Any tips? Advice?

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Any tips? Advice?

by avery2013 on Thu Feb 27, 2014 05:02 AM

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Hi everyone! I've been reading your stories and honestly what you are all going through makes my heart break. I am a caregiver to my sister as she battles lymphoma. I take care of her and her family of 5 as much as I can, but I have a full time job and my own family to take care of. I feel as though I fail a lot of the time. Our mother (lives in another state) regularly tells me to "suck it up" when I complain of being tired or a hard day. She says it's not about me, it's about my sister, which I totally get! I really do! But I feel as though I am failing my sister and my family. I am exhausted, I am sad, and I am scared. How do all of you caretakers handle the stress? Do you have any tips on how to get everything done in a day?

I hope I don't sound selfish or like a brat. That's not my intenention. I would do ANYTHING for my sister, she's my best friend. I just feel like I'm failing her and I hate it.

RE: Any tips? Advice?

by PunkyD on Thu Feb 27, 2014 12:14 PM

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It sounds like you are an amazing sibling to your sister.  Yes, there is a lot of stress.  I get it!  I was a caregiver to my mom, though only part time, have a full time job and family of my own, so I understand where you are coming from.  There are definitely not enough hours in a day to get everything done.  You just have to do what is most important.  

You cannot be expected to do this all on your own.  Do you have siblings or friends or a community that can help you with your family or help your sister's family?  

As for your mother telling you regularly to "suck it up"? I don't know your mother, her age, condition, or ability, but that doesn't sound very sympathetic or helpful! She should be so proud of you!

 Can't she drop everything and get on a plane/drive to help as well instead of criticizing you? Maybe not........... In any case, she should be supporting you with the fact that you have all of this on your shoulders.  I'm sure you are doing the best that you can, and are appreciated by your sister and her family.  

So just take a deep breath and do the best you can.  Get rest and help when you can, and just work according to priorities.  Somethings will suffer, yes, (like a messy house) but that's what you have to do.

Good luck and hope for the best for your sister.

Punky

RE: Any tips? Advice?

by Ozgirl on Fri Feb 28, 2014 05:40 PM

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Hi avery2013, You're doing an amazing job taking on the workload you have!! Please don't allow anyone to make you think differently. How about speaking with the hospital counsellor, your local doctor, or another counselling service. They may be able to direct you to further support. They'll at least listen to you and validate your feelings. Please take care:)

DharmaGirl DharmaGirl
(Inactive)

RE: Any tips? Advice?

by DharmaGirl on Sat Mar 01, 2014 04:54 PM

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There ia a federal program called  Cash & Counseling, your sister would have to qualify as it is medicaid. This program allowes your sister to pay someone to care for her.  In my case I quit my job to take care of my mom, she met the qualifications and she "hired " me to be her caregiver. There are companies that offer caregiver service if your sister qualifies she could hire them.

Maybe your mom could come and help for a few weeks ? Now is the time to ask for help from family and freinds. I was fortunate and had the help of my brother, sister and husband, between all of us we managed to keep all of the balls in the air .

Please do not feel as though you are failing, you are doing the best you can. Being a caregiver is VERY hard and unless someone has walk in your shoes they have ieda what it is like.Be easy on yourself.

Best D

RE: Any tips? Advice?

by mydaughtertina on Mon Mar 03, 2014 03:44 PM

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Dear Avery,

I cannot believe what I just read. How can a mother say 'just suck it up'? Isn't your sister your mother's daughter? I have never heard of such heartless comments. This is so reprehensible. So what if your mother lives in another state, I lived in another state and was with my daughter, It is heartbreaking enough for someone you love with all your heart to be so sick, but I truly cannot believe your mother's words. Take care of yourself as well Avery, and you are doing the best you can with all that you are dealing with. Tina Leigh's Mom, Brenda

DharmaGirl DharmaGirl
(Inactive)

RE: Any tips? Advice?

by DharmaGirl on Mon Mar 03, 2014 05:37 PM

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mydaughtertina

Thank you for saying what I could not. I felt honored to walk with my mom through her cancer and death and I can't imagine not being there for your own daughter.

PS

Every time I read your posts I feel a connection to you . My mom had colon cancer as well. My heart breaks for you. 

D

RE: Any tips? Advice?

by Melissa37920 on Sat Mar 29, 2014 11:17 AM

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First of all, I commend you for caring for your sister and her family with everything you are experiencing right now. Being a caregiver truly is mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausting. I can relate to you in a sense- my mom had pancreatic cancer for 3.5 years..she died two years ago as of March 17th, at the age of 57. I watched my mom slowly transition from an independent, self-sufficient person to someone that depended on my dad and me on a daily basis. My mom's sister, like you, did absolutely everything in her power to care for my mom, but being three hours away, that wasn't always easy to do. The last four months of my mom's life, she slowly became bedridden..which was absolutely the most heartbreaking and devastating thing I have ever had to witness. You feel so helpless, like you are watching something unfold that you have zero control over..and you would do anything, anything at all to change it. My mom was the strongest person I knew..and despite all the suffering and pain she endured, no complaints were ever uttered from her mouth. I miss her so much.. Once again, you can know without a doubt you are giving your sister the best care possible and doing everything you can for her- and to me, that defines true strength because no matter what, you are finding a way to push forward and do what you have to do. Keep on keeping on! Blessings to you and your family! Melissa

RE: Any tips? Advice?

by wildrose on Fri Apr 25, 2014 12:43 PM

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You are what it means to be a good sister. I know that you have the strength and love to do what needs to be done. Why doesn't your mother come for a visit to help her daughter???? Sometimes people that are not in the cancer world don't really realize what it is like. You want et everything done in one day and the trick is to stop trying to a person can only do so much. Just focus on the important stuff and the rest will always be there. And you don't have to "suck it up" not at a time like this when your doing all that you can. You are only human and we all want to just run away sometimes but we don't because we are all fighters. The Lord knows who to bring into someones life that is sick like your sister that will be there for them and that is you. In the end you will have done everything you could and shown how you love your sister. Prayers and huggs for you

wildrose

RE: Any tips? Advice?

by SarahGrey on Sun Apr 27, 2014 02:36 AM

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Hello Avery,

I'm so sorry...

Honestly, I think the best advice I can give you is just to concentrate on one day at a time.  I used to get overwhelmed thinking about too much and too many possibilities, etc etc...

When I started focusing on just that day, things got a bit easier.  

And, as long as you're doing the best you can, then you will never fail.  Please always remember that...

Also, please remember you are human.  There's only so much a person can possibly do...  :(   And so if you can't finish everything you want to in one day, then let it be done another day.  It will be ok...

PS - no one here will ever tell you to "suck it up" so if you ever need someone to listen, there are so many people here willing to do so, who completely understand where you're coming from...  You're not alone...  

Thinking of you guys, Sarah

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