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Found 10 results

  1. Hi everyone! I have been dealing with anticipatory grief most of my life but it is only after a year in therapy that i realised it. My mother has been nearly dying many times in my life (freak asymptomatic double pneumonia, botched surgery leading to constant infections, grapefruit-sized ovarian cyst, breast cancer, septic choc and more). I have always treated those events with a bit of distance. Moved out of the family home as soon as i could as i am an only child and my dad works full time. That allowed me to choose when and how i would help rather than trying to do as much as possible all the time and neglecting my own needs. Fast-forward 10+ years, i have two kids, am back in school and a string of events happened that made moving into my parents home (and turning it into an intergenerational home) the best possible solution for them, us (my partner and i) and the kids. Then COVID hit. Most of my life i have used physical distance to deal with her health situation and make sure that i have my own life going on. However, right now i am a full-time online university student, full-time mom, and full-time caregiver. Even if i don't give my mom full time care, and she is mostly autonomous, the worry is constant, especially while my dad is at work. The grief is always there. The hypervigilance due to COVID is suffocating. I have been trying different methods for regaining peace of mind such as meditation, mindfulness and journaling. I bike my toddler to daycare 3-4 times per week which gives me an hour of exercize. On the other days we spend at least an hour outside with the kids so we get exercize and get out of the house. I guess my question is how to you focus on anything? i have been doing my university work on adrenaline rush last minute. I am reading "Smiling through your tears: anticipating grief" and am working with my therapist on accepting the pain rather than bottle it up. I am just so exhausted my brain has a hard time staying focused on my reading more than a few minutes. My partner has been doing most of the housework because i struggle functionning. Antidepressant meds numb my feelings that i already tend to numb so it feels counterproductive, plus it doesn't help my focus. Everything is closed due to COVID so getting out of the house to study is a non-starter. Weather is still cold here so studying outside is not yet an option. Overall i guess my focus has been to keep everyone safe, keep the kids happy, and care for my mom. But the pressure of my studies have been intense, and i can't afford putting it on pause as i get student loans which allow me to be home instead of at work, and my studies are so i can get out of low-paying retail jobs and can buy the house off my parents so my dad can retire. It feels like i am doing what i can to function and get better and understand this grief better so i can cope more efficiently, but i still struggle to get down to studying, feel a lot of anxiety, mood swings. How do you live with an ill loved one without putting your life on hold? How do you keep functioning? Also, where do you live your spirituality? I haven't found a church that fits my values and i don't really like talking to priests. No nuns in my area. I don't know where to look for respectful spiritual guidance and this part of my life is missing right now. Thanks for reading my rambling. Any insight is much appreciated.
  2. I'm new here but I'm looking for support for dealing with my husband having brain cancer. Without treatment he has 3-6 months to live. With treatment he has 1-2 years. The average is a year. We are doing treatment and we start chemotherapy today and radiation tomorrow. I'm afraid to lose him. I don't know what kind of life I'll have or how to be alone. I just think I'll be so lonely. Grief is the hardest work there is and I don't want to do it. How did anyone else out there deal with anticipatory grief? Thanks for your support.
  3. Has this happened to anyone? That anticipatory grief fades into the background as you settle into a routine and a new grim reality? I think it is happening to me, and I feel somewhat guilty about it. At the same time, I feel like the reaction must be protecting me from burnout, etc. that is such a part of long lasting anticipatory grief. I have only known that my mother is terminally ill with a tumor in her lung and brain for about a month (which was also when she found out), though warning signs were there even earlier. It was horrifying and terrible every day, all day for about three weeks. Now that I've moved her in with my husband and I and we have her settled into a kind of routine and I've returned to work for a few days, all of this is starting to feel horrifyingly normal. I can no longer feel the sharpness and desperation of the situation. I can even talk about it without crying very much. Am I a sociopath? How can I have come to accept my mother's death so soon? She is only 62. She is one of my best friends. Am I forgetting that, and thinking of it only as losing the sick, diminished person by my side today? One possibility is that as soon as she experiences a precipitous decline I am going to feel it sharply again. I kind of hope that I can get the feeling back. I worry that I will regret not showing her my pain, lest she think she is unloved. She has always been very insecure about how much my brother and I truly love her. All this is complicated by the fact that she has expressive aphasia caused by the brain tumor, so can not communicate much verbally. The brain tumor is also affecting her concentration, I suspect her emotions (which are unusually muted), and who knows what else. When I try to bring up remotely serious topics she just says "Come on, Erin." As in, "why are you bothering me with this? I just want to watch mindless, harmless reality TV." As I write this, I am tearing up a little bit. I can't indulge the feeling because I'm at work. Maybe I've just been shoving the feeling down so completely that it seems like it's not there, but it will come roaring back. As I said, I kind of hope that it does. My mom deserves for people to rage at the fact of her untimely death. I would love to hear whether others have experienced the same emotional fade and conflicting thoughts about it.
