Looking after Brother in Law

  1. Hi
    I am a Hospice Nurse and am looking after my Brother in Law at his request. My DOCS is super helpful and does not have a problem with me doing this. My BIL has been diagnosed with terminal cancer with a prognosis of 4-6 months to live. My husband as you can imagine is very distraught. We brought him home from hospital to our home.
    I struggle at times with stepping into Nurse Role then back again into SIL role. I know I have to look after myself and keep a healthy body mind and soul.
    What suggestions do you have in regards to me keeping the two roles separate?
    It is hard at times this I do know but I feel in my heart this is something that I want to do for hubby and the family.
    My greatest desire is to allow Mike to have as peaceful death as possible and to maintain his dignity through out.
    He is a very humble man and has an amazing peace about him considering he only found out 1 week ago that his life is precariously placed.
    I welcome your responses.
    May I ask for those that pray to pray really hard for us all. Thanks
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  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   Tweety
    My thoughts are with you.

    My guess is that you are doing a fine job, juggling both. I imagine that is tough.
  4. by   LV2BME
    I am so sorry! I am not a nurse yet so I do not have any advice. I just wanted to say that my family will be praying for your family so that you can continue to have the strength to be a nurse, SIL and a wonderful and supporting wife to your husband. May God bless you!
  5. by   nuangel1
    my BIL is also very ill right now with stage 4 lung cancer .he has been given 1 yr to live.i am sorry for you and your family.god bless
  6. by   allantiques4me
    What a wonderful gift you are giving to your husband.being a true friend.Im sorry about your situation.God bless
  7. by   wildmountainchild
    Make sure to take time for yourself. Whatever you have to do to relax and not worry about everything. Go get a massage, or go for walks by yourself every evening. Make and keep date nights w/ your husband (just the two of you) at least once a week.

    Consider meeting with a support group for care givers of ill family members, sometimes just talking to others who understand where you are coming from can make all of the difference.

    It is admirable that you are doing this for your family, but don't become a martyr. Make sure you spend enough time on yourself, in addition to others, so that you don't get burned out.

    Definently checkout the support groups, they can be a HUGE help.
  8. by   Gromit
    There are support groups -take advantage of the help they can offer -and DON'T wait until you feel overwhelmed.
    My parents took my grandfather in when his cancer went into endstage, its tough. Its also a beautiful gift of yourself -its not easy. My thoughts are with you.
  9. by   Batman24
    Not a nurse yet, but you will all be in my thoughts and prayers.
  10. by   JBudd
    I did the same for my dh at home. Take some time just for you, as mountainchild said. Massage, a short trip, even an overnight in a hotel or something every once in a while. Read fun novels for escape. Get a pedicure. Allow yourself to cry in private sometimes.

    Recharging your batteries does wonders for being able to keep giving. Its not being selfish, its taking care of the caregiver. Come in here and talk to us. Read the entire humor thread. Rent comedies or BILs favorite movies and watch them together so you all have family time, not just care time.

    {{{{{{{{Sabby}}}}}}}}}
  11. by   clemmm78
    Agree with the advice given. Schedule time for yourself. Seriously, make appointments to get out, don't say "I'll do it," and then just leave it. Get friends to spoil you; if possible, hire some respite outside help so that you and your husband have some time to yourselves. This last bit is really important. He will need to reconnect with you and you with him. To keep this from being difficult at the end of the road, you need to keep lines open now.

    Good luck.
  12. by   traumaRUs
    Bless you. I agree this is a wonderful gift. And I echo everyone else's thoughts - give yourself some time too. Take care.
  13. by   NicoleRN07
    My thoughts and prayers are with you!!
  14. by   gr8rnpjt
    With your clinical background, you don't need to be told that you can't do it all yourself. Take advantage of respite care so that you do not shoulder this alone. Thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

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