Mother

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Doc_Hawk
Doc_Hawk Member Posts: 685
A couple of weeks ago my mom had a bump removed from her nose and it turned out to be cancerous. When I tried to talk to her about her dx, she just didn't really care that there was cancer. I told her she needed to start using sun screen all the time and again her attitude was pretty much "who cares." I'm really concerned about her apparent lack of caring and just don't know what to say to her. I'm seriously considering using blackmail to get her to at least use sun screen by telling her if she doesn't I'm going to stop getting chemo. Her over all health is bad enough, she doesn't need to compound it by letting the cancer get worse because of ambivalence. Any suggestions on helping someone who doesn't seem to care?

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  • jjaj133
    jjaj133 Member Posts: 867 Member
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    Hi Doc, Hope your mom is ok.
    Hi Doc, Hope your mom is ok. When I have to tell my kids something I know will upset them, I act like it's no big deal.
    When I told them i had mets to the liver,my exact words, were,"no big deal, it grows back".
    So maybe that is what your mom is doing. Hopefully she heard you and will take precautions.
    Hugs,
    Judy
  • Lovekitties
    Lovekitties Member Posts: 3,364 Member
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    Dear Doc
    Sorry to hear that your mom has had this occur. Do you have any good info on what her surgeon or doctor told her about the possibility of recurrance or the precautions to take in the future? It may be that she already got their message, particularly about the sunscreen and just didn't want it to be a big deal with you.

    Please don't try the blackmail route...God forbid if you did and something dire happened to you just imagine the guilt you would leave her with.

    Is she close by or is there a family memeber who looks after her? Does she go out alone or always with some one? If accompanied you could get that person to also take up the sunscreen habit and perhaps just do it with mom as part of the preparation of going out.

    I think that voicing your love for her with any voiced concerns is the way to go.

    Hoping that all goes well for your mom.

    Marie who loves kitties
  • ron50
    ron50 Member Posts: 1,723 Member
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    Hi Doc
    I went for my yearly screen a few days ago. Skin cancer is a MAJOR problem here in Australia with some of the highest melanoma rates in the world. We have had the SLIP (slip on a shirt) SLOP (slop on some sunscreen )and SLAP(slap on a hat)adds on Tv for thirty years. One of the stars on a popular fishing and outdoors show constantly reminds viewers Ïf you don't want to wear a piece of your bum on your face ,use plenty of sunscreen ,wear your sunnies and wear a hat. I was lucky this year ,no skin cancers but my ex has just had nine bcc's burned off and one squamous cell carc cut out. She required thirteen stitches and the wound has ulcerated thanks to the arthritis immuno suppressant Humira. It's only skin cancer is a deadly underestimation to make,Ron.
  • Doc_Hawk
    Doc_Hawk Member Posts: 685
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    Dear Doc
    Sorry to hear that your mom has had this occur. Do you have any good info on what her surgeon or doctor told her about the possibility of recurrance or the precautions to take in the future? It may be that she already got their message, particularly about the sunscreen and just didn't want it to be a big deal with you.

    Please don't try the blackmail route...God forbid if you did and something dire happened to you just imagine the guilt you would leave her with.

    Is she close by or is there a family memeber who looks after her? Does she go out alone or always with some one? If accompanied you could get that person to also take up the sunscreen habit and perhaps just do it with mom as part of the preparation of going out.

    I think that voicing your love for her with any voiced concerns is the way to go.

    Hoping that all goes well for your mom.

    Marie who loves kitties

    Thanks
    Thanks for the replies. She only got the news last Thursday and she and my dad left on a vacation on Saturday, so she hasn't had a chance to talk with any doc yet. I told her that I want to go on her appointments to make sure all of the questions get addressed.

    I live with my parents and we're mutual caregivers so I'll be able to ride herd on her when needed. When she goes out it's always with either myself, my dad or my sister, so we can stress the sun screen issue every time, but she's every bit as thick headed as her son and pretty much does as she wants. When I mentioned the sun screen, her response was that she didn't go out in the sun that much. I told her she went out enough to get skin cancer and she couldn't reply back to that.

    I don't think her attitude is any kind of sugar coating; at 53 years old my skin is thick enough to handle bad news and she's aware of that. I think it's more that she really doesn't care anymore. Her heart only operates at 25% of normal and she refuses to follow the docs orders to get better.
  • Doc_Hawk
    Doc_Hawk Member Posts: 685
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    Dear Doc
    Sorry to hear that your mom has had this occur. Do you have any good info on what her surgeon or doctor told her about the possibility of recurrance or the precautions to take in the future? It may be that she already got their message, particularly about the sunscreen and just didn't want it to be a big deal with you.

    Please don't try the blackmail route...God forbid if you did and something dire happened to you just imagine the guilt you would leave her with.

    Is she close by or is there a family memeber who looks after her? Does she go out alone or always with some one? If accompanied you could get that person to also take up the sunscreen habit and perhaps just do it with mom as part of the preparation of going out.

    I think that voicing your love for her with any voiced concerns is the way to go.

    Hoping that all goes well for your mom.

    Marie who loves kitties

    Thanks
    Thanks for the replies. She only got the news last Thursday and she and my dad left on a vacation on Saturday, so she hasn't had a chance to talk with any doc yet. I told her that I want to go on her appointments to make sure all of the questions get addressed.

    I live with my parents and we're mutual caregivers so I'll be able to ride herd on her when needed. When she goes out it's always with either myself, my dad or my sister, so we can stress the sun screen issue every time, but she's every bit as thick headed as her son and pretty much does as she wants. When I mentioned the sun screen, her response was that she didn't go out in the sun that much. I told her she went out enough to get skin cancer and she couldn't reply back to that.

