New to Network | Caregiver Action Network

New to Network

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oregonpoppa's picture
New to Network

I'll be 86 in a couple of months.  Am caregiver for my 83 year-old wife, who had a stroke several years ago and is currently enduring terminal breast cancer (second time for that).  The stroke left her with vision problems and some personality changes that only I seem to notice.  Last year, the new cancer diagnosis was accompanied by severe anxiety disorder.  So long as she takes her Loraxapam she's OK and she's still capable (and insists on doing) of handling regular household chores.

Based on medical diagnosis and history, the decision was made to forego surgery and try and maintain quality of life as long as possible.  I am in much better physical condition than she is, but I think I've aged more than a year in the past year.  I do get breaks now and then, but our kids live elsewhere and can't do more than they're doing.  She does have luncheon dates with friends and some come by to be with her for a few hours now and then.  The stress isn't constant, but maintaining a watchful eye, getting her to do things sensibly and waiting for the slow progression from palliative care to hospice does take its toll. Eventually, we'll need a visiting nurse at least part time, but it's hard to determine when that time will be.

I notice that there aren't many men posting on this forum.  I don't know if that's a meaningful distinction or not. 

NicholeGoble's picture
Hello, Oregonpoppa -

Hello, Oregonpoppa -

Welcome to the Care Chat. Thank you so, so much for sharing here. Caregiving, even those moments and stretches that aren't not necessairly as high-stress as others, can definitely take their toll and "age" us. It is tough work and your wife is fortunate to have you as support. 

I am so thrilled that you invited other male-identifying caregivers to share their stories and experiences here. The number of males taking on the role of caregiver for a loved one has increased over the years but their stories aren't always highlighted.