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I feel very alone tonight-please help me.

Posts: 7
Joined: Jan 2011

While I am not a full blown caregiver, I am helping my mom recover from her mastectomy. I am 26 years old. I know that my mom has stage 4 cancer and will eventually get much worse. My brother refuses to help me, and spends most of his time shacking up with his girlfriend-the same one that called my mom the c*nt with cancer.

I give my Mom as much as I can, but I also work 2 jobs. I can't do everything, and when I think of an alternative to something that will fit my schedule as well (moving appointments around) she yells and cries. When I ask my brother to step up and help, he makes up some lame excuse.

I don't know how I will be able to do this when things get worse. I feel like I have no one. I am sitting here crying and sobbing because I am so tired. My boyfriend is on a family vacation, otherwise I would go. I need help.

grandmafay's picture
Posts: 1639
Joined: Aug 2009

Caregiving is very hard particularly when you are young and working. The number one rule, though, is to take care of yourself. You will need to find help. Ask the social worker at the hospital where your mother had her surgery what help might be available. Check with the American Cancer Society. Call social services. Don't even try to depend on your brother since that seems to just bring you frustration. I know you want to be there for your mother, but you won't be able to do that if you are worn out and trying to do too much. Right now, just take a deep breath. Crying isn't a bad thing. It helps us cope. Then reach out to family and friends. Come here whenever you need support or just want to vent. Fay

Posts: 51
Joined: Jul 2009

What grandmafay said. Seek help from ACS or your mothers hospital...if it's a big enough hospital, it should have someone helping with social service needs, even if it's someone to just dump all your problems on. They will listen or find someone who will listen.

Don't think you have to take all of this on. You only need to take on as much as you can tolerate. It's hard, relentless and frustrating work. Fix only the things you think you can fix or you'll go mad.

Presume you can't count on your brother or his girlfriend. They sound selfish and uniformed about how life works (at best).

And you're not alone. We're all in the same boat...that's how we ended up on this forum.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, make sure you block off a part of your day for just yourself. My time is at night, usually after 10pm, once my wife has fallen into a deep sleep. I go online, put on tv shows only I want to watch, text close friends or just zone out. I really look forward to this time and it prepares me for the next day.

I hope this helps. Remember: take time for yourself, fix only what you can fix (you can't fix your brother...don't waste energy on him!), and talk to someone at the hospital.

Posts: 1849
Joined: Aug 2010

Wow. You are one tough cookie, cello. Working two jobs, taking care of your mom by yourself.

Grandamafay and Tubbs are right: you have to take care of yourself and we know how hard that can be. It might just be a long shower, a walk, a bubble bath, a favorite t.v. show -whatever will let you breathe for a few minutes. I know it feels like it but your mom's cancer is not the only nor likely the most important thing in your world. Life goes on and cancer just happens and must be dealt with.

I want to specifically address the issue of moving appointments or changing days to make it possible for you to take your mom: stop being upset because SHE gets upset.

People with cancer don't suddenly have a personality change just because they are sick: was your mom demanding about having it her way before cancer/treatment or do you see this as just a factor of the illness? Either way, your mom's living or dying now or later is not likely to be significantly impacted by seeing the doctor today or next Wednesday or whenever. You can only accept responsibility if your do it RESPONSIBLY and do not let it have a serious negative impact on you. An inconvenience is one thing: a serious impact is another.

Cello, at the end of this cancer for your mom, however it goes, YOU have to still be standing. I was primary caregiver to my mom and finally had to schedule appointments around my work schedule and it made not one bit of difference in the level or quality of care she was given - only in my ability to take her and fully concentrate on her appointment, not on the meetings I was missing or the other responsibilities I was having to put aside. As the main breadwinner/insurance provider for my husband with cancer, I was very aware how my absence at work could be perceived and I needed to keep that front strong, too.

This is not an easy road you have been given and chosen to take: you must find help.

If either you or your mom are churchgoers or have friends who are, call on this resource. Very often a church has someone who is just looking for a way to help and driving to doctor's appointments is one way to do so. Call your mom's cancer center and see if they have advice. The local American Cancer Society chapter is another resource.

Hugs, Cello. Come back and let us know how things are going.

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