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-★★Caregivers Who Care- 1st edition

 When we are born a whole community of caretakers  come out of the woodworks. Parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, strangers, all come to comfort us even if it only a smile. They pick us up, kiss us, hug us, rock us, feed us, clean up our messes and shower us with love. And then...we grow up!

As children we learn to start taking care of ourselves. As we mature most of us take on more responsibility for our own care and independence. 

Sooner or later a time comes when we are in a situation or position to take care of others. The process sometimes starts early, and slowly, and easy, such as helping a sibling put their shoes on the correct foot. Sometimes taking care of others happens quickly, and difficult as when there are severe illnesses or accidents.  As we age, there are all different levels of caregiving...all kinds…Becoming a caregiver in some capacity is almost a certainty. 

 

My intention is to open a positive discussion of being a caregiver. Some questions to consider are: 

 

1. As a caretaker/giver what things do you do to take care of yourself mentally, physically, and spiritually?

 

2. What are some of the challenges of being a caregiver have you experienced?

 

3. How do you deal with the frustration or anger from the person who needs your care? 

 

4. Ask your own question that you would like for others to discuss on caregiving.

 

For the last couple of years I have had the opportunity of supporting, encouraging, laughing, crying, and thinking about how I can best help my wife in her battle with breast cancer. It has been a difficult journey for us both. The commonality of physical and mental trauma has impacted us in very different ways.  Mine is a long story and I will openly share but first I would like to hear your story. 

Please share as much or as little as you like. Who will be the bravest and go first? 

 

 

Words are like seeds. When you write them out, they grow into your dreams and spark the imagination of others.

In response to Poppy's post:

Thank you for creating this thread series!

there are all different levels of caregiving...all kinds…Becoming a caregiver in some capacity is almost a certainty. 

So right!

This topic certainly brings up many times I've been given the honor of caring for another... parents, younger little ones I have enjoyed in my life, a close (much) older adult friend who I was given the honor and responsibility of health care advocate legally... and  verbal support with friends and multiple interactions daily at work.

One area I don’t like to look at myself as a caretaker  is at home. {not because I don't like giving!!! I just don't see my spouse as someone who needs a caretaker...because giving is what you do when you love the one you are with}

As a spouse- I'm sure we both have taken turns in this area over the years(:

Though truth be told (these days) as able bodied as my hubby attempts to be-and often is... I know he has a high level of  of physical pain...and things to take care of ...and  does manage 'on his own' ...

This was a person who was known for his unusual physical strength. 

I would be remiss if I didn't mention (more often than he'd ever admit), he often has  a hard time these days. Its a daily decision to see if its something I should do or allow him to do at his pace.

Matter of fact, those who observe him... who don't know he hurts... might not even suspect. 

And while I have had some relatively new pain of my own...that crops up... it is not as incapacitating as his. And the timing of mine -(is usually) thank goodness is more after I get home from work(:

I bring up myself... because self care for myself is no joke. I create much mindful time to  my own self care 'just for me' , it is vital I take care of myself on all levels to be a 'well rounded' giver to my hubby of many years... (and to others I interact with)

dd0691358a2977cbb6ee3ccd30faadf5.jpg

What are some of the challenges of being a caregiver have you experienced?

And truth be told in regard to myself - I could use a hand myself with some things in the self care department.Image result for good vibes self care energy ocean pic

Nutritionally

One of those areas is my blood sugar.  My meal planning is vital. If I wait too long to eat or don't eat proper foods for my 'goals' ... I'm not helpful enough to anyone... at work, at home... anywhere.Also exercise is a must for me too. Though both exercising and creating meals becomes a catch 22... when either gets insufficient focus.Fortunately my hubby knows these 2 areas of selfcare are important to us both. Our favorite grocery store has a date night appeal(:

He has been very helpful with creating meals when I've been on my feet all day at work. And while I am grateful that he helps nicely with this, and it is somehow good for him to give to me no matter how he feels... it would be very good if I got a better handle on planning and preparing meals ... more frequently than I have lately. This is not because I believe he won't be able to... It's simply because it is vital for me to be on top of all I need. It will assure me that I can be who I know I am capable of being for us both.

