Linking you to resources and support in the lung cancer community!
Many of us have been caregivers in our lives - even those who are dealing with cancer now. You might have cared for a parent or a child or a friend who was sick, long before you had your own cancer. For those of us who have gone through the caregiver experience with someone who has lung cancer, it can be stressful, but some of us found tricks along the way that can be helpful to others.
Whether you are caring for someone with cancer now or have cared for someone else before? What did you learn? What do you think all caregivers should consider?
Since I was my mom's caregiver 10 years ago, I'll chime in about one of the things that I learned:
Sometimes you can't get everything done, and that's okay.
I remember one night when my mom was in the hospital, and I had come home from the hospital late after going there straight from work. It was late. I had eaten something fast food on the way home, threw in a load of laundry, sent some emails off to people and returned calls to others who were concerned about how she was doing, and then I found myself in the backyard with a flashlight. You see, it was mid-August in Virginia, and the tomatoes were ripe and needed to come off the vines. I had a one-track mind. It was probably past midnight, I had to be up at 6 for work, but I had to get those tomatoes.I told a neighbor the story later, and she shook her head and said "you know, you can let some things slide."
And she was right. When you are taking care of someone, sometimes you just need to relax in some areas a little bit more. I think we often make the mistake of thinking we can do twice as much stuff in half the time. Things change though. And that's not necessarily a bad thing - you just shift your priorities a little bit.
Okay - I'll start with that. Who else has learned something that you think would help others? I'll add more to the list later!
Wow, I love all these tips! It is important to always do things with the patient in mind, not just doing things as you want them to "get things done." Thank you for reminding me of that. I try to always do that- like instead of just wheeling my Mom around, I try to always ask her where she wants to go or at least tell her "we're going over to the chair now" or "I'm backing you up now"- I feel that's SO important. I think it gives her a little piece of control or at least feeling like she's in control when being in a wheelchair can be so unempowering for her.
And to whoever said that letting the patient talk about things they need to get off their chest, even when it's uncomfortable for us, thank you! I really needed to be reminded of that. Sometimes my mom will start to say things that are serious, and partly because I can't handle it, but also partly because I never want her to think I've given up and that's it's "the end," I always quickly change the subject to more positive things or something silly. I guess that's not always the right thing to do. It IS about the patient, not us. This forum is turning into such a great support system for us caregivers, thank you so much for all the advice!