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Those who live out of state from the one with LC


KatieB

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I need help here.

My brother has cancer (not LC) but his prognosis is terminal. :cry:

I need to know how I can help him from another state? I feel so useless and I don't know what to do. He is in NY and I am in TX.

He has no one. He called me tonight after two rounds of chemo. He has fallen and vomiting uncontrollably.

I told him to call 911, and now I am sitting here about to lose my mind.

Those of you with relatives with LC that are out of state, please tell me what you do-

Thank you in advance.

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Katie,

I am having a hard time responding to you. I think you need to visit him if possible. Is there anyway he can come to TX for his treatments?

Six years ago, Charlie and I struggled with what to do about his mother. She was termimal with pancreatic cancer and lived 14 hrs. away. If we had it to do over, we would have visited her sooner than we did. It was about this same time (Thanksgiving) for us.

Praying for you to have answers and for the doctors to get your brothers side-effects under control. Take care.

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I know just how you feel.

So what do you do? This is what I did:

I had to get one of those cell phones with a cross country calling plan so I could micromanage my dad's care. I don't really mean micromanage but I feel like i do. I talk to him 2 times a day. i know his onc. and Rad. nurses by their first names....I speak to them once a week. I have the onc's phone numbers programed. He is very kind and said I can call any time....I have called before on a Sat. he's good about that stuff.

In other words....do what you must. Love and show your love in small ways and large. care and pray.

Being far away can be a mind messing situation. Pack a bag and have it ready to go. Do right by you life partner and your job so they can say yes to your needs.

I am lucky.

I go see Daddy tomorrow. We just bought our Christmas plane tickets today for the whole family to go to Texas. i am happy today. I am giddy about it.

i am Eppie

much love and healing to all on this message board.

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Dear Katie,

I'm so sorry to hear about your brother. It seems like so many families on this board are being hit with cancer too many times. My Uncle passed away this week from LC we only knew for 5 days.

My sister lives in Texas and has had a hard time being away from Dad during this past year. She tries to come home every couple of months for a long weekend. Each time gets a little sadder, but she is glad she makes the trip. If your brother doesn't have anyone to care for him he will need you more than every few months. How is your Mom's health? Is it possible that she could go and stay with him during his treatments? It must be so hard to get those calls and be so far away. I hope things get better for your brother and you find a way to help.

Denise

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How scary. You did exactly what you should have--hopefully they will get him in to be checked. For John's mom, when doing her treatment, she moved in with his sister and then returned to her house afterwards. Could he come and stay with you or your mom for at least awhile? Let us know how he is--now we're all worrying with you.

Rochelle

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Katie,

I searched the net for ideas and found this:

How Can Family and Friends Help Loved Ones Who Are Ill and Far Away?

What about when you're not near by ? How can you hold a friend or loved one's hand or simply read them a magazine while they float in and out of sleep if you live 3,000 miles away?

While these specific acts may not be possible, there are lots of other things you can do to help.

The most obvious thing to do is to telephone. Laura remembered a time when her sister, who lived across the country, called in a state of panic. This sister made a routine visit to her doctor and was unexpectedly admitted to the hospital. She called Laura and said, "I'm in the hospital and I don't want to be here and I'm so far away from everyone!" The best Laura could do was talk to her, and she did, for as long as was necessary until her sister was calmer and able to rest.

If you've never experienced serious illness, it may be difficult to understand how isolating illness can be. For this reason, it's important to call the person who is ill when you can. Even if you think you have nothing to say, just saying hello can help. If there's a group of friends or family who like to chat together, you can set up a conference call to talk and laugh for a while as a group.

What if the person who is ill doesn't like to talk on the phone, or is too sick to want to carry on a conversation?

Some suggestions are standard: send a plant or flowers, some favorite or relaxing music, a good book, or a magazine subscription. When two of Laura's friends, a husband and wife, were both ill, she sent them a baked ham. Two weeks later she sent them a roasted turkey. They lived in the north woods of Wisconsin, had miles to drive to the store, and were too tired to go. When UPS delivered the ham, which they ate for a week, followed by the turkey, they were eternally grateful. And for Laura, it was comforting to know that she could still help from across the country.

Laura added, "It's important to not feel alone. And even if family members or friends aren't near by , or might feel uncomfortable talking about your illness, they can always drop a line. Even receiving a simple 'get well soon' note can change your mood when you're feeling blue. If you're stuck in bed day after day, especially at the hospital, staring at the ceiling and feeling nauseous, every bit of compassion is savored."

I wonder if his doctor could make any referrals to you for people in his area who can help? Lots of times I think the oncs or nurses or even receptionists are aware of support groups and volunteers who might take him under their wing when he needs help. They probably don't realise he is alone and could use someone who understands and is right there.

Hope you hit on a solution that will help him and help you avoid these "helpless" panic situations.

Leslie

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thank you all.

It's late. But I'm going to call his house, just to see if he is there or if the ems took him to hospital.

My mom is 70. For 35 years my dad did everything for her, and as a limited english speaker it is difficult for her to do things alone. I don't think she could travel to NYC alone and get around and be strong enough to help my brother. She can't help him if she can't get around or help him get around.

I have two small kids, work from home running two businesses, and don't have childcare. It would be difficult for me to leave right now too. But I need to find a way.

