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Help?

Help?

Posted by klamb on Nov 8, 2019 8:24 am

Hello everyone,

I am feeling pretty helpless and depressed and wondering if anyone could assist me with some resources. Some background info: I’m a 37 year old female who is a caregiver for her husband with cancer. I don’t have any friends/family to assist with any type of support. I literally don’t have any emotional, mental or financial support. I’ve been crying non stop for a few days and feeling really bad, even suicidal. I guess another question is: how do I convince my husband to keep going, when I can barely cope myself?  Does anyone else feel this way? 

Thanks,
Kerrie

Re: Help?

Posted by Brighty on Nov 8, 2019 8:31 am

klamb‍ I just wanted  to welcome you to the site.   I went through  something similar as a caregiver  to my fiance   ..     Im going to continue  this message during my lunch break and I'll private message you as well.   You are not alone and  I'll get back to you very soon .. . 

Re: Help?

Posted by Wendy Tea on Nov 8, 2019 9:52 am

klamb‍  Kerrie we are here for you but it is hard to help on line. Please make a phone call to your family doctor. You need to be strong for your hubby but you can't do this alone. Please ask for help so that you can cope with this nasty situation. We all want you to succeed.  Please ask for help and stay in touch.
Wendy Tea 

Re: Help?

Posted by Lacey_adminCCS on Nov 8, 2019 10:24 am

klamb‍ 

Thank you for sharing with us how you are doing. It's not always easy to do. You are going through so much right now. It is understandable that you are under a great deal of stress. You deserve support.

As suggested I encourage you to get in touch with your family doctor or go to the emergency room if you are feeling suicidal. You can also call or text crisis services Canada for support 24/7  1.833.456.4566 | Text  45645. Please don't hesitate to reach out and get the support you need. Have you ever met with Social Worker at the Cancer Centre? They can also be a great resource to talk with you both.

It is tough to be a caregiver when you are surrounded by family and friends not to mention when you are feeling isolated. Our Cancer Information Service is a great aid to help you find resources in your community. They are also great listeners. Contact them toll free at 1-888-939-3333. 

You may also find this booklet helpful: Coping when you have cancer

Our community is a great place to ask questions to other caregivers and vent. We are listening and wishing you well. Thank you again for trusting us to share.

Lacey

Re: Help?

Posted by Brighty on Nov 8, 2019 12:17 pm

klamb‍  hi again.    I'm so sorry for what you are going through.    going through this is hard enough but without support its brutal.    Does your family and friends live out of town? Do you belong to a church or some kind of community centre? Religious  organizations usually send people to help caregivers who are in need.    Although  my fiance's family was here they bailed on me during the caregiving process and left me all alone to do everything.   I fell apart and was suicidal .    My mom made his family step up and pitch in.    I called hot lines and went to emergency as well as seeing  a social  worker 5 times per week.    I was a complete and utter mess.    I would also recommend you seeing your family doctor and let him know what is going on.   My family doctor fast tracked me into a therapy group.... as well the oncology  social worker is a wonderful  resource ..every cancer centre has one....

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Re: Help?

Posted by Brighty on Nov 8, 2019 12:25 pm

klamb‍  what type of cancer does your hubby have? Where is he being treated ?if you are comfortable  will you be able to give us more information?  The more we know the better we are able to help and refer you to resources.      If you are feeling suicidal  don't hesitate  to call the help number the Lacey_adminCCS‍  gave you.  They have talked me down several times.     As well, the emergency  room has social workers and phychiastrists on call 24 hours ... been there too.      A trip to your family doctor would be really beneficial  to you..as he/she is a great resource.     Don't hesitate  to ask questions  or post whenever  you are feeling low.    We are here.

Re: Help?

Posted by Brighty on Nov 8, 2019 12:32 pm

klamb‍  you can help your hubby just by being  there for him..... hold his hand, watch TV with him... take his lead and go by how he feels...just those simple things can mean so much to a person.   When my fiance was at his worst I just stayed by him, cuddled him and held his hand and sometimes that is all you can do.    Please look after yourself Kerri! 

Re: Help?

Posted by klamb on Nov 8, 2019 12:52 pm

Brighty:
klamb‍  hi again.    I'm so sorry for what you are going through.    going through this is hard enough but without support its brutal.    Does your family and friends live out of town? Do you belong to a church or some kind of community centre? Religious  organizations usually send people to help caregivers who are in need.    Although  my fiance's family was here they bailed on me during the caregiving process and left me all alone to do everything.   I fell apart and was suicidal .    My mom made his family step up and pitch in.    I called hot lines and went to emergency as well as seeing  a social  worker 5 times per week.    I was a complete and utter mess.    I would also recommend you seeing your family doctor and let him know what is going on.   My family doctor fast tracked me into a therapy group.... as well the oncology  social worker is a wonderful  resource ..every cancer centre has one....
 

