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Mom pushing me away

iheartlife234
Posts: 2
Joined: Apr 2011

It's been 3 months since my mom's diagnosis of Stage IV NSCLC, EGFR positive. Doc says without treatment 6 months, with treatment maybe 14 months. She is 78 yrs old and a never smoker. She is currently in treatment taking Tarceva. She is doing ok despite lack of some appetite. Sometimes she has the energy to go to the gym or do her gardening a few days a week.

My dad is her primary caregiver and I take over when my dad asks me to. The problem is my mother does not want me involved in her care whatsoever, she does not want me to accompany her to doctor's appointments. Whenever I ask if there's anything I can do for her like cook her favorite foods, or if she needs something she says, "Call your dad to come up here" or "dad will do it". She doesn't want me to spend too much time visiting her. I just got married 2 months ago and all she says is, "You're married now. Pay attention to your husband not me, you have your own family now." I didn't even want to go on my honeymoon because I wanted to stay with her but she urged me to go, she even paid for it. I could only stand to be away for 4 days and I wasn't enjoying myself anyway because I kept checking my phone.

I want to spend quality time with her but she won't let me, I want to help out my dad because I know how hard it is. I'm afraid for him as well, he may burnout. I don't know what to do or say to her. She expects me to just go off and continue to live my own life as if it were normal. How can I go on and live my life as if nothing has happened?

I don't know what to do. I want to there for my mom but she pushes me away. It hurts so much that every time she boots me out of the house, I cry (not in front of her of course).

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

Hi Sweetie, and welcome. My mother is 80, late stage ovarian, and I've been hearing that song for over two years: you need to go home and take care of Roger, all that malarkey. Several times I have had to be very direct by telling her what I needed. We walk a fine line between her needs for caregiving, my needs to do it, and her sometimes screwball independent streak.

Perhaps you need to get creative and involve your dad and husband more. Is there something your dad likes to do with his friends outside the house, ditto for husband? If they were occupied on a certain evening each week, you can say ok, tonight you're mine, and show up with enough stuff to stock the fridge for a few days. When Mom was in treatment, she developed a new appreciation for homemade pimento cheese, go figure.

Maybe it's the hovering that bothers her. Mom was never much of a reader, but there's nothing like cancer to keep you in the recliner. She tore through the Philip Gulley books because they're funny. Maybe finding one for her will show her that you're trying to lighten up.

Pardon the metaphor, but here on planet cancer the atmosphere can change in a moment, and you never know what the day or night will bring. She may be down one day and up the next. It can feel really crazy at times! Good luck with this day.

Carey1
Posts: 3
Joined: Jul 2011

Hello My dear
And I found your post really moving. My Mum does the same with me. She pushes me away the more I reach out to her. She does not seem to want my emotional help at all or to hear any kind words, she does though allow practical help but not personal care. But i worry like you and fret whenever I am not with her and want us to enjoy and treasure each moment together. I try to imagine how it feels to be in her shoes and that helps a bit. Anyway would love to hear how you are coping
Lots of love
C xxxx

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

Carey, as my mother's health declines, I think she enjoys talking on the phone more than ever. She doesn't have to fix up or even wear a bra (she has back mets) and when she's on the phone she often sounds really cheerful. As long as we call often when we're not there in person, I think it's okay.

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

I don't want to sound like a commercial, but I fixed Mom up with a long list of PG movies I thought she'd like and she's really getting into the treats that come right to her door, in red netflix envelopes. Each one a wonderful surprise.

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