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Family Caregiving for Seniors - SageCorner Blog

Caring For a Loved One with Cancer

by Deah on Friday, August 18, 2017 7:40 PM

Today I’m feeling there is nothing more painful than watching a loved one go through chemo for cancer treatment. The helplessness of not being able to do more than just seeing her through it and being there for her is heavy. The faith we are putting in Mom’s doctors is tremendous.

Not only is mom in a much weakened state but dad has so many medical issues that he has to be looked after as well. Mom is just not able to do it now. She has fallen a few times, so we are trying to check in and be with them more often. Safety is a big concern because of her weakened state, and she is fighting the use of the walker and some other safety measures. She says she forgets and I do think to some degree she does. The community nurse said that she should not shower or dress without someone being there to help because she is losing her balance and falling.

I am having trouble getting a read on what Mom is thinking or feeling. It scares me sometimes when she makes certain comments and other times I think she has a pretty good attitude, which the doctors have said is important. Studies show that cancer patients with a strong support system and positive attitude tend to do better. Mom has a good support system. There are 5 siblings and for the most part all are doing everything we can to be there for her both physically and mentally. Mother is not always the most cheerful person, so we try our best to remind her she can beat this and to maintain a positive outlook. I am afraid we all come across as preaching to her, so I am constantly telling her that it is because we love her so much that we want to create the best environment for her. I don’t blame her for her attitude. After all this is the third time she has gone through cancer. Our hope is that she can beat it the third time too.

We have been so lucky with very little nausea and vomiting. The two types of chemo she is getting are the only two that will fight this triple negative breast cancer and one of the side effects is pain - which she complains of in her hips and legs. She often has a low white blood cell count, which causes a concern because that creates a high risk of infection. She will have her tenth treatment of twelve this week. After the 12 weeks they will do an evaluation to see how much more treatment is necessary and if surgery would be beneficial, so I can’t really say the end is in sight yet. We just have to take it one day at a time. I now recognize how this whole process can be both mentally and physically exhausting for the family and caregivers as well.

“Some days there won’t be a song in your heart. Sing anyway.” – Emory Austin

Blogs Parent Separator Deah Bowes
being there for parents
caregiving
treatment
cancer
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Deah

Tips and ideas to help care for a senior loved one at home.

  

Lori Paterno, M.Ed. Has a Masters Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling From Penn State University.  She has over 20 years professional experience in Human Services, Counseling, and Education.

Lori Paterno, M.Ed. Has a Masters Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling From Penn State University.  She has over 20 years professional experience in Human Services, Counseling, and Education. 
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