Adequate Rest

and ...staying rested  cannot be emphasized enough...

Patience, Kindness

Sometimes it is difficult to ascertain how my hubby is really doing without repetitive questions... and I do pride our relationship with very good communication. And both of us speak very positively... and attempt to bring the best out of each situation. Though...when there are deadlines for various life-things... we can't just  try to do it, there are consequences if things are not done as needed ... and with some matters ... very thoroughly. So my focus is being  consistent and inclusive at what we call our business meetings... 

Communication

These meetings are essential to get business things understood, and addressed... so we can keep  bringing more joy and living back to daily -flow(:

Another area of things needed that can cause frustration are choices.

Of course both of us would like to do most convenient things... Though the focus is on what do we Really NEED. This takes mindful thought ... And we attempt to keep progressing-with gentleness

I have allowed a level of normalcy... and it brings out 'the best we can do'-mode

Love

Love Love Love 

Gratitude & Letting Go

And gratefully -the best 'somehow' occurs.

Positive Attitude

I am so glad we have a positive mind set and love. 

Faith

Thank you God,

Changing What We Can

'changing what we can'... and we utilize a variety of tools to energize our lives daily ... DYzTP7qVoAATKXy.jpg

 

I am thankful for the joy that I feel within me, and the peace and the faith I have as my companions



 

 

All that matters is how I choose to spend this moment.

I am living the Divine plan which includes wonderful health, wealth, happiness, and perfect self-expression for me now

In response to Poppy's post:

I thank you again for allowing the focus of your thread to include community. I know others will identify.

Your experience of caring with the trauma you and your wife have been living thru/growing thru  is quite the journey and your lessons of life and love are indeed something all will benefit from.

much love and blessings

to you and your lovely wifediary_em_hart.gif

selfcare

 

 

All that matters is how I choose to spend this moment.

I am living the Divine plan which includes wonderful health, wealth, happiness, and perfect self-expression for me now

In response to Sacred Care's post:You win the prize of being the first to open up your heart and being brave. Caregiving is hard and complicated. The physical demands are great but often pale in comparison to the mental and emotional demands of being a caregiver. 

I appreciate all your responses and would like to address frustration and anger in greater detail. “...changing what we can...” 

It’s the middle of a work day and you are coming out of your office. You walk over to your car in the parking lot, put your briefcase in the back seat and before you can open your front seat you hear a loud boom. You look up and see a fire hydrant in the air and a car coming at full speed toward you. In a split second you jump on the hood of the car breaking the windshield and both wrists and having your leg broken in several places coming face down on your head. After three weeks in the hospital and several operations you are pieced together with rods in your leg and casts on your arms. You can’t stand or use your arms. You are in constant pain and that is with big time drugs. 

You finally go home and things get harder. After six weeks at home you have agonized through physical therapy, healed your arms some and can stand for a few minutes. This happened to my son in law. He is frustrated and angry! There will be many more weeks if not months before he can return to work. My wife and I do all we can. We would go over and fix his lunch for the first few weeks before he learned to manage to get get into his wheelchair. Now he is able to get into a car and we take him out to lunch once a week. Any suggestions on how we can do more in helping him dissipate his frustration and anger would be greatly appreciated. 

Words are like seeds. When you write them out, they grow into your dreams and spark the imagination of others.

In response to Poppy's post:

Wow! That is a lot to deal with!

 “...changing what we can...” 

What are any of his own tools he uses (normally) for daily strength?

back later

All that matters is how I choose to spend this moment.

I am living the Divine plan which includes wonderful health, wealth, happiness, and perfect self-expression for me now

In response to Sacred Care's post: He is still grieving his loss of control and he has in home physical therapy several times a week. His muscles have atrophied and he hurts. He is very depressed and has little if any coping skills. 

Words are like seeds. When you write them out, they grow into your dreams and spark the imagination of others.

In response to Poppy's post:

Excellent thread.  Thank you for putting this thread together.

Many people will experience being in the role of a care giver. The role can vary immensely. Care giving covers a lot of area: physically, financially, and the contribution of time. 

