A forum for family, friends and carers of pancreatic cancer patients

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Ailsa
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu May 17, 2007 2:46 pm

Being Far Away

Postby Ailsa » Mon May 21, 2007 1:40 pm

I've been looking on this forum for a few days now. My dad died of PC just over a week ago and I wish I had seen this network before. My situation is that I live in London but they are all in Scotland. I talk to my mum every day and support her as much as I can. My sister and her family are there and they were the ones who did most of the caring. With a job and a toddler, I tried to get up as much as I could but generally felt pretty hopeless and helpless during dad's illness. I spoke to mum last night and she told me that along with my sister, they sorted out dad's clothes and other stuff. My sister cried when she found his jacket with dog biscuits in the pocket from when he used to walk her dog. In many ways, I find it is almost easy to carry on as normal being so far away, but in other ways it hurts so much not to be able to help and join them in the grieving process. I wonder if it might even take longer for me because I will feel his absence every time I go up while they are getting used to it every day.

Beaniek was right when she emphatically described how evil this illness is. I've never been so devastated.

Barb (Canada)

Being Far Away

Postby Barb (Canada) » Mon May 21, 2007 6:02 pm

Ailsa I feel for you. It is so hard living away from your family especially when they are dealing with such a horrid disease. I was living in Canada when my Mom (UK) was diagnosed with PC. I happened to be in the UK visiting her for two weeks during which she received her diagnosis (March 7).

I returned to Canada 5 days later, and intended to stay in Canada until Mid June to be with my family and work for a period before returning to the UK, however I was finding it way too hard being far away. I couldn't sleep properly and was constantly on the phone with my sister getting updates. I made the decision that I had to take a leave of absence to come to the UK. I was so afraid that I would not deal with the illness or her eventual passing if I was in my own little world in Canada. I also was feeling guilty for being away when she needed me the most.

I am glad I came, but my children are all grown and my boss was very supportive of my decision. I will stay her for a couple of weeks when its all over to help my sister with everything including her grieving.

I think if it is at all possible it would be good for you to take a week out and spend some time with your Mom and your sister. I think it will help you tremendously with the grieving process. While it is a very sad time, sometimes you can find some comfort when you are going through a loved one's personal belongings and remembering good times and good memories.

My thoughts are with you; wishing you peace and comfort.

Barb

Ailsa
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu May 17, 2007 2:46 pm

Postby Ailsa » Tue May 22, 2007 2:21 pm

Thanks for that Barb

I've read quite a lot of your posts and its great that you have been able to be so on hand for your family. My situation is a little more difficult in that, as a teacher, I have a very limited number of days I can take outside of official school holidays. My boss has been good so far but her grace began to run out when my little one went down with chicken pox as soon as I returned from Dad's funeral - that meant more time off work.

When I was in Scotland, the care given to mum and dad was amazing and it even seemed to extend to the rest of us. One particular palliative care nurse and another Marie Curie nurse seemed to have all the time in the world to talk us through some of our emotions. I feel like if I was still there, I would be able to access those services still to some extent.

Has your new grandchild arrived yet? Its such a feeling of limbo waiting for the inevitable that you don't want to happen. Just over four weeks ago I got a call to say he was about to go so I rushed up to Scotland to be with him at the end and two weeks later we were still waiting. I came back down and he held on for another week and a half - baffling all the nurses!

Barb (Canada)

New Grandson

Postby Barb (Canada) » Thu May 24, 2007 7:57 am

Yes my daughter had an 8lb 3oz baby boy on May 16, at 12:10 p.m. Alberta Time. Quite traumatic delivery but all are well now and baby gained 7 oz first week.

I am accessing complimentary therapies here in Widnes and I am sure you should be able to do the same at your local cancer support centre. You should try to take advantage of that. You might also want to talk with one of their counsellors. I did last Friday and while they don't advise you in any way sometimes its nice to talk to someone outside the family and just talk about your feelings.

Sorry that you can't get back to be with your family. That's one of the drawbacks of teaching while you get nice time off its at set times and there is very little flexibility at times like this. I can't imagine either having to concentrate on teaching children when you mind is elsewhere... I think its one of the hardest situations to be in.

I hope this week has been a little better for you ... check out those complimentary therapies when you can. A little reflexology or massage might be nice after work one day before you face your tasks at home. Keep in touch, I will be thinking of you.

Ailsa
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu May 17, 2007 2:46 pm

Postby Ailsa » Thu May 24, 2007 8:34 pm

Thank you for that idea about accessing therapies. I think I'll go and research what's available in my area just now. I think its just what I need. Congratulations on your new grandchild.