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Hi Brightly :) We don’t have any family really, I have a sister is Edmonton and she said she has her own stuff to look after. My dad and I are pretty estranged. My husband’s parents have passed on. Neither one of us are religious. I work full time and am trying to use it as a distraction. I really like my coworkers and my job, but I’m likely going to have to go off on short term leave soon to help my husband. My husband did get pain medicine today, so hopefully that will help with his treatment symptoms. A social worker reached out to me today. 

Re: Help?

Posted by Wendy Tea on Nov 8, 2019 2:54 pm

klamb‍ , Kerrie, you have a family here. What province are you in? Message me any time.
Best wishes
Wendy Tea 

Re: Help?

Posted by Cynthia Mac on Nov 9, 2019 10:11 am

klamb‍ , I’m glad you’ve sought out a counsellor and found this place to help support you.

I’m caregiver for my Dad, and I know exactly what you’re asking when you say, “How do I convince my husband to keep going, when I can barely cope myself.” Sometimes, we just have to believe that that power will visit us when we need it. Like you, I’m not especially religious, but I do believe in universal power, and have been grateful to have it visit once in a while. 

The Cancer Society’s community services locator site is https://csl.cancer.ca/en, and it might help you find a volunteer service who could relieve you so you can get out to get a little self-care. While your job is a good distraction, you also need to be able to see friends and get your hair done! 

A couple of other suggestions I have for coping are
- talk a short walk with a packet of tissues, and allow yourself a good cry
- find a mindfulness app or two for your phone
- seek out a couple of audio books for affirmation and mindfulness - my favourite author is Jon Kabat-Zinn and you can borrow them from your local library if money is tight. I like using them in audio format.

Please let us know how you’re doing, when you’ve got time!

Re: Help?

Posted by klamb on Nov 9, 2019 11:48 am

Wendy Tea:
klamb‍ , Kerrie, you have a family here. What province are you in? Message me any time.
Best wishes
Wendy Tea 
 

Hi Wendy!! Thank you. I really appreciate it. I’m in Ontario. It’s so frustrating overall :( Not a single friend has called or texted me to ask how we are doing. 

Re: Help?

Posted by klamb on Nov 9, 2019 11:50 am

Cynthia Mac:
klamb‍ , I’m glad you’ve sought out a counsellor and found this place to help support you.

I’m caregiver for my Dad, and I know exactly what you’re asking when you say, “How do I convince my husband to keep going, when I can barely cope myself.” Sometimes, we just have to believe that that power will visit us when we need it. Like you, I’m not especially religious, but I do believe in universal power, and have been grateful to have it visit once in a while. 

The Cancer Society’s community services locator site is https://csl.cancer.ca/en, and it might help you find a volunteer service who could relieve you so you can get out to get a little self-care. While your job is a good distraction, you also need to be able to see friends and get your hair done! 

A couple of other suggestions I have for coping are
- talk a short walk with a packet of tissues, and allow yourself a good cry
- find a mindfulness app or two for your phone
- seek out a couple of audio books for affirmation and mindfulness - my favourite author is Jon Kabat-Zinn and you can borrow them from your local library if money is tight. I like using them in audio format.

Please let us know how you’re doing, when you’ve got time!
 

Thank you! I’m going to go to the gym today and make some time for myself :) I think it will help to take some self care time. 

Re: Help?

Posted by Wendy Tea on Nov 9, 2019 12:26 pm

klamb‍ , Kerrie, I am in BC so we are far apart physically, but close emotionally. How are you doing today?
You know it is ok to phone a friend and say I am struggling and I need help. If you could do this one thing for me, I would be grateful. Then let your friends help with something specific. Often people don't know how to react nor respond. Give them a little task so they feel they are helping. If you cant talk on the phone, send an email and ask them for a favour. I found my friends were eager to help but didn't know how. You are the captain of this ship and you need to look after your First Mate. Stay strong and stay the course and I am here to help.
Best wishes
Wendy Tea

Re: Help?

Posted by Melanoma on Nov 9, 2019 2:56 pm

I am applauding all of you for reaching out to help a person ( help ) at a time of need .

I see your in Ontario I am as well , keep reaching out for help lots of resources at your disposal.

Maybe you have not came across the right person to support you 

Please keep trying , never give up 


 

Re: Help?

