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Help I need someone to talk to.

Posts: 1
Joined: Jun 2004

Hi, my mom has adenocarcinoma of the right lung in the pleural lining. She had surgery for a complicated pleural fluid build up in her right lung. The thoracic surgeon found the cancer mass when he lifted up her lung and said it was in the back wall too. She was in the hospital with a chest tube for around a month and wore the chest tube home for another month...She has taken 16 chemotherapy treatments for the lung cancer and the chest xray was shown to her by her oncologist with no sign of cancer. My mom has had two blood transfussions, low platlets, ammune system going down and has not had chemotherapy in two weeks. She had brain scan and cat scan of abdomen with no cancer found. She is having lots of pain in her lower left side, tender to the touch, and hurts to bad to sleep on either side at night. Her bowels are fine and she is eating and drinking with no loss of weight. My mom says the oncologist will not take her seriously about her painful bloated belly problem and she is confussed what to do.. I told her to go to see her regular doctor and get a referral to a specialist for her belly...Here is the big problem....My dad told me back months ago, that after my mom had the surgery by the thoracic surgeon that there were layers of cancers all behind her lung in the chest cavity or wall or something like that..My dad made me promise to not tell my mom the truth and my other family members about her condition. He said that he does not want her to know nor get her upset... My mom says the doctors are pleased with her progress and that she is doing fine.. Can a husband tell the doctors not to tell the patient about the results of the tests and surgery for the lung cancer? I feel like I am going to have a break down and my blood sugar has been elevated, I can't sleep, I stay so worried in the day like if I take a deep breath I will faint...I lost my sixteen year old in 1998 he was murdered with a base ball bat...I am still having problems from that I can't handle secrets, Can some one please help me sort this out and give some advice. I read on this site all the time but always afraid to write what is in my heart...If my mom's cancer is terminal like my dad says then I need to fly home and spend lots of time with her...Second problem, my dad does not want me down there because he is worried up and I get on his last raw nerve like he gets on mine. As a matter of fact when my mom had this big surgery and ended up in critical care my dad told me no you can not come down because if your mom sees you flying home she will no she is dying or something to that effect..My mom and I can talk about anything and I want to keep it that way...God Bless you for any prayers or help in this situation....Pam

Posts: 8
Joined: Feb 2003

wow, as someone who has been through cancer treatment it is imperative that your mother know the truth regarding her health. It is her life and it seems ethically wrong that your father and doctor are keeping the truth from her. If my cancer was terminal I would want to know so that I may spend the rest of my days living them to the best of my ability. It sounds as if your mom is suffering in pain that is not necessary and could be eased with medication and care by a good oncologist. My advice to you is fly home, be with your mom and help her get through the rest of her treatment. Miracles happen all the time, and if not maybe you just need to be with her right now. My feeling is your dad is just afraid of losing your mom and denial is where we go when we are afraid and maybe you can help him in the process, by going home.The main concern here is getting your mom the care she needs Good Luck

Posts: 706
Joined: Jul 2001

I am so sorry for all that you're going through.

Regarding your Father's insistence that you not fly down: How can he stop you if that's what you really want to do? Their home is likely your Mother's too and one would think that she has some say about it.

I'm no expert on this kind of thing but I believe that unless your Mother signed power of attorney or a living will, to your Father, then, no, he cannot keep any info from her. I question the ethics of your Father AND your Mother's physician in this and consider such collusion to be very serious. Unless your Mother has been ajudged incompetent, who are they to decide that she cannot know the truthful details of her own health? Sounds like you may need to consult an attorney about this. And what's with your Father not wanting you to visit when she was so ill, in hospital? If she is, indeed, terminal, does he plan to keep you away until after the funeral? That isn't right. I'd check with an attorney and get to the bottom of it. Sounds like you well may need to file some legal papers just in order to visit your Mom. So sad.

As a survivor, I can tell you that I want to know every thing about my health status and woe be unto anyone who would try to lie to me or hide the truth. Any dr. doing that to me would be in big legal troubles.

Since your Mom is having pain, then she's obviously not getting good medical care. If she's terminal and doesn't know it, then her ability to advocate for herself has been snatched away from her as well. How can she insist on good pain management when she isn't even being told the source of the pain?

I can only imagine how worried you are.

Losing your son so tragically is something which has to defy words. I have a 16 year old son and I can't begin to imagine such a loss. You're in a fragile position right now for several reasons: When we've lost a loved one, it isn't uncommon for the pain and any other issues surrounding that loss, to crop up again when we find ourselves in another crisis in our lives. So, you may well benefit from counseling as you deal with all this.

Best wishes to you and remember to take the best care possible of yourself while you work through these issues.

Love, light and laughter,

Posts: 343
Joined: May 2003

Hi there,
I am so sorry to learn of your awful situation. You have certainly had a cross to carry. One thing I am unclear on? WHy have you chosen to give so much control of your life to your father. YOu seem to let him call the shots. From what you have written he has not given any thought your your feelings about this, but has made sure he doesnt have to deal with stress by keeping your mom in the dark and by keeping you away from your mom! Wow! Your father has a gift for control! Also.. it is my guess that you will hate yourself should something happen to your mom and you did nothing to see her. You really cant blame your dad. All he has done is told you to stay away. But you are letting him decide for you. I say go and visit mom. Be with her. And yeah... your dad wont like it, but tough. He will get over it, and you will never have to live the rest of your life knowing you were not there for your mom. Your mom needs you and just like she would go through hell to NEVER keep from you. You should make every attempt to be with mom. About the laws of Patient Doctor privelage, I am not sure. I know this sounds harsh, but I dont want you to suffer the rest of your life because you decided to give your selfish father so much control over your life, and emotions, and thinking. God bless.

Posts: 2
Joined: Feb 2005

I understand you very well , I have just lost my mom from lung cancer ,she had been sick for 4 and half years , and she never new the real truth about her condition , after the first chemo threatment didn't work , my grandmother and the doctors decided that they didn't want to tell the truth to my mom because she would stop the chemo and the treatmens ..and this situation went on and on ...I live in Mexico and my family in Italy and so i coould not spend time with her because she could realize how bad she was if I came back home to stay with her ..so i had to pretend and it was very difficult and painfull ...I could stay with her only the last month of her life , and i don't know she ever realized what was going on by then...
i don't know what is better but i think the truth is always better

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