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Living Alone with Mets

I wonder how many of you live alone and how you are managing? I live alone. I can do most things but I am grateful somebody is paying to have my apartment cleaned. I'm not totally alone I have a cat who is very attuned to me.

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I hope more replies than mine are on the way. I am of no help. I have my husband by my side. We live on our own away from family, about 4 hrs away. We have no children. Unless you count our kitten and gecko. If so than one is super cute while the other is an ugly baby. 😜 We love them and spend a great deal of time with them. My husband has been dealing with chronic pain and has been out of work for years now. Unfortunately his pain is becoming debilitating some days. We lean on eachother. Sometimes the house doesn't get clean or toilets scribed but it's okay we have 4 hrs at least to prepare for family. If you were close I would love to lend a hand to a sister in need. Many blessings to you.

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Why thank you. What a sweet thing to say. You and your husband are blessed to have one another. Thank you for responding.

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I have bone mets, diagnosed Feb. 2016. I also live with my very sweet cat. On the other hand, my daughter lives about 30 minutes away. I am fortunate enough to live in NYC where I can order in food to be delivered from many restaurants, at any hour. I order household supplies online and many other things, too. I also have friends pretty close by. I can take a bus, the subway, a taxi to wherever I need/want to go.

Right now I don't mind living alone at all because I am managing very well in all regards. But I remember when I was undergoing chemo for my initial breast cancer diagnosis in 2013 and feeling really, really sick, it was kind of scary to be alone, esp. at night.

Partia, do you have any support group around? It's wonderful that someone is paying to have your house cleaned. Are there services in your area that you can avail yourself of?Sometimes there are and we are just not aware of them. Maybe you or someone else can investigate. While it is often difficult to ask for help, ask for what you need, now is the time to do just that. People like to help! It makes them feel good. Sometimes they just don't know exact.y what to do. So if you or someone else can make a list of specific things that would be helpful to you, that might be very useful.

My very best and warmest wishes to you.

Stephanie

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You sound almost like me...I have bone mets and was diagnosed February 2016 also. I live in the Detroit area. I have a daughter who lives about 30 minutes from me in the city. She doesn't drive though. I have people who do help me I don't want to sound ungrateful and I can still get around so I am good. By the way my other daughter lives in NYC. You are lucky you can order so may things but that's what's nice about living in a big city. I was originally diagnosed in 2001 with stage 2B. Came back this february...I am ER PR positive HER negative. Thank you. A pleasure talking to you.

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I live alone as my husband passed away in April from metastatic prostate cancer. I have mets in my bones and my liver. My children are all with in about 2-2 1/2 hours from me, but I live in a small rural community. I am fortunate to have good friends who come to help me out if I ask. That is the hard part - asking. It is humbling, but as Stephanie said above, people do want to help, they just don't know what you need, so you do have to tell them.

This year has been especially hard. I had to have a hernia repair and liver biopsy surgery in late September. My daughter came and stayed for a few days and some friends that also live a couple hours away, took over for her for an additional few days.

I am now supposed to be relieved of my lifting restrictions, but I am still having some discomfort in the incision area, so I am trying not to lift anything more than 10 lbs. That is especially difficult with the holiday decorations and such, so I need to ask my neighbors as my kids have their own families and responsibilities and can't come here all the time. I do pay someone to clean the house once a month, and I do the small stuff in between.

I am fortunate that I am not in a lot of pain and can manage pretty well on my own, but I know that the day will come where I will likely have to move out of my home and closer to one of my kids. I do recommend seeing what sort services your county or city offer, or possibly the medical center you attend would be able to help you find some volunteers that would be willing to assist. They usually have a social worker who guide you.

I wish you the best as you continue this journey.

Denni

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Wow Denni I an so sorry about your husband. I'm doing pretty well now but am scared down the line what may happen. I had my daughter put up my Christmas stuff. Thank you for you help.

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My mom lives alone. My dad passed away 8 years ago. She has a cat and dog for company, and me and my sister live a little over an hour away. I wish we were all closer to help more, but sometimes a good phone conversation for company is as helpful as a visit in person. She is able to get around and go at her own pace now. I'm hopeful when the time comes, we can all pitch in to keep her in her home. She has co-workers and church family that would love to help, but I know she doesn't ask and would feel bad asking for help.

From the outside looking in on the entire experience I would keep open to asking for help. Many people want to help, but don't know what to do. They don't want to make you feel helpless by asking to do things for you, but they do want to do something. Do you have a church or community group that you belong to or know people in?

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Thank you MissySer. I do go to a church (although I haven't been in about a month) that I went to off and on for a few years and now go more often. I met a lady at church who has been a tremendous help to me. She is just a year out of Stage 2B breast cancer. She reminds me of myself 15 yrs ago when I had stage 2B. It took 15 yrs but came back with mets to bone and small nodules on lungs. And I think I remind her of what could possible happen to her. (hopefully not) She has been a huge blessing to me. Wishing your mother the very best!I do manage on my own...I hope for a LONG time. Nothing like being weak. I am stronger now that I am on Ibrance and femara instead of the typical infused chemo

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So good to hear that you have a support system! Help doesn't always come in physical ways like cleaning or cooking, but the emotional help is sometimes so valuable. Having a person to listen to your successes and your worries can be needed just as much. Keep reaching out when you need anything. Those around you will be there when you need them. This group is good support too.

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Are there friends that you can count on for support and companionship?

If not maybe you can find support elsewhere. Finding a support group near where you live can help you connect with other women in your situation. Fortunately, there are now many forums that lend support to women with advanced disease. Perhaps you can find a group in a local hospital for in-person meetings. And, if you search the Internet, you will also see a wide array of sites where you can find a "community." May I also suggest Share, the non-profit with which I'm affiliated? We have several phone-in groups for women with metastatic disease led by both social workers and volunteers living with stage 4. We can also assign you an individual telephone peer whose

situation will resemble yours, if that would be helpful.

