So i am set to take 6 weeks of respite leave in just two days.... while i have been planning this for the last 3 weeks it still doesnt feel real and i dont know if im 100% ready to go away.
im feeling all sorts of things.... anxiety, guilt, worry, stress, selfish and im happy and excited at the same time!
i do know from reading online that its totally normal to feel this way. But reading something sometimes doesnt mean the feelings just go away and i know i need a break but i feel bad taking one. The last break i took was for 2 and a half weeks... I cried at the airport, got panicky that no one was going to care for him, to help him out. and back then he was still able to get outside and move with more ease. This time.... well he isnt as fit as he was then... so im expecting more anxiety and worry.
I did think of postponing the trip. All the Dr's and Nurses and even the social worker, and my aunty have told me to go. Im not any good to him if im burnt out, and they are right.
I remember back to when i had a career... i was a child care worker for 8 years mainly working with under 3 yr olds. at least every 6 months... i needed a break, whether it was a day or two or a week or two.. i guess this is similar.
i may have mentioned before here i dont have a very big support network, in fact i can count the people who truly help me on half of one hand. I spent an hour on the phone with a social worker a few days back... and after my experience with them (not being a good one) it was nice to hear a bit of praise (not that i seek it) it was just nice for someone to acknowledge all the things i do and see things from my side. and for a complete stranger to see when my own family cant made me feel pretty damned good for a change.
Things got rough at home last week when my dad was feeling really unwell and i had to take him back to the hospital. They confirmed what i knew two months ago that his cancer had spread to the hip area. They said it was arthritis... but he was just in toooooo much pain. He now barely leaves the house.
Ive been talking with people from Sacred Heart, a palliative care team and they have been great for me. Not too sure how willing my dad is though to let other people beside me help him. It makes me see just how much he relies on me for every day things, as well as company and emotional support (even tho he is a "tough as nails" kinda guy). He seems willing to go in to palliative care when the time comes because the cancer in his hip area is going to dissolve the bone and break his hip eventually and he will be stuck in a bed or wheel chair and we just dont have the facilities at home (on the 2nd floor of our building) to care properly for him. And on top of all that the pain will get a whole lot worse.
its the hardest thing ive watched in my reasonably short life time. Watching the man i idolize deteriorate so slowly and painfully.
we finalized the will a few days ago. i think he is relieved its all in order. i do know its one less thing i worry about.
ive been doing a fair bit of deep thinking/soul searching in some of my down time. I have taken up cross stitch as my escape and it is a really great hobby... i absolutely love it. I throw some x-men cartoons in the DVD player and stitch and think about things. Its my own personal version of a relaxing bubble bath. Lately i have been thinking of ways i can repay the people who help me through this. The people who have taken care of my dad, The Fantastic Nurses in the Radiation oncology department at Prince of Wales. Flowers have always been an empty gesture to me.(funny story - sorry to side track.. The only man to ever give me flowers got hit with them.... Just like that relationship, they wilt and die and leave mess for me to clean up!!!) I was very in to cup cake decorating not long before my dad got sick and i was thinking maybe i can do some special ones for the staff. I also plan on making a donation of sorts to the department... They have cared for both my parents now... and its something ive wanted to do for a while.
While i know the worst is yet to come... i am looking forward to spending my 27th birthday with my wonderful fiance in America. Just a nice dinner at this little Mexican place he took me on my first visit over there with him.
There will always be ups and downs in life... i feel like i know that all to well by now. But ive been down for so long now its getting harder and harder to get back up after every blow.
i may not get back on before my trip as i still havent packed or finished up with the many many things left on my to do list LOL.
till then, take care of yourselves and your loved ones.
Cancer Council NSW would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we live and work.We would also like to pay respect to elders past and present and extend that respect to all other Aboriginal people.