Mom with metastic breast cancer is losing her battle and I'm in another state...

My 60 year old mother just went to hospice today after not being very alert and responsive for a couple days. She has just been sleeping. I not only live in another state, I am currently traveling for business and my company has prepaid all my expenses. I feel stuck between a rock and a hard place.   I already have airline tickets purchased for me and my family to go see her over the labor day weekend but I just don't think she can hang on that long. I pray that she does, but the doctor said she has the most aggressive cancer they have seen. Its in her brain and spine now and she is basically paralyzed. My 62 year old dad has a bad back and has been having a really hard time handling all this physically but most of all emotionally. They have been married 45 years and they are each others best friend. 

I've gone back and seen her 3 times in the past 6 months but I don't know how I will be able to handle it if I don't get back in time to see her before it's too late. I'm also worried that if I do go back right now and she does hang on will have to come home again just to go back again. I know this sounds horrible but I just can't afford the travel expenses. I'm putting it all on my credit card and additionally I just got this job a month and a half ago after being laid off for 6 months.  Ugh. Not only am I greiving for my mother, I'm confused on what to do right now. I just keep praying for God to give her the strength to hang on long enough for me to get there. 

I guess my question would be if there is anyone out there that have experienced not being there when your mother or father passed and how you feel or got through it. I want to be there, but the reality is that I may not be and I don't know how I will be able to cope with that. 


  • bluerose
    bluerose Member Posts: 1,104
    It's not about the end, it's about the journey.
    I am a 25 year cancer survivor and I could write for days about how cancer affected my family and the things I lost and the things I found. What I can tell you is that I was not able to be there for either my Mom's or Father's passing and for me it just wasn't that important because it was more about the life I had in memory for both of them that really counted.

    At the end neither of my parents were able to recognize anyone who was there and my brother and his family lived close to her so they were able to actually be there so she wasn't alone. Even with that she had no idea what was going on around her is what the doctors said, my father too. Of course no one knows the state that a person will be in at the end, just recounting what my personal experiences were with this kind of thing.

    If I were you and you can swing it I would go to your Mother now. Get in at least one more visit as soon as you can and then if she does hold on and you are called back and can't make it then maybe you can be there via the internet. It's just an idea but maybe you could arrange for someone in your family to hook up a Skype session so that you can be in your Mother's room and perhaps see her and speak with her should she go down again and you can't make it. It's just a thought. People are attending weddings over the internet and all kinds of things these days and while this is a much more sombre situation for sure sometimes it just can't be helped that people just can't be there so maybe this is one way that you can be without having to bankrupt yourself to get to her. I'm sure she wouldn't want that for you and your family if she knew.

    Try and think of your life with her rather than the last few moments as what is more important, really, I didn't feel that I had done any harm to my parents by not being there at the end, they knew my situation and knew that I would have been there if I could have.

    I hope this helps in some way.