my adult daughter is five months into her ‘cancer journey’. The disease has impacted on her independence incredibly and she is now living with her father and I as she is unable to manage on her own, needing help with showering, dressing etc. She uses a wheelchair when we are out and about and I have been dismayed that the fact she is in a chair seems to make people believe she is unable to talk as well…………
We have never asked about her prognosis as we are not interested, rather we wish to concentrate on getting her well, or at least well enough to live her life as independently as she can.
I will admit to going to some pretty dark places in my head and more often than is probably helpful. Our lives are forever changed and while being able to support her both emotionally and physically is something we are incredibly grateful to be able to do it there are times when I miss how bloody ordinary our lives were before.
Just looking for a place to unload some of the stuff in my head – thanks
Thank you very much for posting on CancerChatNZ. I’m so sorry to hear of your daughter’s situation – it sounds very tough for all of you.I can only imagine how hard it’s been for her to give up a lot of her independence, and for you and your husband it must be hard to be in the caring role and seeing the way people act so differently towards her when she is in a chair. It is wonderful that you are able to provide such loving and respectful care for her, but yes it’s very normal to yearn for the way things ‘used to be’. You mentioned going to ‘dark places’ – again understandable, but I wonder if it might be useful to seek some counselling to gain some strategies to manage this? We find this to be helpful for other carers we work with. You could call the cancer information nurses on 0800 CANCER to find out about support locally for you.Your daughter may be interested in this too? Another suggestion is for you to check out the CarersNZ website http://carers.net.nz/ – they have great support resources. Please don’t hesitate to post again and we hope you get replies from others as well.
Very best wishes,
Julie, Cancer Information Nurse