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The end of the life

Posts: 6
Joined: Sep 2007

I'm new to this group .I have been posting in the NHL section but there does not seem to be much interaction on that side. I am an only child and am caring for my mum who has terminal non hodgekins lymphomas. The doc thinks that she only has a couple of months left and I just can't cope or believe this is it for her. I am an only child and we have always been very close. A couple of weeks ago she had a bad fall and broke one of the bones in her back so now she can't get around and has to have complete bed rest.Since this accident she has come to live me me and my six month old baby. I find it so heartbreaking that my baby will grow up and only know my husbands mothers as her nan.When I fell pregnant my mum was more exicited than me or my husband, it just seems so unfair.I have looked after her for the last seven years since she was first cursed with this disease. I always managed before to make her laugh and be as positive as possible but now I can't seem to pull it off anymore. I have a bed downstairs in the main sitting room for my mum and I find myself looking at her every night in it nice and warm thinking that it is only a matter of time before she is in the cold ground. For my mother stake I need to get these thoughts out of my head. I need to find a way to make her laugh again. I don't feel that there is anyone I can talk to as I don't feel that they would understand what I am feeling. Also I don't want to seem selfish like it coming to the end of the world for my mother and I can do is think about myself and think morbid thoughts.In the past doctors have made mistakes with my mum and I have been there to make her better but this time there is no mistake and there is nothing I can do to take away the harsh fact of what is happening.I feel so helpless for not been able to fix this and it totally wipes out everything I ever fixed for her before. I could go on and on but I don't expect anyone out there could put up with this. I guess the bottom line is I need to find a way to become more positive about this to help my mum cope better.If there is anyone out there who had experienced a situation like this and has any feedback at all I would be most grateful for any suggestions. In the meantime God (if there is such a thing)be with you all in these troubled times.

KathiM's picture
Posts: 8082
Joined: Aug 2005

I learned a lesson when talking to a young cancer patient who had only months to live. His heart was breaking because he had 2 young children. He said thru tears "How will they know their dad? They are too young to remember me. This is what bothers me most".

I suggested that he start writing them letters. For special events. Like the first graduation, the first date, the first kiss, wedding, first grandchild. Give them to his wife to read to them on those days. His smile was so bright. Then he said, but I don't have much strength. I told him that the letters didn't have to be long. Just picture the day, and what he would say to his daughter when she looked at her child.

Suggest this to your mom. I think it would help fill her days, and also make you a bit less sad about all those days to come.

We are only a contributor to our lives. We do not have a forever. Your mom has given you a gift of sharing a lifetime in 7 years. Love her.

Hugs, Kathi

Posts: 6
Joined: Sep 2007

Thanks for taking the time to reply and what you have suggested is a good idea.The only thing is I don't know how to bring it up,at the moment we are still playing the came of denial but when that changes it certainly is a good idea.
Thanks again

KathiM's picture
Posts: 8082
Joined: Aug 2005

You are very welcome.

I am also a double cancer survivor, as well as caregiver for my mom (double survivor) and sister (single survivor). I don't have much difficulty broaching the subject of death....mine was supposed to occur 2 years ago...I look at every day as a gift.

Just a suggestion...you might just tell your mom that this is a project to keep her busy until she gets well enough to get up and move around again. But, seriously, as painful as the discussion will be (I've had it with both my mom and my daughter), you need to make sure your mom's affairs are in order. There is nothing worse than haveing to guess what someone would have wanted...I had to...my ex-hubby passed last Christmas without a will or advanced directive...it is a MESS!!! She knows the stats, and is probably becoming pretty calm about the future...I know I was...maybe something like "Mom, we both know that this cancer business can be tricky. I want to make sure that you have things taken care of. Let's discuss a few things...like where your important papers are, do you have financial accounts, retirement accounts...I'm sure you would not want me to struggle through, should anything happen to you".

Hugs to a very brave daughter,

Posts: 208
Joined: May 2007

Hi Karry
I can only share what I went through during those last weeks with my parents. I was in my 20's when my dad died and 30s when my Mom and sister died - all from cancer. I also have my second cancer now and as much as my dark humor has gotten me through, I know there are days especially near the end, when humor isn't the answer. Some people just need to talk. The greatest gift I got from my parents (especially my father) during those last weeks was conversation. We talked about dying and how scared he was, his regrets, his joys. I don't really know how the conversation began-I asked him if he had talked to my Mom and we talked about my Grandmother's death 10 years before his and that lead to long conversations. For all the time I had with my parents those last days of conversation are what I remember and carry me through my own illness today. It was really hard, but I feel so blessed to have those memories and their own words. It really changed my life and when they were gone, it was those conversations that helped me move forward. I think the morphne pump is a very good idea. I've also had shingles...
You're in my thoughts.

Posts: 1048
Joined: Jan 2007

Hi, Sorry about the "late" post, but just want to let you know that your not alone and I know what a difficult time you are going through. My mom also sufferred a very long illness and I too am an only child. It's very hard being the "child and the "caregiver". Kathi had an excellent idea but I also know how hard it can be to bring this idea up to your mom. I'm sure you are doing all you can to lift her spirits and trying to stay away from negative thoughts. I also know how difficult that is and it's not always possible. It has to be doubly hard on you with a six month old baby.

Do the best you can and you will have no regrets. Your mom is lucky to have you as a daughter and I'm sure your lucky to have her as a mother. I know she's getting much enjoyment from her grandchild. Tell her you want her to write stories from her childhood and things you don't remember from your childhood that you can share with your child when he/she is old enough. Sending good thoughts and prayers. God Bless

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