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Newbie-Feeling Guilty

bunnydan
Posts: 2
Joined: Jul 2013

I am new to this site.  My mom was diagnosed with Stage 4 small cell lung cancer about 2 months ago, which matasticized to her brain, adrenals, lymph nodes.  Brain tumor was removed. She has undergone 1 round of chemo and will start the next on monday.  My dilemma, I was on vacation 1st week of July but sent my husband and children on to camp without me because at the time, mom was in hosp getting tumor removed.  I went up on the weekend but never had a vacation.  Fast forward to this Friday, I start vacation. Mom's next round begins Monday and I have set up transportation for her to get to and from her chemo.  However, she is not taking care of herself (eating, drinking, moving); therefore leaving her weak. I don't feel comfortable leaving her in her apt by herself.  I am trying to get a friend of hers that lives near her to stop by a couple times a day. I brought her to dr's today and her BP was low and somewhat dehydrated. I bring her to oncologist tomorrow for blood tests before her next treatment.  I've told her if she doesn't start eating/drinking to get her strength back, they may just admit her to hospital again.  I know I "need" to take care of myself or I won't be able to care for her.  I'm just feeling really guilty right now.  I WANT to go away with my family.

LindaK.
Posts: 360
Joined: Apr 2013

I'm sorry you're feeling guilty about going on vacation with your family.  Do you have any other siblings or family members who could take turns staying with your mother?  I am also a caretaker to my husband, diagnosed in December, 2012 with stage II colon cancer.  During his treatements our 41 year old son in law was diagnosed very similarly to your mother.  It has been a hell of a ride for him, our daughter and their 8 year old son.  She and I know (she better than I) the stress involved with being a caretaker.  I'm sure I don't have to tell you your mother could take a serious downturn in her overall health quickly.  How did she do with the first round of chemo?  If her counts aren't good this week, they may postpone chemo next week.

While I can understand your wanting to get away with your family, would you be OK with getting "that phone call" while you are on vacation?  I guess in the end we never really know how we will react, but I'd hate you to feel guilty about not being there for your mother if you are the only family she has around.  There will be other family vacations, but while caring for a stage IV cancer patient in treatment is certainly no vacation, it might be where you need to be right now.  I had a 3 day trip planned to visit my best friend in FL during my husband's treatment.  I was ready right up to the last minute to cancel if need be.  It happened to be in between weeks of his treatments, so I did go.  While it was good to get away, I never stopped worrying about him and he's pretty capable of taking care of himself.  I guess those carefree days are gone for us, always having cancer looming overhead.

I have also cared for my elderly parents (mother with Alzheimers) but felt it was something I HAD to do, even with 3 siblings also helping.  I think of it as payback for them raising all of us to be the caring daughters we are.

I hope you find peace with your choices and wish your mother good health.

Linda

LindaK.
Posts: 360
Joined: Apr 2013

:-)

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