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My mom and dear friend are both dying! 
Started by Cindie 46
12 Jan 2013, 5:24 AM

My mom has stage four lung cancer and my friend of 30 years has Lukimia. They both have less than 9 months. My mom is always crying and talking about what she will miss. She won't see the grand kids get married. She won't see me be a grandmother. She was told today that it has moved to her bones. It's already in her brain and thyroid. She has had radiation on the tumors in her brain. My father is doing his best to take care of everything and has finally let my start helping them. I have gone down to part time in my job in order to be able to juggle caring for my mom and my own house. My mom just turned 70. She is very depressed and has no religious beliefs. She is still smoking and refuses to not smoke while I am there. I am very allergic to the smoke. I want to help her and I feel so terrible,but I'm also so angry that she continues to smoke while I'm there trying to help her. I leave her house coughing, I have a sore throat and red puffy eyes. When I have said something, she says its not that bad, she only has a couple. My sister lives in Australia and will come as soon as she can get away from work. My best support is my friend who is also dying. She has an incredible sence  of peace and is getting ready for the end. I hate cying to her as much as I do,but she says to call her anytime. She says she feels like she has a purpose when she helps. I am so full of anger and grief that I'm yelling at my husband (who smokes) and my son all the time. I feel like I'm drowning with no where to go!

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Reply by moderator | modératrice
12 Jan 2013, 11:25 PM

Dear Cindy,

Welcome to Virtual Hospice. I can feel your anguish. While you feel very alone losing 2 people you love, please know that you are not. Have you read some of the other active threads on the forums. There are several people in similar situations. Let me introduce you.
    • Taking this so hard - Andreadzel started this thread about losing her mom only minutes after you posted your first message. 
    • Mom - opting out of treatment - TrueHeart is sharing her story accompanying her Mom through a journey that is longer than anyone expected; the blessings and the frustrations.
We're all here to support you Cindy. You can share your anger, grief and frustrations without fear of judgement. It's not easy. Relationships are complex. It helps to have a place where you can talk and even vent about the hard stuff.
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Reply by NatR
13 Jan 2013, 12:35 AM

Dear Cindie 46,

your note to the forum touched me - dealing with your mom and your best friend both diagnosed at the same time - that is a lot to deal with for sure.

you have found a place where you can vent, find support and a listening ear - and as our Community Manager Colleen said - a  place where you will not be judged.

as a non  smoker  with allergies to smoke I understand totally about the stress on your body and emotions as you try to support your mom at home.

my suggestion would be - can you find anyone to spell you off on time with your mom - who isn't as sensitive to smoke?

i am hoping that somehow you can make things easier on yourself that way.
its really hard when your mom doesn't see what it is doing to you!

your heart is in the right place - I can tell you are doing all you can and risking your own health in order to be supportive .
Give it a bit of thought and remember you will be no good to anyone if you yourself become sick.

 Your amazing friend, dealing with her own illness and yet reaching out to support you at all costs.
i cannot imagine how you feel about your dear friend.  All I can say is keep talking  writing and others will also respond
someone may have some words to help you with your challenges
 For now just know you are in a safe place, a supportive place;)
best wishes,
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Reply by Brayden
13 Jan 2013, 2:37 AM

Dear Cindie46,

I see where NatR gave you such heartfelt support and I would like to do the same. You are really in a tough situation because of your allergies. I know that so often other people just do not appreciate how hard they are on you. I am concerned though that you experience a fair amount of anger towards your mother and your husband. You may find with all the tension that they too are going through, they will not consider you as they should. You may want to speak with a professional person on how to deal with your emotions. You want to think of how you will feel when the crisis is over. My heart goes out to you at this time. Please keep us in the picture as we care for you and your family.
 All the best,
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Reply by Cindie 46
13 Jan 2013, 3:02 AM

Thank you for your kind words Collen, NatR and Brayden. It feels good to know there are people who care and understand. I am looking into some home care for my mom so I can take a day or two away from the smoking. I am also planning to talk to her counsellor and maybe we can find her a supplement while I'm there. I have a counsellor that I am going to call with the advice from Brayden. I have to admit I didn't think about getting help for my anger. I'm going through the days just trying to do what I need to every day. After writing the post i found out the cancer has spread to her bones. We are just waiting to see what the doctors are going to do now. She was scheduled to start chemo next week. I'll keep posting when I can.
thanks for the support and kind words.
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Reply by marstin
13 Jan 2013, 5:14 PM

Hi Cindie46,

My heart goes out to you as you go through this difficult time. In the past 6 months I have lost my husband Len to cancer and my mom passed 7 weeks later due to the stress. Losing my two closest people has been extremely painful. I hear your anger and your mom's. Your mom is probably feeling so powerless and her cigarettes bring her some consolation. I know it doesn't make much sense to you but it is a selfish time for her. Len was a smoker and as the disease progressed, he did quit but I think it came at a time when he stopped taking in any food or drink. I also am a dumb smoker and my daughters get so angry at me for it. While I feel guilt over it, it is my crutch. I understand your anger and your fears. I see it in my daughter's eyes everytime I light up. I'm all that they have left and even knowing that, I can't seem to kick this bad habit. I do keep trying though but with stress comes the need for consolation and a stupid cigarette for us that smoke does seem to bring some small comfort. Please do get some help for your anger at your mom. She is not trying to hurt you. Whatever time you have left with her should be a loving time and not filled with rage. You are in pain and it is okay to feel it, lean into it and eventually accept it. It is part of the grieving process that starts long before the loss.

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Reply by moderator | modératrice
13 Jan 2013, 5:18 PM

Good to hear from you Cindie46. I'm glad we could help, especially Brayden's suggestion about getting help for yourself. With so many emotions whirling about and the stress, you'll be well guided to have support to care for your mom and your friend.

I'm sorry to hear that the cancer has spread to your mom's bones. Have you spoken to anyone from the palliative care team? Has palliative care even been mentioned?
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Reply by moderator | modératrice
13 Jan 2013, 5:21 PM

Hi Tracie,
We were writing our messages to Cindie at the same time. Laughing

What brilliant wisdom and personal experience you have shared with her to help understand the "other side". Thank you!! 
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Reply by Plum1
14 Jan 2013, 1:51 AM

Dear Cindie46,
I just wish to let you know also that I am with you as you live through this most difficult time. I cannot imagine the pain of losing two such significant persons at the same time.

Under such great stress, any one of us would probably be reacting. Some of us take out stress on ourselves, and some of us project it out in anger. It is so hard to feel out of control.

You mention that your mother is feeling depressed. And she is probably very afraid. Smoking seems to be her way of coping with such powerful feelings. I am glad that you will be contacting her counselor and your own. Both of you are needing some compassion and understanding.

It is most moving that you friend who is dying is finding meaning in being available to you. I am sure that you wish her life to have meaning; however, I am sure you probably do not wish to give her more than she can cope with. She is needing her energy to live one day at a time.

This forum is another place, as has been said, to let out all your feelings so that you can make some choices as you relate to your mother and your friend. I am sure that just releasing the pressure and stress willl be of help to you.

Please know that I am holding all of you in my heart and prayer.
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Reply by NatR
17 Jan 2013, 6:53 PM

Hello Cindie 46

Just saying hello and wondering how things are for you today.  Have you been able to find someone to offer you support in your community?  I just was thinking about you and wanted to let you know..

NatR :) 
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