Single and dealing

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Curlietopp
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Feb 08, 2018 4:22 pm
Facebook Username: Emily Vaughn

Single and dealing

Postby Curlietopp » Thu Feb 08, 2018 4:47 pm

I'm curious to know how other "young" cancer patience deal with going through treatment on their own. I'm 38, single and living on my own...with my cat. :D I have my friends and family offering to do so much, but I feel guilty asking my parents to come to town all the time and asking my friends for favors like meals, rides, entertainment, shoveling snow, cleaning etc. The fatigue really gets to me some days and I just wish I had a spouse/family living with me that I knew could do the dishes, laundry, vacuum, etc.; you know, the small stuff. I'm an independent woman that struggles at admitting I can't do something and asking for help. Yet here I am, asking for your help! How do you do it?!

heiders33
Posts: 197
Joined: Sat Nov 04, 2017 11:08 am

Re: Single and dealing

Postby heiders33 » Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:37 pm

Don’t feel guilty asking! I have a “team” of people helping and I’ve learned to just accept their help and let them know what I need. I am also single and have a cat, although I do live with my sister which helps. I’ve always been independent but had to learn how to accept help.
36 year-old female
May 2017: Dx rectal cancer at T3N2M0
MSS, no genetic mutations
June-July 2017: 28 days of chemo/radiation
September 2017: laparoscopic LAR surgery with loop ileostomy
October 2017 - February 2018: six rounds of mop-up XELOX
March 12, 2018: reversal
April 16, 2018: CEA 2.1, all blood counts within normal ranges

User avatar
CRguy
Posts: 9487
Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2008 6:00 pm

Re: Single and dealing

Postby CRguy » Thu Feb 08, 2018 9:13 pm

For "personal" contact nothing beats this forum :mrgreen: ... BUTT
to read about others' comments, you may wish to check out the Blogs,
many of which may resonate with you ( also linked here on the forum BLOG post Archive )

Welcome to the forum

CRguy
Caregiver x 3
Stage IV A rectal cancer/lung met
11 Year survivor
my life is an ongoing totally randomized UNcontrolled experiment with N=1 !
Review of my Journey so far

jep
Posts: 59
Joined: Sun Jun 11, 2017 7:45 pm

Re: Single and dealing

Postby jep » Thu Feb 08, 2018 9:19 pm

Your friends and family want to help! Try not to feel guilty....it's hard, I know. I too felt guilt when my husband was first diagnosed and hospitalized. Friends and family were offering to help and I just knew we couldn't get through this alone. I just started saying yes, and it really allowed me to focus on my husband's recovery and treatment. You saying yes to help will allow you to focus on your health, and I'm sure that's what your loved ones want (more than anything).
Stay strong and say "yes" to help!
jep
Husband DX Stage IV CC on May 16, 2017
47 years old
Tumor Location: recto-sigmoid
Tumor type: Adenocarcinoma
Tumor size: 7.4 cm
Tumor grade: G3
TNM code: T3N2M1
Positive lymph nodes: 8 out of 20
Baseline CEA value: .9
LVI: present
Perineural invasion: present
Surgical margins: clear (w/in microns)
Primary surgery type: LAR
Folfox (August 2017-January 2018)

Aqx99
Posts: 389
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2017 7:28 am
Facebook Username: aqx99
Location: Pfafftown, NC

