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Feelings of Guilt

Posts: 1
Joined: Apr 2002

Hi, I'm new to this a friend of mine suggested that I write to see how others handled the guilt. My mom was diagnosed with small cell lung cancer April of 1999. She started chemo and things went well of course she was a little weak. After the chemo was completed they had my mom do radiation, this wiped her out physically. My mom passed away 2 weeks after her last radiation treatment in October of 1999. My guilt comes in because my mom did not want to have these treatments and I made her because I wanted her to be around longer, but it seems they just shortned her life. The doctors said they caught it early and this was wonderful since she wasn't even having any symptoms. I can't stop myself from feeling like if I didn't make her go through these treatments she would have been around a little longer. Did I make her last months with us more miserable if she wasn't having any symptoms? I still can't even look at her pictures. I miss my mother very much and I feel so sad that I can't even talk about her to my young daughter so that she will know about her grandmother. I know I'm babbling, and I'm sorry for that, it's just that I've never expressed these feelings before and their all coming to the surface. Thanks,

Posts: 105
Joined: Nov 2000

Even if it was the treatment that killed your mother--and it's not clear, to me at least, that it did--you are not responsible. The only thing you are guilty of is loving your mother and trying to do the very best for her that you could. It's natural to feel guilty, as nearly as I can tell. At least, I feel guilty even though there was nothing I could have done to help my mother, that I didn't do.
Your mother was an adult. You could not actually *make* her do what she didn't want to. OK, it sounds as if you helped persuade her by arguing forcefully. It was still a decision that she and her doctor made. And speaking of doctors, it was up to them or your mother to stop the radiation--or take a break from it--if they thought it was endangering her life more than it was helping.
Finally, no matter what the doctor said at first, you never know with cancer. My mother's cancer was also caught early, and the surgeon said he had "got it all". Her first prognosis was quite good. So what? She died anyway.
Again, really: If you need to forgive yourself for anything at all, it's just for being human and loving.

bc2miraclebaby's picture
Posts: 32
Joined: Jul 2001

The best thing you Can do, is to babble away.Getting these feelings out is a manner to heal the unspoken ones of anger,confusion and closure. I am a firm believer in writing down all those painful feelings and setting them aside till I am ready to re-read them.Setting them aside helps me to choose "when" I want to deal with them.Writing them helps me to focus on how I really feel,a chance to self analyze,and understand that I handled it all the best way I knew how,at the time.
It is a process that I have to go through-not around.Some feelings are still shelved for me but eventually I will get to them too.
I agree with Carol that the responsibility to monitor your mother's condition lies in the Doctor's hands. We trust them to know when to back off, to evaluate what is best for our care.It was in the beginning easier for me to lay the blame on them,but then I had to realize whatever was GOD"S WILL was what made the change.Doctors and family can only do so much to assist our loved ones,and we do all we can as humans to do the right thing.Sometimes difficult decisions are made and are the wrong ones.
I still shake my head in disbelief that it happened the way it did but I know the mental stress of all the blame and anger does no one any good.It simply was out of our hands.Maybe it would help to get together with your dearest friend,choose a private time to release these feelings,hold your mom's picture,and after a good cry, hold it a while longer and forgive yourself by talking to her in your heart.She knows your love and heart's desire to have helped.
Your daughter is young,there will be time to share all the wonderfulness of your mother's love,or perhaps your journal would be a way to share these feelings?
I tend to babble too, I hope it helps both of us.I wish I could reach out and share a hug, we all need lot's of those. Peace to You, Debbie(bc2miraclebaby)

Posts: 22
Joined: Oct 2000

Hi,Dont beat yourself up with small cell theres no cure so it was enevitable that you were going to loose her I just lost my mom 5/9/02 to small cell with svcs its small cell with an additional evil ( look it up) the day day my mom did her brochcoscopy and it came back small cell I ran to my computer to look it up and knew immediatly she was doomed......she was 57, I took care of her til the end although she did get a brief remission ( for a summer) and she declined in March of this year and died 5/9 I am an only child w/3kids and a hubby but it was a shitty Mothers Day I must say feel free to email me cfava@mc.net....I dont know if this brings you any comfort or not I was almost relieved when my mom passed she didnt have it go to her brain or anything and I guess having 18 months knowing what was coming helped me to grieve all along quietley as she never wanted to know what her chances were she just went along doing her treatments and on with her day, but I knew.

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