Happy Mother's Day?

luv2camp Member Posts: 1
edited May 2011 in Caregivers #1
Hello everyone. This is new to me (cancer and the website!) so I am hoping this is a good place to start. First, my mother has the cancer, not me. That is what brings me here. As I read thru the subject lines of most of these posts, I see that what I intended to write about has apparently already been written about several times. So, while I will read thru those I still hope that someone has the magical and instant answer for *my* particular situation. (Laughter okay there.)

Let's start with the fact that my mother and I had not spoken in 10+ years... Until I got "the" phone call about the "c" word. Now it is two months later, she is living me and quite honestly, I feel like a complete failure. While we have both clearly put the past behind us to deal soley with her health, some 'stuff' seeps up every now and then, of course. I can never do good enough, she is not happy with anything and we are all walking on ice around her.

She was diagnosed with Head/Neck Cancer, squamous cell carcinmoa, Stage 4: T4N2B to be exact. Nope, not good. All up and down her throat, neck and in her mouth. It is so massive I can see it on the roof of her mouth and she already has difficutly eating. She has declined a radical surgery offered at UC Davis (which I don't blame her for, actually) and is now going to UCLA daily (via ME) for chemoradiation therapies. Oh, well, as of Monday night she declared she may decline further treatments there as well. Joy, joy.

While I sound sarcastic here today, I have not been this way yet. In the past two months going thru this with her, I have gone thru the fear, grief, bargaining, all those Elizabeth Kubler Ross stages, plus, right? It is just this week I am about 'up to here' (elect whichever elevation you see fit to place your rigid hand) with her attitude. Goodness knows she has a lot on her plate but if her attitude doesn't improve, her health is going to decline faster than ever.

She is 65 and not married. She has no other children. She has ostracized her brother and seems to have not too many friends, or atleast none that are logistically close to her. Therefore, I am her only caretaker. That is a huge load. Add to it my daily life, 3 kids, a husband and a job I need to get to in order to pay my own bills and I now am overflowing with stress myself. And so I am here complaining because I wonder if those with cancer actually realize that those without it go thru a lot of stress themselves?

And so I don't mean to sound horrible here but am thankful for a place to vent. As one post titles itself "I'm going to explode" - AMEN. Me, too, sister.

Any help? (Just reading this gives me comfort, too. Thank you.)

Happy Mother's Day, ladies.


  • grandmafay
    grandmafay Member Posts: 1,633 Member
    First, welcome to the boards. There are many here who have been or are going through many of the things you describe. Being the caregiver for someone with cancer is tough. Given the other things you are doing, you have a whole lot on your plate even without the emotional baggage. You don't sound horrible and should feel comfortable coming here to vent. You're right that many of the things you mention have showed up here before because many of us have experienced similar things. They are new to you, though, so feel free to share with us what you are feeling at any given time. Each of us have some unique feelings and thought, too, because even though we are similar each of us is unique.

    Now for some thoughts. Notice I didn't say words of wisdom. I don't really have any of those. I don't have any magical answers either. Sorry about that. Number one is take care of yourself and your family. They are dealing with a lot, too. Then, I would set some limits for mom. She needs to understand that you will do the best you can and that you don't need any guilt trips from her. If she doesn't like the care you are giving, she will need to find care elsewhere. The decisions concerning her care are hers. If she chooses not to take certain treatments, that's up to her, as well. You can't fix her; you can only support her decisions. If and when she reaches a point where no further treatment is available or she chooses not to take treatment, ask the dr for a referral to hospice. Find out what other services are available also. Do you have visiting nurses in your area? Ask the hospital social worker what kind of help is available even before hospice. Get help wherever you can. Don't try to do this on your own. It's not fair to you, your husband, or you children if you make yourself sick. You need to be strong. Take care, Fay