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New and Overwhelmed! 
Started by kgosley
17 Jun 2014, 9:16 PM

Hi everyone, My name is Katie.  I am here because of my mother.  In Oct 2006 my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer.  She had a mastectomy in May 2007, underwent chemo and radiation and for years was cancer free.  7 years almost to the day my mom was diagnosed with secondary breast cancer which has spread to her chestwall and abdomen.  She was hospitalised for a bloodclot on her lung a month ago which has since been cleared up, but she wasn't eating or drinking much and became severly dehydrated leading to another hospital stay.  They haven't even started treatment for the cancer yet.  I am so worried about her. My husband and I live with mom and we are her sole caregivers.  I am an only child which normally isn't so bad but right now I really wish I had siblings!  The same year, 2007 Feb, I was diagnosed with Lupus, and with my mom's current health my lupus is flaring something fierce.  I have severe anxiety and am feeling VERY overwhelmed right now and could really use some support!  Nice to meet you all!
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Reply by KathCull_admin
17 Jun 2014, 9:37 PM

Hi Katie
Welcome to our community. You have found a warm, safe place - where you can talk and where people will support for you. 

There are others who have similar experiences Katie, like Jaindough on the thread Don't know where to start 

You are dealing with so much right now. Are there friends or other family who are able to support you? Are there community resources that you can access? 



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Reply by kgosley
17 Jun 2014, 11:26 PM

Thank you for your reply! I don't really know of any support that's why i came here...I live in Toronto and my mom is at Princess Margaret Hospital.  As i said I have severe anxiety and rarely leave the house.  I know that sounds bad, what my mom is going through is way worse than anything my anxiety can do to me but i just don't know how to deal with this.  I have so many questions and i can't even begin to ask the ones that scare me most.  
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Reply by jaindough
18 Jun 2014, 1:13 AM

Hi Katie,

I'm jenn. I found my way to this website a little over a month ago, dealing with my mother who currently has lymphoma metastases in her brain. She battled lymphoma late 2012, early 2013 , and her brain tumours were identified almost exactly a year after her lymphoma was identified; in late 2013.

i, too, am on my own in caring for mom, as each member of my family have passed away. I have a very supportive husband and I gave birth to our first child in feb. Dealing with a newborn while trying to care for mom has been taxing.

My greatest dilemma was that mom really wanted to go home, after being sent back to our hometown from Montreal, where they had decided her treatment was no longer of any benefit. I wanted very badly to fulfill that wish, but given the lack of support and the already high levels of stress my husband and I were under, this was not possible. I was also very ignorant as to how debilitated mom was. We had to make tough choices but mom is in an excellent palliative care facility where the staff treat her very well and I can visit her in peace.

i live a good seven hour drive away from my hometown. I have put my life on hold to help ease my mom at her end of life. I am living out of my childhood home for the meantime. My husband and son were with me the first two weeks, but they had to return due to my husbands work and my feeling overwhelmed trying to care for mom, husband and baby. I miss them. Ore than I can say.

my advice (and I should take it myself) is to remember to take care of you in all of this. I have found how easy it is to neglect oneself emotionally, physically, spiritually etc when you are trying to care for a loved one. Remember, your life must go on after all is said and done. You need to be supportive of your mom, help her, take care of her, but do not lose taking care of yourself in all of this. 

if you have any questions, feel free to ask. I can only answer from my limited perspective, but I would be happy to help if I can.

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Reply by moderator | modératrice
18 Jun 2014, 2:09 AM

Hi Katie,

I'm so glad you joined our Virtual Hospice community. The members here are so understanding, responsive and helpful. You've got a tough journey ahead and we're here to listen and be that virtual shoulder to lean on when you need it.
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Reply by eKIM
18 Jun 2014, 4:02 PM

Hi Katie, this is eKim. 

I am a contributor to this site simply because I love to encourage and comfort people.  I have daughters about your age, Katie and I am reaching out to you as I would to them.

Are you receiving help from medical care workers that visit your Mom at home?  This is a good alternative to explore if you haven’t done so. 

Another alternative (if you are willing and able, and when the time is right), is a residential hospice.  The care offered is outstanding, more than can be offered 24/7 by even the most devoted family.  I have volunteered at our local hospice for four years now, and I know, first hand, that it is an excellent alternative.  I would chose it for myself. 

I must tell you that I cannot “put myself in your shoes” simply because I have not experienced what you are experiencing.  Nonetheless, I would like to reach out to you with something that helps me greatly to deal with the stress of hospice volunteer work.

I use a "Floating" analogy for my stress management program.

I picture myself floating in a warm, gentle stream.

Suddenly I see "trash" (negative thoughts, events, situations etc.) floating towards me.

Two things are unhealthy a) ignoring/denying them and b) overreacting to them.

So what to do? I simply observe the thought/mood/event/situation. I observe it until it floats by and then I fall back into my gentle, warm, environment.

It is important that you know what is your own “gentle, warm environment”.  For me it is simply the love that I share with my family – that is all I need to see me through ANY difficult times. 

If you ever master this technique, it can be of great comfort, I believe  - eKim

“Life isn’t meant to be easy.  It is meant to be lived.  Sometimes good, sometimes rough.  But with every up and down, you learn lessons that make you strong.  Learning is a gift, even when pain is the teacher.”  - unknown

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Reply by moderator | modératrice
24 Jun 2014, 12:36 PM

Hi Katie,

How are you doing? How is your mom?

I would like to introduce you to 2 other new members. Please meet Beck and Jorola. They are talking on the thread Having a hard time coping Would you like to join them?

Jorola also posted to What pets can do.  

Talk soon.
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Reply by eKIM
23 Sep 2014, 2:18 AM

Hi Katie

It's eKim.  I just wanted to check in with you since the last time I posted to you.

I hope that you are able to find some peace dispite what is happening.

Let us know how you are.

You have many people here at Virtual Hospice who are willing to listen when you need to talk.

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