09 Sep 2019
This poll has ended (since 1 year).

Rosetta, 47

Why choose me? This is difficult to write. Not just because it stirs feelings of sadness but also because it has me admitting negligence to myself. To say the last couple of years has been overwhelming is an understatement.

Since 2017 I have been the caregiver to my grandmother who suffered from the onset of dementia. I found myself cooking for her, taking her to medical appointments, and taking her to the store for groceries, etc. I would spend any extra time I had with her because I felt like I was losing her mentally. It broke my heart. I did then lose her on January 25th 2018 as I was holding her hand when she took her last breath. Within just a month of losing my grandma my mom's lung cancer was showing again on a CT scan. A biopsy showed that her lung cancer was more aggressive then your typical type of lung cancer. How could this be? I just lost my grandmother and now my 64 year old mom had her cancer return. I am an only child so I was all she had.

I drove her to Moffitt for every single appointment. Unfortunately, the chemotherapy did not help either, I was devastated. Come April 2019 her breathing got worse and I took her back to Moffitt again. She was put in ICU where I spent all day and all night with her without coming home until April 21st, Easter Sunday, when I held her hand as she took her last breath.

How can it be in such a short period of time that I lost the only two women in my life who both raised me. I'm an only child with no fathers side. I have been married for nearly 17 years and I have two boys age 13 and 9. I have spent so much time caring for my loved ones that the most self-care I did was an occasional shower and maybe a pedicure. My counselor, family, and friends tell me that it is now time to take care of myself and I should not feel guilty for doing so and that my mom and grandma would want me to. Being a full-time caregiver, mother, wife with a full-time job the last couple years has been mentally and physically exhausting. I just want to be able to look in the mirror and love the person looking back at me. I am not one to ask for help but I guess there comes a time when we should ask for help. I spent so much time and money taking care of my grandma and my mom making their life the best it could possibly be that I let myself go. Now I have the time to put into me so please help me make this goal a reality. Thank you so much for your time and reading my story.

Rosetta H.

Donna, 60

My father was sick for most my life and being the oldest it always fell on me to care for my 3 sisters and brother you know keep them on the right path while my Mother tended to my Father. My father passed away after a brave battle with a horrible hereditary disease. My mother got cancer and had to have a hysterectomy before my Father passed but it was too late the cancer had traveled to her liver. She fought hard but six months after my Father died my Mother passed. When my mother was in the final weeks of her life she wanted to see me.

At that time she asked me to be the legal guardian to my sisters and my brother. Even though I was only 18 years old I said yes because I couldn't let my Mother die wondering what would happen to her children. Then one of my sisters got the hereditary disease. It was more hospitals and doctors it was rough. We had to go to Shands Hospital in Gainesville where she underwent 4 out of 5 brain surgeries. The last brain surgery caused her to be bedridden for the rest of her short life. She died at the age of 26. It was hard so very hard to lose her too. I've never been able to follow my dreams and I could tell you more about my life but it definitely hasn't been an easy path to travel ever.

Even though I am 60 I still try to look good and take care of myself. I ride my bike pay for treatments to my face when I can but a full makeover would be a dream come true. This makeover I know would help my self-esteem. When I look in the mirror all I see is someone trying to stay as youthful as possible but not having what is needed to look better or see a difference. I know a makeover would not make me young again but it would sure help!!! Thank You for considering me.

Donna Y.

Brian, 57

I had a total knee replacement almost two years ago. However, after the surgery I ended up with a blood clot in my left lung, which put me into the ICU. I had to receive multiple injections in my stomach to help reduce the clot immediately and then was put on Xarelto (a blood thinner) for 6 months. I was still having an extremely hard time walking, so I went to a different orthopedic surgeon and he confirmed that the original surgeon cut the bone too short in my knee. Unfortunately what this meant was that the surgeon's mistake prohibited me from going back to work full time. During this same time frame, my wife was diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer. The cancer quickly moved to her esophagus, making it extremely hard for her to eat. I was literally watching her wither away day after day and she soon had to have a feeding tube put into her stomach. Within days, she contracted bacterial pneumonia. This kept her in the hospital for 13 more days and she could not receive her Keytruda treatment for her lung cancer. When she finally got back to our home, we were informed that her cancer had rapidly intensified. And 7 days later she passed. In addition to my heartbreak of losing my wife, I have since been struggling with all the hospital bills that accumulated from my surgery and hospitalizations, as well as hers. I'm currently being forced to sell my house. Even though, it has been a little over a year and a half since my wife passed I've been told that I look at least 10 years older than I actually am. When I look in the mirror, I see it myself. I'm ready for a positive change in my life and am looking forward to a fresh start. Thanks for letting me vent & listening to my story.

Brian K.