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idk if im a bad daughter. or if im just coping...

Posts: 2
Joined: Feb 2011

Background story: My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer is 1999. She had chemo and radiation and was in"remission" until 2007, thats when my family found out the cancer came back and metastasized to her bones. She had been fighting the cancer with chemo and bone meds. During Christmas break we found out the cancer metastasized again, its now in her spinal chord, her brain, and the meningeal layer. She had brain radiation that ended 2 months ago and that did a lot of damage to her cognitive ability and her physical health. She was mentally unstable for 5 weeks, she hardly ate, and lost A LOT of weight in the process, and it hasnt been recently that shes "come out of the fog." She is only 70% back to her old mental self, and the other 30% is the cancer causing her cognitive problems. She will no longer receive treatment and shes on hospice care. The cancer will continue to spread and it is slowly killing her. We also hired a caregiver to be with her on the 2 days none of us can be with her.

My mom's health, or lack there of, has been my family's life for the past 2 months and it is mentally draining my family. Those weeks where she was mentally unstable/mentally checked out did a lot of damage to my family bc my mom was verbally abusive. It was hard to see it as the cancer talking and not my mother. Bc she is physically weak, we have to help her get up, walk, and assist her to go to the bathroom.

We are losing a part of ourselves little by little. Being a caregiver is def taking a toll. We all do our best to try to have some positive aspect of our life, we try to live life outside of my parents house as normal as we can but its hard. The reality is that my mom's condition is at the forefront of our life. We have all put our life on hold, we are stagnant, we cant move forward bc we use our free time to be with her. I am angry that I my life is on hold and I am jealous of all my friends bc they are able to live a normal life.

I don't know what is better, knowing that my mom is dying or her dying unexpectedly? I have started the grieving process and I know that once my mom dies, although it will still be sad, I feel like I will be able to handle it better. I've gone through many grieving stages during these past 2 months, anger, bargaining, sadness, and I feel like right now I am finally accepting my mom's fate. I know her death is inevitable, I am just tired of this waiting game, and this is why I feel like I am a bad daughter. I want my life back though I know it wont be the same.

I love my mom a lot. But I know she is suffering and it kills me that I cant do anything and that she is dying. At the same time i dont know how much longer me and my family can deal with this, take this. We are all suffering and we all just want some peace. I just wish God would speed up the process so that we can have our peace. My mom doesn't deserve to suffer anymore...My family deserves to be happy.

grandmafay's picture
Posts: 1639
Joined: Aug 2009

You have just expressed the same thoughts many caregivers have. My husband had colon cancer for six years. I lost him 16 months ago. Yes, cancer takes over your lives. We knew from the beginning that he was just buying time. Our lives revolved around dr ppointments, chemo, radiation, surgeries, scans, etc. Sometimes I wished for my life before cancer back. I'm sure he did, too. It is very hard watching our loved one in pain. We hurt for them and want to fix them. Some of us even wish it was us who was sick. My husband often told me that he felt I had the harder job. It's not wrong to grieve for your life before cancer. You are right that you are already grieving that loss. Of course you are angry. You're not a bad daughter. You are one who is hurting. You are doing the best you can in a very difficult situation. You love your mother. Try to hang in there. Your mom is still here even if the cancer has changed her. Be sure that you have said everything you need to say to her. You don't want regrets. Think about maybe getting more help so you can have some time to do something you want to do. Ask hospice for help with some grief counseling. They are there for the whole family and can help you prepare for when your mother is gone. Take care, Fay

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