Most caregivers do not stop to take a break or to ask them self fundamental questions about taking time to care for them self. When they finally do take a break, their break is consumed and burdened by worrying if their replacement provider is taking adequate care.

I have been in the care giver role, as a single parent. I loved every single minute of my daughter's childhood, and everything beyond. It really was such a joy, and I was elated, could not have asked or wanted more. Very content and blissful. It was care taking, but I did not experience it as a burden. 

Two other times I have found myself in a care taker role, and neither of those occasions was I in this role with clarity, or with limits. 

Every situation is unique. There is a huge learning curve.

a9cbde769d0e43e6355f15c73ac7e766.jpg

In response to Kathi's post:

you said:

Most caregivers do not stop to take a break or to ask them self fundamental questions about taking time to care for them self... 

&

Every situation is unique. There is a huge learning curve.

 
  • ~So true Kathi!

because I was not looking  at myself as a caregiver... like when I assisted my visually impaired mother, or when my Dad was ill... or the elderly gentleman I assisted.....I was not hearing myself and how I have needed to acknowledge myself with the daily role(s) of life-today..

. Saying it and acknowledging it are  2 different things, isn't it? (: Every situation is unique. There is a huge learning curve.

 

I had a truly incredible day after being clear for myself (everywhere)

I wasn't writing clearly... though my spirit was fully engaged!

The result was my  beautiful day today. 

 re:Poppy's post:I just arrived home from my work day,  and a dinner out(:. I need to put away our goodies and rest up a bit. I will just say one thing  right now- I needed to share and be shared with. I realized so much and experienced such positive results inner-delight and outer lovely experience(:thank you thank you thank you

  • ~

In response to Poppy's post

Looking forward to hearing how it things are going with your brother in law.

All that matters is how I choose to spend this moment.

I am living the Divine plan which includes wonderful health, wealth, happiness, and perfect self-expression for me now

My Brother in law who is actually my son in law or some darn kid I’ve know for 35 years was the one hit by the car. He is healing nicely but it will be a long process. Probably the better part of a year. He can stand for about two minutes and then rest. He has learned to get around his house very well in his wheelchair. 

Words are like seeds. When you write them out, they grow into your dreams and spark the imagination of others.

In response to Kathi's post: Like most caregivers I am in it for the long haul. I do stop and take breaks almost every day. I know I have to take care of myself to be of benefit to my wife. I don’t have a specific time for myself but I take long breaks from 30-90 minutes and sit in my back yard and take pictures of birds at my feeders. During these sessions, I allow my focus to be concentrated on the feeders and the surrounding trees. Scanning for birds at different points in the yard and feeders, I can forget my concerns and worries. I water my gardens and plants and give my birds fresh water. I also work part time and when I am at work I don’t have time to think about my home situation. 

Words are like seeds. When you write them out, they grow into your dreams and spark the imagination of others.

In response to Poppy's post

Good to hear you are taking good breaks.

It was a refreshing to hear how you take your breaks(:

In response to Poppy's post:

I hear the long haul for your brother in law, though glad he is managing a bit better 

 

All that matters is how I choose to spend this moment.

I am living the Divine plan which includes wonderful health, wealth, happiness, and perfect self-expression for me now

Since ... yesterday... while engaged in my usual daily-things  ... something shifted for me. I was able to feel my roles in life... I never saw them as a burden...I was just not giving them enough thought at all...My heart points my way(:

Though,  I had become more busy than I was willing to admit without ... something.

I would like to share just 1 of many events yesterday...that helps me express 'that something'

My hubby and I went to the dinner and for groceries after work. Both very pleasurable experiences... even though I had worked a full day. 

As we were shopping...{my hubby and I} we separated a bit...and then I found my way to where he was ... and received the gift of watching him love life and interacting with others. 

I overheard him speaking to a young grocery clerk about positivity and at any moment of the day... you can start over. The young man was listening like this concept was fresh and new hanging on with interest and joy. My hubby ended the chat with a laugh... and said something to the effect ...that was some wisdom from growing older. The young man smiled respectfully, and said THANK YOU, sir. And I could tell he meant it. 

