How are you coping with caregiving? Open ongoing thoughts.

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RE: How are you coping with caregiving? Open ongoing thoughts.

by CaregiverPete on Sat Jul 15, 2017 11:58 AM

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Peppermint. 

Me attending groups is definitely helping. 

But...you as, "A Helpingheart" along side Mickie and all the other Cancer Compass members are constantly pulling me in a postive direction I love to be going in.

I too am looking for my cure. Pete is closer to coming back to himself,  than I ever thought possible. 

C.C. group hugs

Pete.

RE: How are you coping with caregiving? Open ongoing thoughts.

by Ray725 on Sun Jul 16, 2017 08:58 AM

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Had a bit of a wake up call yesterday.  On Friday I travelled the 150 miles to Derby for grandsons university graduation ceremony.  Had a very nice day with son, daughter-in-law and grandson, remembered Helen constantly.  Travelled home yesterday did a few chores around the house then decided to walk down into town for a drink with friends.  I was almost at the pub when I passed an old acquaintence, he did'nt even look up.  He lost his wife a few years ago now and grief has become his life.  We have tried to bring him into our group a few times (once at his daughters request) but it always seems to much for him, all he seems to do now is wander aimlessly around.  Can't let that happen to me, Helen loved me the way I was and I have to get back there for her.  I don't know if there are any Alan Jackson fans out there but his son "Every now and then" is worth a listen.  Ray

RE: How are you coping with caregiving? Open ongoing thoughts.

by tippymicky504 on Sun Jul 16, 2017 01:17 PM

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Spending time with people you love always has a positive effect. 21 years ago when I lost my other husband, I joined a grief group. I hadn't been able to get to the first meeting, so when I got there everyone was sitting in a circle and the each said their name and how long they had bee widowed. A few choked up a bit when it was their turn, but there was one woman who had been crying from the beginning. When it was her turn to introduce herself, she started sobbing and could barely speak. I figured her husband's death must have been very recent. But, when she was finally calmed down enough to speak, she said her husband passed a little over 3 years ago! She continued to cry the whole hour. After the meeting I told the leader I wasn't coming back. That's like your friend. Grief had become her life. And, I'm happy you realized that's not what you want. I'd say it was Divine intervention that you saw him yesterday. I think you're absolutely right in saying that would not be what Helen would want you to do. I'm going to have to Google that song. I hope that man gets help. Keep moving forward Ray. Good days, so-so days and bad days are part of it, but that's all part of it...I'm learning. Marge

RE: How are you coping with caregiving? Open ongoing thoughts.

by Ray725 on Sun Jul 16, 2017 06:33 PM

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Been contemplating my future Marge.  My mother was 91 years when she passed, my father was just 68 but he started in the coal mines when he was 12 years old and died from the effects of coal dust.  I had 5 brothers the oldest one died at age 71 but he was totally worked out, he set a record in the South Wales coal fields when he cut and filled 45 ton of coal in one day.  I have one brother still with us at 83 years old and my 3 other brothers were 84 years, 84 years and 82 years when they passed.  On that reckoning I have at least another 10 years - can't live with this pain that long so have to do something about it and with your positive thoughts I will. Ray

RE: How are you coping with caregiving? Open ongoing thoughts.

by tippymicky504 on Sun Jul 16, 2017 07:00 PM

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Ray, My best advice is to make each day the best it can be. Projecting into the future is futile. We can only do something about the present. It's been 2 months since Don passed, and I can see positive changes in my life. I had bad days, so-so days and a few good days. Now I have fewer bad days and more of the others. Found some more of Don's clothes in the closet, bagged them up and his daughter took them with her today. She knows someone at a place called Bethesda Mission who actually goes to the homeless camps and hands them out. Makes me feel good that someone needy will make good use of them. Once my eye surgeries are a done deal, I have some plans to join an exercise class and do some volunteer work at a local hospital. I don't like to think about how long I'll be here before the Lord takes me home. Life is too uncertain (as we gave learned). Plans would be different if I was a young woman, but at 71, I can just do what I can to be as happy and productive as I can, while I can. I hope your pain eases so that you can move forward. I think Donald Helen would want us to be happy again. Marge

RE: How are you coping with caregiving? Open ongoing thoughts.

