Juliette’s story originally appeared as part of The NFCA Story Project. Juliette lives in Nashville, Tennessee.
I’m Juliette and on February 28th I began the process of being a caregiver to my 75 year old grandmother, Lou. I’m 27, work full time and volunteer on the weekends through May. At the end of Feb., Nana was hospitalized in the ICU after a fall and a diagnosis of stage IV lung cancer that had spread. She almost didn’t come back to us after a seizure in the ER.
Since then Nana’s been at her apt. with my mother who has moved here from OH to be her caregiver. I’m Nana’s power of attorney and executor while still working full time (7 days a week right now) and attending school full time. Personal issues in life haven’t helped me and sometimes I feel as though I’m going to pull my hair out.
We have hospice care but I have to be careful not to take off work. I’ve been reprimanded for the 5 days I have taken and my company isn’t covered by the FMLA. I worry about myself and my mother. And I worry about Nana who is declining slowly. There are days when I think I’m handling everything very well and others where I feel as though I’d just like to cry.
1. A job that would let me telecommute.
2. Having the FMLA act apply to all companies, no matter what the number of employees.
3. If the early radiation treatments for terminal cancer patients weren’t so expensive.
4. More hours in the day.
5. A single day to myself with no work, no school and nowhere to be.
6. A vacation on a warm beach.