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Help with dealing with post surgery survivor

Posts: 1
Joined: Oct 2012

My mom survived colorectal cancer surgery. She is 83. She is able to get around with a walker and cane, and she has a bag
My Dad lives with her. He is trying do hard to be helpful, but she is
rejecting his every effort, and closing him out. He is losing his ability
to maintain his compassion. She yells at him and us very mean
This is not her normal demeanor. She is having troubles with the
bag, but refuses any assistance.
She feels bad after she is mean, but then it just continues
She is hard of hearing. She is in NY and I, her daughter am in CA
I can only communicate with her via email and with my dad on the phone
She is frustrated and angry. He is hurt and it is turning to anger
I am going to visit to try to help next week
I need advice. I don't know how to deal with this
My relationship with my mom is great. I can say anything to her, and she
will listen...but she has been pretty non communicative since
coming home
My relationship with my dad is good, but he is not as easy
to approach ideas about emotion, etc.

Lovekitties's picture
Posts: 3372
Joined: Jan 2010

You don't mention how long it has been since your mom's surgery, if she is on any meds on a regular basis, or if she has had follow-up visits with her doctor.

If mom is having trouble with the bag, try to get an appointment with an ostomy nurse at the local hospital...you may need to contact her doc for referral. There is no need for her to suffer issues when with a bit of help and the right supplies she should do ok. While talking with the doc you might ask if he could get an approval for a home health nurse to visit a few times to make sure she is doing things properly and the reassure her.

Your mom is going thru a major life change very late in her years. It is difficult for even the younger patients, so mood issues are not unusual BUT do need to be addressed. The same goes for your dad. Perhaps you could contact the local chapter of the American Cancer Society and see if they have any volunteers who could stop in and help them to understand they are not alone, there are people to talk to about their fears and concerns. Depending on where they live there may even be someone who has an ostomy and their spouse who would be able to offer some emotional support and assistance. Sometimes just being able to talk with others who have and are experiencing the same thing will help.

Since you are not local to them, getting resources who can visit or be called on may help.

Hope that some of this may help you to help them. Just remember, cancer and its treatments impact not only the patient but also the ones who love them.

Marie who loves kitties

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