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Old 01-26-2008, 08:53 PM   #1
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Looking for caregiving advice

I am really at a loss here on what to do about my Mom and her memory problems. She is in the end stage of small cell lung cancer and has already outlived her prognosis. The cancer has mets to the brain (and her entire body now) and she has become a different person. There is no longer any quality conversations taking place with her. She can no longer remember anything. She makes things up and then argues with me about how I am trying to make HER crazy. It's more like she is driving ME nuts! You really can't argue with someone who's terminal and insists they are right. I try to avoid all confrontations with her because she says I am crazy. I will be soon enough if this continues.....any advice for me out there? My patience is wearing VERY thin.

 
Old 01-28-2008, 05:27 AM   #2
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Re: Looking for caregiving advice

Well, Guess I'm On My Own Here. Everyone Views.....but No One Answers.

Thanks....i'll Figure It Out Myself!!!!!

 
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Old 01-29-2008, 03:17 AM   #3
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Re: Looking for caregiving advice

hi, i'm kind of in the same boat as you. my boyfriend has stage IV melanoma that has mets to his brain, and he is starting to have memory failure. it's so difficult to deal with when you know you are right about something (because you're not the sick one!) and they will fight you for hours about how they are right. i've just learned that i need to tough it out, because who knows how much longer they have to live. i sometimes just tune him out, and pretend like i am listening, so that i don't have to argue with him. just try to remain strong, and just tough it out .. for your loved one.

 
Old 01-29-2008, 04:54 AM   #4
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Re: Looking for caregiving advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by SherryAnne View Post
Well, Guess I'm On My Own Here. Everyone Views.....but No One Answers.

Thanks....i'll Figure It Out Myself!!!!!
Hello SherryAnne,

Never get the feeling that you are alone, for this couldn't be further from the truth.

Many are experiencing the same or similar situations as you and are searching for solutions themselves.
---------------------
I could say that "patience is a virtue" but you probably have heard that time and again.

I could also say that becoming stronger in faith(if you are religious)may be key.
---------------------
The truth of the matter is that the best advice I could give you is defined under a single word: "understanding."

One can never put themselves in the place of the person being cared for but herein lies a suggestion:research.

Support groups are also helpful.
---------------------
You see, the wrong advice can stir up a lot of frustration in an already compromising situation.
---------------------
Remember that even the longest day has an end.

Take care.

Phoenix

 
Old 01-29-2008, 09:07 AM   #5
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Re: Looking for caregiving advice

Thank you both for your kind words of wisdom. Sometimes I just get "out of control" because I have been taking care of Mom for almost ten years now and I guess this past year with the cancer has just put the "icing on the cake" for me.
I am soooo tired... I just took a leave of absence from my job because Mom can't be left alone at all anymore. I very rarely get out of the house because my husband is the only other person who helps me take care of her.

Actually, I am getting very depressed as it is so difficult living with someone who's been dying for over a year now. It has only been by the Grace of GOD that I am even a little sane at this point.

Thanks again for listening to me vent. I am just having an extremely difficult time now being at home 24/7 with no life of my own.

Vintage, I am sorry for your and your boyfriend, you will be kept in my prayers each day.
Take care....

 
Old 02-05-2008, 01:12 PM   #6
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Re: Looking for caregiving advice

Just keep reminding yourself that this isn't your mom talking, it's the cancer. When my mom's cancer (sclc) metastasized to her brain, she was no longer the mom I knew. My mom never lived with me, but I was always at her place helping her out, making her meals etc. I live 15 minutes away from her home, but wasn't working so I took on the task of being her primary care giver. Luckily for me, her neighbors are the most wonderful people I could have asked to have around her. I put my mom to bed one night and went for a walk around her block crying (howling was more like it because I felt like I was dying inside and that someone had ripped my heart out). The neighbors knew my mom was sick, they just didn't know how bad off she was. A few of the neighbors came out and talked to me about what I was dealing with (I'm a single mom and my youngest daughter was only 2 when my mom passed). Until this point they always thought that I was holding it together because they never saw what I was dealing with. My mom's neighbor directly across the street turned out to be a godsend for me. She helped me tremendously and was able to check on my mom when I wasn't able to be there. Because she was across the street, I purposely left my mom's curtains open and a light on so that she could look in and make sure my mom was ok. I wanted desperately to have my mom live with me to make it easier on myself, but my mom refused -- wanted her independence at all costs. One night, my mom's cancer spread even more and she started having a stroke from it. My mom was trying to call me for help. The neighbor saw this and rushed over to help her. My mom was so confused and couldn't even speak English (she never spoke any other language other than English). I got a call from the neighbor at 3am and was told to get to the hospital asap. That was the only message I got because she had to get off the phone right away. I ended up getting to the hospital before the ambulance. I was the only person my mom recognized, and I'd never seen my mom so terrified in her life. It broke my heart, but I bit back the tears and tucked my emotions aside for my mom's sake. That time she was in the hospital for 3 weeks straight and I never left her side while she was awake. Once the cancer spread to her brain that was the hardest part to deal with. She was constantly wanting to pick a fight with me about something, anything. I didn't bite, just told her what she wanted to hear. Fortunately for me, I was able to come home and let my own emotions loose after my kids had gone to bed. Having my own space and my own time to myself helped me to keep my sanity. Like I said in the beginning, just keep reminding yourself that it's the cancer that's speaking. It doesn't make it any easier, but it helps to know that it's not really your mom talking like that. If you can, take some time to yourself to rest and recharge yourself. I would definitely recommend getting in touch with hospice if you haven't already. I don't know about where you're living, but I had home support come and help with my mom as well. I got asked around to get as much help as I could get for my mom. In the end, it was worth it for the peace of mind knowing that mom had others around her that were capable of helping her and dealing with anything that came up.

