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Joined: Mar 2003

We started this process in August for the third time. The first time mom was diagnosed with cancer I was just a child. The last two times I've been grown. But this is the 3rd time, and the doctors say the last. This time I live with my mom and have become fully responsible for her care.
Things weren't bad at first, but after several months have passed, I'm starting to wear down. It seems like we're constantly in and out of doctor's offices for tests, check-ups and chemo. And when we're home my responsibilities have increased tremendously. My brother is in medical school and doesn't have time to help, and rarely calls mom to check on her.

I'm starting to feel overwhelmed but at the same time I feel guilty. Mom was always there for us and I should be there for her.

Can anyone else relate?


sassysally's picture
Posts: 150
Joined: Mar 2003

BOY can I relate!In 1998, my father died. On that same day while my mom was at the hospital with him, her oncologist called and informed me she had lung & liverCA. Meanwhile I was at this time going thru radiation/chemo for my own breast cancer ordeal. After my fathers funeral, my mom sold her house and moved to a condo. things got worse. I was the only one in the state close to take care of her. With my own business, little boy, and household to run. I ran to take care of her on a daily basis. My husband was here, but not much help emotionally. Just there to watch my son. My son has ADHD,OCD,ODD, and is highly functioning autistic besides everything else I was dealing with. The continual running, running, running... I lived on coffee 24hrs a day just to function. The appointment, the chemo, the doctor, the grocery store etc.If your mom is terminal, call the Visiting nurses program or the hospitals hospice program. They can provide caregivers to give you some relief and a well need break. My momrefused hospice care until a week before she died. I movedher to my house that last week, and the hardest thing to do was discuss a DNR braclet. I felt like I was signing her death warrant. She knew that if something happened and I was not there, and if she didn't have that braclet on they would have to try to recessitate her. That week was a long and painful one, but at the end I told her it was time to go. She fought hard.Shes definately happier now. Call those places they can help a great deal and get you the supplies that you will possibly need and the rest you deserve. Don't feel guilty about taking a break. Your mother know, and for as much as you want to do it all, you can't.If you need to talk, I am here, to talk or to listen. I've been there. Hang in there. My prayers are with you and your mom and family.

Posts: 2
Joined: Mar 2003

To Kristin: I can relate to that overwhelmed feeling...but I do hope that you will find a way to bolster yourself and re-energize for the sake of your Mother. And that you will convince your brother to make time to be with your family and hlep you out. I only say this because I am carrying around guilt for not doing more for my own Mother when I had the chance. After my Mother was diagnosed with cancer, I moved back to my parents house to help her and my Dad. We were told she only had 4-6 months, but I didn't listen. I thought I would be there for the long haul, so I took a break from all the treatments,hospital visits, etc. and went on a hiatus with my then-new husband. I thought I was doing my family and myself a favor by staying out of their hair and coming back refreshed. My Mother was hospitalized the day I returned to her house... she died the next morning. So, my guilt for not being there more and helping out more, greatly outweighs the guilt I had about feeling overwhelmed. My Mom was always, always there for us, and I feel like I wasn't there for her.

I hope your family makes an effort to be together, so that your Mom can be happy.

Posts: 25
Joined: Mar 2003

Dear Kristin, yes we can all relate. It is an emotional and physical drain. I lost my mother 23 years ago. I had just graduated from college and was living at home with my mom. At the time I felt as you did. I loved my mom so much. But I felt like it was the most difficult time of my life. I felt overwhelmed and sometimes depressed. But now 23 years later I look back on those days as a total blessing. I remember sitting by my moms side, reading to her from the bible, trying to coax her to eat and just loving her. Now I am thankful that it was me that had those last days. At the time it bothered me because my sisters were working with families and my brother didn't live close... so I was "IT." Now I am having the opportunity 23 years later to care for my father as he is in the last stages of lung cancer. My poor older sister works for the senate. This is their busy time of year and she can't get away to see my dad. But I now can see that I am the blessed one to have the time with my dad. Yes it is terribly painful.. but I will have the memories of this time with him. God bless you and I am available to listen anytime. Love, Terri

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