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Old 06-27-2009, 10:37 AM   #1
kdzgon
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I don't know if I can do this again...

So, while I lurk here at times, I admit I have been delinquent in posting support for others. Some of you may remember we lost our DD to melanoma a little over a year ago. I am fighting a terrible, crushing depression, worsened by DH's never-ending depression he either cannot or will not fight.

Well, last night my DDIL called - she recently had a spot removed from her face and the pathology came back - it's melanoma! This will be the sixth cancer battle for someone close to us within six years - and only one of the prior five battles did not result in death. The oldest person we lost was 47 - the others stricken with cancer ranged from 34 down to 23.

It is not just the cancers behind the depression - there have been several other significant issues (job loss after 38 years, relocation, financial issues worsened by DH's depression and an inability for me to find a job, DD in Iraq, DGS (4) kidnapped by his father a man on probation that was not even allowed to live with his son, DD's new deployment while I care for her son recently diagnosed with autism - and fights non-stop with his half brother (6), also with us - to name a few).

Each evening I say "tomorrow will be different - I'll get help/start a new program/etc". I often do start things, but I cannot finish. I avoid the phone and mail and am just burying my own head now. I don't even check my email or message boards I used to frequent all that often right now. I don't know what to do any longer.

I was volunteering at the older DGS's school (we are his full-time caregivers) but that has ended and truthfully while it did allow me to interact with (and help) others it became a way for me to escape addressing my own life.

I'm hoping "verbalizing" this here will help crystallize the issue and maybe making it a little more public will help me move forward. I may be embarrassed tomorrow that I wrote any of this, but right now I'm thinking that I need to admit the issue more than I need to keep it hidden. I know this place is supportive without being "preachy" (incl non-religious preaching) so I figure this might be the best place to start. I know many here have much worse battles than mine but all that knowledge does is make me feel stupid for not being grateful for what I do have in life.

Thanks for letting me ramble here....
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Old 06-27-2009, 12:00 PM   #2
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I am not sure what to say, but take a step back and take a deep breath.

I lurk on this thread quite often, the posters here a good group of true supporters.

I will say an extra prayer for you today.

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Old 06-27-2009, 01:36 PM   #3
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I am so very sorry for your losses. I'll be praying for you and your family. You've got a lot on your plate and it seems as if everyone looks to you to be the strong one. I have no easy solutions, as I'm the strong one in my family, too. If anyone of your family that's died was under Hospice's care, you're eligible for their free grief counseling/coping sessions. I've used them (they cared for my DH over his last few days - they're absolute angels) and, while there is no magic bullet for loss and overload, they are very helpful and comforting and opened my eyes to many different ways of coping with heavy loads.

Make sure, too, to do special things for yourself - it doesn't have to be anything fancy or expensive - I buy myself a small bouquet of flowers at the grocery store every couple of weeks - just something to cheer you up and let yourself know that you're special, too. I also make special dinners occasionally (just for me since I'm alone now) and serve my salad in a martini glass! Your DH might enjoy something like that, too. Mine really used to get a chuckle out of my little unusual twists to a meal. It seemed a little silly to me at first, and I really wondered why I should bother going to the trouble to do things like that for me but now I look forward to treating myself special! It gave me more energy to care for him and my dad and cope with work and the house.

Whatever you do, try to get enough rest and take care of your health. See your doctor about the depression if you haven't already - I finally did and and am very glad - life is still a big pile of stress most of the time but my medication has helped a great deal - I hate having to take pills every day but I am very pleased with the results. I was on anxiety medication for a while, too, but I can do without that now. And if you're better able to cope with the stress, you'll find better solutions faster to lessen the stress and hopefully continue an upward spiral. Good luck! Don't be embarrassed, this board is a wonderful outlet. Keep posting and let us know how you're doing.
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Old 06-28-2009, 12:12 AM   #4
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It sounds like you all have been through so much.
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Old 06-28-2009, 12:30 AM   #5
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You are under a lot of stress. Dealing with all those deaths from cancer! And your family situation sounds difficult. No wonder you are depressed. Just the act of you listing all your difficulties is a first step on getting a handle on things. Perhaps you would benefit from a kindly counsellor. You need to share this burden with people who are kind and caring. You're in my prayers.
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Old 06-29-2009, 09:08 PM   #6
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First I would like you thank your DD for what she is doing for all of us. With out brave people like her we would not have the freedom we have. I will keep you and your family in our prayers. Their is a lot of help out their for you so you don't have to do all of this on your own.
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Old 06-30-2009, 09:17 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kdzgon View Post
So, while I lurk her at times, I admit I have been delinquent in posting support for others. Some of you may remember we lost our DD to melanoma a little over a year ago. I am fighting a terrible, crushing depression, worsened by DH's never-ending depression he either cannot or will not fight.

Well, last night my DDIL called - she recently had a spot removed from her face and the pathology came back - it's melanoma! This will be the sixth cancer battle for someone close to us within six years - and only one of the prior five battles did not result in death. The oldest person we lost was 47 - the others stricken with cancer ranged from 34 down to 23.

It is not just the cancers behind the depression - there have been several other significant issues (job loss after 38 years, relocation, financial issues worsened by DH's depression and an inability for me to find a job, DD in Iraq, DGS (4) kidnapped by his father a man on probation that was not even allowed to live with his son, DD's new deployment while I care for her son recently diagnosed with autism - and fights non-stop with his half brother (6), also with us - to name a few).

