Cancer Support Group
Welcome to this online support group for caregivers, family, friends, and others with an interest in cancer care! Please introduce yourself - Ask for advice - Share your experiences caring for a loved one with cancer. Talk about symptoms, treatment options, side effects, daily life, your tips for others. Vent, laugh, and come back as often as you need to feel less alone.
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My mom was diagnosed with stage T4b head and neck cancer 2 years ago. Even before the diagnosis she has been in bad health, I moved back home 5 years ago to take care of her and have been her sole caregiver since. She doesn't have any friends and has refused to take interest in any sort of activity in which I'm not involved. Besides being her caregiver I work full time as a restaurant general manager. And that is it. I have zero time for anything but spending time/taking care of her, work, and sleep. 3 months ago she consented to my long time partner (been together 11 years) moving in with us because I was so unhappy. I was over the moon to have some help and just to be with him again. Well, my life is more stressful than before he came. She's jealous of him taking my time away from her, even though I still spend more time with her than anyone else, including myself. She won't allow him to help her in any way, like if she has to go to an appointment she would rather take an uber than allow him to take her. Of course I'm not going to make her ride with a stranger, besides it would just be more guilt to pile on my shoulders.
I'm 36 years old and we've been wanting to have a child but how could i possibly do that with everything I already have on my plate. I'm getting older, I only have a tiny bit of time left before getting pregnant would start to be unwise considering the complications that pregnancy can have when you're over 35...
I guess what I'm saying is that I feel like I'm sacrificing the very last years of my "youth" and my opportunity to have a family of my own. I don't resent her for it exactly, but it's caused a deep depression in me. I feel like I'm constantly on the verge of tears. I can't even talk about it or anything else stressful and not break down into tears. I'm pulled between my happiness with my fiancee and my sense of duty and love for my mother. He hasn't done anything to make her dislike him, she would most likely dislike anyone who takes any of my attention away from her.
I'm at my breaking point. We don't have any family close by and my brother lives 2 hours away with serious drug and alcohol problems, I haven't asked him for help because I feel like it would do more harm than good. I don't know where to turn, how to handle this, what to do to make my life bearable and I want a family of my own. I'm stuck and running out of time. Any outside perspective would help. Thank you for reading this and taking time listening to my problems when I know you all also have your own.
Hi...I am new here. My mom has stage 4 metastatic lung cancer. She has decided to stop treatment because they either weren't working or the side effects where to much. I to am finding it difficult to stay positive and upbeat when the end is an impeding doom.
I'm brand new to this site. My husband is being treated for Ewings Sarcoma, no cure in site for him, just chemo every 3 weeks. As you all know, it gets overwhelming to stay positive when things are changing daily. I am hoping to find a support group - even an online one I can join.
about 1 month
I'm 28 and caring for two ill parents, lately its been getting harder to push aside my needs and feelings. My mom has Gallbladder Cancer that has metastasized into her liver. My dad has severe COPD; he can take care of himself to a point; but, since he is on oxygen 24/7 he hasn't been able to do more than just move from room to room. My mom is currently going through her 2nd bout of chemo, this one has been extremely rough on her. She is starting to waste away and I'm not dealing with it well. She was always the healthy one, the one who took care of everyone else. Now she can barely take a shower without totally exhausting herself and becoming so ill she vomits. She rarely ventures out of her room anymore now and only leaves the house for her doctor or chemo appointments. The person that was so full of life barely exists now.
Since my parents became ill I've had to take over the things they used to do along with my own duties. I have been alone in caring for my parents so far even though I have an older brother that lives 1hr away. I don't feel like I can ask him or his wife for help since they live an hour away and work long hours. I definitely can't ask my teenage nieces for help even though they would help (they don't need to deal with things like this). My brother usually has to work 6 days per week plus he has his own things to take care of. So asking him to help is nearly impossible and he usually make some kind of comment about how he doesn't have time which makes me feel guilty for asking.
So here I am trying do things that 3 people used to do; plus, I have to deal with my own health issues (Rheumatoid Arthritis, Chronic Migraines, & Fibromyalgia). I am starting to feel alone and like I don't exist beyond caring for my parents and everything else. It has always been hard for me to ask for help or show how I feel. Lately I've been having a harder time coping with everything.
Holding on! said...
about 1 month
I am very stressed. Along with my husband's brain cancer he has a terrible attitude. When he was totally incapacated his attitude was of a gentle pleasant man, now with meds he has a better quality of life and a worse outlook. He always was a difficult person but now I have that person plus physically needs. I will be able to do this won't I?
Holding on! said...
about 1 month
I am my husband of 55 years caregiver. His kidney cancer went to his brain. I can handle his physical needs but emotionally I'm failing. He sleeps 20-22 hours a day n I just watch him die. I am having a difficult time becoming interested in anything. I need a huge pick me upper. Any suggestions? I cry a lot and think I am depressed.
An anonymous caregiver said...
about 2 months
I'm a 4 year colon cancer survivor. I wish I could have a found a support group then. Now, I'm a caregiver for my parents. It's a bit overwhelming at times with no one to lean on. Fake it till you make it. Lack of sleep, anxiety, not sure which is worse. Anyway...
about 2 months
I've tried to write this post at least half a dozen times and just don't know how to start. I'll start with the thing we all probably agree on: I hate cancer. Cancer has claimed three of my four grandparents, two of my aunts and my uncle. My dad survived stage 3b colon cancer, and last year, my mum was diagnosed with stage 3 bladder cancer. I remember sitting in her room prior to her surgery and thinking that enough was enough. Cancer had made its presence known; now it was time to leave us alone. Following a radical cystectomy and a lengthy hospital stay, as well as a PET scan that turned up negative, I thought that maybe, cancer had taken the hint and had hit the road.
On Thanksgiving last year, Mum ate very little, unusual for a meal she adores. She was tired, too, and took a long nap; but given that flu was going round and I'm a teacher (thus, a germ magnet), I assumed she'd caught a bug and would be fine in a bit. But day by day, her appetite dwindled, and by Christmas, she was not only barely eating, she was sleeping hours on end every day. She was rushed to hospital on the 28th with sepsis and depressed kidney function, discharged three weeks later with nothing more than minor peripheral oedema. I say minor because with a few weeks, she was having trouble walking with a walker, and right before a consult with her surgeon, Dad and I were struggling to lift her up when she'd fall. An MRI and CAT scan showed a growth; a biopsy confirmed that the cancer had returned.
I am now leaving work every day, picking up my father and rushing to a rehab facility to see what new, fresh hell cancer has visited upon her. Her peripheral oedema has turned into lymphedema, which led to an ulcer on her left heel the size of a golf ball. The fluid is pressing on her stomach and causing her to feel full all the time, to the point where she will barely eat--I provide Odwalla protein shakes every day and mix her milk with whey protein to boost her intake. She is bed-ridden and battling pneumonia; I am holding down the fort and battling Medicare. My dad is a traumatic brain injury survivor, so his full-time care has transferred from her to me. My best friend thinks I have caregiver burnout. I think I may agree with her.
All of the support sites mention asking family and friends to help. The things is that I've done that, but I've had no takers. Everyone expresses sympathy ("I don't know how you manage!"/"I couldn't do what you're doing"), but everyone is also always busy when I need help. My family doesn't qualify for Medicaid and support services in our area are virtually non-existent.
I feel embarrassed for saying all of this, but if I don't, I feel I'll fall apart. Thank you for reading if you did.
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