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How to manage emotions

How to manage emotions

Posted by Beatcancer27 on Nov 7, 2019 5:57 am

I am having an emotional roller coaster whenever my mom describes symptoms that seem to indicate things are getting worse. On days when she seems okay, I feel okay. On days that she suffers, I suffer. How do I be strong and be able to provide support instead of feeling depressed whenever things don't look so good? 

A little bit about myself: I'm pregnant with my first baby, first grandchild for my mom. I live about one hour away from my parents. Parents need a lot of assistance with navigating health care system due to language barriers. My mom's diagnosis of metastasized ovarian cancer came as shock because she seemed healthy with no serious symptoms. 

Re: How to manage emotions

Posted by Brighty on Nov 7, 2019 7:24 am

Beatcancer27‍  welcome.    One of most challenging  things in life is to watch a loved one go through  pain and feeling helpless.      Being a caregiver  is a balance between caring for the person and for yourself.    You are human and don't have to be strong at all times.     You are allowed  to have have bad days and to have a good cry.    there are many ways you can support your mom.    Take things day by day.. there is no use in forging too far ahead and jumping to conclusions.    Cancer treatment has come a long way and  research is always coming up with new things.    You can do simple things like give your mom a hug a kiss or just hold her hand.   And you can also help with the practical  .. preparing meals, helping to drive to treatments,  and things like that.    If you can'...see if you can find others who are able to help.   The more support you have the better.   Please get support for yourself too.    Being a caregiver  is no easy feat, I can tell you from experience.     A social  worker at the cancer  clinic may have some wonderful  suggtions for you.   I highly recommend it.   We also have a group on the forum called ' coping with a parents diagnoses.     You will find others there going through  the same thing.    In the meantime  I'm going to tag @cynthia mac.  (Sorry my tag isn't working) cynthia  I hope you see this post.    She cares for her dad and will gave many suggestions.   Practical as well as emotional  support. 

Re: How to manage emotions

Posted by Cynthia Mac on Nov 8, 2019 8:30 am

Hi, Beatcancer27‍ , I believe I responded to one of your other posts (thanks for the tag, Brighty‍ ).

Congratulations on becoming a parent for the first time. I suspect your new addition will help you answer some of those questions you have about dealing with your mom and your emotions!

My best advice for dealing with emotional matters is to look into mindfulness techniques - deep breathing, meditation, that sort of thing - and exercise. I find that on days I’m able to get out for a long walk, I get a better sleep and I fall asleep better, too. I can provide recommendations to that end if you need.

For your parents’ language barrier, are you able to interpret? Perhaps if you can be on speaker phone and can interpret for your mom and her doctor when they are meeting it will do several things: help the doctor communicate with your mom, give your parents better information in “real time,” and give YOU a more compete picture of what is going on with your mom. (I’ll warn you, though, as a caregiver myself, you don’t always want to hear what the doctor has to say. But, I also know that sometimes it’s better to know than not know.)

Write in any time. You’ve found a good place to be.

Re: How to manage emotions

Posted by Lacey_adminCCS on Nov 8, 2019 11:05 am


What you described makes perfect sense. I can relate. When my Dad was sick how he was feeling on a given day definitely impacted how I felt that day. I can't imagine the added barrier your family faces around language. Our Cancer Information Service has interpreters available to join the call so our team can give information and support to your parents. They can be reached toll free at 1-888-939-3333. I encourage you to give it a try and talk to your parents about it. They may be interested in the chance to call and ask some questions and speak in their first language.

Are interpreters providing support at he hospital at appointments? This would take some stress off of you. It would be tough as their daughter to have to be the one giving challenging news or direction I imagine. Contact the Social Worker at the hospital to see if this would be possible.

Who is supporting you right now? I hope you will add us to the list.

Take Care,

Re: How to manage emotions

Posted by Beatcancer27 on Nov 14, 2019 11:44 am

Thank you BrightyCynthia Mac, and Lacey_adminCCS.

As for parents' language barrier, my brother and I have been accompanying them to their appointments to interpret for them. Our phone numbers are also given to the hospital to contact us so we can relay messages to parents. We know the hospital may provide an interpreter rather than children interpreting for parents but we worry that having to schedule a third party may delay mom's appointments. I also prefer to know first hand what my mom's treatment will be and how she will be taken care of.

Lacey_adminCCS, is the toll free number for requesting interpreters at the hospital? or can parents call to just discuss about resources available to them? Are they counsellors?

My parents experienced difficulties when they wanted to reach a pharmacist at the hospital. My dad called the nursing line and asked for so and so but the person must not have understood what my dad was saying and kept transferring him to other people. It was a rough day for them. They were frustrated that they couldn't communicate a simple "May I speak to so and so." The pharmacist eventually called them so it was okay. They try hard not to be a burden but they are helpless when there is language barrier. Hospital language can be more medical and technical as well. A lot of helpful information, pamphlets, guides and other resources are not available in their native language so I try to translate these materials for them. 


Re: How to manage emotions

Posted by Cynthia Mac on Nov 15, 2019 7:39 am

Beatcancer27‍ , your parents are very fortunate to have you and your brother available for their appointments, and you are very fortunate to have your brother’s help. 💛