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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What's New Today
about 11 hours ago
I care for my mum who has stage 4 breast cancer. She is 86 years old. Although we are a large family, I resigned from work to care for her. Recently, I have mixed feelings, as I am solely responsible for her. I feel drained and exhausted. I have been caring for her for 8 months, 24/7. The family takes it for granted that I will care for her always. Yet no one is thinking of me and my needs. I'm lonely and my health is now affected. Please advise.
Karen Carpenter said...
about 13 hours ago
I have small cell lung cancer. I am in a motorized wheelchair part of the time now because it helps me to get around easier, conserve my energy, keep me from falling and stay somewhat sociable here in our apartment building. Most of the time I feel like I handle all of this all right. However, lately I am not doing that great. I am not sleeping very well due to pain and discomfort. It is harder to find comfortable positions to sleep in. We desperately need a new queen size bed because ours does not provide enough support, but we can not afford a new one. We need help to get a new bed.
Roughly 60-65% of my appetite is gone. I have no hunger cues left, save for getting a little light-headed or grumpy. That told me it was time to eat. Now,, I start to prepare something before this happens. I have to adjust my diet again because some foods are harder to digest now. I am retooling my diet, and shifting it to include baby foods to replace foods I can no longer eat and to keep up my nutrition. Fortunately, Gerber makes organic ones that look pretty good.
Being in my wheelchair, which I at times call my "stroller" and eating baby foods again makes me feel like an infant. I feel I am regressing somewhat towards an infant state sometimes. As a Taoist, I see the humor in this occasionally, as it says in the Tao Te Ching: "Become as a little child once more,," "Return to the state of the uncarved block," "Return to the infant state.." I am certainly doing this! My attention is drifting. It is hard sometimes to follow a conversation or keep track of what is being said. I know I am becoming more oriented to where I am going and less oriented to where I have been up until now. I am anticipating this journey with joy because I am very tired and feel ready to go home.
At the moment, my room mate, friend and interfaith minister Julie and I live in HUD housing. We are in a third floor apartment that is not ADA even though I am in a wheelchair and she at times uses a walker. The elevators are not reliable, which means I have been literally stranded on our floor in emergency situations. This is unsafe for me. I have no doctor to say I am disabled from my wreck or because I have cancer, and because of this the people who run this place say I have to do "community service" somewhere for at least 8 hours a month.
I try to do it here, but the City of Phoenix knows I can not do it physically. Do they care? No. I was told that if I did not do what they want me to do, they will evict me. That would put me in the street, literally. They know I have no money, no relatives, no one to stay with, and nowhere to go. Julie is my only family, and she takes care of me. They don;t care about that, either. This doesn't help my stress level, which is high enough. I need the City of Phoenix people who run this place to leave me alone so I can die in peace, with dignity. I do not want to die in this heartless place.
Better yet, we need to move out of here into a better place to live, ASAP. We need two bedrooms, two bathrooms. Either a house or apartment. It needs to be wheelchair accessible. If it is an apartment, it must be on the first floor for safety reasons. We will need help with moving our belongings out of here and into our new place. The rent must be affordable; Julie pays it, and feels she can at best handle $200 a month, plus a little bit of utilities, maybe. She wants a better job with higher pay so we can save money to get out of here. This has been stressful for her. We have had it with the cruelty in Phoenix, and AZ towards disabled people in general and us in particular, and we want to move to California, again ASAP. We need help! We can not do this alone!
The Momma said...
13 days ago
I am the Mother of a 35 year old son who was just diagnosed with Bladder Cancer. They removed the mass through the uretha last week. He received the test results today. We haven't seen a specialist yet, (only his general dr and a ureologist) but I'm concerned and have a few questions so that I can sleep at night.
1. The mass went outside of his bladder and was attached to the "opening" of the Liver. He had to keep a tube in the liver so that it would not close up. The tube was removed today. The dr said it is a very rare form of Bladder cancer. Since it was attached to the liver, and outside of the bladder, could it be a stage IV or stage III?
2. His younger sister was diagnosed 10 years ago with Thyroid cancer. She was 23 at the time. They want to do genetic testing to find out if he has passed the gene's to his daughters. Is this a normal thing to do given their young ages? 3. I had a brother that had Lymphoma 30 years ago, he passed away 7 years ago. What is the life expectancy of someone that is so young. Could it be more aggressive because he is young? 4. When he told me about it by phone today, he was so angry! I told him to use that anger to fight it...but he wasn't having any of that and ended the conversation. I am just wondering how else I can handle this? Should I go with him to the dr next time? How can I help him emotionally? He didn't want to talk, so I've let him be for the day. What can/should I do to support him? I know that many have gone through this, maybe someone could explain what my role should be in his care? I'm worried because his wife is due with their 3rd baby in November...& chances are he will probably be going thru chemo at that time, I know he knows I love him and am concerned, it just shocked me to hear the anger he had today. ANY suggestions would be appreciated!
