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23 hours ago, Baby Mine said:

Years of medical and financial and I can barely cope  my mom died  my daughter  got a brain tumor and my husband was diagnosed with leukemia     They gave him three weeks to live but we fought and traveled and lived in three hospitals for a year and he had a successful st cell transplant in 2016   My problem is  I live in the shadow of fear   My daughters ongoing health issues and worry for my husband    I have to work multiple jobs to barely keep making things hold together   Even my husband is back to work although he is so tired   We don’t have a choice     Somedays are just over whelmingly sad and scary   

 

3 hours ago, kayc said:

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Thank you for sharing, I know it's sometimes hard to talk about when we're in the throes of grief.  One of the big things that has helped me has been learning to take a day at a time...thinking about the whole rest of my life is way too much for me to handle and just invites anxiety, but it's a struggle.

My mom had Leukemia but she also had stage IV dementia, it feels consuming when you're going through it.  When I lost my husband it was unexpected and a shock and I didn't see how I could do a week, let alone the rest of my life, but it's been 14 years and somehow I'm still here.  Then I lost my mom and now my oldest sister.  I've had a LOT of losses but when you're hit with so much at once like you are, that can feel very overwhelming, and make you feel like, when are the hits going to quit coming?!  

I wrote this article on what I have found helpful, I hope even one thing in it is of help to you, if not now, maybe later on down the road, this is a journey that is ever changing.

TIPS TO MAKE YOUR WAY THROUGH GRIEF

There's no way to sum up how to go on in a simple easy answer, but I encourage you to read the other threads here, little by little you will learn how to make your way through this.  I do want to give you some pointers though, of some things I've learned on my journey.

  • Take one day at a time.  The Bible says each day has enough trouble of it's own, I've found that to be true, so don't bite off more than you can chew.  It can be challenging enough just to tackle today.  I tell myself, I only have to get through today.  Then I get up tomorrow and do it all over again.  To think about the "rest of my life" invites anxiety.
  • Don't be afraid, grief may not end but it evolves.  The intensity lessens eventually.
  • Visit your doctor.  Tell them about your loss, any troubles sleeping, suicidal thoughts, anxiety attacks.  They need to know these things in order to help you through it...this is all part of grief.
  • Suicidal thoughts are common in early grief.  If they're reoccurring, call a suicide hotline.  I felt that way early on, but then realized it wasn't that I wanted to die so much as I didn't want to go through what I'd have to face if I lived.  Back to taking a day at a time.  Suicide Hotline - Call 1-800-273-8255
  • Give yourself permission to smile.  It is not our grief that binds us to them, but our love, and that continues still.
  • Try not to isolate too much.  
  • There's a balance to reach between taking time to process our grief, and avoiding it...it's good to find that balance for yourself.  We can't keep so busy as to avoid our grief, it has a way of haunting us, finding us, and demanding we pay attention to it!  Some people set aside time every day to grieve.  I didn't have to, it searched and found me!
  • Self-care is extremely important, more so than ever.  That person that would have cared for you is gone, now you're it...learn to be your own best friend, your own advocate, practice self-care.  You'll need it more than ever.
  • Recognize that your doctor isn't trained in grief, find a professional grief counselor that is.  We need help finding ourselves through this maze of grief, knowing where to start, etc.  They have not only the knowledge, but the resources.
  • In time, consider a grief support group.  If your friends have not been through it themselves, they may not understand what you're going through, it helps to find someone somewhere who DOES "get it". 
  • Be patient, give yourself time.  There's no hurry or timetable about cleaning out belongings, etc.  They can wait, you can take a year, ten years, or never deal with it.  It's okay, it's what YOU are comfortable with that matters.  
  • Know that what we are comfortable with may change from time to time.  That first couple of years I put his pictures up, took them down, up, down, depending on whether it made me feel better or worse.  Finally, they were up to stay.
  • Consider a pet.  Not everyone is a pet fan, but I've found that my dog helps immensely.  It's someone to love, someone to come home to, someone happy to see me, someone that gives me a purpose...I have to come home and feed him.  Besides, they're known to relieve stress.  Well maybe not in the puppy stage when they're chewing up everything, but there's older ones to adopt if you don't relish that stage.
  • Make yourself get out now and then.  You may not feel interest in anything, things that interested you before seem to feel flat now.  That's normal.  Push yourself out of your comfort zone just a wee bit now and then.  Eating out alone, going to a movie alone or church alone, all of these things are hard to do at first.  You may feel you flunked at it, cried throughout, that's okay, you did it, you tried, and eventually you get a little better at it.  If I waited until I had someone to do things with I'd be stuck at home a lot.
  • Keep coming here.  We've been through it and we're all going through this together.
  • Look for joy in every day.  It will be hard to find at first, but in practicing this, it will change your focus so you can embrace what IS rather than merely focusing on what ISN'T.  It teaches you to live in the present and appreciate fully.  You have lost your big joy in life, and all other small joys may seem insignificant in comparison, but rather than compare what used to be to what is, learn the ability to appreciate each and every small thing that comes your way...a rainbow, a phone call from a friend, unexpected money, a stranger smiling at you, whatever the small joy, embrace it.  It's an art that takes practice and is life changing if you continue it.
  • Eventually consider volunteering.  It helps us when we're outward focused, it's a win/win.

(((hugs))) Praying for you today.

 

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Thank you.  I feel guilty In that ,while my mom died ,my daughter and husband survived. It’s the fear that engulfs me.   Every time he gets an issue or a cold.   The leukemia and transplant process was arduous and every day in two hospitals they gave us bad news.    It wasn’t until the third hospital that we found hope.   We literally were living in hospitals and away from home for just shy of a year.   We are blessed.     But we are thethered to monthly lab tests.  Instead of enjoying life I live in terror of a repeat.  You add this to my daughters ongoing medical traumas and her  daily medical conversations about how she feels like she is loosing her battle and I’m raw.  The never ending battle with accessing medical help being on state insurance for her is draining.   

We are drowning financially and I’m responsible for my daughter and her son    I often feel too tired to get out of bed but I do     I grieve the life we had   A happy daughter....she’s often angry and in pain   Her son is suffering and I can’t fix anything         

My husband should not be working so hard after a transplant    

 

I shoukd be kind amd loving   Instead I’m sad or angry and feel unable to cope with conversations   Especially about medical issues   

So this is another kind of ongoing grief and a new one to me  anxiety!   In my mid  sixties how long can  I keep up   I know this isn’t a day at a time     It’s gotten so sad I cry and cry     

I don’t want to die   I don’t want any of my family to be ill   I’m just terrified and traumatized   

 

 

 

 

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My dear, I am overwhelmed just reading your story, so I can only imagine how YOU must be feeling!

I'm wondering if the hospitals and/or medical teams that cared for your husband and daughter could point you to some resources that could help you in your caregiving role. You are in desperate need of some form of tangible and practical support, and you might ask them what sort of palliative care and / or social services they could offer you.

On these pages I've gathered a number of caregiving resources, and I'm hoping that one or more may be available to you ~ or, at the very least, give you some idea of where you might turn for help:

 Caregiving In Serious Illness: Suggested Resources

Coping with A Cancer Diagnosis: Suggested Resources

Helping Children Cope with a Parent’s Serious Illness

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