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Ever Feel Overwhelmed?


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I have a question. I am a main advocate in my mom's fight against cancer. I try to go to most of her doctor appointments, I research symptoms she has and what might be causing them, I push her to ask her doctors questions and not stop until satisfied, I push for her to get in to see the doctor when she is having problems. My question is...with people in my similiar situation do you ever feel overwhelmed? I feel like if I stop questioning the doctors and let them do their "job", I might miss something and it could cost my mom her health or life. I don't feel I can ever rest or let my guard down with things. Then of course I start worrying that she is not at the top cancer center and could this be hurting her? Basically I feel like my mind is going ten thousand miles a minute and I feel if I rest I will let my mom down. Any advice is appreciated.

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Does anyone feel over whelmed?? I feel so over welmed at times that I think I'm gonna lose my mind! I'm actually seeing my doctor tomorrow due to not being able to sleep, and I've tested my b/p due to feeling so stressed and pains in my chest lately.. my b/p was 183/96heart rate 111, so I went to another store and tested it again and it was 175/117 heart rate 97. I believe it is all brought on my stress of trying to search so hard and to do so much.. I have tons of responsiblity on me.. Not to mention the thought of losing Darrell is killing me inside. I feel like I'm whining but I'm just so stressed over trying to do everything and to stay on top of things for Darrell that I'm getting worn down myself, I too worry that if things are missed it could cost him his life....I"m already on meds for depression... they've even increased it 3 weeks ago, but I seem to be getting worse, not better. I have nightmares every single night just constant...I wake up and I feel as though I'm drugged or something, due to not sleeping well. I wish I had a solution for you. If you figure out how to make it better let me know... I anxious to see what others suggest to you.. Good luck and I hope things get better for you...Christy

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Overwhelmed? Every day for months. I had panic attacks where I couldn't breath and even put myself into atrial fibrillation several times. Won myself a trip to the cardiologist. Just what I needed more doctor appointments!

And then a blessed reprieve with the Iressa. Once my husband got through the chemo and started the Iressa things have calmed down (or I've calmed down). Now that he is feeling well I don't feel so anxious and worried (at least not all the time).

I am hoping your mom will take a turn for the better so that you can take a deep breath! I guess the only thing I can tell you is that when your mom feels better you will too.

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Overwhelmed? Uh...HECK YEAH!! I had to take the day off from work last Thursday because I was so burnt out. It's the worse I've been yet. I was too tired to even cry. Since May, I have not been able to relax, but Thursday I couldn't even get out of bed, I felt like I was a bowl of jello. My body was finally reacting. I felt numb in my whole body and couldn't even lift my arm. I stayed in my pajamas until 1:00 in the afternoon. Maybe I had a nervous breakdown...I'm not sure what a nervous breakdown consists of, but it felt abnormal...I highly recommend you take a day off for yourself. It rejuventated me and I feel better apt for the fight for my Mom. I am in the same position as you...I'm my mom's main advocate. My mom doesn't want to know anything and I have no brothers or sisters to share responsibility with and my Dad is busy with bills, cooking for my mom, trying to work, fixing up the house they just bought, etc. Neither one of them can take the medical burden on, which I completely understand as it can really burn a person out emotionally, physically...well, you know . When I'm not talking to doctors, going to appointments, going to work, I'm researching clinical trials and visiting my mom, mediating fights my parents might have , refinancing my house to help with financial burdens that come with the diagnosis (as if their isn't enought to worry about!), if I'm doing the right thing, is mom in pain,what if I make the wrong decision on my mom's behalf, etc.

Another thing that was worrying me were their finances, on top of all this, I didn't want them to worry about how they were going to pay for everything, all the medical bills, days that my dad has to take off from work to take care of my mom, plus her disability checks are substantially less than what she would be making if she were working... I wanted my mom to not have as many worries as possible, the last thing her and my dad need are financial burdens. There are companies that settle life insurance policies so that you can enjoy the money now instead of leaving it for your family members..what a stress reliever it would be to pay all their extra medical bills, go on a family vacation, have my dad be able to not work and hang out with my mom, make up for the salary my mom is missing out on. They were going to take out their 401K's and stock options, but that's their retirement. I don't want to see them have to do that and then get taxed on it...so I talked to someone today that said they could probably settle my moms life insurance policy for 70% of what the amount is. Hey, I figure its money my mom should enjoy now, however she wants. I didn't even know there was such a service, but I read about it in the latest Coping With Cancer magazine. For any of you that is financially stressed and have a life insurance policy, I highly recommend that you look into this. I was told that they could probably settle in approximately 2 months...hey, it may come sooner than that disability check!

Okay, I'm rambling. I tend to do ramble on this website, since I tend to not talk about all this at home or work...plus I hope you all can find value in my learning experience as I have learned from all of yours. Andrea, I understand your concerns and stress whole heartedly. I'm here for you anytime. I hope you can find comfort knowing that there are a lot of us that understand.

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My mom was diagnosed in May 2003. I am pretty much a take charge (some may say controlling) type of person. So naturally, when my world came crashing down on me I did everything in my power to understand her illness and "control" the situation. I think I felt the need to do that because my mom has never felt that she could win this battle. Her doctor told her she had nine months to live and it took the wind out of her sails completely. So I found myself trying to keep hope afloat for both of us and it nearly sent me into premature labor (I was seven months pregnant when we received her prognosis).

I realized that all the effort I was putting forth really wasn't changing things, not that I think people shouldn't put forth effort, because that's not what I'm saying. But, in my particular case, my mother didn't really want to be oversaturated with information and updated news on her cancer. She is happy to be going through with her chemotherapy treatments and doing what her onc has her to do, but that's about all the effort she's putting forth. So, I just let it go. I decided all I'm going to do at this point is pray and enjoy the time I have with her. I know it sounds like a lay-down-and-die attitude, but it's not. We just don't want cancer to be at the forefront of our thoughts all the time.