I wish you the best and will be keeping you and your mom in my prayers.

 
Old 02-05-2008, 09:29 PM   #7
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Re: Looking for caregiving advice

SherryAnne,

You posted a note to me under "Support for Spouses". I thank you for caring and responding.

My mother lived the last 5 years of her life battling cancer. She died 1 1/2 years ago of lung cancer. The last years here horrible; surgery, chemo, radiation, after effects of all of that. Absolutely a prisoner in her body and home. It was horrible and humiliating for my beautiful Mother. My dad was the main caregiver, I was secondary. It was exhausting spiritually, emotionally and physically. I asked God every day to give me what I needed (due to FMS) to meet her needs that day. Amazingly enough, he did. She definitely had her moods. But she was mentally on top of everything until the very last day when the morphine finally took her mind. She was only in hospice one night and she was gone.

It sounds like you are coming very close to the end of the struggle. My mom was a very strong woman in the Lord and I was so happy to know that the suffering was over and the rejoicing had begun.

I began having anxiety attacks and was prescribed a mild dose of Xanax to get through to the end. It worked and I went off it shortly thereafter. Possibly a mild antidepressant would be helpful to you for now.

Sweetie, God understands your emotions. He knows what's truly in your heart. I used to remind myself of what he endured. He knows our suffering first hand. Suffering and death were not in his perfect plan for us. You'll be ok in the end, BECAUSE you have Him.

I'm here to support you as you walk through this valley. There are places of rest in a valley, lush green grass, shade trees, rivers. I'll pray for Him to show you those special places in your valley.

Always Hopeful in Christ,
Marcia

 
Old 02-15-2008, 06:10 PM   #8
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Re: Looking for caregiving advice

Thank you everyone for your replies. I know that my mom really doesn't have a clue most of the time of what she is saying. It is just so hard for me
to see her like this. I truly do believe that we are coming close to the end now. She is so weak...so confused...so frustrated....so everything. Today she told me "it is a lovely day to die". That was early this morning...she is still here with us. The Deacon that comes to visit from hospice said he had a dream last night that she died. Also, today she told us that she had to take a trip but wasn't sure where to. She said she started the trip and everytime she looked back there was nothing behind her...just space. I do believe she is now making her transition to her eternal life with GOD. I hope it will be a peaceful trip for her and that I am with her when she goes to keep her calm.

Please take care everyone and my prayers are with all of you.

 
Old 02-15-2008, 08:43 PM   #9
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Thumbs up Re: Looking for caregiving advice

SherryAnn

I know what you are going through with your Mom. I took care of my first husband that had cancer for many years and then later on my parents were seriously ill. Sherry, don't forget to take care of you. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Nadine

 
Old 02-17-2008, 05:34 PM   #10
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Re: Looking for caregiving advice

thanks Nadine...I know I must take time for myself; however, that is really hard to do. She requires so much of my time and by day's end I am exhaused and only want to just go to bed. My mom was taken to the in-patient hospice unit late last night for more complications and extreme pain. I will get a bit of a break while she is there and will try to catch up on things that have been left undone for so long.
Thanks for your kinds thoughts and your prayers...they are very much appreciated.

 
Old 02-19-2008, 02:21 PM   #11
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Re: Looking for caregiving advice

SherryAnne,
YOu have my sympathy my dear. I lost my Mom to Alzheimers 1 Nov last year. My Dad had died 5 weeks earlier from an anuerism that burst. I know what you are going through. If you get a moment, check the Alzheimers board here as you are dealing with what we dealt with with Mom. You will find alot of support there and tips. Please check it out.

Please also take a minute to go outside and get a breath of fresh air. Take 5 minutes for yourself. You won't be any good to your mom or yourself or your family if you can't take care of yourself. I sat by Momma's bed for three days til she left me and went home to Daddy and God. It was where I needed to be as an only child, but I also needed to take care of ME. It's not being selfish, it's being realistic and practical. If you fail, who will take care of the rest of the details? Please look out for yourself....

You and your family are in my prayers....

 
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