I turned  around for just a moment.. and he was engaged in yet a another conversation with a woman that didn't quite get how certain vegetables became organic. He had a box of whatever they were specifically referring to in his hand and spoke of the soil etc... I could tell it was a good chat for both of them. 

These are topics close to my husband's heart... though more than that ... he was engaged in giving, loving and sharing. I got to witness his love for life and passing it on... 

I get opportunities to know my husband's interests ... And for decades have known his gentle sweet soul. Though how different it was to observe this way ... for some reason...now.

It added to my own understanding of the beauty of enjoying life by watching him enjoy his. 

I know he struggles with pain, though I received the gift of him living as he loves to live

This was such a beautiful feeling

All that matters is how I choose to spend this moment.

I am living the Divine plan which includes wonderful health, wealth, happiness, and perfect self-expression for me now

4. Ask your own question that you would like for others to discuss on caregiving.

What beautiful things/lessons have you experienced these days {as someone who gives any type of  care to a  loved one}  which has  brought joy to your heart... as though it was a whole new level of joy?

All that matters is how I choose to spend this moment.

I am living the Divine plan which includes wonderful health, wealth, happiness, and perfect self-expression for me now

In response to Poppy's thread:

Great question: "How do you deal with the persons' anger and frustration that you are caring for?"

I always acknowledge the person and their frustration.

I acknowledge them and their burden.

I get as much information about their social support as possible, and ask if they would like me to contact any family members.

I give them space and try to emulate compassion and courage.

If the person is interested, I share love, wisdom and affirmations that convey trust, confidence and courage...

I speak about things that I use to comfort me. For me, my faith is very comforting. If this approach does not work for them, I listen to them for direction and I reflect their way of feeling or finding comfort.

I also talk about mortality. I ask them about their feelings. I spend time and allow them to open up when they are ready. I follow their lead. 

In response to Poppy's post:

On your son in law: 

Wow, that is a life changing event. You asked a great and a challenging question.

He is a trauma patient, and he is very lucky that he is not left with permanent paralysis or left being wheel chair bound.

 This situation requires the best of the best. I would recommend something that is a long term interest, something like classic literature. Maybe not classic literature, maybe a few comedies. 

Get a routine. One nightly comedy (or any equivalent: maybe get him hooked on a sitcom or a soap opera.) Then, build on that. 

After the nightly routine, you can find meaningful daytime routines, after he is done with his daily PT, morning hygiene and pain medication regiment.

You can start morning meditation.

There is a company that produces these natural scapes, and you can buy the DVD's for home use, and he can drift off to sleep with those on. Google on C.A.R.E. at home. They have some of the world's best photography coupled together with beautiful piano, flute, harp and more. Its so healing, its just excellent. Both the photography and the music, just incredible. Such a gift. Look up Healing Healthcare systems. CARE stands for continuous ambient relaxation environment. Hospitals pay for this service, and its a 24 hour channel. Its high quality.

As he progresses with healing, its very helpful to have healing routines balanced with making plans for the future.

Ask him how he wants to celebrate when this is over. Ask him to start using creative visualization, especially in response to chronic pain. 

He is definitely going to need a good lawyer who can oversee his legal needs.

In response to Kathi's post:  Routine! Of course. I don’t know why I didn’t think of that. I will look into the sites you mentioned. They sound like things my wife would like. Planning for the future is also something that would be very valuable for any caregiver. I’m going to get on that right away. You have been most helpful for me and this series. Thank You! 

Words are like seeds. When you write them out, they grow into your dreams and spark the imagination of others.

In response to Poppy's post:

Another idea: Get him hooked on a series by one author.

I have a GEM of a recommendation: The Jack Reacher books, by author Lee Child. I have read every single one of his books, some of them 2 or 3 times, while I cut my teeth waiting for the next book!

I LOVE JACK REACHER!! And, you can pick them up for a buck or two in resale shops.

There are many good series out there, the trick is which one holds his curiosity.

One more thing Poppy,

Back to your question about confronting anger in the person you are caring for:

There is a theory called the 5 stages of grief cycle, written by Kubler-Ross.