Thanks for the shoulders tonight, I really need it.

Hugs,

K

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What I'm sure of, Katie, is that you are doing a phenomenal job of supporting your brother already. I know how much you love your family, and how much you would do and have done for them. I thought of you so often during my time with Mom and now with Dad in the aftermath. You were kind of my role model. :)

Call often. As often as he wants to talk. You might remember that I got so discouraged because Mom didn't want to talk to me a lot of the time when I would call, and I had to accept that too, but I hope knowing that I was going to check in once a day would brighten her day.

Don't be all about the cancer. I think out of town relatives are sometimes safe havens for "normal conversation." Mom and Dad wanted to keep be abreast of the situation when I was gone, but they were also eager for news about Carolyn and Andy and for talking like we always did.

Visit when you can. And when you do visit don't beat yourself up for limitations. If you can't be there all the time, that's just the way it is. When you are there, help him to network with folks who can help him and check on him--And you can network too. That way you can call and say, "Have you checked in on him lately?"

Pray a lot, and love him. In the last two years with all the separations in tough stuff and not so tough stuff, I've learned that BEING THERE for someone isn't limited by distance, and loving someone actively isn't either. I KNOW you are doing such a good job of that. And I know your brother must just feel warmed and comforted just in knowing that you are pulling for him.

And we're pulling for him too. Let us know how he's doing.

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Tree & Connie-

Thanks for the tips. When he gets stronger, I am going to try to get as much info out of him as I can.

DENISE:

I'm SO SORRY you lost your uncle. How is your dad doing? I'm so sad to read that your uncle lost his fight so quickly. Please know that I keep you all in my prayers and please accept my condolences. :cry:

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Katie,

Prayers for your brother and all the family.

I e-mailed a friend in New York for support

groups (cancer) and any facilities that she

knows about, will let you know her answer

as soon as I get it.

She has cancer and is in treatments for the

last five years.

Love,

sorry that is all I can think of.

Jackie

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if you think he would accept a visit from the Bunny, just let me know. I'm no Katie B., but I'll do what I can. Suki is doing great right now, so I have caregiverness to spare.

seriously, Katie. even just to deliver some stuff yuo want him to have on hand. give me the list, and I'll go.

xoxo

amie

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thank you everyone.

If anyone remembers my first post many moons ago, my brother debated cancer treatment. He didn't want chemo because of what he perceived it did to my dad. He was stubborn, but we had to let him make up his own mind.

He changed his phone numbers at his home and his business and moved into an apartment. I don't even have that address yet!

When he finally decided to do treatment, he began calling again, and he even came for a visit a few weeks ago for one weekend. He looked very skinny and the tumor on his neck was huge.

We have been worried sick ever since.

My first plan of action is to get his basic details- addresses, numbers to neighbors, employees, hospitals and his doctors.

Only then can I really help at all. (And only then if he wants me too)

J.C. - thank you so much I would really appreciate the info.

Bunny- I love you for offering to help.

I will let everyone know how this plays out.

Thank you all for you prayers.

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Katie,

I can't even begin to know how you feel being so far away from your brother. I was only an hour away from Daddy and that was too far!

I do want you to know that you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. You are a wonderful and caring sister.

Take care,

Diane

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Katie,

I just know that God will lead you in this.

Bunny is awesome~~~she has the most comforting voice and the wisest words. She is young, but has an old soul.

I would let her help.

After you get contact info you could contact a church or synagogue and ask them to adopt your brother.

Most people really want to help and come through for others.........they just need to be asked.

I would babysit in a NY minute for your children or anything else that would help.

We are praying our butts off and trusting your brother to our Father in Heaven for now.

Bunny, we love your kindness.

Katie, we love your faithfulness.

Brian and Pat

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Hi Katie,

I can't let this post go by without letting you know that we are praying for your brother.

I hope you get some answers soon that there is help for him out there.

Please let us know what is happening when you find out. There are so many here who want to help.

Bunny you are such a caring soul. I know you would be there in a minute if you were asked.

Katie, I pray for answers for you.

Maryanne

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Katie...just wanted to let you know that I am so very sorry that your brother is ill and your family is dealing with yet another tragedy! My heart truly breaks for all of you, especially for your dear, sweet mother. My first thought was having your brother come to Texas for treatment. Your mom could be there for him without having to be out of her own environment. I'm sure he knows what great treatment options you have in your area. The mere fact that he is having chemo, tells me that he wants to fight this monster. I have no real advice to give but I can offer you my support, lots of hugs and prayers.

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Katie,

I am sad to read your brother is going through this alone. If I were closer I would love to help. Does he attend a church, maybe someone in his church family could help out or at least rotate helping. LIke bringing him, food, taking him to the doctor, cleaning and just being there for support. What about meals on wheels for his meals. Need to keep up his nourishment...

I am at a loss, wish I could help more. I will hold him up in special prayer each day. Please keep us posted...

Thinking of you,

God Bless, prayers and hugs,

Karen

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Katie, you poor dear, it must be so hard for you, and for your brother right now.

I would try to see if there is some sort of agency that can help with him on a regular basis. Check in on him and see how he is doing...take him to appointments, etc.

I know that it is hard to pick up and travel across the country, but if you could visit him it would probably greatly ease your mind, and give you some idea how you can best help him.

Good luck. Hang in there!

Darci

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