Each evening I say "tomorrow will be different - I'll get help/start a new program/etc". I often do start things, but I cannot finish. I avoid the phone and mail and am just burying my own head now. I don't even check my email or message boards I used to frequent all that often right now. I don't know what to do any longer.

I was volunteering at the older DGS's school (we are his full-time caregivers) but that has ended and truthfully while it did allow me to interact with (and help) others it became a way for me to escape addressing my own life.

I'm hoping "verbalizing" this here will help crystallize the issue and maybe making it a little more public will help me move forward. I may be embarrassed tomorrow that I wrote any of this, but right now I'm thinking that I need to admit the issue more than I need to keep it hidden. I know this place is supportive without being "preachy" (incl non-religious preaching) so I figure this might be the best place to start. I know many here have much worse battles than mine but all that knowledge does is make me feel stupid for not being grateful for what I do have in life.

Thanks for letting me ramble here....
I just want you to know you are in my thoughts.
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Old 07-01-2009, 09:40 AM   #8
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Thanks for the kind words. The bootstraps have been pulled so to speak and we go on. DDIL has had a round of consults this week, and they have identified several more possible spots. She is meeting with a surgeon today. One problem they are running in to is not-so-great health coverage. Not only are the deductibles and co-pays quite high, but they have NO out-of-network coverage. The surgeons that are in network work out of facilities that are not in network, yet the area facilities in network so far don't have the required specialists on board that are in network. She has been told she cannot wait to deal with this, so looks like they will have to worry about payment later.

One piece of (huge) good news though is what was thought to be swollen lymph glands now are thought to be swollen salivary glands. In the words of my 6 yr old DGS, "happy, happy, joy, joy" for this news!
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Old 07-01-2009, 12:54 PM   #9
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Old 07-01-2009, 08:21 PM   #10
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I read what you wrote and truly other than saying I am thinking of you and only wishing good thoughts, I am not sure what else to say.. I am usually very good with words, but lately have been having difficulty finding the right ones. Can I just say that Cancer is so unfair and takes our young, middle aged, and our elderly without a care for how devastating it all is.

I am thinking, I have a caregivers' group that I belong to online, and they are wonderful. We are all in the same boat battling Pancreatic with a loved one and the hope and hugs I receive there are amazing. You could research an online group to talk with. Also, I was thinking if you belong to an organized religion maybe reaching out there for some extra help. I am thinking too much on your plate and I am concerned for you..

Please take care of you too..
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Old 07-02-2009, 11:12 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OogieDaddy View Post
First I would like you thank your DD for what she is doing for all of us. With out brave people like her we would not have the freedom we have. I will keep you and your family in our prayers. Their is a lot of help out their for you so you don't have to do all of this on your own.
Nicely said...I agree, and kdzgon, you are in my thoughts and prayers.
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Old 07-02-2009, 10:07 PM   #12
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Just dealing with your DD's death is a lot .....I truly understand the depression on both of you. I had my daughter diagnosed with bone cancer two years ago when she was 14 , she is in remission today but my husband and I are dealing with all the aftermaths cancer left.
I can't imagine having to deal with all the other things you have to deal with and taking care of your grandchildren as well.
All I can say is try to find a good therapist that may be able to help . Keeping you in oour prayers.
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Old 07-03-2009, 07:05 PM   #13
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Just wanted to send you a and let you know your in my thoughts and prayers.
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Old 07-04-2009, 03:17 PM   #14
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You sure have a lot on your plate right now. I'm glad you posted and hope it makes you feel better. There is help available if you decide you want it. It's helpful even just to talk to someone who's a good listener.
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Old 07-15-2009, 03:36 PM   #15
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Thank you for the kindnesses - hugs and/or words, they are all welcome.

DDIL went for a second opinion. There are now six (6) spots they are "seriously" concerned about and will be removing. They are on her face, chest and back. They are hoping to schedule surgery either this Friday or next as they do not want her to wait too long. The surgery is estimated to be approx 3 hrs in all and as it is in several locations she will need a bit of help for a couple of days so her DH will be with her for the weekend.

Unfortunately we (like SO many) have taken a number of financial hits so I cannot afford to travel up there to help out even if I didn't have the boys with me. It's so bad that on top of everything else we are dealing with a couple of lawsuits including a foreclosure on the property I could not sell when we moved. (It's rented, but the tenants have not been paying the rent.) I know I should be going for therapy but truthfully, that is just one more issue I need to address and it's tough to do when many days it's already hard just to lift the head from the pillow in the AM. DH already has so many doctor appointments each week, there's the long distance legal and financial issues, I'm trying to find a job and/or return to school (to help find a job!), and there's dealing with the kids, etc. that there just doesn't seem to be enough to go around to have to juggle one more thing just yet. Of course, when I'm not feeling quite so overwhelmed it doesn't seem like quite the priority (over a short respite with nothing urgent to do)....

Bless all of you that have stood by and been the caretakers for your loved ones - it takes more strength than anyone who has not walked in those shoes can ever comprehend. I think worse than the strength it requires though is the guilt - if it's this hard for me, how difficult is it for the person/persons actually fighting the disease?? I feel guilty and even foolish for feeling so overwhelmed - after all, it is not ME that is on the front line!

Ahhh, the cathartic benefits of "anonymous" posting...it's helping already!

Thank you one and all for listening to my ramblings...
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