She loves to be with me and her new grandson, and we are enjoying life.

I hope you all can find peace in your own way while keeping hope.

Lots of hugs,

Anne

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Andrea, I'm feeling the same as you are. I had no sleep last night and I woke up feeling very weak and dizzy. I would take Natalie's suggestion of "taking a day off" for yourself. I know what you mean when you say your mind goes a thousand miles an hour. I'm trying to get all the information I can. I feel like the doctors are not telling me enough about my husband's condition. He's been in and out of the hospital so much lately. It's very difficult for our children - one just started college and the other high school.

I have no magic answer, I wish I did. All I can say is I think it's normal for the caregiver to be experiencing all the emotions we do. At first I thought it must just be me but after reading these posts I feel somewhat comforted that I'm not the only one feeling this way. Hang in there.

Chris

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To My Wife Kathy (My Caregiver) And All The Caregivers Out There,

You are the MVP (Most Valuable Person) in our lives as we embark on our journey with this terrible disease. You are the rock in which our foundation of hope stands on. Without your love, devotion and dedication our journey would be all the more difficult. Just being there gives us a comfort zone and someone who we can lean on. And yes with everything going on in our lives we sometimes forget about the needs of our caregivers. But our appreciation for what you do can never be measured in words. Respect is something people earn and each and every one of you have earned this respect immensely. You are to be commended for reaching out to us in our hour of need with your compassion, your thoughtfulness and you’re endless loyalty. May God Bless each and every one of you.

Rich :lol::lol::lol::lol:

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Andrea,

I can completely understand what you are saying. In my case, my Mom was the primary caregiver to my Dad and I consider myself the secondary, but I went with them to all the appointments, did all the research and knew all the symptoms to look for and side effects of treatments. I kept digging for answers and new treatments because I was so afraid I would miss something very important. I was on the Web day in and day out just looking and reading. There were times when I felt so alone in all of this technical stuff but I also knew that for me, I needed the information. I passed on what they *wanted* to know but kept the rest to myself. It was very tiring and so frustrating. Not to mention you are probably trying to spend every possible moment with your Mom...as I was with my Dad. You bet you're going to feel burnt out! Try to remember to take a little bit of time for yourself. I know that sounds much easier than it is but believe me, our parents would want it that way. After a few hours to yourself here and there, you'll jump back into it all a little more refreshed....but I don't think the 'overwhelmed' feeling ever goes away.

Take care,

Kris

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Andrea, we're all overwhelmed. This is the most stressful thing I've ever been through, and I've lost a lot of people in my life---but this is my husband, the love of my life!

I didn't sleep much the first few months; sleep has never been easy for me and this sure didn't help. Nights after test were the hardest; my mind was just going in circles. We were lucky that the docs never made us wait more than a few days for results, and sometimes would call the same day as the test!

My doctor gave me tarazadone to help me sleep. It really works!! It's not a sleeping pill and doesn't make you feel drugged in the morning. It helps you stay asleep and get the good deep sleep you need. I can still wake up in the night if Tim needs me, but I can go back to sleep. Before I would wake up and sit at the computer or wander around the house for hours. Tim tells everyone about it because I was such a bad sleeper before.

It sure does change your attitude when you have a little sleep under your belt. I wish I had found tarazadone years ago!!

It also helps me to be proactive-comming here, researching on the computer, making sure I can go to all the doctor appointments. It makes me feel that I'm doing my little share while Tim fights the good fight.

Annie

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I want to thank everyone for responding. Rich, what you said was absolutely beautiful and and brought tears to my eyes. I sometimes forget how much our efforts are appreciated.

I hate to know that there are so many others that are feeling the way I do, but I also am glad to know I am not alone. I struggle so much with feeling alone.

I wish for no other person or family to have to experience this anguish and heartache.

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Andrea, OVERWHELMED, we caregivers are always overwhelmed, sleepless nights, worry, etc. but, --------we wouldn't change a thing. We love and care so much about the person we are helping whether it be mom, dad, husband, wife, or friend. So we don't sleep good tonight, what is our loved one doing? Is he or she sleeping okay? We worry, what about our loved ones, do they worry? What is on their minds when they are sitting beside us. Do you see where I am coming from, no matter what, no matter how we feel, we are caregivers and we will do it to the best of our ability. We will make it through no matter what happens but what about our loved one????? I try and tell myself that I will do everything I can and handle anything needed just to try and help my Buddy. All I want him to do is concentrate on getting better or just concentrate on what he can do to make himself deal with this terrible disease.

We do need to take time for ourselves. If only for a great bath, or a walk around the block. A day off of work sounds good if we use it to heal our burdening heart and not more research or more worrying.

Financial problems are another issue. I pray for those with that problem for it to, must be extremely overwhelming to deal with.

Goodnight my dear caregivers.

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Andrea, welcome to the Primary Caregivers Club! You ARE normal. We frequently get overwhelmed at the enormity of our responsibility. That is why we need help -- from our friends, this board, our faith community and anyone who will listen! We also have to take breaks and do something for ourselves, or we WILL burn out. Take good care of yourself as well as your mom. You are doing a great job with her. Don

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Andrea,

You're doing all the right things. You mom loves you and appreciates your love and dedication....STOP...take a deep breath...and take an hour, an afternoon or even a whole day (or a few) and do something just for you. Re-charge and get re-energized so that you can deal with whatever may lie ahead. You're going to be ok. and I'm here if you want to talk.

I know exactly how you are feeling.

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