I have a parent that is dying of cancer and I am her only caregiver. I am worried that I’m going to make myself sick, for I know there is nothing I can do to make my mom get well. How can I help her and take care of myself at the same time?
I can totally understand your situation and confusion, as my mom had cancer too and a very short time to live.
In order to take care of your mom, you have to be able to take care of yourself first. That is not being selfish. What will happen to her if you get sick, being the only caregiver, and you’re suddenly not be able to take care of her?
You must take the time to eat, sleep and rejuvenate yourself by going outside and talking with people who can support you so that you can recover yourself and care for her with the needed strength and energy required.
If your mom knows that her sickness is hurting you, it will not make your mom feel any better. As a matter of fact, it will probably make her feel worse and worried about you.
Realize that everything you are doing you are doing because you love her. Having you there is a source of positive energy, love and happiness for your mom. This will make you both stronger.
The idea of taking care of a loved one is about the quality time spent together, not just about how long you are there with her or how long she gets to spend with you.
Sometimes we all need a break and our own private time to reflect, whether it is the person that is sick or the caregiver like you.
It is also important when the time comes when she is no longer awake and sleeping most of the time that you speak to her and let her know your true feelings. Hearing is the last sense to go, so it is important for her to hear. Rest assured, she can.
I encourage you to touch her, read out loud to her from books she likes and magazines she enjoys reading, and play the music she enjoys.
My thoughts will be with you at this difficult time.
- Posted By: Dr. Christina
- Comments: 0