Carer illness - seemingly minor vs person with cancer

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Carer illness - seemingly minor vs person with cancer

Hi folks Not sure how to write this one; figured it was better coming out in the carer forum so as not to rile any cancer patients. Both my hubby and I have had a variety of stress induced illnesses recently (including an as yet undiagnosed lesion on my leg) and find ourselves unconsciously playing it down as it seems so insignificant when faced with dying mother-in-law and her symptoms which are getting worse.  Just wondering if there's anyone out there who feels the same and what impact it has? Our friends have been really supportive and the GP is really good too - telling us we have to look after ourselves.  We are consciously trying to look after ourselves with naturopathic remedies, multi vitamins etc, but feel like we shouldn't be 'whinging' when we're crook.  At the moment we just keep to ourselves if one of us is crook, but hubby's mum's mobility has started to be affected by the cancer - it's spread to her pelvis and left shoulder....  She's been adamant about going straight into palliative care when she can't look after herself, but she knows she can stay with us and we've just about finished redoing the bathroom to put a spa in so she can indulge. If we're sick with the flu etc, it does seems insignificant compared to terminal illness but we're starting to lean on the other family members more. Hubby's sister professes that she'll be there for their mum and can drop everything when she's needed (eg taking her to radiation), however, when push comes to shove it's all too hard for her.  She's very self absorbed (she didn't even do anything for their mum or at least ring her on mothers day!) and it gets harder and harder to keep one's mouth shut. Anyway, better sign off as I've gone off on a tangent again. On the upside, I organised a Big Morning Tea at work last week and we raised over $800.... Overwhelmed by how generous staff were (one person donated $100) but sad to say most staff have been affected cancer in some way. cheers Zoe
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Carer illness - seemingly minor vs person with cancer

Hi and thanks for your post. What you write about is so common especially for family carers. It dfficult to balance self care and care for your mother. Its often a double edged sword. Carers often feel guilty when they experience ilness themselves. In fact many carers don't report their own illness as their caring role is so demanding. Its important to recognise that you do need time to look after yourself and its not whinging - its you saying you need some help. Many family members do become less available and this does impact on those who do care - so, you are not alone - many carers experience just what you are going through - so don't be so hard on yourself. It important to find time even if its an odd half hour or hour where you can take some time away to recharge your batteries. If family members have said they will be available - its time to reach out and ask - your are not being difficult or demanding - you are just looking after your mother and yourself. You can also if - you don't already, contact the palliative care team in your local area - call 13 11 20 and speak with teh Cancer Helpline. There is also a new service called Home Hospice that the Cancer Council is sponsoring with others caled home Hospice. You can speak with someone on 1800 132 229 or call the Commonwealth Carer Respite Centre on 1800 059 059 and good luck with everything.
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