• Should I leave my patient to a sibling as a caretaker for a week of traveling?

    Asked by Sheismyheroine on Saturday, June 1, 2013

    Should I leave my patient to a sibling as a caretaker for a week of traveling?

    I booked a vacation last year with girlfriends. The vacation is coming up and I'm very confused. I have been the primary caretaker for my mother for a little over a month and will be missing two radiations treatments that my brother will be taking over. The remaining of my vacation will be used as a planning week for my mothers internal radiation procedure. During this time my brother will be around and my grandma will be staying with my mother until i return. I am in my early 20s and trust my older brother to be there for my mother but still feel guilty and selfish. Should I just cancel the vacation or give my brother and grandma this responsibility?

    10 Answers from the Community

    10 answers
    • abrub's Avatar

      My guess is that your mom would want you to continue to live your life - to take the vacation. It's not as if you are abandoning her; your brothers will be there, and they have as much responsibility towards her as you do. Plus taking some time for yourself will refresh you to be with her when you get back. As a mom who was diagnosed when my kids were in their early to mid 20s, I'd say go! Have a wonderful time! Keep living. Your mom will be fine without you.

      almost 5 years ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar

      I agree with Abrub, you need to balance your own life with being a caregiver. You can get burned out and then not be as effective for your Mom. I have been a patient 3 times, and a caregiver twice for my Mom and Dad. It's a tough job. Caring for yourself is just as important so you can care for her. Take the trip, you can still check in a couple times a day, you will be in contact, everything will be fine. Leave a detailed set of instructions for your Brother, he has your number. Relax!

      almost 5 years ago
    • Gabba's Avatar

      GO...taking care of yourself is not taking anything away from your mom...she will be in good hands, it will also give your brother an appreciation of what she and you are going through...she will also have her own mother there and that will be good for both of them...enjoy yourself, come back refreshed and relaxed and ready to face whatever comes next...God bless.

      almost 5 years ago
    • SueRae1's Avatar

      Let your siblings step up to plate. Do not feel guilty, as a mom of of a 23 year old, I know I would want her to continue on with her life and take a well earned vacation, in fact she just got back from 10 days in San Francisco. You need to take care of yourself or else you will burn out.

      Have a great time.

      almost 5 years ago
    • geekling's Avatar

      Take your vacation and have yourself a ball.

      Trust that your family can and will step up to the plate so you may always love them.

      Have as good a time as possible and do things and see things and places and people who you can remember and speak of and having done so, will sustain you as the future comes into now.

      Have a marvelous time. Don't pack guilt and leave responsibility in the closet at your Mom's place.

      almost 5 years ago
    • Sheismyheroine's Avatar

      All of your answers have been extremely helpful!!! Thank you so much for taking time out to respond to my question, I appreciate this so much. All of you are very inspiring and I wish you all marvelous health!!!!!!..... P.S If they're anymore caregivers that you might know through what next, please recommend!

      almost 5 years ago
    • AlizaMLS's Avatar

      Hi, I'm Aliza, a BC patient and the site's unofficial Medical Librarian. I was also a caregiver, along with my older brother and grown daughter (who's 26) for my late father and mother (they both died within the last 3 years).

      I understand your concerns about leaving your mother, but it sounds like you should not be monopolizing the caretaker role-it's not the healthiest thing and it's good to share for the others in your family. You're a young woman who deserves to have a life (my older brother and I had to accommodate my daughter's exam schedule for to take her tests for her Paramedic license). A vacation isn't just fun, it's important. It's recharging your batteries.

      Something else that you can do for yourself would be to contact CancerCare. Their Social Workers are trained to deal with the highly specific needs of Cancer patients--and their Caregivers! They will help you to figure strategies so that you don't burn out. I know about this. My fiance is a widower who made the error (by his own admission) of being the sole caregiver of his late wife who had ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease). He almost destroyed himself in the process of caring for someone so deteriorating and grieving at the same time. Both he and I would advise you not to do the same thing.

      Go on your vacation and have a good time! Let your relatives help out as much as possible as often as they can.

      Wishing you the best,

      almost 5 years ago
    • Ydnar2xer's Avatar

      I agree with the others--leave your brother in charge and then go! But don't pack any GUILT around because you make that choice. GUILT is a totally stupid emotion that doesn't get help anyone or get anybody anywhere! You certainly deserve some respite after shouldering the bulk of the responsibility for over a month. You will be refreshed & actually better company for your mom, when you return. :-) PS--Remember, No GUILT!

      almost 5 years ago
    • BrownCounty's Avatar

      I have lung cancer. I have a beautiful daughter caregiver. I would absolutely HATE if she cancelled vacation plans to take me to an appointment. Please go. She will be fine. Even sick moms get pleasure from seeing their kids have fun.

      almost 5 years ago
    • gwendolyn's Avatar

      Go. Go with a clear conscience and enjoy yourself. Doing so will benefit you and your mother.

      almost 5 years ago

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