  4. Hi there, I'm new to this group and searching for support. My mom was diagnosed with Stage 4 Glioblastoma brain cancer in March 2016. She is only 67 with 4 kids, 8 Grandkids and 1 Great-Grandbaby. My mom is my best friend and I can't imagine living without her. She had her tumor removed April 1st and has finished 6 weeks of radiation and on her 5th cycle of Chemo. Although the tumor was removed, this is a very aggressive cancer with no cure and the tumor usually grows back within months or even weeks. We are taking one day at a time but I'm really struggling with the thought of living the rest of my life without her. Everyone says to spend as much time as possible with her but it's impossible because she is so sick and weak from her chemo that she can't even get out of bed. This cancer and treatment is slowly killing my mom and it's so hard to watch. I'm trying so hard to remain positive for her but I also know the reality of this beast and I hate to watch her suffer. How do you remain positive when you know this cancer is killing the most important person in your life? I miss her so much already and yet she's still here.
  5. Hello , I am new here and feeling thankful for somewhere to go to discuss our situation, get support and hopefully support others in similar circumstances My husband and I have been together for 50 years and married for 47 years, being childhood sweethearts when we met. (14 and 16years) like most couples, life has not been a bed of roses, but things were never bad for long and we both decided early on that we would always work things through, as neither of us would be happier apart than together For most of our marriage we have worked together in busines and recently retired, looking forward to lots of holidays and growing old together, along with our children and grandchildren in August this year, my husband became ill with a pleural effusion on his left lung, which was diagnosed as malignant, along with a massive tumour on his colon, with smaller tumours in his stomach and liver. On being told the prognosis was terminal, he refused further investigation and treatment, deciding he just wanted to come home and enjoy the remainder of his life He is able to make short outings on a mobility scooter a couple of times a week, but then needs the rest of the time to sleep and is gradually getting weaker by the day, but is so brave and strong for the sake of the family. I put on a good front, so as not to worry our grieving children , but I am not coping as well as they think, sometimes self medicating with alcohol and pain killers at nights to try and lessen the emotional pain thank you for reading this xx
  6. My husband started chemotherapy and radiation today. He has 3-6 months with no treatment and 1-2 years with treatment. So we are doing treatment. Made it real today starting treatment. My best friend moved 2000 miles away a year ago. I have my sister but she is a single mom of 5 kids. I don't have many other friends. Where can I make friends at a time like this? Any ideas? I can't stand the thought of being alone when my husband passes.
  7. My husband has terminal brain cancer. How does one prepare emotionally for losing your spouse? I'm scared and devastated. I'm trying to enjoy every moment we have. Take pics and videos. But I know nothing is enough. Thanks.
  8. My mother died of cancer when I was three years old. My entire childhood after that I kept anticipating other family members dying and I would always have dreams of my entire family being taken from me. I grew up a lot quicker than most people I know. After my mom, my grandparents helped raise so my dad could continue working full time. Because of my dad and them I had the best childhood. Summer of 2014 is when I felt like my life starting ending and I was 23. That summer my grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's and at the same time I was starting a job in a nursing home so I knew exactly how her health would decline. Around the same time my grandfather had strokes and continued to have heart issues. At that point I started coming home every weekend to care for them. Eventually we found a care taker for them because their wish was to remain at home. For over a year I took care of them every weekend after working a 50-60 hour work week. I wouldn't have taken anything for those weekends. My grandparents fed, bathed and changed me just like I was able to do for them now. After another stroke, my grandfather passed a week later and soon after my grandmother stopped walking. I am 25 now and still coming back on the weekends to help her. I know she doesn't really know who I am now and that it is progressing. I feel like I am losing my mother all over again and that I have had lifelong anticipatory grief that is finally coming to fruition and I am slowly but surely shutting down. Mentally I am to the point where I no longer want any new relationships because I know they will only result in that person eventually dying or leaving. Even as my closest friend who I've lived with for almost 6years is getting closer to being married and moving out, I feel myself already thinking about not making any new friends because I don't want to feel any more loss than I have. I've never even had a relationship because of the fear of loss. My grandmother is still with me at this point but once she passes I feel like I will be done being close to anyone ever again to avoid continually feeling the way. Has anyone else ever felt that way? Does the anticipation or fear ever go away?
