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How do we treat them?


stand4hope

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Several people have advised that we caregivers should try to be as normal as possible with the loved one with cancer because they don’t always like to be treated like they are sick or different. I learned a lesson last night.

I started having foot pain as soon as I got home from work. It got increasingly worse as the evening progressed until it was quite swollen, red, hot, and very painful. About 10:45 p.m., it was so bad that I decided I better go to ER and get it checked because I could barely walk on it. My first thought was that it was a stress fracture. I didn’t want to wake my husband because he had gone to bed at 6:30 because he was so tired after work, so I took myself to ER and left him a note. It was my left foot, so I didn’t need it to drive. It turns out it was gout. I left him another note when I got home (1:30 a.m.) and told him what it was and why I was sleeping on the couch because if anybody touched my foot they would have to die, and closed the note with a big smiley face. To make a long story short, he was upset because I didn’t wake him up to take me to ER. And then he excessively fussed over me and even sent me an email and told me to leave work early and get off my feet, even after I told him the medicine had worked quickly like they said it would and it didn’t hurt anymore. I thought about it all day and realized that “before cancer” I would have woke him no matter how tired he had been, and even if I insisted I was ok to take myself, I would have at least told him what was going on. In other words, I treated him differently, and “I treated him like he had cancer.” He's always taken good care of me anytime I have been sick or had surgeries, and I also deprived him of that. I think it kind of also could have said that I didn't need him. The truth is, I DID need him. The last thing I wanted to do was go to ER by myself, and especially that late at night since I have to take so many dark country roads to get there and get back home.

I also did a similar thing a couple of months ago. For 36 years, he has always taken out the trash to the street for pickup and carried heavy trash bags from the house to the garage, and I only took the regular ones out. I had been carrying the heavy stuff out for several months. He snapped at me a couple of months ago and asked what the *@!*# I thought I was doing and he would get those! So now, I leave the heavy bags in the kitchen and he takes them out. Again, I was treating him like he had cancer, and he was insulted.

I’m sure there are some out there that love to be fussed over and have extra attention, but my husband certainly isn’t one of them. :shock: I'm also sure there is a fine line, too. We don't want them to think we don't care and their cancer doesn't matter, so I guess we caregivers just have to learn where that fine line is with our loved ones.

Love to everyone,

Peggy

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Peggy,

How true, how true.

Even now people say "why did you take on a place (house) where you have to mow the lawn and do the garbage and all that stuff"?

Sometimes NOTHING makes you feel more ALIVE than just doing NORMAL things............which I always did before!

Hugs and prayers,

SandyS

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This is a great caregiver topic Peggy! It has been my goal to do what ever I can in whatever little ways I can, to make my mom feel like I'm treating her as normally as possible. Which for her, means we go out. We run errands. We go to lunch (this is also a great one for getting her to eat something!). And most times these days its one quick trip to one store to one department because that's all she can manage. But to her it means she still is taking care of her business. It's a small thing for me but huge for her.

Amy

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I think it's a great topic and sorta in line with my "should we buy a new travel trailer" post.

I walk a fine line with Dave. Sometimes I know I ask too much but feel a little desperate, sometimes I hover and try to get him to sit down and I can fix him that big glass of ice water - and sometimes I wish he'd come down off the lawn mower out of the heat.

I just try to feel my way through every situation.

Love to hear what others have to say.

Karen

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Peggy,

Glad yur foot is feeling better. And what an interesting topic. I think it is something we can all relate to. I fi nd myself doing that with my parents too and then it upsets them an d worries them more. Thanks for giving me something to think about :)

And asyou husband said--rest your foot even if it feels better :)

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Peggy, I too have struggled with this...

My parents have always been more than willing watch the girls - even at the drop of a hat. Since the recurrence, I have been more hesitant to ask them to watch them for more than a few hours at a time because I don't want to tire Mom out. Well a couple of week ago, babysitter cancelled on us at the last minute and the girls needed to go spend a couple of nights with Grandma and Papa while we lined up another sitter. I was so worried to ask them and Mom finally called me on it - she said I am not dead yet and these girls always make me laugh so cut the crap - we will watch them for the rest of the week - so they spent 5 nights with them. My Mom was pooped but she said it was a good tired and my Dad agreed - she actually got up and did things with them and even took them out to their local park for a cookout and walked around with them....

I guess she craved the normalcy (is that a word?). Thanks for the interesting post.

Much Love,

Amy

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Peggy, thanks for sharing that. It is the fine line all us caregivers walk, and you expressed it so well. Patients need to do "normal" things if they can, and we need to let them, if it won't cause injury. I let Lucie drive short distances sometimes when she feels up to it, because she did a lot of the driving when we were together and when she was by herself. It is something that is normal and that sheycan control. Control is a big issue with serious disease, because the disease robs one of control of one's life.

When I get anxious and overwhelmed as the caregiver, I go out and run errands or go to the park, or do something I can control. Control is also a need with the caregiver, because we can't solve the problem.

Lucie loves to sew, and she has been overdoing it (I think), but I let her do it because it is important to her to have something to do positively and to look forward to. I hug her when she wears herself out to let her know I understand.

We talk about all the "normal" issues to give some sanity back into our situation and to move on. It is a hard road, but it is worth every effort. And maybe that is one of the things we are supposed to learn. Don

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