Check out our website at sharecancersupport.org if you are interested.

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I do have some friends I can count on. I just wondered how some woman managed....Thank you so much for responding and I will check out the website

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Hi Partia, I also live alone in my own house with my cat, Moe. I am able to do most chores, but have help with the outside stuff like leaves, lawn mowing, etc. My sister comes by off and on and will help me out with vacuuming and heavier chores. I may need to hire someone to come in and help me out more. My friends have been good with moral support but I don't really want to burden them with my problems all the time. That's why I like to call into Share's teleconferencing groups on Mondays and Thursdays. Here we're free to air our concerns, worries, etc. to other women facing the same BC issues.

I wish you good luck with your treatments. I know how you feel though. It's hard to be alone, especially at night, and try to deal with metastasized BC. I know that my thoughts can make me very anxious.

Keep us posted as to how you're doing. I totally relate to you! Kats3

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I live alone and rely solely on myself. :'( I was released earlier today after being hospitalized for a week for pain management. Faslodex injection treatments are no longer effective. Tumors in my bone have enlarged causing much discomfort. I've been prescribed a narcotic patch & an opiate pill. Soon to be followed up with 2 weeks of radiation & intravenous chemo later on. I have been totally alone and, independent since the MBC diagnosis in 2014. In all honesty, I avoid these groups at all cost out of fear of rejection. I have lost the majority of people who once were my friends. Family is non-existent. People do not want to be burdened by my situation. I am interested in finding people who are willing to listen and, express empathy because I have so much to offer in return. I hope this site will allow me to open up and share my experiences. I very much want to surround myself around caring people. It's become too overwhelming to face this disease alone and, I have finally come to terms that it's okay to reach out for support. I appreciate being allowed to comment. TY.

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I live alone with my dog and my cat. Some days my dog is a bit of a challenge as she has a lot of energy but she keeps me getting up. i am lucky enough to have my sister and brother-in-law that live within 3 miles of me and a wonderful neighbor who checks on me regularly. I just recently had a port put in and they accidentally punctured my lung so am recovering from that plus the chemo. I called the local high school and asked for students who are looking for service hours for National Honor Society or just looking for jobs. I found a wonderful girl through there that does my lawn and shoveling in the winter. I am starting to have her come in to help me with things inside the house as I feel less able to cope. I started a Cancer support group at our local hospital a few months ago and it is slow in getting started but slowly people are contacting us. Hope you have a Merry Christmas!

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I have BC, triple negative, metastatic to my bones and Jan was my two year anniversary from diagnosis. I also live alone in a fabulous little condo in St Louis, I'm 59 and a widow. My kids aren't too far and I have a wonderful boyfriend so I'm living in gratitude. I was worried about what would happen if I had to call 911 but couldn't get up to let them in or communicate vital information. I hated the idea of 911 breaking down my door and it being left open while I was carted away. I called the Fire Department and asked them if I could leave a key and my medical history, medication, and whom to contact. They said that they might not be coming from the fire house so the key might not be useful but I could leave it. They had a form I could fill out and put on the refrigerator with my medical history and whom to contact. I thought that was a great idea.

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I have my two young adult daughters, but they do their own thing most of the time. My two dog companions are wonderful, they are by my side. I can do things but I am slow at doing almost anything.

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I HEAR YOU!!!! I live alone with mets. My mom lives upstairs with dementia and I with out for her. This is lonely and hard. I have three cats :) This is a great topic. I have a Mealtrain calendar and people have been helping, but it comes in waves. I've started going to a new church that has a strong community outreach and I've gained some support through them. It's a lot of work being sick and single and so many times I just wish I could fall into someone's arms and have them just know what I want or how to take care of me without having to explainnnnnnn everything and make such efforts to just get the simplest things done. What I do is ask for company via Mealtrain so I'm not alone. I never minded being alone until I got sick - now the silence can be too loud.

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I went through my original cancer living on my own 2008/2009. I am now living with one of my young adult sons - he has Aspergers syndrome to meet him you may not notice. However 95% or more of the time I might as well be alone. Getting to appointments (45 min drive) is a struggle considering how poorly the ascites makes you feel. He does do housework, but getting meds/groceries is also something that doesn’t always happen in such a timely manner. It is very lonely - I know he loves me and cares but generally it is not apparent.

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Hi Becca,

I do not live alone, but I can relate to what you said about your son. Both of my brothers have learning disabilities and autism, and I am their main advocate. My middle brother still lives at home with our dad, three doors away from my husband and I, and my oldest brother lives in assisted living accommodation two miles away.

I have been actively involved in their care since childhood, but I have stepped back a little since my diagnosis and accept more help when needed. For example, I make my middle brother's lunches four days a week (he eats out on Mondays) for when he goes to his day care centre, but my husband delivers them so that I can sleep in or rest more in the mornings before I start work. There is the lack of empathy from my brothers too. I do not blame them. It is the autism. I know they love me, but to them I am their means of getting out, doing things, accessing the community, that sort of thing. I have never been able to go to them with my problems or issues as they do not have the capacity to help me.

It sounds like you could benefit from some company and support. Are there any activities taking place in your local library, community centre, cafe or elsewhere? My local health food shop hosts "meet up Mondays" where people can gather for a free cup of tea and a chat, there is lots going on at the library and my community centre has art classes, health walks and so on. I haven't taken part in any of these activities, as I am often working, but it is good to know they are there if I want to get involved. Perhaps you can get involved in more community activities where you live so that you do not feel so isolated and alone.

Take care,

Sophie x

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I think it's harder in the winter being alone....I am rather use to it. I have a 23 lb cat that keeps me company.

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