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Feeling overwhelmed

Feeling overwhelmed

Posted by Karenlynne on Nov 19, 2018 9:55 pm

I am new to this site. My husband was diagnosed with colon cancer that has spread to his liver and lungs on Aug 8, 2018. We were married on July 21, 2018. We went from the happiest day of our lives to the worst day of our lives in a short two weeks. He is currently under going Chemo and I have to say that he is handling it well, not many side effects, but recently he has some really bad emotions. He was so positive at the beginning and now he is scared that he is going to die. His on oncologist is very optimistic that he is going to beat this. He is a very strong person and has overcome allot in his life. There are days when I am so exhausted, I am not sure how I can go on, I try to be strong for him, and I don't let him see me get down, I stay positive as much as I can. It is difficult and it would be great to hear how others cope with this. 

Thanks for listening. 
Karen 

Re: Feeling overwhelmed

Posted by Brighty on Nov 19, 2018 10:31 pm

Karenlynne‍  Welcome to our site and I'm glad you found us.      You will find some wonderful people on here with full of information and resources, as well as people who can share experiences and support you.      I'm sorry about your husbands diagnoses.      Good news is the oncologist is optimistic about his prognosis, so hang on to that!        The bad emotions are a normal part of going through this process.   It's a very scary experience, for both caregiver and patient.      It can take a huge toll on both of you.        I went through something similar with my fiancé and wondered how I would go on.      But somehow I did, by using coping strategies I picked up from other caregivers on the site and learning as I went along.    FIrst, if you or your husband is not talking to anyone, I highly recommend seeing a therapist.    Start with the hospital you are being treated at.   Most hospitals have oncology social workers to talk to.     Some even have groups to join for patients and caregivers.     There, you will be able to vent all your feelings and get coping strategies.     Some of the coping strategies I learned a long the way:   Ask for help.   Don't take the role of caregiving on all by yourself.    As for family members, friends, or whoever you think will pitch in or lend a hand.   Tell them exactly what you need them to do, whether it's driving to treatments, preparing meals, looking after the kids, be specific about your needs.       Self care.:  It can be so overwhelming to be a caregiver that we forget to take care of ourselves.   Don't neglect yourself in the process.   Make sure YOU are eating properly , healthy meals, and sleeping.     Exercizing also takes a lot of the stress off you and will help with your mood, your anxiety, and your energy levels.    Self care also can include taking breaks to meet friends, watching funny shows or movies,, a bubble bath or something as simple as a Starbucks Latte for  a pick me up.    The little things help too.     Walks in nature, talking everything in, and living in the moment.       Journaling works for some people, but not everyone is into that.    Taking a few moments to write down your thoughts and feelings and record all the good and bad times.      Other one for you, is don't isolate.      Let people in, let people be there for you and help you.      The more the better.     Taking it all on by yourself can lead to burnout.       You're no good to your husband if you are not doing well yourself, so please care for yourself.       My other strategy I used to cope with the cancer stuff was by keeping the other parts of my life as normal as possible.   If you can go to work, go,.   Go do mundane things like grocery shop, pay bills, do errands.   It's those mundane things that help you keep the 'normacly' in your life so you are not always in the cancer world 24/7.      We also have discussion groups on this site for you to connect with others going through what are going through.    We have a "Caregivers" discussion group where caregivers exchange stories and coping strategies that work for them.      We also have discussions on various cancer types, where people share their experiences of what they went through, and things you can be prepared for as your hubby goes forward with treatment.     I will also pass you along to Gaylene‍  who I believe had this type of cancer.   She may be able to share her experiences with you.      Take things day by day, without letting thoughts jump way ahead of yourself is all you can do now.   You don't always have to stay strong, you can talk to someone in private where you can unburden yourself and cry all you want.   The social worker in oncology has seen it all, and they will totally understand you.     I wish you the best and keep in touch.   You CAN DO THIS!!!!

Re: Feeling overwhelmed

Posted by Kims1961 on Nov 20, 2018 9:22 am

Hello Karenlynne‍ - Welcome to this awesome community and your post will touch many.  First congratulations on your wedding - what a wonderful picture of the two of you.

Last year - just before our holidays and on my birthday i was diagnosed with breast cancer. It came as a big surprise as i felt healthy and there was no breast cancer in my family. My mother had colon cancer but was never diagnosed until she passed away.  What we learned is that colon cancer is very treatable  - so it's very good news that your husband is getting chemo. I also had chemo and found the side effects challenging.  Sometimes it was the physical side effects and other times it was my mood. Mood changes can be due to the medications but also a very natural response to the diagnosis of cancer.  It can be very "healthy" to think about dying - as long as we don't "stay" there.  If you're worried about him becoming depressed Brighty‍ gave some excellent suggestions - talking to your family doctor or social worker attached - can be very helpful.

Reaching out to forums like this and talking to helpful family/friends are great ways to manage the rollercoaster of emotions that go along with a cancer diagnosis.  The mental health journey can almost be more difficult that the physical one- for both the caregiver and the cancer patient.  Be sure to take time out for yourself for some self care.  Some areas have awesome support groups for cancer patients and their caregiver.  Exercise can be a great stress reliever - or restart a hobby or even clean out that old junk drawer! Distraction can be helpful and healthy for both of you.  

www.cancer.ca has some great info on it.   Here is the pamphlet on colorectal cancer . http://www.cancer.ca/en/cancer-information/cancer-type/colorectal/colorectal-cancer/?region=on

Let us know how you are doing.   Thanks for posting!  Kim

Re: Feeling overwhelmed

Posted by Lacey_adminCCS on Dec 11, 2018 8:34 pm

Karenlynne‍ 

It's been awhile how are you coping with things?

It would be great to hear from you,

Lacey

Re: Feeling overwhelmed

Posted by Karenlynne on Dec 16, 2018 12:33 pm

Hello Lacey, thanks for reaching out. Things are better, but we did go through a rough patch. I didn't realize how it would effect my husband when I talked to him about reaching out on this site. He took it the wrong way and that they he was becoming a burden and that I had to go somewhere for help. He even got to the point that he was pushed me away and wasn't letting me go to appointments or treatment, but I'm stubborn and went anyway. Things are muc better now after we had some long talks. I told him that it I just nice to hear from others and get knowledge of what he is going through. We are in a better place now and closer than ever. We are looking forward to his treatment on Christmas Eve and than a CT Scan in January to see how he is doing. Thanks again for reaching out, and have a Merry Christmas. 

Re: Feeling overwhelmed

Posted by Lacey_adminCCS on Dec 17, 2018 11:40 am

Karenlynne‍ 

Great to hear from you. I'm so glad things are better now. It sounds like you had some difficult but much needed conversations smiley

We are always here to listen!

Have a great Christmas Eve and please update us in January! (or anytime)

Lacey