    I don't think her attitude is any kind of sugar coating; at 53 years old my skin is thick enough to handle bad news and she's aware of that. I think it's more that she really doesn't care anymore. Her heart only operates at 25% of normal and she refuses to follow the docs orders to get better.
  • omrhill
    omrhill Member Posts: 125
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    nothing to mess around with
    Perhaps you can appeal to her vanity? My 90 year old father who has been bald for at least 50 years has several spots on his head that have had to be removed, and they leave ugly scars. That, and he now has a spot on his leg that presents as an open wound and requires daily dressing changes. Melanoma is an ugly cancer and spreads rapidly and unpredictably. Maybe you can scare her into treatment? I don't mean to sound cruel but she really needs treatment and in this case a little tough love might be necessary.

    Whatever you do, do not jeopardize your own health. In the end, you're both responsible for your own decisions. You need your chemo. It is what is best for you. And maybe watching you fight for your own health will inspird her to do the same.

    It's tough and I am sorry you have to deal with cancer yet again.

    Robin
  • danker
    danker Member Posts: 1,276 Member
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    Doc_Hawk
    Sorry to hear about your mom.Perhaps the solution is a big floppy hat that will shade her whole face, It's worth a shot. Putting yourself in danger is certainly not the answer. Good luck with it!
  • Doc_Hawk
    Doc_Hawk Member Posts: 685
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    danker said:

    Doc_Hawk
    Sorry to hear about your mom.Perhaps the solution is a big floppy hat that will shade her whole face, It's worth a shot. Putting yourself in danger is certainly not the answer. Good luck with it!

    To clarify
    I reckon I ought to explain that I won't really stop chemo, just thinking about telling her I will if she doesn't wear sunscreen. Maybe I should tell her how much she pisses me off when she doesn't care about her health and follow what her docs tell her to do.
  • k44454445
    k44454445 Member Posts: 494
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    hi Doc
    sorry about your Mom, but maybe if you tell her how much it would upset you if she does not get the correct tx, she might listen to you. i would tell her that i would really worry & stress & as we all know that is not good for any of us!
    just keep handing her the sun screen when needed & goodluck!

    judy
  • steved
    steved Member Posts: 834 Member
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    Knowledge, time and patience
    Just like for us in our battle it sounds like knowing a bit more about her condition may help you both- great that you are going with her to her appointment (as long as that is what she wants). Skin cancer takes loads of forms and some are much worse than others and in fact some are quite benign- there are squamous cell carcinomas (strangley a little like those on the the anal cancers site have but don't tellyour mum that), basal cell carcinoma and melanomas. Each has its own issues but are very different - so you need to know the type of cancer to know what the issues forward are.

    Skin damage from sun is the commonest cause of skin cancers but is usually an issue of developing damage over decades rather than days and weeks. So in many ways worrying about sun screen now and focusing on that is perhaps a little too late and perhaps may be just your own way of wanting to make things better and feel like you can do something to control or change the situation. In truth it probably won't change much except for causing a bunch of conflicts between you and the person you care about, which is the last thing either of you need.

    She really needs you to be her son who cares and supports her in what ever choices she now makes- good or bad. She may approach this differently to how you approach your cancer and you need to accept that and respect her choices. Blackmail- real or not- ain't going to improve things.

    Remember that overwhelming phase we all went through when we first got our diagnosis. WE all reaacted differently but in time settled to a more accepting place. Denial is common and may be her way of coping and may allow her to get through this early phase. You are also going through that initial shock phase again and perhaps it is retriggering some of your own feelings of being out of control you felt at first too (especially as I appreciate your own situation is far from sorted at present).

    Be patient and time will help you both get your heads around this. Learn a bit more about what it really means.But mainly back off a bit and simply be available to her as a son.

    steve
  • Brenda Bricco
    Brenda Bricco Member Posts: 579 Member
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    Hi Doc, as a 10 year
    Hi Doc, as a 10 year melanoma survivor I understand how important it is to protect yourself from the sun. I don't like wearing sunblock but I have learned to make it part of my daily hygiene (if I am gonna to be in the sun). I like the big floppy hat idea, it does wonders and makes it nice to not have to use the sunblcok. Another idea is to try different sunblocks, they have some new ones that don't make you feel oily and actually have a nice smell.
    You love your Mom and you want her to be okay but I am not sure of your "black mail" idea... don't forget she is a Mom and has probably made up her mind a long time ago that she will not participate in such ideas. I have adult and minor children so I am not easily manipulated and actually will "cut off my nose despite my face" when if comes to a "face off" with them (kids will try anthing to get what they want). I would suggest coming to her as her Son and let her know that although you are an adult that you still very much need your Mom for many reasons.
    Maybe introduce her to the melanoma board here on CSN. I don't think a lot of folks realize how deadly skin cancer is, especially with the idea that a tan makes you look healthy.
    I have seen many of your posts and know that you are a gentle, kind and caring soul. I am sure you will do great with getting your Mom to help you by not having to worry about her getting sick with something so deadly and preventable.
    Some really good news is that my Mayo dermatologists says that no one has to die of melanoma or any skin cancer. Keep up with your dermatologist appointments and catch things early. He says he has a patient that has had 5 melanomas but just has them resected and they are gone (because his wife watches him like a hawk. :)
    GOD bless you for being a wonderful Son!
    Brenda