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How do you guys do it?


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My Mom starts her 2x day radiation today, and her second cycle of chemo. All of this is so exhausting for me (and especially for her). I am ahving a hard time concentrating on my school work and keeping up with my other responsibilities. I cant seem to focus on anything else but her. I feel anxious and tired all the time. I dont know how you guys stay so focused and positive. I just feel so helpless.


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I think we probably all felt that way at first. This is still relatively new to your family, it sounds like. It took me a while to settle into the treatment, and I know for my friends & family, it was a really scary time as well.

You will often hear of this disease referred to as a roller coaster -- because of all the ups and downs, both physically and emotionally. There are some amazing caregivers in this forum who can share with you, and you may want to take some time and read through some of their posts in that forum.

One thing is for sure -- it definitely takes over your life, and figuring out how to make all that fit isn't always easy.

My best wishes to you.


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How do we do it? Well for one, our lives depend on it. For 2 because many of us have children, Like your Mom, and do it so we can be with them. For 3, because we have loving spouses, significant other, friends family... Most importantly we do it because God thinks we are capable...

I can only speak for myself but I would rather be shopping!

Your such a young girl, and so is your mom...Stay positive, keep her stress down. make sure you shower her with love because that will be the fuel she needs to fight this.

I also heard a really good saying, I use it all the time. "My new normal" I use this when I begin to miss my old life. The carefree days BC(before cancer)

My heart goes out to you, and prayers to your whole family from mine.


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Many years ago, BC meant (to me) Before Clairol!! :) Now it means Before Cancer. :?

How I do it, is with as much humor as possible...and walking thru some of the fear, angst and worry...and then tabling the rest of it until I KNOW I need to worry.

So much of the worrying with cancer is for naught...because there are treatments and things to DO for the course the disease takes in us. As long as there is a treatment plan and I basically feel okay...it's pretty easy for me to stay positive.

It is always harder in the beginning, Rochelle...so cut yourself a break and cut Mom one too. You'll adapt...both of you. And DO try to do as many "old normal" things as mom feels up to. It's good for the soul!! For instance, if she feels up to a shopping excursion some day, or a movie...or even a rented movie, some popcorn and watching it at home. Whatever she likes to do.

I'm convinced that staying as positive as possible helps. My nurses tell me it does. Science cannot measure it's worth...but even my oncologist says that how I look and how I feel tells him as much as the tests do!! If you read my bio...I've had my share of relapses and have been on chemo for about 13 of the last 17 months.

I try to look at cancer as a chronic illness. It takes some treatment and some tending...but in actual fact, I don't feel very much worse today than I did when first diagnosed. My energy level is lower, you couldn't hide ANYTHING on my head because it is very bald :roll: and I have a little neuropathy from the chemo....but hey, I wake up every day. I shower and get dressed. I've played a little golf along the way and I knit a lot. Plus I like to read and watch tv or DVDs. I even....arrggghhh :shock: ....do a little housework. And we go out to dinner occasionally too.

Try not to worry too much. Might turn out you didn't NEED to worry and then you'll wish you'd spent that time doing something fun with your mom....huh? :wink:

Best of luck to her...and cisplatin can be a tough chemo...but there are plenty of anti-nausea meds...so ask questions of her nurses or doctor. If she is not feeling well from the chemo...ask if there is something else she could take to help her feel better and help her appetite in the process.

Good luck and let us know how things go.

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I don't know about you Rochelle, but some of us are built differently than our neighbors and stress will do something to our brain chemistry that it won't do to others' brain chemicals.

If you think it might wise to pass this by a trusted family doctor, then I would do it. It took awhile for me to find the right antideprssant, one that gave me back a feeling of hopefulness rather than hopelessness and helplessness. It also helped with the anxiety so that I could concentrate on the things that I needed to get through the day. Before finding the right combination, my mind was rumimating on details and I had difficulty with simple tasks.

