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    User: RachaelC@StF

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    User: CancerNews

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    hoosierwhovian posted an update

    Trying to get ideas on how to cope when I start to feel overwhelmed because my husband was just diagnosed with stage 4 and I am trying to take over most decisions in the house plus handle a 15 year old daughter. Some days my emotions just feel battered in dealing with my husbands bouts of emotional ups and downs plus the ups and downs of a teenage girl. I understand both of their feelings and agree they are completely justified but in the end I feel like I'm left out of being able to have my ups and downs. I am dealing with their anger, breakdowns, blowups but if I start to have my own little meltdown I'm told I'm being selfish and just throwing a pity party and making this about me. I do see a therapist but I only can get in to see her every 2 weeks or so. I find myself hovering over the both of them to try and head off the worst of the blowups because honestly the blowups they have end up being directed at me which I understand I'm the easiest and most likely target. Several ppl have told me to watch out for caregiver burnout and I'm trying but I am dealing with being BP I with OCD. I have been stable since 2005 and take my meds everyday and so far still stable but I need some ways to keep from burnout and to keep stable. Does anyone know of a type of phone support that is available not only to me as wife and caregiver but for my husband as the cancer patient. My daughter was given a "hot pass" at her high school which gives her straight pass to counselor without having to have teacher write her a pass and even if she doesn't need the counselor per se they have a room that she can go just for a time out. She refuses to go therapy so I wonder if anyone knows of support just for teens. Any help would be amazing. Thank you

    2 Comments
    • FreeBird's Avatar
      FreeBird

      You could try clicking on the "questions" section at the top of the page, and entering your question there. You may get more input from people with different experiences.

      I think the best way to deal with overwhelm is to turn off the high beams, turn on the low beams, and focus on the short term. Take one day at a time. You only have to deal with one thing at a time, and one problem at a time. Yesterday is done. Today is all you have. Tomorrow will get here eventually without you having to do anything, and there are too many possibilities to worry yourself over. Accept that there are some things that are going to change, and that there's nothing you can do about some things. All things change eventually. But there are also things that you can do right now. You don't have to be perfect.

      The next thing is get organized. Get everything together and put it in one central location so you're not running all over the place going crazy looking for things. I use a notebook to keep all the information together. I printed out a calendar, and write everything down as it happens, right on the calendar. That takes care of the stress of trying to remember things. Dad's medications go into one of those inexpensive plastic weekly pill organizers. That way, I hit it once a week and he's in control the rest of the week. That lets me check to make sure he didn't miss anything too. All his pill bottles go in one location. If he stops using one, that bottle goes into a box in the back so no one gets confused. Your husband might not have as many medications. Write down everything-- including any questions you have. The simple act of putting it onto paper can help clear your head of all those jumbled things that are going on in there.

      Set goals. Break anything you need to do into small parts, and write it on a list of things to do. Set priorities of the most important things. Check them off as you go, and drop the little things off the list. They can wait for another day.

      Adjust your routine so the things you do to help become habit. You can also make it easier for him to help himself. That takes some of the running around off you, and helps him to go on living too. It feels good to be able to do what you can for yourself. My dad is older, but he started having trouble with mobility and had a couple falls. So, I just put one of those shower benches in the shower. He goes on doing his hygiene like he always has done, with a slight adjustment. That's just one example.

      What you feel is normal, and okay, and I think it's helpful to keep reminding yourself to direct anger towards the cancer, not to people. I have gone through feeling overwhelmed and angry too. When things get to be too much, you can take a little break. Take a little time for yourselves. Go out and do something you enjoy for a little while, even if it's just a walk out into the fresh air. Life goes on with cancer. A tough part is not knowing what to expect, and all the waiting.

      Communicate your needs and feelings too. Talk it out. Everyone can work together and realize you're all on the same team. Cancer is the enemy.

      There is an overwhelming amount of information on the internet-- so much that you could easily get lost in the piles of it. I think they need to come up with one well-organized comprehensive search engine for cancer information in order to make it more useful to people. There are all kinds of resources for caregivers, but I don't know how to begin using them, because there are just so many of them and I don't have a way to evaluate them without spending a whole lot of time going through them all. So I do the best I can, and pick up tips along the way. If I have a problem, then I search for specifics on that.

      Reach out to people here to share their experiences, like on this website. There is a search feature that lets you search for other people and caregivers for pancreatic cancer. Or you can ask questions to the general audience by clicking on "questions."

      You might try asking the American Cancer Society http://www.cancer.org/ or the National Cancer Institute http://www.cancer.gov/ Their phone numbers are on their websites. They may be able to direct you to additional resources. You could also try asking your husband's cancer center for resources. Sometimes they have support groups with social workers.

      Is there anything that you have a question about? maybe I have been there, or can point you to someone here who has.

      almost 5 years ago
    • RachaelC@StF's Avatar
      RachaelC@StF

      Hi hoosierwhovian. I know you said you see a therapist, but have you thought about joining a support group? St. Francis Hospital Indianapolis offers a Caregiver Support Group every Monday night from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. It's free, and you would get the collaboration of caregivers who are experiencing the same feelings as you with the direction of a trained professional. Who knows, maybe those caregivers can give you some tips on how to cope? To join, all you have to do is register by calling[phone number redacted].

      almost 5 years ago
  • hoosierwhovian's Avatar

    hoosierwhovian shared an experience

    Side Effects (Fatigue (tiredness)): He feels tired the day after the gemzar but that is about it..ohh except for the hiccups, he gets hiccups the day after chemo for some reason.

    2 Comments
    • FreeBird's Avatar
      FreeBird

      My dad had the chemo hiccups with his first cancer. If it lasts long and makes him miserable, they prescribed Chlorpromazine 50 mg, 1 tablet, 3 times a day as needed. It worked for him. Doesn't mean it works for everyone.

      almost 5 years ago
    • nobrand's Avatar
      nobrand

      What a strange side effect! I hope something works to make that stop... I think I'd go a bit nuts :) Take care :)

      almost 5 years ago
  • hoosierwhovian's Avatar

    hoosierwhovian shared an experience

    Drug or Chemo Therapy (Chemotherapy): Started gemzar and tarceva 3 weeks on and 1 week off for gemzar and terceva 100 mg once a day.

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    hoosierwhovian shared an experience

    Oh No (Diagnosed): We were told stage IV pancreatic cancer and needed to start chemo right away.

    1 Comment
    • FreeBird's Avatar
      FreeBird

      Whew. That is awful, and he's so young still. Dad's exact quote after we walked out of the doctor's office on that day was, "Sh**"

      Tough day. That must have been terribly difficult for your daughter too. My heart goes out to you.

      almost 5 years ago