• Is anyone battling breast cancer single and/or currently going through chemo single? How are you coping?

    Asked by Mandi75 on Wednesday, April 4, 2012

    Is anyone battling breast cancer single and/or currently going through chemo single? How are you coping?

    My mother, who lives 3 hours away, is my primary caregiver when I can get her. We have had family crisis events happen over the past 9 years and mom is worn out of being the caregiver. I struggle being alone with this chemo and cancer diagnosis.

    5 Answers from the Community

    5 answers
    • Bashiemn's Avatar

      Mandi - I'm not single, but I might as well be. Also my sisters have taken me to a couple of appointments but not very many in the grand scheme of things. I have had to rely on a small group of friends and my mother in law for all of my support with rides and also helping with meals.

      For help with appointments/rides/meals/household chores, definitely let any friends, neighbors, etc. know that you could use some help. Also, reach out to the American Cancer Society. They have volunteers as well as access to a database of other organizations that can help you.

      For emotional support, your clinic should have a social working or be able to recommend a support group. For me, I have mostly relied on my internal strength and determination to get through this.

      Be strong. Be courageous. Accept help. Ask for what you need or it will eat you up inside. People don't realize how hard of a struggle all of this is unless they have lived through it.

      over 4 years ago
    • CarolLHRN's Avatar

      I am single and my family lives about 6 hours away. Like the others mentioned, use your friends! They want to help, let them. When I got my chemo schedule, I immediately got my friends lined up to take me. I have seen others on this site have a lot of support in the beginning and not much in the end so I got them to commit early to helping me. I have another group of friends that checks in on me my non-chemo week. They will run to the food store for me, make meals, etc. They call on Sunday and find out what I need and drop off on Tuesday or Wednesday. Again, I got them to commit early on so I have the schedule with me.

      I did start going to therapy so I had someone to talk with about all my feelings and emotions and just coping through life. It has helped so much. When I am out of physical energy, I still have emotional strength to push through.

      Take help when it is offered even if you don't really need it. That one was a hard one for me to learn but I'm glad I did. It has made some of my friendships so much stronger. I was always the giver in my relationships and learning to have others give was tough but it made my friends feel good they could do something for me.

      There is a good thing about going about this solo too. When I get home from work, I can put my PJ's on, lay on the couch and not have a concern in the world. I don't have to worry about taking care of others and if I don't feel like eating or I do, I can do what I want. I enjoy my peace and quiet most nights after working all day. I balance it with time with friends and it seems to work out well.

      Know that you always have lots of listeners on this site as well. There are lots of great people here who can give you that boost and understand what you are feeling better than anyone else can!

      over 4 years ago
    • Mandi75's Avatar

      I appreciate the answers I have gotten already. I do need to nail down a schedule with friends. They are busy and seem to want to get together with me to new our old normal things together. I am struggling to ask them for things like grocery shopping. I would enjoy just having them sit with me at home, but haven't been able to get much of that. My friends are also mostly single career women trying to do it all themselves too. I do drive the three hours to stay with mom and dad some to break it up and mom comes to stay some for my treatments. It is the alone time that gets me so down some days. I am only working very part time from home as I am on short term disability from work, so also feels strange not to go to work. I have worked always since about 16 yrs old. I have all this time to worry about the surgery coming up in June.

      over 4 years ago
    • nantse1's Avatar

      I am single. My husband passed away 7 months ago very suddenly. It's very hard to be home alone. I have a very physically demanding job and I'm also out of work on disability for a while.I have a 19 year old that lives with me but he has a very full schedule and girlfriend. I was starting to have a very hard time after my first round of chemo.(I had internal pain and allergic reaction) and it got me very depressed. After steroids for the reactions I felt great. I checked the calendar for the American Cancer Society (Hope club) and started going to exercise. I also went to a breast cancer support group(1st time) last week. 4 of us there all at different stages and years. It was the best thing I did. We couldn't stop talking!I was diagnosed Jan. 3 of this year and had dbl. mast. by choice Feb. 3., started chemo. last month. My hair was falling out this week so I had it shaved off and my son surprised me by shaving his head too. I guess you could say I have support just not intimate, close support from my husband and I miss it.It seems that going through situations like this your self esteem needs some stroking. You need someone to tell you that you're beautiful and you look great etc. My in laws are great. My sil has never missed an appt. Luckily she retired last year so she's available. My oncology office offers rides and support groups also. I've also called and emailed friends of friends with breast cancer and it passes hours on the phone talking about it. Kinda like when you have a baby and you can't stop talking about it. When you open up to someone else with breast cancer there is such a connection! I also meet people for walks at a local park on nice days. Just get with people. Too much time can make you crazy.
      Good luck. Keep posting. It's good to compare notes. Knowledge is power.

      over 4 years ago
    • MollyAWelsh's Avatar

      I am married....but my husband has dementia, thus doesn't always remember or understand what I am going through. He is also disabled and a 24/7 care. I had been caring for him before the diagnosis, but after the diagnosis he had to be placed in an asssisted living facility. There was no way I could keep up his cares and take care of myself at the same time. I was already burning out as a caregiver before cancer diagnosis and was in process of finding respite care. Now I am getting the respite, but am spending that time in cancer treatment. It is very hard being alone, but I was already alone because of his dementia. I do have friends that will help. I get out often enough to see those friends for support. My mom also helped me after surgery and my sisters call me regularly to see how I am doing. I know that if I need anything, my siblings are here for me. I have asked the neighbors to mow my lawn.

      over 4 years ago

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