I'm not looking forward to tomorrow...more than likely it'll be my final time to say goodbye to my eldest brother. He is now in his final stages of pallitive care. He was diagnosed with bowel cancer two and a half years ago and after many rounds of chemo, surgeries and cancer spreading to other major organs, he's had enough. Not only am I trying to process losing my brother before his 50th birthday, I'm needing to process and support my mother's diagnosis of bile duct cancer just on 12 months ago. Within that time, I also had to support my father who, with dementia, needed to be placed in aged care. I thought that i was able to do it all...be the support person for everyone, plus be a mum and work full time as a teacher. I'm now realising I can't. My question is how do people do it? How do you get up everyday and keep going?
Hi Gin, I was struck by how huge your list was of who you were trying to be. I'm glad you realised it's not achievable (by anyone! it's certainly no reflection on you.) My husband had chemo in 2011 and we were both working full time. I found this to be almost too much to deal with even without kids, so I can only imagine how overwhelming everything is for you at the moment.
One of the things I've learned is that the old cliche of "one day at a time" is really true- that's the way you keep going. Don't try to do it all at once, or be everything to everyone. Just take each day or each task as it comes, and do that. Also delegate as much as you can- you've probably got people saying "If there's anything I can do..."- give them a small practical task (getting groceries, driving someone somewhere). This will drastically reduce your stress, and also make them feel like they are really making a difference. I've even heard of people having a 'support co-ordinator', someone who manages all the offers of help! (different people have different types of friends...)
The only other piece of advice I would give is to be gentle with yourself- you're doing a really huge thing the best you can. Sending lots of hugs just for you, Emily
Thank you for your kind words and support. My brother passed away yesterday morning and it's been a roller coaster ever since. I'm definitely taking your advice of one day at a time because that's all I've got in me at the moment. The love and support from family, friends and even strangers shows me that I'm blessed and lucky and will learn that the sun will rise the next day and that I have to rise with it.
Thank you again
I am very sorry for the loss of your brother.
It’s never easy when someone close to you dies. I hope you are well & looking after yourself.
Questions are always good. Sometimes you don’t get the answers you want.
Overall, though, I don’t think death is talked about enough in society. It’s almost like it’s a taboo subject. I think talking about death can only be a good thing. It can prepare people for the inevitable. That’s not to say that it won’t hurt like hell when it happens to a loved one, even if you’ve talked about it alot. But it might make things a little easier.
I have terminal kidney cancer & I talk about my death with my friends & family whenever we feel the need. One of my daughters wasn’t coping very well to start with, but it’s been over 5 years since my diagnosis, & because we’ve talked about my cancer & my death alot she is now handling things better. Especially when I have a little setback with how things are going.
I feel for you. I just recently lost my husband who had MDS,he was only 45 and was his carer in the final stages. I won't lie it is hard and you need support. I thought I could do it all alone. Fortunately I got help from palliative care and silver chain along with a couple of family members. I'm not the type of person to admit that I can't do something. I found strength that I didn't realise I had, I can't really explain it but when looking after someone you love dearly you find it from somewhere. Some days you want to give in, are so tired and emotionally unstable that you don't know what to. As hard as I found it ,you really need to let people help you, don't try and do to much alone. It is a stressful time be kind to yourself.
Be part of this supportive community