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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Hi all The brave face is just impossible some days, by the sufferer and their loved ones. It is a relief of sorts to know that other people are out there caring for the loved ones who are suffering, but it is oh so hard to watch the suffering and what do you say when your loved one starts talking about wishing euthanasia was legalised, to avoid the inevitable suffering that will only get worse. My mother in law lost her mum on Tuesday night - we were all with her as she passed away. It was a blessing for Lotte (hubby's nanna) as she's suffered from dementia for the last 6yrs and her body had taken all it can. The nursing home staff were wonderful and focussed on keeping her pain free with buckets of morphine, but so cruel that she couldn't go with dignity and had the inevitable wait while her body shut itself down. Even though Lotte is in the best place she can now be, it is devastating for my hubby and his mum, given that this will be another death since his mum went onto death row, so to speak. Hubby has been keeping it together (only just) until yesterday when at the funeral mob - his mum picked out her own coffin while choosing her mum's coffin, then calmly told us and his sister whilst surrounded by coffins that her cancer has taken off again and they'll be back again soon at the funeral directors for her send off. The black humour is what kept us all going at the time, but last night it caught up with everyone. Watching poor Lotte have to die slowly was very hard for hubby and his mum (hard for all of us I guess) and Erika doesn't want the family to sit in vigil with her when her time comes. Her symptoms are back (seems the radiation only slowed it temporarily) and coughing up blood etc is back. The metastases through her pelvis, hips and left shoulder has greatly affected her mobility and we fear that she will go downhill rapidly now that her spirit has broken. Diagnosed just before xmas, since then she has lost her horse of 20yrs, her son-in-law's brother died in a freak accident 2wks ago and her mum died on Tuesday. There's only my hubby and his sister left now - thankfully both of them have been able to take the week off to keep her company and share the burden of organising the funeral etc. We've all been surrounding her with love and support but it's impossible to ease her grief over her mum and her own situation. Sadly religion is no comfort to her - her mum was a staunch catholic so will be buried with a catholic mass etc, but she's adamant that she doesn't want any 'religious crap' for her funeral service and will haunt us if we do. Everyone's lost their beliefs after the huge amount of crap that has happened over the last few years. Sorry, promise we're off to see the counsellor asap, plus the doc for some happy pills. The upside is we're all very reflective on life and are treasuring the time we have. Take care everyone and hope that you've all been able to have at least one bright spot in your day. Zoe
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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.