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So hard to hear her cry

kellyh33's picture
kellyh33
Posts: 288
Joined: Jul 2010

I just got off the phone with my Mom and she was crying her eyes out. It breaks my heart. She was saying she is tired of being tired and not feeling well all the time. She has felt terrible for the last year. She was been doing non stop since June 22nd. She did carbo/taxil for 7 treatments, every three weeks and now she is doing a clinical trial every week for the last three weeks. She still has 12 more treatments to go.
I feel horrible for her, the fear never leaves her. Sometimes she asks me to read some of the posts on here because she feels so alone. I try to find the positive ones and the ones where people talk about their feelings so she feels like she has someone she can relate too.

Mum2bellaandwilliam's picture
Mum2bellaandwilliam
Posts: 414
Joined: Oct 2010

(( Kelly ))
I cannot even begin to imagine how difficult this must be for you. Your post has brought tears to my eyes.in fact I am now crying my eyes out. I hope your mum has some good days, and that maybe her clinical trial will beat the beast back and make her feel a bit better.
I dread when I get to this stage with my mum, it is so upsetting, and you must feel so helpless.
Try and keep your chin up xxx

Cindy Bear
Posts: 563
Joined: Jul 2009

I too am now sitting here crying. Cancer is a lonely affair. No matter how large your support system, it's lonely.. and you're always scared, what next, what now, what if... and so on and so on. I don't think my sisters and I understood how scared my mother must have been. I sometimes have enormous guilt from that. I am sure she cried when we weren't around, but two times that stand out in my mind. The night we got the official diagnosis. We were in shock I think, but later at her house she cried, "I have to have chemotherapy" I told her, you don't Mom. You don't have to do anything you don't want to do..She looked at me like I was crazy and said, "What, just die then?" The other time, my sister caught her crying in her bedroom in the middle of the afternoon and when she asked her what was wrong , she said, "I'm not ready to die yet" I'm sorry Kelly. I realize my post isn't very uplifting.. in fact it's damn depressing. But my point is, she's not alone and you're not alone.. because we understand. I know how helpless you feel right now . She's blessed to have a daughter like you .
Hugs,
Cindy

Barbara53's picture
Barbara53
Posts: 659
Joined: Aug 2009

Oh, Kelly, I know. Our mothers fight so hard, and I can't imagine what it's like to hurt all the time and never feel good. My mom is 80 and officially out of treatment, and she says her recliner calls to her constantly to come and rest. Last night on the phone she was coming down with a cold, which scares me more than it scares her.

During the worst times, when there wasn't much to say, we would celebrate making it through another day, and that was enough.

My mother has kept every card she has received during her two-year illness. Once in a while she gets them out and looks at them, perhaps as a way a feeling less alone. When I'm not there, I send at least one card a week, and they help keep her going.

carolenk's picture
carolenk
Posts: 909
Joined: Feb 2011

My younger sister has a really positive attitude about life in general and I would call her when I felt down. Here's what she would say to help me:

It is OK to cry and that crying was helping my immune system stay strong.
I am important to her and that it's not my time to die.
The treatments were temporary and not going to last forever.
I am a strong woman and I am going to make it.
Healing cancer is WORK and that I was tired from working so hard.
Not to worry but to use my imagination for a positive result.
I should go get a massage because research showed the immune system improved after massage (she knows that I respect research so she uses that approach with me).

And my sister would distract me from thinking about the cancer or the horrible pain that I was having from the C. diff infection that I lived with for months before it was diagnosed. She would talk about "the good old days" or something funny that happened to us when we were young. ANYTHING to distract me and it would help me. She would also help me with creative visualization to use my mind as a force for healing.

Anyone can do creative visualization or help someone else to do creative visualiztion. It is sort of like hypnotherapy and also known as "guided imagery." There is a lot written about it as being helpful for cancer patients. Just learn more about it and maybe you could use it for yourself and for your mother.

Take good care of yourself and don't allow yourself to get hung up worrying about your mom. Worry doesn't really help anyone and it will wear you down. You need to be strong for her so that you can have hope when she feels hopeless.

Finally, this might sound goofy but it works for me: I hold my thumb and my forefinger for a few minutes until the fear and worry pass. This is from "Jin Shin Jyutsu" a hands-on healing technique. I can't explain how it works but you/she holds those fingers until you can feel a pulse or until until the scary feelings pass. There's a whole lot more to Jin Shin Jyutsu than that but that's some of the self-help stuff that I learned that might help both of you.

If you let me know your mom's name, I'll pray for her with her permission.

best wishes,

Carolen

anicca's picture
anicca
Posts: 324
Joined: Dec 2010

Kelly - Just listening to your mother is doing her good. There are not a lot of people most of us can cry to, so you are a valuable resource for her in that alone.

Carolen - I love your sister's words to you. I am going to copy them and read them to myself as needed.

Hissy_Fitz's picture
Hissy_Fitz
Posts: 1869
Joined: Sep 2009

Kelly....you are probably a daughter, but I have a son named Kelly (three sons, all told, plus a daughter) and the hardest thing for me is seeing the sadness and fear that sometimes passes across the eyes of my children and grandchildren. My oldest granddaughter, who I raised and has since come back to live with me, wanted to spend the weekend with me, shortly after my diagnosis and surgery. While we sat and talked, and I first had to assure her that it was okay to talk about it, she said, "But Nana, it just makes me so SAD!" And it does. It makes all of us sad: the patients, their spouses, their families, their friends. My BFF came to see me every day I was in the hospital - all 16 days - and she showed up at my house the day I was discharged, as soon as she got off work. By that time of the day, I was fading fast and had to lie down. I told her that if she wanted to talk, she had to come lay down with me. And she did! It was like a slumber party. We lay in my big king-size bed, with the dog between us, and just talked. It was great!

I did the initial Carbo/Taxol, then a year of monthly Taxol treatments. I know how tired your mom is, and I know all about the fear, too. The fear that it will come back, the fear that we will lose the battle, the fear that we don't have enough time left to finish all the things we need to get done: raise our kids, get our grandchildren thru school, pay off the house, see the coliseum in Rome. Try to encourage your mom not to dwell too much on the sadness of all this, although it's impossible to stay bright and perky all the time when you have cancer, and it's unrealistic to expect that of anyone. If she needs to cry, give her a shoulder to cry on. But as often as you can, help her to enjoy the moment. Take her to lunch. Lie down on the bed with her and talk about happy days from your childhood. Rent a DVD you think she'd like and watch it with her. And tell her every day that it will get better. Because it will.

Carlene

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