Seeking advice on how to support my care giver?

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Seeking advice on how to support my care giver?

by Bubbs33 on Sun Jul 22, 2012 01:30 PM

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It has been a long road.  At every turn we think we are out of the woods but hit another tree.  In 2005, we lost my paternal grandfather to lung cancer.  My husband and I were not the primary caregivers, but we did a lot to support my parents who moved him in to live with them (meds, meals, doctors appointments, wheeled walks etc) .  My mom's health Congestive Heart Failure was also demanding alot of my father's and hence our time as well.  In 2007, my dad was diagnosised with multiple mylenoma.  Dad needed daily treatments, transfusions, tests or appointments.  We would drive an hour to pick him up, drive another hour to his appointments, wait, support, hug, listen...and then pick-up meds etc on the way home, drop him off, get home to kids, late dinners, and our own basic needs to start the day again.  We moved in with my parents weeks before he passed, and stayed on with mom for a month. Dad passed in Feb 2008.  In the summer of 2008, mom was diagnosed with lung cancer in addition to her CHF.  My kids, and I shared in the care giving supplemented by home care workers.  She fought hard for 3 more years.  In Feb 2011, my father-in-law left his wife and she moved in with us, walker, oxygen, COPD, early dementia and all that goes with an 80 yr old mother in law.  Hubby quit his job, to take care of her and the house, while I continued to work. In March 2011, we lost my brother unexpectedly.  Mom became hospitalized and at this time I was at risk of loosing my job and was transfered to a new postion 7 hours away.  We travelled every weekend to give my sisters relief and to support mom.  I took 5 weeks off work to support her in and out of hospital visits. We lost mom in Oct 2011.  In Feb 2012, I was admitted to hospital with blood pressure of 208/108.  I was off work 2 months, with my poor husband tending to all the medical appointments and daily needs of his mom and I.  I have had great medical attention, ruling out various issues.  My son had a motor cycle accident and surgery July 4th.  My husband left to take care of him.  Our son can't travel for 4-8 weeks and lives 5 hours away.  So I am caring for the MIL, he is caring for our son (few more weeks to go).  I returned from a specialist appointment this week, only to be told I have kidney cancer and it is the poor functioning of the kidney that caused my blood pressure issues.  I am awaiting a referal to an oncologist. I know I will have my emotions.  I am really worried about my husband who has been there for everyone and given up everything to support our families the last few years.  Since we moved to the new community, we have not made friends or been able to focus on anything other than taking care of family and my work.  We had planned a family trip this summer which is maybe cancelled (due to son's accident and surgery) and we had planned a trip this fall as a couple which will no doubt be cancelled due to my cancer.  How can I help my husband during the next phase.  I don't want him to resent us , or the situation.  I am afraid this will put him over the edge and I am afraid that we will each be in our own pain and not able to stand more of this stress.  Any advice is appreciated. 

ps he would never seek outside help or support.

Seeking advise on how to support my care giver?

by MamaB on Sun Jul 22, 2012 02:08 PM

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Hi Bubbs,

You and your husband have sure had your share of problems.  If you have survived all of this, you will be able to handle what is to come.

I am so sorry to hear you have been diagnosed with cancer!

I was diagnosed with Stage IV, RCC with mets to the lungs, in 2007.  I took oral chemo for two and a half years before my kidney was removed.  I have been off of all chemo for over two and a half years now.  I go for my scans, etc. every six months.  This was just to let you know there is hope at the end of the tunnel.

A positive attitude is most important to fight the fight of cancer.  Have hope and faith for brighter days ahead!

God is awesome and he hears our cries for help.  If it had not been for all the prayers and my faith in Him, I don't feel like I would be here today.  I truly feel blessed!

Communication is very important at this time...share everything with your husband and encourage him to open up to you....this is most important, whether you are sick or not.

Prayers and blessings,


RE: Seeking advise on how to support my care giver?

by Bubbs33 on Sun Jul 22, 2012 03:13 PM

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Thanks B!

Thanks for sharing your journey and your positive thinking and faith.  I know we have been through alot and have learnt together.  I just worry that this is the straw that will break the camel's back.  I suppose seeing my mother in-law abandoned by her spouse who sought out other companionship when her life became difficult doesn't help.  I know and trust my husband.  I also know it has been a tough long road.

RE: Seeking advise on how to support my care giver?

by MamaB on Sun Jul 22, 2012 04:54 PM

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I was 70 when I was diagnosed.  My husband was my caregiver; I could not have wished for a better one.  He was there for me all the way.

I wish the same for you and your husband; if you have a true love, you are one.

We have now been married 56 years and are able to enjoy life again..........there is hope.

If there is anyway I can help, let me know.

I will remember you in prayer.

Blessings for you and your husband,


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