I'm feeling a little overwhelmed at the moment and not sure what to do. My story goes back July 2015 when my brother was diagnosed with bowel cancer. He unfortunately lost his battle in February this year. He was 49 years old.
In February 2017, my mum was diagnosed with Cholangiocarcinoma (bile duct cancer). She has undergone many treatments (chemotherapy and radiation) with many hospital stays, the last one coming out Christmas Eve.
Things aren't going well and she is unable to keep food down, retaining too much fluid and we are also monitoring her fluid intake, especially in this revolting heat. We have had many visits now with the palliative care team, which has been wonderful, but mum quietly has the fear that the time between my brother's visit with the team to his death was only 5 months. I'm trying to remind mum that not all cancers are the same and the time frame for each patient is very different as well. Mum is very practical and wants to get her funeral service in place (music/photos etc) which, on one hand is good that I know what she wants, but on the other hand, very heartbreaking! All of the legal aspects are 97% done as well. I find it very difficult to comprehend what a life boils down to!!!
To make things a little more challenging, my dad was put into care October 2017 with dementia. It's not fair to see both parents' bodies and minds failing and there is not a lot I can do about it. I work full time and I'm also in the process of knocking my house down and rebuilding!!!!
I have another brother who has also found the process very difficult and, at times, will remove himself from a lot of the responsibilities. I understand that each person has their point which they need to take a step back, but I find it difficult to be left with the responsibility. I have an adult daughter who is my strength and joy, but I also know that, as she is extremely close with both of my parents, she is finding it very difficult and I'm not sure how to support her when I am finding it hard myself.
This time last year, I was thinking that it was a crappy year and 2018 would be better!!! I'm not going to be so naive to that this New Year's Eve, but I'm hoping 2019 will be a little easier on my heart!
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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
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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?
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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.