It is well worth reviewing. I use it a lot, with cancer patients and with patients with end stage heart failure. 

It can be used with all forms of grief and loss. Divorce, any and all types of bereavement.

The 5 stages are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.

When the anger comes up again, this is your way of being able to understanding where your loved is in this process. 

Many people feel better after you ask them direct questions. Usually, it is the care provider who is more uncomfortable with direct questions, such as "Do you want to talk about your property ( your jewelry, or your china) and where you want it to go?" Let them know that the more information that they communicate, the better you can honor their wishes.

Asking direct questions can also be relieving because it shows that you are actively listening and seeking their direction. It is ok to ask them what's happening. If they are not ready, let them know that thats ok too. Talk about courage, fear, pain. Let them know that whatever it is, you can face it together and they are not alone. And, its ok to talk about our mortality. Yes, it takes courage, but it can also be a huge relief.

In response to Sacred Care's post: What joyous lessons have I experienced these days. That is an easy one. I’ve learned each day, each minute I am with her is a 💝 felt gift. 

Words are like seeds. When you write them out, they grow into your dreams and spark the imagination of others.

In response to Kathi's post: Yea for you Kathi! I had forgotten the 5 stages of grief. I studied them a million years ago. Now I remember one does not necessarily go through them in a lock step manner, but one can experience any one of them at any time or in any combination. If I remember correctly. Of course the ultimate goal is to get to acceptance. I would add a sixth stage that being enjoying life and finding joy again. 

Words are like seeds. When you write them out, they grow into your dreams and spark the imagination of others.

I originally wrote this in May of 2016 during a Happiness Meeting on CreatingSpace for Bliss.  At that time we thought we were completely cancer free. During the intervening three years much has changed. I intend to edit my thoughts in what I call a poem.  It has been very helpful for me to read my own thoughts on bliss along with the response discussion from other participants in the original Happiness Meeting.

When I think of bliss, I think of pure joy, happiness without limits. I believe this is always available to us. It is us who are not ready for it. There are often events in our lives that we interpret and assume are terrible or even life threatening. And the reality is, some things in life are terrible. They are no less than tragic. Our own mortality comes to mind or that of a parent, a child, or partner. But is it really tragic? Or is it our interpretation? Is it fear of the unknown? I suggest we are not always ready to accept bliss because we allow fear to overtake our happiness.

Cancer

A single cell

To small to see

A tiny inner bump

Then a lump

 

No need to fear

A fatty cell

Pictures are all clear

But we will look all the same

Ultrasound to be sure

 

Inconclusive 

That we know

Needle biopsy 

Is the way to go

Results three days away

 

Cancer is the report

Be a good sport

Chemo is to be had

It really not all that bad

Radiation too 

before we’re through

 

Red Devil in you veins

Hair on the floor

What else can happen? 

Is there more?

 

Oh yes indeed

We’ll burn the 

Cancer out of thee

 

And then some pills 

You must take

Side effects? 

—-A piece of cake!

 

Your joints might

Fall apart

But don’t lose heart

It’s only pain 

That will start.

 

Live your life 

Without a worry

But you’d better hurry

 

A single cell

To small to see

A tiny inner bump

Then another lump!

 

We’ll cut it off

Don’t you see

Having that breast

Just wasn’t to be!

 

And now you know 

It’ll have to go

Let it chop to the floor

You don’t want it any more!

 

Tidal waves hit your mind

Knocks you down from behind

Fear and anger drowns your head

Soon you think, you’ll be dead!

 

Your friends and family

Grieve with you

There is nothing

They can say or do

 

All hopes and dreams

Are shattered

 

And just like that

The cancer’s gone

 

Your cake eating

From a platter. 

 

 

I believe we are not only saddened, depressed, paralyzed by the fear of the unknown but also it is the polar opposite of our natural state of happiness provided our basic needs are being met. We cannot view events as catastrophic and allow bliss to be present at the same time. I believe it is our thinking or interpretation of things that cause us to be at one extreme or the other…sadness or happiness. It is interesting to me how quickly or slowly we can change from one extreme to the other. I try to keep a balanced approach to life trying to stay toward the positive end of the spectrum.