Toma needs advice said...
17 days ago
Looking for advice, support and coping. I am the sole caregiver of my partner of 15 years. He has been diagnosed with stage 4 Bile Duct Liver Cancer at the end of April, this year. I am with him 24/7 with no breaks. I don't mind taking care of him at all but it gets very stressful at many times. He falls a lot, is always dropping his drink or dropping the whole pitcher, he is always back and forth from living room via kitchen to bedroom. Leaving a mess in kitchen all the time with food or pouring a drink in sink, he always misses the sink. I don't want this to sound bad or anything about what I am about to say but I jut don't understand. When he goes for chemo, I see all these other patients there, getting around real good, driving themselves there and all the other stuff. Then here I am with him, he can't dress himself at all, can't drive, can't even sign himself in, he acts like he can't lift his foot to put in shoe, wants me to lift his foot and put shoe on it and tie it. Now am I just enabling him, is a lot of this an act for pity? I don't know because he just seems to have gone downhill real fast after 1 week from finding out he had cancer to not being able to do anything for himself.
24 days ago
After reading a few posts of caregivers who feel guilty and/or tired when they want to do for self; I felt the need to post my own experience. I am in the trenches with many of you as my father has stage 4 thyroid cancer. He is currently in a nursing home after his discharge from the hospital receiving palliative care. I am his primary/only caregiver. When he was in the hospital I was leaving work early, going just about everyday to the hospital and made sure to attend any important meetings with doctors, etc. Upon his discharge to the nursing home I continued to keep up the same pace. I too, like many would feel guilty if I didn't make it for a visit. On top of all of this, I worked full time, and had to maintain my own home (single mom) and my dad's affairs. Well it all caught up to me and I got sick. It started with my asthma, turned to the flu and then pneumonia. I have since been hospitalized twice in one month. I am now recuperating at home and haven't been to the nursing home in a week to see my dad. ( I speak to him via phone daily). I fight the guilt but know I won't be any good to him if I'm not well. I say all this to say to you all...please take time for self and DO NOT feel guilty for taking that time. As long as your loved one is in caring hands, it's ok. Ask for help when needed and do not try to be a superhero. Another thing....know that it's ok to deal with your emotions. There will be times when you are happy and love your loved one to pieces and others that your angry. In those angry moments, pull away and feel your emotion and deal in a way that won't bring you down. I'm speaking from my own experiences. I don't know it all but I do know this; that caregiver self care is super important. I pray and hope the best for anyone who reads this.
24 days ago
My Mom has stage 3 ovarian cancer - surgery 7 weeks ago - still in a Rehab center - needs chemo but she's only 95 pounds, 79 years old, so there's no way she'd have the strength for it. I visit her twice a day- helpless, lost --Feel like I'm all alone sometimes - almost like being on a black hole - trying so hard to deal with all these emotions -- guilt for not insisting she have tests when she first started losing weight over a year ago (she wouldn't)- sad, crying a lot, angry, frustrated, worried, stressed, anxious - wondering how the world keeps going on when my Mom - my best friend, is struggling with this and I'm right there with her as much as I can be - but I can't make her better. So sad. :(
28 days ago
My sister who is 49 was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer a year ago. I have moved in with her to help care for her and take her to all her treatments and dr. appointments. It is just as hard for the caregiver as it is for the person with cancer.. In a sense we both have the cancer. I think that we feel the same emotions but on a different level. I do carry some guilt,why not me , guilt when i go out with a friend,guilt that my life will go on. I am the oldest of 3. I have a brother whose relationship with my sister is not. I wish they would find peace somehow before it is to late. My sister will be 50 in September if she makes it .I have always taken care of my brother and sister my most difficult feeling is the feeling of helplessness. I can not fix this or take it away. Dr. gave her 3 to 6 months. told her to take a break rest her body because she wants to continue with chemo. She has been on the 3 strongest chemos including obdivo by the way obdivo was horrible on my sister it is not all the sunshine they say on tv. cancer is growing fast and furious.. This is were my anger comes in. I'm angry that Dr. letting her continue although I know they have to do what she wants, till she says no more. I'm angry at my sister because I want her to have quality of life now,I do not want her to leave this world being in bed all time no life and they say this next round of chemo will be more painful then the rest. of chemos I am scared of not her passing but the journey i will take with her till she passes. I do not want to see my sister in all that pain ,I want to see my sister be that person I love , her personality is like a tiedye shirt full of life color laughter... I would give anything to see her last days like that..
At Death's Door said...
about 1 month ago
My grandmother is 72 years old she has stomach cancer however she caught a stroke and is now in a coma at home with no meds she hasn't eaten for 6 days we live in the Caribbean so we try to give her water because of the heat how long can she survive
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