mom appears to have given up

feelinghelpless Member Posts: 1
edited March 2014 in Caregivers #1
my mom was recently diagnosed with lung, colon and liver cancer two weeks ago although we suspect she has had it longer. she won't eat or take her medicine. She was given appetite stimulants, but she won't take them now. She was cooperating with us and now all she wants to do is sleep and lie in the bed. she was put in the hospital two weeks ago, and they built her weight back up with IV. Now back at home, she has gone from 140 pounds to 112 in a week and a half. She won't talk to us or do anything for herself. She wets the bed and refuses to use potty chair or even walk. we have to drag her out of the house to take her to the doctor. we are at wit's end. the doctor says he believes that the chemo can cure the cancer. Our mom is only 78, and had been healthy until now. we are not ready to lose our mom. what can we do? Can we force her to get treatment. I don't want to watch her waste away. She lives in Mississippi which has few resources.


  • Tina Blondek
    Tina Blondek Member Posts: 1,500 Member
    Hi Feelinghelpless,
    So sorry you are having to go through this with your mom. It has got to be devastating to not only be told you have cancer, but you have it in 3 different places in your body! How depressing that must be. I do not blame your mom for feeling like she wants to give up. Give her some time to digest this information. Did they give you what stage she is? Did they mention surgery? Or radiation? Sounds like she might need to be put back in the hospital to get rehydrated, and to put the weight back on her. If not, she will definitely waste away. Our bodies can only take so many days of not eating or drinking, and shuts down. She would also benefit from speaking to a counselor at the hospital that specializes in her types of cancer. Good luck with this. Stick together, work as a team. Keep in touch. Give us your names so we can begin to pray for all of you.
  • grandmafay
    grandmafay Member Posts: 1,633 Member
    A cancer diagnosis is hard for the entire family. In the end, your mom is the one who needs to decide on her treatment. Have the doctors talked about a treatment plan? Have they given her a prognosis? She may choose not to fight. She really does have that choice. None of us want to let our loved ones go. My husband fought to buy as much time as he could. That choice gained us time, but he went through a great deal - chemo, surgery, radiation, lots of meds. I don't know that I would have chosen to fight as long as he did, but I feel blessed with the 6 years we had following his diagnosis of stage 4 colon cancer with liver and lymph nodes involvement. He got to make the choices, though. He also chose when to stop fighting and we contacted hospice. This is your mother's life. It is really hard to accept that. Right now, give her a chance to digest what she is being told by the doctors. Talk with her as calmly as you can about how you feel. My husband often told me that my job as caregiver was harder than his. in some ways, I guess I agree with him. We need to accept possibly living without them. Watching them ill, hurting, and totally fatigued is really hard. We want to fix them. Sometimes, they can't or don't want to be fixed. Take care, Fay
  • Barbara53
    Barbara53 Member Posts: 652
    your way may not be best
    I know this is very difficult for you, but your position is very unique! Usually patients want to fight the big fight against very very poor odds, depending on the cancer, patient, stage, etc. Sometimes people want to fight, and sometimes they don't. Is sounds like your mother does not, and though I am no dr and have very little info, chemo probably won't come anywhere near a cure for a person in your mom's condition. And chemo for lung/etc is very rough indeed.

    Your mother may become more cooperative if you support her more, get in hospice to help and give her more attention, and talk up the goal of a good death. We don't talk about that in our society, but dying peacefully and well was once a goal of every person. Ask her: what can we do to help you enjoy your remaining days?
  • panks
    panks Member Posts: 36
    Your moms gut instincts
    The hardest thing I have ever done in my life was to be a caregiver to the man I loved. Mostly because it is their decision whether to do the treatment or not. In our case he started out with the choice of treatment, and we were told he could have 6 months 2 years with it. He made it 3 and a half months. The day he told me he was done because he had no quality of life anymore was devastating, but our cancer victims know their wants and needs and sometimes we just have to accept that it reaaly is in their hands and not ours. God bless you and yours for the strength that it takes to do what they decide is their path.

  • english_teacher
    english_teacher Member Posts: 1
    I can relate...
    My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in June, but she'd previously survived ovarian cancer. In June, my mom decided to fight the good fight and undergo chemo and later radiation. My mom has now completed her radiation treatments, and this is the end of her intensive treatments. I feel like we should be celebrating the accomplishment, but instead, my mom doesn't get out of bed in the mornings. She cries all the time, and the only time she talks to me anymore is to make biting remarks to me. She's become deeply religious, but will not see a counselor as her doctor has suggested. I too am at my wits end with this.

    After many weeks of being upset, this is finally the advice I was given... realize that you want your loved one to be around not just physically, but mentally as well. Your mom may make the decision to fight, or not, but she's got to be ready for one hell of a fight if she chooses to. I would suggest she seek counseling before anything else. After watching my mom, I now believe that surviving is much more a mental battle than a physical battle.
  • Mybabies
    Mybabies Member Posts: 1
    I can so relate to this. My

    I can so relate to this. My mom finished chemo and radiation about 3 months ago and we thought this would bring her to the point of determination. It has been quite the opposite.  She won’t eat, hardly drinks and just lays in bed all day. During radiation she ended up with a colostomy which just about completley destroyed her spirit.  She’s been in and out of the hospital, lost almost 100 pounds and just all around doesn’t do what she should. She is coming next week to live with me in Florida where I am hoping to get her back up and going but I realize that that will depend greatly on her. I miss my mom. She was my rock. This new after cancer normal SUCKS!