Given your user name, I take it you have children. How did take care of them? I was for the most part a single mom, raising children, working full time and fighting cancer (my first go round was 20 years ago). Last year, I was in extensive treatment (chemo, multiple surgeries, radiation) again, still working full time, and taking care of my husband who has COPD and was just recovered from pneumonia and congestive heart failure. We just do what we need to do. It is all of the other things that is what we do as caretakers. His medical team can take care of his illness, but you are the one that takes care of him by dealing with all of the other things while he can't.
Rare Cancers Questions
Dealing with all the other things.
Asked by ogtxaggiemom on Thursday, March 28, 2013
Dealing with all the other things.
It seems that so many other things want to just take over our life. I want him and I to be able to put all our energy and strenght into fighting his cancer. How do you deal with all the other things that get in the way? I have no desire to go to the office but we work at the same company we are suppose to show a presence. They are talking about putting him on short term disability then long term and if he goes on long term he will lose his insurance unless they transfer it to me and I work at least 30 hours. At his sickest I am suppose to work and not take care of him...this is just wrong. My plate is overflowing...how does everyone deal with the demand? He is the most important thing to me and I want to take care of him.
5 Answers from the Community
RachaelC@StF Community Outreach Coordinator 317-528-7794
I am sorry you are having to deal with all of this. I'm sure the last thing you want to do is something that takes you away from caring for the one you love. My suggestion would be is to do what you can. Take care of him, and when you can find someone you know and trust to step in for a few hours, go into your place of employment. That way you fulfill your job obligations and give yourself a break, and you give him a chance to visit with another person. Is there a way you could work from home a few hours? Maybe while he naps?
I think the biggest thing for me, if I were in your situation, would be that I would never want to look back at this time and wish I had spent more time with my loved one and less time doing something else. Take it one day at a time. If he goes on long term disability, you still have options and we are here to help you with those. This community has tons of people who have worked through those same issues and can guide you through them too. We are always here for you! Hope this helps, sending hugs and calming thoughts your way.
I dont have any immediate family, as they are all deceased. I ahd to fight cancer pretty much alone, with limited help from friends who did what they could. I was able to take time off from work for my surgery but worked 10 hour days running a summer camp, while I was on chemo. I managed to take care of myself and my dog and make it through my surgeries and chemo ralatively unscathed. I know it seems overwhelming and it is difficult to try and be all tings to all people. Just be YOU to the ones who matter.
DO what you can and let the less important stuff go. If you dont have time to sqweep the floors, let it go. There are also many resources for cancer patients to obtain some services, like house cleaning, for free.
Good luck, and dont be afraid to ask friends and extended family for help.
It does not follow that if he goes on long-term disability he will lose his insurance -- most group medical policies have a disability benefit that either pays a portion of the premium or allows the insured to continue the coverage at their own expense if they become totally disabled. Look into that with your group plan manager. Not your employer -- because most employers and their HR people don't have a clue about what is available under the plan and likely they don't explain the circumstances very well when they contact the plan manager on your behalf -- But, first, take a deep breath, calm down and know that you can do whatever you need to do. We (caregivers) all feel overwhelmed at times -- and we all just want to do exactly what you want to do -- fight the fight with our partner -- and we get so tired -- so stressed -- but, just take it one day, one problem, one battle at a time. You said "my plate is overflowing" -- slide everything off of that plate except what is absolutely essential -- delegate to friends and relatives -- put it on your "to do, someday" list -- or just "faaaget-about-it. You know what's important to you and to your partner and that's what counts -- cancer is a life-changing event -- look for your "new normal" -- don't try to keep all the plates spinning, let some of them fall. You'll be fine, really. Now, breathe!
You will take best care of him by best taking care of you both. Make a priority list. If you have to work to keep a roof over your head, then that is at the top of the list and you have to accept it. Get your friends and children involved if you need. Learn to cut certain things out that may feel are important now, but you really can do without. Learn to delegate. And I agree the insurance thing sounds incorrect. Start there. And allow your husband to do as much as he feels like he can do. It will be good for him.