Re: Single and dealing

Postby Aqx99 » Thu Feb 08, 2018 10:05 pm

I was married when I was diagnosed, though my husband was not supportive at all. He walked out shortly after my first chemo infusion. I have been alone with my two cats ever since. I had a hard time accepting help, too, but eventually I sucked it up and let my neighbors help me. The wife drove me to every chemo appointment, the husband cut my grass and the son helps with litter boxes and taking the trash out. Say yes to those things you feel you can't do, and keep doing the things you feel you can.
Anne, 40
Stage IIIB Rectal Cancer
T3N1bM0
2/21/17 Diagnosis, Age 39
2/21/17 CEA 0.9 ng/mL
3/23/17 - 5/2/17 Chemoradiation, 28 treatments
6/14/17 Robotic LAR w/temp loop ileostomy, ovaries & fallopian tubes removed, 2/21 lymph nodes positive
7/24/17 - 12/18/17 CapeOx, 6 Cycles
7/24/17 Diagnosed w/ovarian cancer
9/6/17 CA 125 11.1 U/mL
11/27/17 CEA 2.6 ng/mL
12/5/17 CT showed NED
12/13/17 CEA 2.9 ng/mL
1/11/18 CA 125 8.6 U/mL
1/23/18 Reversal
3/21/18 CT showed enlarged thymus
4/6/18 PET confirmed NED

NHMike
Posts: 1221
Joined: Fri Jul 21, 2017 3:43 am

Re: Single and dealing

Postby NHMike » Thu Feb 08, 2018 10:07 pm

There are a lot of independent people here (married or single) that like to take care of things on their own but you have to ask for help sooner or later with cancer, particularly if you get hospitalized.
6/23/17: ER rectal bleeding; Colonoscopy
7/13: Stage 3B rectal. T3N1bM0. 5.2 x 4.5 x 4.3 cm. Lymphs: 6 x 4 mm, 8 x 6, 5 x 5
7/31-9/8: Xeloda 3,400 mg/day+radiation
7/5: CEA 2.7; 8/16: 1.9; 9/8: 1.8; 11/30: 0.6; 12/20 1.4; 1/10 1.8; 1/31 2.2; 2/28 2.6; 4/10 2.8
MSS, KRAS G12D
10/6: 2.7 x 2.2 x 1.6 cm (-90%). Lymphs: 3 x 3 mm (-62.5%), 4 x 3 (-75%), 5 x 3 (-40%). 5.1 CM from AV
10/30: LAR, Temp Ileostomy, Path Complete Response
12/20: Started CapeOx

TeriS
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Jan 02, 2018 3:37 pm
Facebook Username: Teri “Parker” Smedley

Re: Single and dealing

Postby TeriS » Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:34 pm

Maybe you can categorize the help and ask each individual to help with one category. That way you don’t overload any one friend and each friend can become proficient at their task. In my experience allowing friends to help is a gift for the friend as much as it is to you.
12/1/17 - 5.5 cm mass found in cecum during colonoscopy
12/8/17 CT scan showed questionable regional lymph nodes and cecum mass only
12/21/17 - right hemicolectomy laparoscopy
1/4/18 - pathology report says T4aN2a — Stage IIIc

lovelife789
Posts: 71
Joined: Thu Aug 24, 2017 5:28 am

Re: Single and dealing

Postby lovelife789 » Fri Feb 09, 2018 1:32 am

I'm of the same age, living alone with a pet, extremely reluctant to ask for help (used to), families live far away from me though they flew to come to take care of me.

1. I learned to accept help and realized it is a gift to others in some way. They either feel good about helping someone they care - they can finally do something for you other than feeling sad, or they feel good about being alive and able to do simple things, which can be hard for you/ others - they end up treasure life more too.
2. At some point in my journey, I had no choice but to rely on others. I had a huge open abdomen surgery twice to move part of my liver, so 1) I could not really move around normally; 2) Sitting up most of the time gave me severe back pain. I had to ask my sister to help me to use the loo and give me a lower back massage when half of my butt was showing.... it was hard to do it at first but eventually I felt more at ease. Practice make perfect.
3. I would really categorize the stuff I need help on, including some I want to do on my own (or try). I also invited my friends to help me do something together with me. Like grocery shopping at the supermarket, I would want to go but I couldn't lift heavy things, I wanted to look at the dairy fridge but neuropathy made me feel so bad, so I could ask if they can go grocery shopping with me but help me carry the bags and pick out milk and stuff for me. This way I feel good being able to do something too without pushing it.