by bobss396 on Mon Jul 17, 2017 12:47 PM

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On Jul 12, 2017 7:13 PM Ray725 wrote:

Bobs, what wonderfull women we were married too.  Your Barbara sound a lot (lot) like my Helen.  So brave and resolute.  I was fortunate to have Helen a little longer than you had Barbara after diagnosis but the last months were so similar.  The decision making that you talk about was so so hard.  Helen had made a DNR but when I was asked to confirm that I felt my world falling apart, I knew it was the right thing to do - but was it!!  I shall be going through the same pathways as you have had to go through and it is scary.  Good to see that have improved after your health scare, I promised Helen I would look after myself and I hope that I am able too.  Ray

If you're married to me, you had better be tough!

It was the hardest thing I had ever faced. I was still recovering from a 2011 car accident but was able to get myself to most of my appointments and procedures. So my safety net had a big hole in it and I became Barbara's safety net. I had to put aside what was wrong with me.

She had a DNR, it was written into our wills. She almost slipped away while in palliative care but rebounded. I know she wouldn't like to be on life support being as sick as she was.

We never got to discuss the end-game, she just wouldn't talk about it. This is how she chose to deal with it.

I had a rough time in the months after, big time drinking and not taking care of myself. I was more afraid people would host an intervention for me! If I was invited somewhere I'd peek in the window to see if chairs were set up.

I do feel a lot better. I'm gardening, working on my hot rods, going to the beach, socializing and bike riding. My tan is good. The back injury is another story, I'm working on that too.

RE: How are you coping with caregiving? Open ongoing thoughts.

by Ray725 on Mon Jul 17, 2017 12:59 PM

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Its that Helen went so fast in the end is my biggest hurdle at present.  We knew there was a timescale, but not what it was, so we had some general discussions, her niece to have her engagement ring, where she wanted her ashes scattered but that was about it.  When we knew the timescale, which was just days, it came impossible to talk, I was petrified and Helen was asleep most of the time and my whole time was spent making her comfortable.  Like verybody else I just wish we had a little longer.

RE: How are you coping with caregiving? Open ongoing thoughts.

by Ahole on Mon Jul 17, 2017 02:28 PM

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Ray, Bob, Marge......you guys are such an inspiration to me. I know you're devastated and struggling, but from my vantage point (soon to lose my husband) you look like champions.  I don't know how you do it. When I hear someone say, "they went so fast," that sounds like such a blessing to me. I'm sure it makes your head spin, and shakes you right down to the core, but you are on the other side of this tragedy, the side where you heal and rebuild your life. I'm still in the thick of it, and no idea for how long.

As a woman who has always taken the bull by the horns, this uphill battle makes me feel so incredibly helpless with it's relentless ups and downs. I'm afraid it's getting the best of me as I'm crying more and feeling defeated as I watch The Duke slowly decline. The pain of losing him already feels unbearable and the man isn't even gone yet.

I just wanted you guys to know how good it is to see that a person can actually live through the event of losing the person closest to you, and come out the other side to continue on.  I know it's not easy. I know your pain is profound. You have my deepest admiration and good wishes for your continuing healing. - Peppermint

RE: How are you coping with caregiving? Open ongoing thoughts.

by tippymicky504 on Mon Jul 17, 2017 09:10 PM

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PP What it boils down to is realizing...finally for me anyway...is that as painful as it was, it was out of my hands. I cried constantly praying that I have the strength to do the best I could to make Don's last days as comfortable and peaceful as possible. The rest was already going to happen no matter what I wanted. I miss Don terribly, but relieved that his suffering is over. Now while I grieve, I realize more and more that my life goes on. I dwell on how blessed we were to have had our tie together that so many never have. I had cataract surgery on my left eye today, wish he had been there with me. Can't see much so I'll stop here. Glad we all help in some way. Marge

RE: How are you coping with caregiving? Open ongoing thoughts.

by Ray725 on Mon Jul 17, 2017 09:14 PM

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Patty you have read all our messages so you know its not going to be easy and I guess we all wish we could just hug you and hold you but we can't.  But we can be with you by careing and praying with you and The Duke.  Whenever you have those bad emotions just let us know and we will try to help the best way we can, even if its just by feeling your pain. Lots of love to you.  Ray

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