Poem edit in progress....it may take some time..

Words are like seeds. When you write them out, they grow into your dreams and spark the imagination of others.

In response to Poppy's post and his quote:

I believe we are not only saddened, depressed, paralyzed by the fear of the unknown but also it is the polar opposite of our natural state of happiness provided our basic needs are being met. We cannot view events as catastrophic and allow bliss to be present at the same time. I believe it is our thinking or interpretation of things that cause us to be at one extreme or the other…sadness or happiness. It is interesting to me how quickly or slowly we can change from one extreme to the other. I try to keep a balanced approach to life trying to stay toward the positive end of the spectrum.

I can only imagine the full spectrum of things you and your beloved wife go thru together and on your own.  And your balanced approach is not only logical, though is to be commended.

On a 'good day' people are still 'discovering balance. When life gives you something your heart feels is unfathomable ... we ease into fathoming... so we can 'foresee' what will do the most good.

I hear your intentions. I hear your commitment. I feel your love. 

What we think we know, and how we will be 'later' is something we get a only a glimpse of

By you being the loving, kind and resourceful human being you are... you are creating the best present available, and helpful pieces ... as you embark on each fresh new moment.

With respect, love and admiration-always!

All that matters is how I choose to spend this moment.

I am living the Divine plan which includes wonderful health, wealth, happiness, and perfect self-expression for me now

In response to Poppy's post:

Wow, your poem definitely took me by my heart. I could imagine that I could "hear and feel" my heart beating, and yours as well.

Nobody is ever ready to hear that they have cancer, and what their treatment regiment includes. 

I can relate to how you looked back at your writing from 2016. In hindsight, you look back at who, what, where you both were, and its astounding...

A multitude of thoughts and memories flood my mind. 

My memories are timeless. Its been over 20 years, but, those memories have never aged. Not one day, have they aged. 

For the record, my mother died of lung cancer with metastatic brain, liver and bone cancer. Everything was "fine", and then she had a sudden incapacitating, intractable headache, where she was too sick to go the the emergency department. It was Thanksgiving of 1995. I had called her physician, and he prescribed a few pain pills. She made a beautiful meal, and all 6 of her adult children and their spouses joined in, but she was not able to join due to the severe headache. She later had a seizure and was found down. EMS was called and transported her to a hospital that quickly found that she had multiple brain tumors, "TNTC", too numerous to count. She was in so much pain, that when she heard the diagnosis, it was just unbelievable to her. It was surreal. Not real. Not her. 

There are parts of my consciousness that I realize that I have not processed. Its just a massive impossibility, and I am not strong enough -- or "in a place" where I can fight myself to confront the battle for her life. Nobody likes to fight in any fight that they cannot win. 

As I look back, I remember going with her and my Dad to several of her doctor appointments, and she gave chemo and radiation a try, but she did it for my Father. She had very advanced metastatic cancer. The doctor was very honest with her regarding the gravity of her condition. She died 3 months and 10 days after being diagnosed. 

I believe that one day, there must be a cure. As terrible as cancer is, I just have to believe that one day, they will find a cure. A total cure, to turn off the cancer. Save millions of lives. 

Poppy's

Must agree as Kathi shared-your poem and thoughts definitely touched my heart and my psyche

as always much love today and everyday!

been by a few times today(:

Poppy's

Kathi's

The consciousness raising of living life led by love, good living, kindness and gratitude can more easily be understood as 'just common sense' when we take in ... more fully the fragility of life.

In response to Kathi's post:Thanks for sharing all you have.Actually Thank you both Poppy and Kathi for all you share so openly and for further inspiring.

Kathi's

Poppy's

You  both articulate your feelings and thoughts so beautifully ...  

Before this thread, I was being respectful not calling a very close friend of mine, who said she'd rather not speak right now... since there is so much going on while her Dad is in hospice, and her Mom passed just a short time before.

Though, I'm believing I wasn't just respecting her... I believe I didn't call because I really didn't know what to say.

Sometimes, it doesn't matter if we've experienced losses... words still can be difficult to share with others going through a 'similar' thing.  I value empathizing ...I feared robbing her of  the uniqueness  only she could share. I had to truly get in the right frame of mind... to allow for differences ... before I could allow for similarities.

