Struggling to function and I can't see the end

Hello everyone, hope everyone is doing well. I've been a carer on and off for 3 years, caring for my partner who has a type of blood cancer. He was diagnosed when he was 27, I was 25, 3 years later we've received the all clear, but it relapsed. He had more intense chemo and immunotherapy which didn't work and then radiotherapy which done enough for him to have a stem cell transplant. He's just had the stem cell transplant and things have been really tough. For the first couple of years I think I've coped really well, we both have big families but the support isn't really there so it's just the two of us. I've continued working full-time throughout, apart from one occasion where I dropped down to part-time hours but unfortunately at the end of 2023, I was made redundant from a job I really liked and wouldn't have left otherwise. 

Since then, everything feels like it's falling apart. I feel so exhausted, mentally, physically and emotionally. I started a new job in January when my partner was in hospital, which meant I was working all day then visiting him in hospital most if not every evening and weekend. He's so fatigued and exhausted himself, I'm doing everything in the house, I'm cooking all his meals, dressing him, helping him shower etc and working full-time in a new job with more responsibility than before and I don't know how much more I can manage.

Most days, I just sit at my desk and stare into space or out the window, I don't do any actual work and it isn't long before they notice and probably fire me. I'm in a probation period currently so they would only need to serve 1 weeks notice, pay me and that would be it. But I just don't care enough anymore.

I'm not sure if I'm exaggerating to say I'm broken. 

Does anyone have any practical advice or tips from experience of how I can manage this situation? I don't know how much longer this can go on for. 

Thanks for listening x

  • I'm so sorry to read all that you and your partner have been through SBNS. It sounds like the last 3 years have been incredibly difficult.

    I'm sure your partner really appreciates all that you are doing for him, but it's so important that you look after yourself as well. Much easier said than done I know, especially with all the challenges being a full time carer brings, but if you feel it has now got to a point where you need help, please reach out to Carers UK. They have a lot of information, support and advice that could really help you at this time.

    Your GP can also be a great source of help at this time so if you can, do try and book an appointment and let them know what's going on as they will do all that they can to support you and your partner.

    I'm not sure if this is something you have looked in to but we have some information about what support that may be available at home. I hope this is useful but for further information and advice it may be worth getting in touch with Blood Cancer UK.

    So many of our members know how tough being a carer can be so I'm sure you will receive some support and advice from them soon but if you'd like to discuss any of this further with one of our cancer nurses, you can do so on 0808 800 4040, Monday - Friday between 9a.m - 5p.m.

    We're thinking of you SBNS and hope you're able to get the practical support and advice you're seeking to help you through this very challenging time.

    Kind regards,

    Steph, Cancer Chat Moderator

  • Hey I hope you're well. Sounds like it's been a really tough time of it all between work and your partners health issues. I'm not really any use at giving advise , but I know the feeling of just feeling broken and going into some sort of trance at work when the person I was sorting of caring for was going through a bad patch. It really was just all I thought about. She did always say that she knows I took on alot which sounds mad coming from the person that's physically going through it all. 

    All I can say is she always reminded me to take time for myself and joked that she needs me to be full of energy to be running about after her. I think what I'm saying is you need to remember and take some time for yourself (easier said than done I know , when you have to be caring for your partner) I think I've shown I'm not great at giving advice but hope something I've said has maybe helped a bit. I'm not too sure. Hope you're getting on okay and everything works out with work aswell. 

  • Offline in reply to Jd1991

     thank you, I appreciate you taking the time to read my problems and spend time responding. You're good at giving advice, sometimes it's just nice to be heard :) I'm still in the same headspace but I am taking steps to move forward, i.e. telling work, taking time off, speaking to a professional etc 

  • Dear SBNS I feel for you and understand some of what you are going through. My husband has only had cancer diagnosis for seven months, had successful surgery and undergoing chemo treatment but feels more like seven years! Not sure about turning to your GP for advice because ours certainly hasn’t provided any help or support until relatively recently. With my husbands blessing I started attending a cancer support group which I found a life saver as they totally understood me, guilt and all. Maybe you need to see if you can arrange a little respite care through Cancer Research or McMillan or some other group. I actually came to the end of my tether and my body responded with my blood pressure shooting through the roof and I am now on medication. Since then I have had to admit to everyone including my husband that I have found life a struggle and need to have a little bit of me time. I live near the sea and find peace walking along the sea front if only for 30 minutes. Maybe a walk in the park in your lunch hour? I do hope some of this helps because you are doing a marvellous job and need encouraging. Blessings. Katerina

  • Offline in reply to SBNS

    Yeah just sometimes feels good to be heard and stuff like that. Hope you're feeling alot better about things today and over the past few days. 

  •  thank you for those kind words Katerina, I appreciate it. I've joined a carers support group and will be visiting my GP this Friday to see how they can help, my partners counselling service has also said they can offer me therapy sessions so I am going down that route too. It's really challenging, I hope you are taking care of yourself and finding some more time for you, it is really important x

  • Offline in reply to Jd1991

     today has probably been the best day so far. Thank you for checking in x