  9. My sister is battling brain cancer. At first when she shared the news we had some good visits But now when I offer to visit she tells her husband to tell me she is too tired. I have a feeling she doesn't want me to see her like this and she feels she cannot keep up a strong front when I am there. I wish I could reassure her she does not need to do that. Her husband does not explain whys he says "no." and I don't want to push it on him because he is overwhelmed. He suggested that I phone her directly. But would that be intrusive if she is tired and can't concentrate? I don't want to make my sister's troubles worse with these contacts, but at the same time, I think once I am there and she sees I can handle it calmly, it will be okay. I did offer to help with the care or sit with her while the husband goes out, and her husband declined. I have been sending her e-mails with a gentle "I am thinking of you" but no response. I can't tell if she likes the e-mails but just can't respond do to failing control of her hands, etc. There is no one else in the family who knows what to do. The husband is the only one with her and said he would prefer I address this directly with my sister.
  10. Thank you for this forum topic; I never heard of anticipatory grief until a counselor on a cancer support phoneline introduced me to the term. This I've hit the wall coping. The responsibilities, grief and frustration I feel is overwhelming. I am powerless and can do nothing but support my husband, brother, family and children as we watch and wait for the progression of disease. The loss I feel already is staggering. I can't begin to think about the future. I am barely able to deal with the now. I am emotionally exhausted and the worst is yet to come. On October 5, 2013 my brother (48 yrs) who lives locally, was diagnosed with Stage 4 testicular cancer. Unusual that it was so advanced, but he was in denial of the symptoms. I was devastated, he is my only sibling, single, career military man and it was obvious from the start that he was going to need support scheduling appts and following drs directions; still trying to downplay the seriousness of his diagnosis. Our parents are both 84 years old and feeble. I got him into Stanford Hospital, he began chemo, and within one week contracted a blood borne infection that almost killed him. ICU for 1.5 months, released from hospital Dec. 3rd with an partially amputated left leg. Spent December working with Stanford to clear up the remaining infection and approve him back into chemo. I remember spending Christmas Eve at Stanford at a plastic surgery appt with him. Meanwhile, I run a small business with my husband which we built around my husband's software design skills and we need to keep that going for necessities like shelter and food for our 16 and 22 year old boys. On December 27, 2013 my mostly healthy husband (52 yrs) had a stroke at 3am. EMT's called, rushed to hospital for CT scan and tests revealed metastasized Stage 4 lung cancer to his brain. Emergency crainiotomy removed an egg sized tumor from his frontal lobe. We've been granted a miracle in that he still has speech, his personality, motor skills... but he is almost childlike emotionally, intellectually no longer able to work. It was made absolutely clear by some well meaning but very misguided doctors in the first few days after surgery that his cancer is terminal. The best one said "if you think he'll be here next Christmas, you're fooling yourself. He has weeks, maybe months and will die by stroke, seizure or in bed in the middle of the night". Gee. Thanks, doc. These last few months have been the most horrible, painful, agonizing of my life. I'm running from husband's chemo and radiation to my brother's appts and surgeries, dealing my 16 year old's painful emotions, my parents fears for their son, my husband's fears for himself and us, his confusion and pain, and juggling business projects to contractors. NOTHING IN MY LIFE HAS PREPARED ME FOR THIS!! Everyone says I'm handling things well and how strong I am. I'm not strong, I'm in survival for my family. They don't see my heart breaking daily for the life that I had with my husband. He used to be my strength and my rock. And now surgery is no longer being considered as part of my brother's treatment plan. My brother is thrilled that there will be no surgery. I am the only family member that understands that we are transitioning to pallative care and there will be no cure for him either. I cannot believe that only 6 months ago, I had a great life. I know that I will never have that life back, ever. I could use any suggestions to have the strength to keep going; sharing my situation out to this community gives me hope.
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