This thread has had me reeling ... with not only 'the topic' ... as a topic...  though also brought it home on many levels. With much love, I was able to easily just pick up the phone and call my friend. What a beautiful lengthy call we had for both of us. It was perfect! So grateful for this topic. So grateful for the honesty, caring,sharing and love.

In response to Kathi's post:

The loss of  our parents truly devastating ...Hearing your recollection...  created a space for hearing/and taking time for  the importance of these significant  details... Thank you for the completeness you were willing to share. And you're right,Kathi, no matter how long ago it was... the events will feel like yesterday... I think I remember more what occurred with each of my folks than the events of this past week...(True!)

big hugs to you both!!!

In response to Poppy's post:

You have hit on the biggest untouched topics of  the most authentic of conversations...

from feelings around caretaking/caregiving ... living and mortality.

You have made a powerful difference in the everyday life of myself and I'm sure others.

sending hugs and much love!

All that matters is how I choose to spend this moment.

I am living the Divine plan which includes wonderful health, wealth, happiness, and perfect self-expression for me now

I’ve been working on extending my poem and I believe I’ve caught us up to date. It has been a roller coaster ride for sure but despite the uncertainty of cancer we still maintain hope a newly FDA approved medicine will be hold the new stomach cancer at bay. We are in consultation with oncologists from MD Anderson  and our local oncologist to get an oral chemo that is genetically effective for her rare form of metastasized breast cancer. We will never give up hope. 

Spoiler alert: Don’t fret. This poem has no ending. At least not yet. 

 

Cancer

A single cell

To small to see

A tiny inner bump

Then a lump

 

No need to fear

A fatty cell

Pictures are all clear

But we will look all the same

Ultrasound to be sure

 

Inconclusive 

That we know

Needle biopsy 

Is the way to go

Results three days away

 

Cancer is the report

Be a good sport

Chemo is to be had

It really not all that bad

Radiation too 

before we’re through

 

Red Devil in you veins

Hair on the floor

What else can happen? 

Is there more?

 

Oh yes indeed

We’ll burn the 

Cancer out of thee

 

And then some pills 

You must take

Side effects? 

—-A piece of cake!

 

Your joints might

Fall apart

But don’t lose heart

It’s only pain 

That will start.

 

Live your life 

Without a worry

But you’d better hurry

 

A single cell

To small to see

A tiny inner bump

Then another lump!

 

We’ll cut it off

Don’t you see

Having that breast

Just wasn’t to be!

 

And now you know 

It’ll have to go

Let it chop to the floor

You don’t want it any more!

 

Tidal waves hit your mind

Knocks you down from behind

Fear and anger drowns your head

Soon you think, you’ll be dead!

 

Your friends and family

Grieve with you

There is nothing

They can say or do

 

All hopes and dreams

Are shattered

 

And just like that

The cancer’s gone

 

Your cake eating

From a platter. 

 

And then comes

Tomorrow

You’re not through

 

Wound vac to close

The hole then Prosthetics 

So no one knows

 

So on your way

Your looking good today

 

Numbers rise

Don’t know why

Bone scan says

You’ve metastasized

 

It’s in my bones

In several places

The big C is off

To the races

 

We’re doing good 

Not too bad

A big worry and

Very sad! 

 

Time goes by 

As it does

Another cancer

Gets a hold

 

This time a kidney

Little spot

No worries

We’ll use a robot 

 

Get inside

All’s not well

Dr. Comes to me to tell

Kidney got to go! 

 

Oh the stabbing pain! 

Is her refrain

Six months of agony

Is more than she can take

 

There must have been 

Some mistake

A PET Scan will see

just what is causing 

Your agony

 

There’s nothing there

We must look inside

To see what we can’t see. 

A tiny bit of fluid

And a nodule little

As can be

 

Biopsy both

To be sure 

Dr. Says he’s 

Ninety percent sure

There’s nothing more

 

Results come in 

Oh great

It’s cancerous 

 

Little flakes 

All over the place

Low in her stomach

Causing the aches

 

A new chemo

Must be found

To keep the flakes

From gaining ground

 

And so we wait 

To see what’s around

It better be quick

Or we will be under ground. 

