What has helped you cope with the stresses of caring for someone with cancer? Do you have any tips you can share that may help others cope as they care for a loved one as well? Share Your Story
Well Rounded Plan
- Just getting ready to begin this journey with lung cancer with my 85 year old mom. She lives with us and I have 2 older sons and very supportive husband and many friends willing to support us. I know, already, I must take time for me, doing yoga/Pilate classes, getting out with friends and finding alone time with my husband and sons. It's also very important to spend quality time with my mom while she feels well. It must be a well rounded plan so no one is left feeling resentful but with good memories of the privilege of caring for mom and grandmother! Thankfully, we made a video at her last birthday with each member of the family sitting down separately with her and recounting special memories. Putting it all in God's hands, listening to His direction and being peaceful with His leading will be our choice of handling this upcoming experience. Debbie
- —Guest Debbie
The Last Twenty Four Hours
- God gave me the strength to make sure I spent the most precious time with my husband. He died of fourth stage lung cancer. I shaved him, trimmed his moustache and put cream on his hands because we had a big event coming up. We had our marriage vows renewed. Then less than 24 hours after that he died in my arms. He held my hand and in a soft whisper told me he loved me. He chose not to be doped up to excess so he could stay conscious. I would take care of him all over again. True love abounds in these circumstances.
- —Guest Pat Spencer
lung cancer caregiver - need self time
- husband recently diagnosed-stage 4. have taken a medical leave from my job to get chemo started and care for him. he has grown very demanding of my time (which i guess is only natural) i know he is scared..as am i..i thought at first that i wouldn't need the time for myself, however lately i am having other thoughts..we live in a small rural town in southeastern oklahoma, not much to do here, however last night i decided to get in my truck and just take a drive, i cant tell ya how much that helped me, just to have a few to collect my thoughts and really not think about anything was pretty awesome for me. my husband however thought it was to get away from him he doesnt quite understand that i need a lil time too..i have felt at times here lately that i was losing my mind. it has been overwhelming in the few weeks since his diagnosis. Editor's note: This has to be so hard for you. I am so glad -- even thrilled for you -- that you took those moments for yourself in your truck and hope you can do that again. You need that time for yourself more than ever. I'm sure it is difficult for your husband under the circumstances to understand that giving you time to take care of yourself will not only help you, but help him the most in the long run. Sending positive energy, good karma and prayers your way.
- —Guest bparton
Want to Help But Smoking Interferes
- My husband has recovered from 2 past cancer surgeries. He now is facing lung cancer. We are at the beginning ofthe journey. My problem is a conflict with myself. I am trying my best to support him. However, he continues to smoke. Therefore, I feel if he is not helping himself, why should I help him. We continually argue about this and I resolve not to mention his smoking again. I help him and then I get angry that he still smokes. Editor's note: You are not alone with your struggle and I feel for you as you are torn inside. It's likely that your husband is also struggling - both with wishing he could quit, and guilt about his continued smoking. Here is an article that speaks to that guilt: http://lungcancer.about.com/od/livingwithlungcancer/a/Lung-Cancer-Smokers-Guilt.htm. If he is interested at all in quitting, or at least open to discussing it (it does appear that quitting makes treatment more effective and may improve survival), we have an excellent site at http://quitsmoking.about.com with an active forum that can provide support as well.
I Feel Guilty When I Need a Break...
- I am a wife, mother of 2; a 6 yr old girl and a 10 yr old boy, and a daughter taking care of my mother with lung cancer. Today has been especially hard because she is sleeping all the time and confused when she is awake. I am the only one taking care of her; well I do have Hospice nurses that come and go, but no real outlet to relieve this stress. I feel guilty that I need a break. I guess because I know she won't be here much longer and I miss my children so bad! My Husband and I have lost all our parents in the past 3 years. First, his mother to brain cancer; then my father to a heart attack one month after his mother passed then his dad last August to lung, kidney, and liver cancer, and now my mom is passing. I don't have anyone to help me and my husband just withdrawals from me and I feel so very alone. I know this is affecting my kids and I am powerless to stop it. Editors note: I responded privately, but it is important to understand that caregivers often need our love and support as much as those who are suffering with cancer.
- Besides prayer, I lift myself up by singing Gospel Music. My passion for dance is my outlet even if it takes getting a "sitter" for my Lung Cancer stricken Husband - I tap and jazz dance with a Betty Grable mentality - a "dreamer" of sorts. This short time is for ME! After three years as a caregiver, I feel I deserve this. Right? Joy
- —Guest Joy Daanen
Write a Book
- Some one should write a book on this topic. Oh, wait! I already did. "Cancer Journey: A Caregiver's View from the Passenger Seat" Cynthia Zahm Siegfried
Write, laugh, share stories
- To care for myself as chief honcho caregiver when my mother had lung cancer I started writing stories for caregivers. http://www.dyingtohelp.com/
- —Guest Lois Kelly
Coping With An Older Parent With Cancer
- Looking back on my experience with a older parent newly diagnosed with cancer, three activities helped me get thru the last few months. First, I read up on his cancer and the medications suggested so I could ask questions in his best interest. Then I focused on a good friend who also had a parent go thru this, so I had someone to talk to and share my experiences with. And lastly I set boundaries for myself in terms of time spent visiting and the amount of negative emotion I'd absorb from him - so the challenge of his condition didn't emotionally drown out everything else.