Jan 24, 2011 - 3:17 pm
This is my first post to the caregivers section - my mother (early 70's) has been battling an aggressive uterine cancer (discovered at stage 3C in 2009). Despite the most aggressive treatment (surgery, chemo, radiation), this past summer it had spread to her lungs and liver. Different chemos have done nothing to slow the disease which is now also in her bones and various other places. She requires oxygen, can barely walk, is losing weight/muscle mass rapidly (despite medicines/eating more) and is nearing the point where chemo may be doing more harm to her body than good.
To date, I have been the perpetual provider of hope and optimism (and really good food), even though I knew the long term statistics weren't great. This worked well because my mom has always been a very strong and positve person even in the face of the worst circumstances. As the disease advances and reality is physically obvious, my mom has by her own admission lost her will. My glass is half full attitude no longer feels right.
I guess my question is what is the best way to communicate with a loved one who is clearly dying and knows it - I'm a born optimist and problem-solver so it's unnatural for me to stop 'cheering' my mom on. It's so cliche to say 'never give up', but at what point to you accept the reality and go with it. Advice/experience from others who have gong through this would be most welcome.