Jun 04, 2003 - 5:08 am
My mum has incurable cancer in her breast which has spread to her bones, lungs & liver. The primary in the breast has not been confirmed but that is where they think it started. She has had one session of radiotherapy for palliative effect only & is on combination painkillers. I have moved from my home with my fiance to stay with my mum & care for her to the end. It is a real struggle coping with her illness day to day. She has terrible trouble breathing & wakes me up very early needing my help. We also have to go to bed very late as she is afraid of the panics her poor breathing in bed causes. I am constantly tired & also have to put up with my grandmother with whom my mother lives. She is very demanding, unhelpful & selfish so essentially I am caring for 2 people although my grandmother is not in ill health. My main concern is for my mother's well being but sometimes I find my patience tested by everything & find it hard not to be negative. My mum has lumps on her breasts which are growing & increasing in number & she is very thin & very weak. I love her very much & am terrified of her death & the manner of it. The pain is well controlled by morphine but her breathing is so laboured that I fear she will suffocate. If she has respiratory failure I will have to call for an ambulance which horrifies me because she does not want to die in hospital. I miss my fiance, I am sick of having no life or a single moment alone - I even sleep in the same room as my mother. I am coping on the whole but get quite depressed & self pitying as I am confined in this house in a town where I have no friends & my every moment revolves around others' needs. I feel like I need a break but have only been here 2 months & will be here for the foreseeable future. If there was something I could do to help my mum with her breathing I would feel so much better. I read about a portable respirator called Airlift I think, but it was on an American website & no one I have spoken to in the UK has heard of it. We have hospital appointments in the coming weeks but my mum will probably be to ill to attend them. All the healthcare professionals are strongly recommending she attend a day hospice but she is too weak for that also. I am sorry to ramble on & be such a misery but the unvarying days, terrible television & lack of anyone to talk to who understands are making me a bit verbose! If anyone can offer understanding, advice, tips or even just humour I would be very pleased. Thanks.