Worth the read. Do you recognize anything described?
I can identify with what you said - being exhausted with just handling the logistical aspects with no actual hands-on. With my dad, it was the help from my mom and hospice even though I went over there six days a week.
Now that my mom is in the MC wing at her facility, I'm not doing any of the showering, changing her etc. (of course due to the pandemic as well). But, I started all this at age 41 and am now 58 and I just don't have the same energy level as I did back then either. I did have to laugh when you asked your dad if you could bring this guy home to unload the mulch (that is a lot of bags) - lol!
That's an eye opener for me when you said the surgeon said your cancer had no markers and was probably due to stress. And after the first year of caring for them to boot - wow! I know I'm waiting 5 more months to go back for another ultrasound due to a spot being found on one side and larger lymph nodes on the other side - that has me shook up just a little bit!
I hope you have come out on the other side of that diagnosis -
My takeaway is to never give yourself completely over to care and set very strong boundaries. The only bright spot of my caregiving was finding out my relatives were masking their greedy, lying character with smooth talk all my life. They were totally stupid to give themselves away so early in the game.
With my parents, they had still viewed me as being 25 or 35 with a ton of energy, not someone 60+ who's energy level had dropped. They just didn't understand when I said I was too tired to do this or that, since I was working full time.... or to place 30 bags of mulch around their yard after picking it up at Home Depot.... I remember Dad saying it will be easy, one of the guys can put the mulch in my Jeep. I asked Dad if I could bring this guy home to unload the mulch :P
Oh, I did develop cancer after my first year of helping my parents. My surgeon said since I had "no markers", it probably was due to stress.