reaching out to the person caring for the person with cancer

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reaching out to the person caring for the person with cancer

Hi, I'm not sure why but as I've made this 4.5 month journey with my partner and her fallopian tube cancer some things just sort of haunt me. I wake up thinking about them or I dream about them. The current one is feeling hurt and angry that my aunt, who has been the caregiver to two different husbands with cancer, has not reached out to me as a "caregiver." I think the anger and hurt probably go deeper than just my aunt, who is getting some major projection. It seems like I just want someone, anyone to say, "How are you coping with the cancer?" and friends do do that. But I want my aunt to do it, someone I know and love and who has been in my shoes. But maybe she doesn't think of us in the same shoes because my partners prognosis is very good, and my uncles was more or less terminal. There is a difference, my fear of my partner's death is far away from our current reality. If the cancer comes back, we might face that. But just being partners with someone who is suffering, who is putting poison in her body is soo hard. And I want someone who loves me already to know that I need them and call me. But that just doesn't seem like it is going to happen. I suppose one message in this is that if you have been in my aunt's shoes and your niece or daughter or nephew or son are in my shoes. Call them. Thanks for listening. Esther
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Re: reaching out to the person caring for the person with cancer

Hi Esther Every week I have lunch with a friend who has a terminal and disabling illness, not cancer. We always go to the same restaurant, they know us and make excellent provision for the wheelchair. Sometimes I am there early and the lady who greets us chats to me. She nursed her husband through lung cancer and now her niece has cancer. She has said how awful she feels about it but that having cared for her husband she just feel she has no more to give another person - "I gave all I had to my husband and I have no more" Maybe your aunt is not be able to cope with your situation after having cared for two husbands with cancer. Maybe you might have to approach her and ask for her her advice, maybe ask how she managed. Regards Sailor At sea, I learned how little a person needs, not how much. Robin Lee Graham

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Re: reaching out to the person caring for the person with cancer

Esther, I can relate to your need for your aunt to reach out to you and offer you support. I have struggled frequently with the need for particular people (not necessarily family) to reach out to me and have been disappointed by their lack of action. In our journey (I am the carer, my husband is the 'patient') I have often found that the people I expect to be there for me the most, are often not yet people who I didn't feel I had a close relationship with have given me the greatest support. I find it confusing and difficult, but am slowly realizing that I just need to focus on the people who can give me what I need. When things get on top of me and I am feeling really low, I often find myself withdrawing as the thought of reaching out for help and getting none is too scary. At those times I have nothing left to give and I need someone to reach out and help me out of the hole I am in. Sailor is a wise man and his advice is always worth considering. I wish you and your partner strength and courage in your journey together. Best wishes, Jill.
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Re: reaching out to the person caring for the person with cancer

Esther, I have just read your profile, you certainly have a lot going on in your lives with cancer/ a 6yr old and a new baby on the way. All the best to you and your family, look forward to hearing all the details of the new addition. Kind regards, Jill.
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Re: reaching out to the person caring for the person with cancer

Hi Jill and Sailor, Thanks for your thoughtful words. Sailor, you are probably right about my aunt needing some space from cancer. It pretty much dominated her life for many years. Soon after my dad died of cancer, I was not very able to support a friend whose husband was diagnosed with Melanoma. As Jill points out, it is often new friends who are there for us as these times in our life. Friends who are also going through these things or who just pop into our lives at the right time and can handle what we have going on. The baby is in no hurry. I want it to take its time, but I also want my partner to get her next chemo treatment, something we are putting off until we have the new babe. I have to figure the chemo will still do its job even if she gets it a week later than usual. Funky times. The trick will be to get through the last two chemos and the first two sleepless months of the baby and the 6 year old. Given all of the inspiring stories on this site, I think we can make it. Best, Esther
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Re: reaching out to the person caring for the person with cancer

Well remember Esther you can always reach out to us. We are here and all experiencing various stages of the cancer journey so someone is bound to have advice and comfort for what you are going through. I found my friends more comforting than my family. I think maybe because they were not as close to the situation and could take a step back and just offer support, where our families had to much of their own hurt in the way. Just a guess, because I know they would not have deliberately hurt as that way. Take care Alana
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Re: reaching out to the person caring for the person with cancer

Thanks, Alana. I just talked to my aunt. I decided that I would just call her, novel idea, and stop expecting her to read my mind. It was a nice chat. I told her that I was just missing her. I didn't mention feeling hurt by her lack of reaching out. It was clear that she is thinking a lot about us, and that she "gets it" in a way that other folks do not. It was also clear that she thinks I'm strong and that I can handle the rest of this journey. Though that is largely true. I think that is sort of what some of this was about, wanting someone to call and sort of expect me to be a mess and to let me be a mess and to know how to help me not be a mess. But it is just messy, isn't it? I'm glad to know you guys and gals are out there. We're all getting through the mess somehow aren't we? Esther
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Re: reaching out to the person caring for the person with cancer

Well I know exactly how you feel, my parents have now spent 5 of the 8 months since my husbands diagnosis of terminal cancer on the other sid eof Australia! I don't think they can cope with it, but that is not fair on me - I actually need their support and again they have supported three other distant relatives through the journey but not their own daughter!
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Re: reaching out to the person caring for the person with cancer

sorry to hear that Vera. Some days I get tired of making excuses for people so I wont do that today. My mum was not supportive at all, my Dad on the other hand was great. Hubby's mum was over-supportive lol. we got so tired of her ringing every 2nd day. couldnt help but think maybe I was over-sensitive to everything because of my heightened stress levels. then again mayne thats me slipping in another excuse forother peoples INsensitivity haha. Anyway what I do know is that I would have been lost without this site! It usually made sense to me even when nothing else did, including my own feelings LOL! Take care everyone Alana xxxx
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Re: reaching out to the person caring for the person with cancer

Hey Alana. Like you I would be lost without this site. It has been such a comfort to me when my brothers don't seem to care. I know they love their dad but they just think "he is old so what do you expect"Dad is now down here with me for Easter and MAYBE he will move down but I think he thinks he has all the time in the world to decide!!!! But I have decided to forget about my brothers and leave them alone and I am spending SO much precious time with dad. I know this sounds selfish but I can't think about anyone but my dad at the moment and I need to spend as much time as I can with him. xoxo Chris
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