decide if I should offer my home up to her as a place of comfort and a place she can call 'home away from home. It is not that I dont want her here - I just worry that I wont be able to take the negativity very long and after 8 months of trying to remain positive, I'm starting to lose my cool. I have two semesters of nursing school left, and my husband and I very desperately need me to graduate so I can get a job that pays our bills and allows us to start a family...

I dont know. I'm just kind of torn and emotionally tired (as selfish as that may sound). My mom cant handle it, I've accepted it, my stepdad is just ready to move on with life and get through with this ....

Sorry this is all over the place, I just needed to get it out.

Posts: 1154
Joined: Jun 2010

Can you maintain separate residences and have mom visit or visit her for comfort or take her out. I mentor young adults and always tell them to preserve that ability to finish school, because you can not help anyone ubless you are strong yourself.

Posts: 7
Joined: Dec 2010

We can - in fact, her insurance company has given them a rather large sum of money to use for lodging, however the ammount must last for however long his treatments do. I just feel guilty and feel sad that she would have to stay in the hotel alone, just because I didnt offer my home up.

On the other hand...I am so worried about not keeping my own life together. I have come this far (nursing school has been one of the hardest things I have gone through - and at this point, I cant risk not graduating. And as you said, I am not able to help anyone unless I help myself first..)..

Posts: 829
Joined: Aug 2010

I know it's got to be hard for you, especially with you trying to finish school. But I know what your mom is going through cause I lost the love of my life in March. When you love someone, it's very hard to think of life without them. It sounds like you're very good to your stepfather and have spent so many days with him. But I hope you help your mom deal with this but don't let it interfere with your schooling and most of all your marriage! Good luck!

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