• gdawn's Avatar

    gdawn started following

    User: CancerNews

  • gdawn's Avatar

    gdawn started following

    Question: coping

  • gdawn's Avatar

    gdawn asked a questionPancreatic Cancer

    coping

    8 answers
    • jhale17's Avatar
      jhale17

      With my wife’s cancer we both understood it was terminal at the time of diagnosis. Her choices were: without chemo it would be weeks or a few months; with chemo it could eighteen months maybe two years.

      She chose chemo. This was her decision and it was hard for her. At that time she finalized her funeral arrangement and that was not easy but she was at ease just knowing how it would be.

      The treatment was harsh and sometimes she wished she could die and later, after another treatment, she was glad she did not die. She had Lupus flairs for some time prior to her cancer. I think it enabled her to be a fighter.

      At the end, she appreciated the extra time. I have had a lot of cancer treatments but in watching her I do not think I would have gone so long in her treatment journey. Yet, I believe in any patient’s right of choice in cancer treatment.

      Being open, truthful and supporting each other worked best for us.

      over 6 years ago
    • jhale17's Avatar
      jhale17

      We all respond to stressors whether real or imaged as it is built into our brains. This type of response is helpful in emergencies. Stressful episodes do happen but most of the time everything is all right. Please remember this – most of the time everything is all right!

      There are ways you can break free from your brain being on relentless auto-pilot looking for any type of stressor and applying the fight or flight response whether needed or not. You can learn techniques to gain control of these auto-reflexes and then evaluate non-emergencies in a non-stressful manner.

      One example is to take each new anxiety raising situation and closely scrutinize it as to what you can do with it in regard to achieving a favorable outcome.

      To do this one physiologist suggests using this tool. When you are faced with a concerned decision, take time to make yourself aware of what you can and cannot do about its outcome. This approach grades stressors into one of three categories of Zero, One or Two (0, 1 or 2.)

      The 0 is where you have no control over the outcome.

      The 1 is where you have some control over the outcome.

      The 2 is where you have complete control over the outcome.

      Evaluating your options to resolve issues provides guidance on where your efforts should be apportioned. It should also provide relief for those issues that are outside your control or you have little control. For the latter I use the phrase – delegate and disappear. Stressors where you have little or no control over should not weigh heavily in your mind. Acknowledge you are participating and accept only the part you have responsibility and let others resolve the issues.

      I have made inroads to change or better control the reptilian part of my brain that deals only with eating, fight or flight and reproduction. It is that part of the brain that is invariably reacting unhelpfully to most things.

      My discoveries as to how to better manage thoughtless reactions in my cancer journey have been acquired in bits and pieces over the last fourteen years; it is still a work in progress. What I have learned is mindfulness does provide stress reduction resulting in more times of wellness. Remember most of the time everything is all right.

      Mindfulness is one of the terms that has come into use for achieving stress relief,
      Wikipedia www.Wikipedia.org says in part;

      “According to the American Cancer Society available scientific evidence does not suggest that meditation (mindfulness) is effective in treating cancer or any other disease."

      This is understood – mindfulness is not a treatment for cancer. What it also says is;

      “Research has shown meditation (mindfulness) to be beneficial in lowering blood pressure, decreasing anxiety, as well as improving numerous other physical and mental health conditions.”

      I feel mindfulness is a tool to help survivors deal with cancer and its treatment.

      over 6 years ago
    • jhale17's Avatar
      jhale17

      Hospice

      When I could no longer do all that was needed as a caregiver is when I considered hospice care for my wife. A dear friend who lost his wife to cancer told me I was I was looking ill from the stress and 24/7 caregiving and I should not die with her.

      I finally realized the point in time had come when my wife should be entered in-home hospice. The hospice social worker was very gracious in counseling me on the dying experience. Both in-home and in-hospice services were a big help to me
      .
      My wife’s condition was terminal pancreatic cancer. During chemo treatments her disease would close up her common duct and required the insertion of a stent to open it up. This happened four times and each episode took her near death but allowed her temporary relief from the disease. The chemo treatment extended her life from just a few weeks to eighteen months.

      Each stent procedure required financially getting off hospice, go to the hospital to re-stent, then financially go back on in-hospice for a week to stabilize her condition and then she was sent home to continue in-home hospice care.

      Eventually a re-stent was no longer possible and to do more chemo would no longer help her. I was asked to discharge her from in-house hospice. I wanted good care for her and placed my wife in a twenty-four hour nursing care facility where after a few weeks she peacefully passed away.

      This routine may not apply in your case but, should it happen, know that hospice works well for the patient and provides respite time for the caregiver.

      Good luck and I am holding you in my thoughts.

      over 6 years ago
  • gdawn's Avatar

    gdawn shared an experience

    Decision Point: Mom was diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic ca. As her daughter and caregivers this journey is becoming difficult emotionally. Any helpful suggestions for the days you just don't know how to cope?

  • gdawn's Avatar

    gdawn started following

    User: GregP_WN