Extremely frustrated caregiver.
Hi, I'm new to this forum, but I really needed to find a place to "vent".
I am a geriatric nurse, with 20 years experience, and a specialty in dementia care. However, as of March, I quit my job to care for my husband's landlord, who has terminal cancer. This man has no family, at all. He never married or had children, and is the last surviving sibling in his family. He does have a couple of neices, but they have never met, and as he put it, he isn't interested in meeting them now. So hubby and I are all he has. He has made my husband his power of attorney, and the executor of his estate. We will be his only heirs.
Here is my frustration. This man has been single all his life, and is a narcissist. In his mind, no one is wiser, no matter what the subject is. When he was diagnosed in December, his doctor gave him 6 months. His cancer, which is in the lymph nodes in his neck, and on the back of his tongue, is inoperable. He chose not to have chemo or radiation. Instead, he ordered something over the internet, that is a combinations of minerals and vitamins that are supposedly a " miracle cure" for cancer. Personally, I think it's a bit of a scam. This "protocol" (as he calls it) cost thousands of dollars. He is also supposed to follow a high alkaline diet while doing this protocol. This diet consists of all vegetables, no meat or protein. He has lost 50 lbs in the last 4 months. He has also broken out in an itchy rash. But he insists on following this protocol, and nothing else. He swears one tumor is shrinking, but there is now another on the other side of his neck, and he said he has lumps in his groin and under his arms. He is also having extreme pain in his lower abdomen. He refuses to go back to a doctor. Since I am doing private care, I can't get him anything for the pain myself. He is a three pack a day smoker. He has researched alternative treatments, called Mayo Clinic, only to find out that he isn't a good candidate for any experimental treatments. He is now researching a proton therapy, based out of Oklahoma. Truth be told, he is too weak to tolerate a trip to town, let alone a 12 hour trip to Oklahoma. I know he is grasping at straws at this point. He has said that he doubts that he will make it another month. In my opinion, he's right. But, he won't slow down. He wanders around the house, barking orders at my husband, and micromanages everything I do, from starting laundry to making his food. Nothing I do pleases him. I wish he would just relax and rest, but he refuses. I honestly don't know what is keeping him alive at this point. He is so very week. He barely eats, maybe two or three bites of a meal, once a day.
As a nurse, I just want him to be comfortable and happy in the time he has left, but he fights me every step of the way.