Posted by SLM on Nov 9, 2019 6:04 pm

Hello Klamb
I am so very sorry to hear about your situation.  
However, you have strength, probably more than you realize.  From your first post, your tone in your messages have changed.  Which tells me that you are grieving and recovering in a healthy way.  The shock, anger, fear and hopelessness could be all consuming.  But instead, you reached out to this community, named your feelings, and asked for support.  This was an awesome step! 
There was a lot of great suggestions given previously, so I am going to only highlight that all of these suggestions will help you and your husband move forward.
It is a sad state of affairs when you realize that your friends were only part of your history and not part of your future.  But it is always better to know where they stand to stop further disappointment.  Some are simply unable to deal with the stress of cancer, and their choice is to simply pull away from any involvement in your inner circle.  This is not what any person on this virtual site will do, so invest and reach out for our support as we will help you.
Take care of you.

My cancer, my rules.
Be the storm!
SLM 

Re: Help?

Posted by Kims1961 on Nov 9, 2019 9:07 pm

klamb‍  So glad you reached out and so sorry to hear of your husband's cancer.

You have some very excellent responses and advice. The social worker should be able to help you and your husband and may also be able to link up other resources for support. The suggestion to reach out to friends is also a good one.  Sometimes friends/family don't know how to be helpful or feel we want privacy - asking for help is a sign of being human - none of us can do this on our own.

I'm glad you have support at work.  Do you have benefits?  Some benefits cover EAP/ Social worker support or even a massage...taking care of yourself can be so difficult but important.

The suggestion of seeing your family doctor is  important.  Letting him/her know how your mental health is being affected is important.  Often our mental health is so impacted by our physical stress yet it is given less importance.  

Please keep posting here/venting/asking questions.   We are here.  Kim

 

Re: Help?

Posted by Cinderella59 on Nov 9, 2019 10:04 pm

Brighty‍ just to let you know the cancer clinic at Mackenzie Health no longer has a social worker she retired and they didn’t replace her. 
When I found out I was disappointed I think it was lack of $$ as usual.  She was very helpful. 

Take care. 
Cindy 

Re: Help?

Posted by Brighty on Nov 10, 2019 2:23 am

Yes someone  told me she reitired . .. maybe it was you.. I cant remember .    She was a wonderful  lady.     I hope they find a replacement!!!! Cinderella59‍  .!!!!!

Re: Help?

Posted by Cynthia Mac on Nov 10, 2019 9:37 am

klamb‍ , the gym is probably a good idea. I’ve found that it can burn off a little anxiety, and that can be a big help!

I’m in central Ontario, so contact me privately if you wish to see if we’re close enough to be of assistance!

Hope you’re having a better day today.

Re: Help?

Posted by Ten77 on Nov 10, 2019 10:34 am

I wish I had some magic words that could bring you comfort.  I echo the advice above, see a counsellor, take time for your self even just a few minutes to walk.  You are not alone. See you dr , feeling suicidal is a medical emergency.  

 Friends often don’t know what to say, and are afraid to say the wrong thing.  Is there one or two who you  could react out to and say “  I need help! I need to stay in touch with you even though I might not pick up the phone.” .  It’s ok to say I need help. 

I’m 42my hubby is newly diagnosed with lymphoma , so I don’t have any of this figured out yet.  My stress relief is knitting because I can knit in waiting rooms, during chemo  or when sitting with him while he watches hockey( I hate hockey).

 

Re: Help?

Posted by Cynthia Mac on Nov 10, 2019 11:16 am

 Hi, Ten77‍ . I'm a knitter, too.  Big time! I thing that's how I survived the "Star Trek years."

Re: Help?

Posted by Melanoma on Nov 10, 2019 1:17 pm

I see you have lots of support on this site stay strong 💪 

Re: Help?

Posted by COP on Nov 21, 2019 8:36 pm

Hi Kerry. If I remember correctly from a previous post, I think your husband is being treated at LHSC. There is a Social Worker who works with the Head & Neck and Thoracics within the London Cancer Centre. I assume that your husband and you see the nurse practitioner, Maureen, on occasion. (She specializes in side effect/symptom management for Head & Neck patients.) She is also a great resource for information and can connect you and your husband with the Social Worker if you so desire. My husband is halfway through his radiation and about to have chemo #5 tomorrow for HPV-linked base of tongue cancer. The radiation side effects are now coming on strong and he is having trouble accepting them. We met with the social worker today and will continue to do so. I think meeting with her on a regular basis is going to be quite helpful for both of us.
Colleen
PS: I just realized my reply to you is a couple of weeks after your original post. I certainly hope you have found the help you need.