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Asking for Help


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While giving care, it's normal to put your own needs and feelings aside. But putting your needs aside for a long time is not good for your health. You need to take care of yourself, too. If you don't, you may not be able to care for others. This is why you need to take good care of you.

It's common to feel stressed and overwhelmed at this time. Like your loved one, you may feel angry, sad, or worried. Try to share your feelings with others who can help you. It can help to talk about how you feel. You could even talk to a counselor or social worker.

What may help

Talk with someone if your feelings get in the way of daily life. Maybe you have a family member, friend, priest, pastor, or spiritual leader to talk to. Your doctor may also be able to help.

Here are some other things that may help you:

Know that we all make mistakes whenever we have a lot on our minds. No one is perfect.

Cry or express your feelings. You don't have to pretend to be cheerful. It's okay to show that you are sad or upset.

Focus on things that are worth your time and energy. Let small things go for now. For example, don't fold clothes if you are tired.

Remind yourself that you are doing the best you can.

Spend time alone to think about your feelings.

Asking for Help

Many people who were once caregivers say they did too much on their own. Some wished that they had asked for help sooner. Be honest about what you can do. Think about tasks you can give to others. And let go of tasks that aren't so important at this time.

Asking for help also helps your loved one.

Don't be afraid to ask for help. Remember, if you get help for yourself:

You may stay healthier and have more energy.

Your loved one may feel less guilty about your help.

Other helpers may offer time and skills that you don't have.

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This is good Katie. So how do I get him to do this. He's this big, strong, and powerful man who thinks he can do all things. With him starting his new job on Wednesday, I'm worried about this.

He already warned his employer that sometime in late July or August, I'll most likely be having a surgery that will put me in the hospital for a few days, maybe more if I have complications like I did the last time.

He stayed with me for 15 days the last time. He never left my side. Maybe I need to be the one finding someone to help him since he won't ask?

I'm not sure.

Judy in MI

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And I have often told those in my outside LCSC life who are caring for say a parent to make sure they take care of themselves and that they really deserve caring for themselves even though their loved one has issues.

I am surprised how I am often thanked, rather sincerely, for these words. I think these folks aren't told and dont feel as though they should take time or care for themselves...so give the reminders to those you know are working hard to care for others.

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Judy, you will have to find him help if he won't do it himself. THere are sites like lots a helping hands and meal train and other calendar type sites that allow people to schedule help and assistance.

If you have a caregiver who won't ask for help, something you have to do it for them.

I am working on an incredible new resource for lung cancer caregivers that will address all these issues. Release date is later this summer but it promised to be a big help for caregivers.

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  • 1 month later...

This is a great topic, Katie. When Mom was sick, I never wanted to do anything fun for myself. I thought that I couldn't or shouldn't enjoy anything knowing how much Mom was suffering. Then after she passed, I still felt the same way. I had a hard time enjoying even my own family and children because I kept thinking about how miserable my dad was. Such a difficult thing to get through.

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  • 2 weeks later...

So, I guess I just wanted a place to say what I need to say & "Asking for Help" seemed appropriate.

For hundreds of complicated reasons, I don't have anyone to ask for tangible help & that's okay. But tonight, I just needed something. Something. And this little post is what I'm allowing myself.

My mom was diagnosed in January with stage 3 lung cancer. The tumor is large and surgery is not an option. She started her second round of chemotherapy this week. She is sick & I am scared. In March, she contracted the flu after a treatment & ended up in the hospital and on a ventilator. I didn't think I'd ever see her again. Every day now I think it may be our last. It's always been just her & I...

I don't know what the right things are to be doing. I feel like I'm doing the wrong thing, no matter what I choose- do I go to work or stay home? Do I buy tons of food or nothing at all because she won't be hungry? I know there is no right answer, but I want to do something right. I am sad & all I want to do is make her happy. I have made so many decisions that I regret, and all I want is to make some good decisions now. I want my mom back...

Thanks to anyone who paused to read... If no one did, it's okay. This was for me anyhow...

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Hi Sally,

I am so sorry for all you are going through. It is so hard to know what to do sometimes. I know when my mom was sick, I felt the same way. I would have done anything to make her smile, to get her to eat, etc. I just wanted to go back to our life before lung cancer. Someone here once told me to not feel regret because everything I did, I did out of love for my mom. That was some of the best advice I ever received. It sounds like you are doing everything you can for your mom. I wish I had better advice for you but I just wanted you to know that you are not alone in your feelings.

Jill

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Sally,

Many of us read each and every post even if we don't always respond. It's not that we don't care, but sometimes we have little to contribute. I guess that means we really understand your predicament. But we do hear you. Jill has it right - anything that you do out of love and compassion is right, whether or not it gets you the result you want. It's the best we can do at times like this.

Take care of yourself and see if there are resources in your community that can help - Gilda's Club? Oncology social worker at the hospital? Being alone in this is just too hard.

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anything you do is the right thing to do. It s all about being there! With this disease you live to fight the next day. and the next and the next! You do the best you can to take care of someone. everything else is in gods hands . Not the doctors but God's Hands. He makes all the decisions in our lives. we just exist for him to guide and use in his plan. When He wants us he comes and gets us.

Your doing the right thing though really you are . You do the best you can for your mom and that's all you can do.

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Sally, my heart breaks for you. Your post brought me right back to when my Mom was in the same stage your Mom is. It is heartbreaking. Know this....every tiny thing you do to help her have comfort is a good thing.

Don't lose hope.

Anything you do is a good thing. I was where you were at. But know that your love for her trumps all else. Just love her and let her know that. It is the only thing that really matters.

((((((((HUG)))))))))))))))

Judy in MI

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doing the "right" thing is doing it from the heart. Whatever "it" is. Just being with your mom and loving her thru what she is going thru is the right thing. She knows that.

Whether you go towork or don't is something you have to consider, along with your financial obligations, and your mom's overall health.

Buying food, well, buy prepackaged things, things in small snack-size lots so that if she feels ill or unable to eat it won't be wasted. Ask the doctor for appetite enhancing drugs that will help her eat something.

And talk to her.. tell her the things you told us here. Let her know how much you love her and let her know you want to make the right choices and let her help you make those choices. She's still your mom. And mom's are awesome at helping us when we feel low.

(((hugs))) We are here for you.

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