 

 

Words are like seeds. When you write them out, they grow into your dreams and spark the imagination of others.

In response to Kathi's post:When we lose a parent it fills us with a void that never goes away. No matter how supportive our remaining family and friends are, we become orphans. I hope this topic has given you some sense of closure and reassurance you are never alone. So many people have gone through the throws of cancer. It is my hope that by telling our stories others will find the courage to tell their stories as well. Caregiving is a pure form of love! 

Words are like seeds. When you write them out, they grow into your dreams and spark the imagination of others.

In response to Poppy's post:

no words

just love

and more love your way

 

Thank you for sharing

your life, your love, your heart.

 

And to your lovely wife, may she experience a better day today.

and I send this daily to her.

 

 

 

 

 

All that matters is how I choose to spend this moment.

I am living the Divine plan which includes wonderful health, wealth, happiness, and perfect self-expression for me now

In response to Poppy's post:

Thanks for your healing and kind words.

Even in their death, I feel close to both of my parents. 

I'm forever grateful to both of them. They both truly gave me all of their best, literally. 

Just want to say that this thread on care giving has touched on some issues that were a source of pain and resentment.

I am now able to release the lesson and most of its impact.

I am such a different person now than I was then.   

I learned some invaluable life lessons from care giving. It's taken many years for the culmination of the fruits of this wisdom. This experience caused me to grow in many ways.

 

 

From our discussion so far, it seems apparent we all have caregiving stories. Each is unique but each share complex challenges. The biggest challenge for me has been to stay hopeful and optimistic that her cancer will be contained. Each new scan, each new medicine, each new side effect, each new operation chips away at my confidence that we will grow old together. The reality is the cancer is spreading and attacking her body. The biggest challenge for us is to find joy in every day and live life to its fullest. I believe that is the biggest challenge for us all as we give care to ourselves and others. 

Words are like seeds. When you write them out, they grow into your dreams and spark the imagination of others.

In response to Poppy's post:

Your love, your courage, your hope and optimism are so strong.

I wish you everything possible, for you, your wife and all of your family.

I wish you joy and comfort today, and everyday.

Sending you both Love, today and always

In loving response to Poppy's post:

The ability to assist, give Light and  joy to others {...hope, help, acknowledgement}

...is a gift.

And may we be continued gifts to ourselves

and those we love

care about/

give care to.

re:  Kathi's post

and ... sentiments/wishes are dittoed from  Kathi's

...as I'm sure others who are following along are

agreeing/sending your way too!

Only the best !

 

 

All that matters is how I choose to spend this moment.

I am living the Divine plan which includes wonderful health, wealth, happiness, and perfect self-expression for me now

In response to Poppy's post

sending heartfelt thoughts to you and your beautiful family!

All that matters is how I choose to spend this moment.

I am living the Divine plan which includes wonderful health, wealth, happiness, and perfect self-expression for me now

Each summer we are extremely fortunate to have two of our granddaughters stay with us for a little over a month. They are here with us now. We swim almost every day and lessons are to begin soon for the 5 year old. Later this month they will attend a theater arts workshop to brush up on both singing and dancing. 

We are both happily busy every moment of the day. Thanks everyone for sharing and caring. It means the world! 

Words are like seeds. When you write them out, they grow into your dreams and spark the imagination of others.

Sounds fantastic! They are going to have a wonderful summer!

Rock stars!!

In response to Poppy's post:

Looking forward to hearing more when you have a second.

ENJOY!!!!great-thread.jpg

All that matters is how I choose to spend this moment.

I am living the Divine plan which includes wonderful health, wealth, happiness, and perfect self-expression for me now

(This is from her Tumbler.) Can I say, YES! This was my issue yesterday. I wanted to be at the end while I was simply beginning. That pushed me right into how I have been a failure in so many ways, and that was all I could see after a point. Thank heavens I realize God is taking me on this journey, and he will go with me one page, one idea, one realization at a time. Love this. ~StaceyDaze

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