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Caring for my mom who was recently diagnosed 
Started by Kika
17 Sep 2014, 11:35 PM

My mom was recently diagnosed with cancer in her lung, spine and brain. It came as a total shock to all of us. She has decided she doesn't want to know details......I think that is super so she can live each day to the fullest. So my brother and I have been taking all the information and caring for her at home. She seems to be doing ok. Today she told me she wishes it would all end soon because she wants all of us to be able to get back to our lives. I want to be strong for her, I want to care for her. I hope I can do it....I'm scared. My brother is struggling so I feel I must be strong. Any advise?
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Reply by jaindough
18 Sep 2014, 1:45 AM

First, I want to say that I am sorry that you and your family are going through this and I wish you strength at this difficult time. 

what is the most challenging aspect of caring for your mom to you? You said your brother is struggling. Maybe having a heart to heart with him would make both of you feel better. Maybe you can provide strength where he is having the most difficulty coping and vice versa.  You can lean on each other for support to best present a strong, positive help to your mom.

do you know any details regarding your mothers illness? What are your greatest concerns?

this is a great community for support and they helped me greatly when my mother was in the end stages of cancer. Don't be shy to ask questions or vent as needed.

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Reply by Kika
18 Sep 2014, 2:04 AM

Hi jaindough

thanks for replying so quickly.

My brother is just mentally, physically and emotionally exhausted. We have spoken but he just needs to take some time away, to regroup, re energize etc. I understand and support this but then feel totally alone.

im tryin to balance work life, caring and a personal relationship. My heart just wants to be with my mom.

i think the best way to describe how I feel is that I feel like I just go thru the motions of the day.

i am worried about losing her, being alone. I don't want to see her in pain either.

we have only been dealing with this for 3weeks......it feels like time has stood still. 
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Reply by EastCoastPEI
19 Sep 2014, 12:16 PM

Hi Kika, 

Your situation sounds all too familiar.  I took my mother to emerg with what we thought was a mild stroke and we all sat in shock as we learned 2 hours later that my mother had 3 brain tumours.. and then a couple days later we found out it was stage 4 lung cancer.  

that weight... that reality... was almost unbearable...  

My mother sounded much like yours.. didn't want to know many details.. and throughout her illness she was more worried about her kids than she was herself.  It's the nature of some mothers... in their DNA to put their kids first.  It used to drive me nuts when my mother wanted to get up and make me breakfast when I was in my 20's... geez mom.. I'm an adult.  What I'd give to have her throw some coffee and toast on for me now.

It's all perspective. Part of the process of life.  

that balance you speak of is such a tough fine line.. we all handle it and react differently.  When my father was dying of cancer 16 years ago I was in university and had so much free time but didn't spend enough time with him.  When my mother was dying of cancer 3 years ago, I was a full time professional with 3 kids and had zero free time but all I wanted to do was spend time with my mother.  

I can't tell you what to do but I will say that spending time with your mother is something you won't regret.  whether it's time in the evenings, weekends, or if you took time off work at some point... it's priceless time especialy if it's healing for you and/or her.  

I can speak for hours on the regret I feel for not spending enough time with my father when he was sick.   There is a thread started on Guilt and regret here.. 

As far as your brother goes, again we all handle it differently.. some of us appear as if it hasn't affected us at all.. some of us can't move from being paralyzed by the fear ...  they're our parents.. they're not supposed to go through this right?  Feels that way at least.   

Take this all one day at a time... do what you can... but also take care of yourself.  

Stay in contact here .. there are lots of great people with great advice and answers to questions... 

hang in there.. 

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Reply by jaindough
22 Sep 2014, 11:46 PM

Hey Kika,

Haven't heard from you in awhile. How are things going with you, your mom and your brother? 
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Reply by Kika
23 Sep 2014, 3:51 AM

Hi....thanks for checking in. 

Last week eek moms depression and anxiety were very high. We all shed a lot of tears. I think it was a good turning point for all of us. Especially my mom. She had been holding in so much emotion and fear all these days....finally she opened the conversation. it is good.

my brother seems a bit better. He has had several days off 'being a caregiver' and took sometime for himself. Today he joined us for dinner. He is coming around.

the ups and downs are incredible. Last week my hope was low, I felt so alone.....today mom is having an amazing day and my brother is positive and supportive! It is a good day! 
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Reply by jaindough
23 Sep 2014, 11:03 AM

I agree, the ups and downs I went through with mom were extreme and I remember how rewarding it was when we had a good day or even a good afternoon. I would hold onto those moments very tightly and use them when days were not so good. They helped me get through the tough days.

I think it's good that your mom is slowly coming to terms emotionally with her situation. It isn;t an easy thing to do but it is an important step in her journey and how wonderful that you are there as a support for her at such a difficult time. You're doing a great job.

It's nice to hear that your brother is doing better as well. It is positive news all around. That's great!

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Reply by Kika
07 Oct 2014, 2:32 AM

Hi.....it has been awhile since I have logged on. My mom is doing pretty well, home are has started and my brother is on compassion leave. I am still working for now, then spending weekends caring for my mom. I love the time with her, try to treasure very moment.

i have a partner a province away......so we deal w distance all the time.  My moms illness is killing us.  She feels she needs to distance herself to cope w feeling helpless, I know she needs to live her life. I feel my worlds are all crashing.

I'm so lost, so alone. 
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Reply by KathCull_admin
07 Oct 2014, 3:43 AM

Hi Kika

It’s good you and your brother are able to find ways of spending quality time with your mom.  

How difficult to be so far away from your partner.  This won’t take the place of being in the same room together, but are you able to skype, or talk on the phone?  Is there any way your partner could visit you?

I hope you can find some comfort in the knowledge that others on this forum like Jaindough and EastCoastPEI are supporting you – you are not alone.

You might find this article helpful Kika – would be glad to hear your feedback. Finding Meaning and Purpose during a Health Crisis


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Reply by JennJilks
09 Oct 2014, 1:39 PM

I felt, caring for my late mother and father, that I, too, was alone.
Things is, there are many dealing with these issues all the time, and many who have gone through this.
You can only do the best you can at the time.

What else helps?

  • Being out in nature. 

  • Focusing on the present.

  • Ignoring that 'what if' train. Don't let it enter your mind.

  • If you are feeling down, avoid the news, or only listen to one broadcast per day. What a downer it can be!

  • Get help as caregiver, if you need it. I have ended up with high blood pressure, chest pains sent me to the ER in March, and these are back. Don't ignore personal issues, as stress can be a horrible thing. I'm having a stress test today!

  • Give yourself permission to feel the emotions you feel and deal with them. They aren't wrong. They just are.

  • Enjoy EVERY DAY, including rain, snow, sleet and hail!

  • Finding hobbies; like photography, pets, blogging, walking, volunteering, watching sports (MLB) , or collecting data.

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