Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Daughter versus Caregiver

It's been over a week since mom's been at the rehabilitation/transitional facility and so far things are going well. The staff have been exceptional and have really taken a lot off of my plate so that I can focus on being a daughter and less of a primary caregiver as we progress onward. I came to realize as much I as wanted to be the primary caregiver as this cancer progresses, the more I realized that I couldn't do it alone. It's one thing if we had a big family here in Minnesota but we don't, and we had no other family from out of state that could come stay here at this point in time to help out. It was a hard decision but essentially I did what was best for mom's ongoing care and comfort.

I've also come to realize that family is more than blood relationships. Even though I have an amazing family I also have been really appreciating my entire support network. Family has been the friends and loved ones who you can text/email/call at any time (even at 3 am when you can't sleep) or taking you out to have lunch/dinner to take your mind off of things or diverting my mind onto baby-related stuff....the co-workers who check in with you to see if you're doing ok or buying lunch so you don't forget to eat or sharing their similar experiences...the fellow cancer warriors and caregivers who are facing what you are facing but have never met and you can just vent to them about the frustrating stupid crap you have to deal with...and lastly, family is finding a doctor that truly cares for you and your family and teaming up together to work towards the best solution possible.

On Monday mom had to undergo yet another thora and they ended up draining 1,000 ccs of liquid from her left side of her chest. It was quite a lot and most they've drained on one single shot.  The procedure itself went well but while in recovery, she started screaming in pain that was all over her body (even with morphine in her system). I quickly had to page the nurse; it was scary beyond belief. The pain managed to subside after a few minutes. We had no idea what that was about but thankfully it didn't occur again.

My main concern right now is because mom's condition is deteriorating, she is not able to do the required four therapy sessions a day (2 occupational & 2 physical). She's very very weak. If she can't make these sessions, she will be discharged from this facility for not meeting the requirements and we're back at square one again with no place to go to care for mom. Lately, this has been my biggest fear. I've been working closely with the therapy staff to give mom some pep talks and inspire her to do them even when she's feeling like crap. We'll see how it all goes I guess...

Blizzard cheering mom up at his first visit to rehab.


  1. Like you, my siblings and I were the primary caregivers of our dad who has a Type II Diabetes. However, we still hired a caregiver for him because we have to go to work every day. We needed someone reliable to take good care of our dad when we're not at home. Our caregiver has been taking care of him for four years now and he is like family already. Thank you for sharing this, Lors. I've read about your mom's passing, and I extend my deepest condolence to you and your family. I know that she's in a better place now, smiling upon you and guiding you every day. Continue your endeavor in raising awareness on gastric cancer. You are a blessing!

  2. family caregiversCaregiver Space. The work we do at The Caregiver Space stems from our commitment to ensuring caregivers feel seen, heard and most of all supported.