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I'm 26, and so overwhelmed

Posts: 1
Joined: Dec 2011

Hi all,

This is my first time using an online support group. My mom, 66, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in August. Thank god it hasn't spread anywhere else yet, but she just moved in with my sister. I'm a grad student at a nearby university, but I don't have a car. My sister and I are taking care of her at home now. With the help of my boyfriend, I'm able to get around and help her get to appointments. I'm just looking for a sympathetic ear to cope with-- someone out there who is going through something similar?

Our father passed away nearly 7 years ago, brain cancer. This all just seems a repeat of everything that happened then. I know I'm supposed to be an adult by now, but all we do is fight-- my sister and I fight because I'm residing in her house now over the holidays (to help take care of mom). My boyfriend and I fight-- because he feels like I don't spend enough time with his family. I don't have much money-- being a grad student doesn't pay much. My impulse is to just run away from it all, but I can't. I'm overwhelmed by slowly losing my mother, who recently broke free from an abusive relationship (one saving grace). I'm overwhelmed by problems with my boyfriend. I love him so much--he's so good to me, but I feel like I'm laying down so many additional problems on our otherwise blissful relationship. Additionally, I'm overwhelmed by the total lack of control that I feel in my life right now-- the complete absence of freedom when I feel like my friends are enjoying life to the fullest right now. I'm jealous, and upset, and overwhelmed, and am resorting to the only coping mechanisms I know right now-- music, drinking.

Please, any kind words would be really encouraging. I can't vent to anyone like I just did to you all.


Posts: 829
Joined: Aug 2010

It's always hard when a loved one is diagnosed with cancer. I know cause I lost both my parents from it and also lost my husband from lung cancer in 2010. The pain I felt was awful watching them suffer, and trying to remain strong for them. Just hang in there and I'm sure your boyfriend will understand what you're going through & he'll be there for you.
Take care & remember there are so many of us who have gone through this, so keep coming to us for support. "Carole"

grandmafay's picture
Posts: 1639
Joined: Aug 2009

You will always be your mother's little girl. First, I would suggest that you might be able to cope better without the drinking. That just rids you of some of your inhibitions which might explain some of the fighting. Yes, this is hard, but alcohol really isn't going to make it better. You need all your brain power to deal with this. I'm glad you are helping your sister. Your boyfriend is either going to understand or not. Ask him what he would do if it was his mother. He needs to be there for you and help you through this. That is what a relationship is all about, sharing both the good and the bad times. You have a lot on your plate right now juggling school, your Mom's cancer, your sister, and your boyfriend. Just remember that the best you can do is the best you can do. Don't feel guilty about what you can't do. I'm glad you have found this online group. Vent whenever you want. We can take it. You might also find out if there are some services at school for stressed students. Schools often have counselors to help students through rough patches. Don't be afraid of asking for help. Take care, Fay

Posts: 1
Joined: Dec 2011

I understand how you feel, My father has cancer and we have been told that there is no hope for him. He has Metastic Melanoma that has spread very quickly. He was on drug called Zelboraf and we were so hopefull but now the cancer is around his heart and they have told us it could be 2 months or less, that was on December 7th. I'm 42 and scared and feel alone. I have 2 brothers but one of them has problems with depression and the other one just doesnt deal with anything. So it's just me, Hospice has started and they have been so kind. This is the second time I have been through this, My grandmother had breast cancer and passed away 15 years ago but I was there everyday and saw what she went through. you are not alone even if you feel like it, you need to talk to someone go to your local cancer center they have been very helpfull with advice about my dad. You will be ok and it's ok to cry and let it out I do that often when I'm alone.Let your boyfriend know how you feel if he does truly care for you he will understand and be there for you. I wish you luck!!

Posts: 10
Joined: Dec 2011

Definately stop the drinking first and foremost. It's not going to help and it will only make you feel worse in the long run.
You really should have a heart to heart talk with your boyfriend about the time you are spending away from him and his family. He really needs to better understand how challenging it is to be a caregiver and hopefully if you let your emotions out to him he will be able to better support you during this hard time you and your family are going through.
The stress a caregiver can feel is overwhelming. But it sounds like you and your sister are doing the best you can and trying to work together .
Even if I was at odds , I would love to have more support from family and friends. My mom has throat cancer and has been in 6 weeks of treatment now and I had some help with her appointments in the begining but no one is around us now when the times are getting hard. I have no one to bounce my pain and anger and tears off of and no one to step in when I need a break. Its been challenging and I am so sad in my heart and soul when I feel overwhelmed because I cannot even imagine what my dear mom is feeling.

Posts: 24
Joined: Nov 2010

I'm sorry to hear about your situation. I feel as if I can relate. I'm also in my mid-20's and am dealing with a similar situation. It has lead to many conflicts with my significant other who is the person I care for and her family. Sometimes it feels as if her family makes the situation as difficult as possible out of spite that their daughter considers me their primary care taker. Whenever they take her to medical appointments, they announce it in church and ask for prayers and post it on facebook. But outside of the public eye they celebrate when they don't have take her to medical appointments. They don't want the actual responsibility of being the care taker, they just want the symbolic title, praise and attention.

I'm not suggesting you do this with your boyfriend but when my significant other was diagnosed she offered me an out. She said that she realized this was going to be really rough and I never signed up for it. She said that she felt bad for putting me through it and stated that if I wanted out, I should leave and she would understand. I chose to stay but it did make me feel validated and let me know that she cared about me.

I too feel overwhelmed and feel like I'm missing out on a lot. I often try to escape as well into music or sports. When the person I care for spends a night with their family visiting, I often turn to drinking to try to cope. It doesn't make it any better, but I do it anyways. My job offers free counseling to anyone who asks and I've thought about asking a few times but I never have. Many schools offer similar opportunities. It might not be a bad idea to look into it.

Hang in there. There will come a day when you're on the other end of this thing.

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