Hangin' there, things will get better!
F/38 - Dx 8 Mar 17, CEA 80.5
Stage IV Sigmoid Colon, 6 Liver mets, T3N0M1a, KRAS NRAS Wild, G2=Moderately differentiated
3/17- 6/17 - 6 rounds of FOLFOX + Erbitux - CEA 2.5
7/17- 8/17 - 2-stage Liver Resection/Colon/Gall, all clear margin
8/25 - CEA 0.7
9/11 - Started Adjuvant chemo Xelox
9/15 - Intense reaction to Xeloda, it was dropped
9/22 - Folfox resumed, severe allergic reaction to Oxi
11/17 - Clear MRI
12/17 - completed a total of 13 rounds of FOLFOX
1/18 - Clear PET SCAN
3/18 - Clear MRI

zephyr
Posts: 79
Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2016 7:31 am

Re: Single and dealing

Postby zephyr » Fri Feb 09, 2018 7:39 pm

A while back a dear friend of mine told me something I didn't realize: people are standing on the sidelines wanting to make your life easier, wanting to brighten your day, wanting to help ... let them help. As others here have said, it's as much a gift to them as it is to you.

My daughter-in-law told me about a website that a few of her friends (breast cancer patients/survivors) used to keep people updated and to coordinate help. There's even a section where you can post a list of things/errands/meals/etc. that would help you and people can jump in and claim them according to their skills or time tables. It's called Caring Bridge:

https://www.caringbridge.org/how-it-works/

Whether you would like someone to give you a ride, or take the cat to the vet, or drop off some groceries, or cook your favorite food ... it might make it a little easier for you to ask for help and for friends/neighbors to make a contribution in a manner that is most comfortable for them.

Good luck. I'm so sorry you're going through this.
Oct-2009 Stage I CC
Jun-2016 Stage 3 (T3 N1c)
Jun-2016 Surgery
Jul-2016 PET: Probable Stage 4 with inoperable lung mets
Aug-2016 Folfox
Jan-2017 Dropped oxaliplatin, continuing with 5FU, added Avastin
Aug-2017 Dropped Avastin, continuing with 5FU
Dec-2017 Chemo stopped working, lung mets growing but CEA stable, considering other treatment options
Jan-2018 Begin Folfiri & Ramucirumab; also receiving Vitamin C & Quercetin by IV every week

heiders33
Posts: 197
Joined: Sat Nov 04, 2017 11:08 am

Re: Single and dealing

Postby heiders33 » Sat Feb 10, 2018 9:20 am

I've been using CaringBridge since diagnosis. I had followed other friends on there. It's a useful resource, especially for updating people on your progress. I haven't used it for tasks and gifts, but I'm sure it's useful for that as well. You have to invite people to follow your private site - it isn't public. Check it out!
36 year-old female
May 2017: Dx rectal cancer at T3N2M0
MSS, no genetic mutations
June-July 2017: 28 days of chemo/radiation
September 2017: laparoscopic LAR surgery with loop ileostomy
October 2017 - February 2018: six rounds of mop-up XELOX
March 12, 2018: reversal
April 16, 2018: CEA 2.1, all blood counts within normal ranges

Caat55
Posts: 342
Joined: Sat Dec 23, 2017 6:01 pm

Re: Single and dealing

Postby Caat55 » Sat Feb 10, 2018 10:59 am

Single and dealing
I totally agree with lovoving life's statement below and others you gave you similar advice.
1. I learned to accept help and realized it is a gift to others in some way. They either feel good about helping someone they care - they can finally do something for you other than feeling sad, or they feel good about being alive and able to do simple things, which can be hard for you/ others - they end up treasure life more too.
I don't look or often feel unwell but the gift of help and support from friends is invaluable. It's hard when you've done it all alone. I was a single parent for 20 years, now newly wedded. I struggle with asking even my husband for help.
Give yourself this gift.
Susan
55 y.o. Female
Dx 9/26/17 RC Stage 3
Completed 33 rad. tx, xeolda 12/8/17
MRI and PET 1/18 sign. regression
Surgery 1/31/18 Ileostomy, clean margins, no lymph node involved
Port 3/1/2018
Oxaliplatin and Xeloda start 3/22/18


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