Don't know if this is of any help to you. Or maybe I am off base. Just wanted to let you know what worked for me. I still struggle. But, now I struggle like other people do and things don't seem so overwhelming.

Good luck!

Cindi o'h

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A lot of what you are feeling is probably fear of the unknown.

I think everyone of us felt it at the beginning, when things becomes familar confidence builds and it isn't quite so daunting.

It's all so overwhelming to begin with, so many things to remember. All the technical terms and medications are so foreign to us.

Hang in there, you're not alone.

Take care


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Hi Rochelle,

I think we all have been through the emotions that you are experiencing now. (I know I have.) It is extremely difficult to adjust to life after you learn that someone you love has lung cancer.

But, they need us to be there for them. To stay strong and adjust to life as it is now. Things will calm down for you....it just takes a little time. However, Cindi had great advice for you. You have so much going on, sometimes we just need a little help. If you need it, ask for it.

Lean on us here too.......we'll try to help you as much as we can.

Sending prayers for you and your family.



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Hey Rochelle sorry the battle is so rough but there will be plenty of good time's and if your fortunate there will be limited bad time's. I for one try to stay as upbeat as i can for my wife and i can tell you bad new's for her is bad new's for me. I sweat out every CT exam and MRI and all the other trying time's. But as other's have said it is a up and down situation and we all have to do our best at not worrying with the unknown and thing's we have no control over. I think Addie really gave you a realistic idea of how to handle all this and GOD's speed and don't feel so guilty for enjoying your self at time's......

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So sorry you had to meet us this way, but you will find out there is a GREAT group of support folks here for you. I was DX with SCLC in May this year. It is a life changing time. Your mom needs your support as well as any other friends from church or friends. Don't be afraid to ask for help, you'll discover that folks really do want to help, but they don't know what you need. A friend of mine (also a cancer survivor) suggests getting a 'quarterback' to help you. Someone to coordinate all the things that need doing, but you'll forget about because you are busy taking care of mom. The QB can help with meal coordination, transportation coordination, anything else that needs doing. Maybe a close friend, relative, etc.

You need to concentrate on the upcoming treatments and eventually a routine will settle in. Since I just completed six rounds of cisplatin and etoposide, I personally know how tired you can get. Allow mom to rest when she feels tired, you too.

Our prayers are with you and your family.


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Hi Rochelle,

I know it's not easy for any of you and it really does help to come here for support, advice and info. I know for us, as a family...in the beginning, we were *so focused* on the anticipation of what to expect, what comes next, just...what, what, WHAT that we lost sight of the *now* Try and stay in the present, stay informed, ask questions, bombard your mom with your love and support, take care of YOU and try to *let go* of things that you have no control over.

It's also going to be important that YOU have a good support system in place...for the times that you need to *take a break* Please draw on other family members and friends to help out...whether it is to take your mom to a treatment or go to the grocery store. Don't be silent or feel badly about wanting or needing help.

You and your entire family are in my prayers and remember that we all are here for you.

Prayers and blessings, Rochelle


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  • 4 weeks later...

Rochelle: As for all of us the beginning of this journey is the most difficult. Two words helped me through this phase and is still helping me after 15 months, LET GOD. I couldn't do it without the prayers of my family and friends and the belief that God has a plan for me that I need to accept.

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Bless your heart Rochelle. I am keeping you, your brothers and mom in my prayers. This is a tough time for you. It is okay to feel emotions as long as they don't control our actions and responses to people and needs. Don't expect yourself to be superwoman. Your brothers can help out a lot and good communication with them and your mom is very important. Talk things out with the brothers and get them to talk about their feelings and how you can all grow in this situation and help your mom. Some counseling from the cancer center may benefit all of you. Delegating different things to do for your mom will help you stay organized and get the important things done. If you are involved in a church group they are often very helpful with food and cleaning or driving people to the doc. There are resources out there so seek out some help. You sounds like a wonderful daughter but please don't make yourself sick trying to take care of your mom. praying for you. pammie

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