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How do you cope?

javajunkie's picture
Posts: 4
Joined: Nov 2005

My mother was diagnosed with GBM4 three weeks ago. We had no real beforehand suspicion anything was wrong. They have told us, it is inoperable and have told us the time frame for death will usually occur in typical patients (like your loved one is a typical patient) in three months. After having been given the treatment options, we decided Mom would not want to go through the terrible treatment to extend her life by months. It is amazing to me, that in such a short period of time, someone who was so driven could fall into such a state that she can not eat, go to the bathroom, or say more than two or three word sentences. It is hard on my me, trying to support my father, be information director for the rest of the family, and endure criticism from other members of the family about how we are handling things. I find it amazing that people who want nothing to do with my mom's care when she is home needing 24 hour help, are the first to arrive and criticize when she has been placed in a nursing facility. My only concern is allowing my mother to follow her wishes and live/die the way she wants. I feel as the weeks have moved on, the pressure has not been relieved, but increases. If nothing else getting to vent here is therapeutic and allows me to collect my thoughts. The fear that I have is that I am not anywhere near strong enough to get through what everyone needs me to get through.
Thanks for letting me vent.

Hswett's picture
Posts: 2
Joined: Nov 2005

Dear Java,

My Mom was diagnosed with GBM4 6 days ago. I find myself still in a state of shock & disbelief. They told us as well that her tumor is inoperable. My Mother is such a strong women, very athletic, & very very healthy. I want to scream about how unfair this is & why me? This internal clock just ticks away & I can't seem to stop thinking about it. I am saddened to hear about your Mom too. You are the first person that I have seen that is going through the exact same process. Our journey has just begun. I feel the same. I don't know where I will get the strength to live without my Mom. Your message shows the reality of this horrible situation. I want to spend all the time with my Mom that I can but at the same time when I am around her I just cry & cry..again it has been 6 days, so she still looks very healthy & seems to be "normal". Well thanks for listening & please respond anytime. Reaching feels good-

Posts: 6
Joined: Mar 2004

I'm replying with my mothers account she is no longer with us. I know what you are going through. Respect her wishes and courage. Make her comfortable and try to maintain dignity until the end. Allow her to make as many decisions as possible. Forget what others think and are saying. (that was often harder than I thought). You are right...the treatments are not good...be assured that was the right decision. Stay strong and stay the course....when it's all done you will feel peace for your actions. Your story is very familiar. It's exhausting and aggravating but helping a loved one off at the end of their life with compassion and dignity is an incredible lesson we all need to learn. Your strength now is the ultimate last gift.
All the best....Bill

javajunkie's picture
Posts: 4
Joined: Nov 2005

It now has been one month since my original posting. It has been a long one. We have learned the joy of dealing with unresponsive insurance companies, well meaning but insensitive friends and relatives, and my own raw emotions. My mom now is in a nursing home due to the fact my father was incapable of caring for her. I visit frequently, and spend days and days trying to get over my visits. I realized the other night when I visited, she no longer realizes who I am. Nothing can be more devestating to you then to come to grips that the person who was most influentual in your upbringing no longer knows who you are. I find myself trying to stay strong, but I cry continually, and find no relief in the thought she soon will be gone. I get angry at people who tell me they understand how I feel and I deep down know they don't. How dare they pretend to know that! I have been tasked with preparing my Moms memorial service, and I took it on, thinking it would be theraputic, though as of this writing, it has had the opposite affect. Instead of starting to heal, I find that it just continually re-opens the gaping wound in my heart. I have the guilt of asking god to take my mom, so her suffering will end. Though I know in the end it will offer no comfort.

I appreciate this page so I can vent and get out some of the feelings I have but are unable to speak, and I appreciate the responses that make me realize that I am not going through this alone.


Posts: 5
Joined: Jul 2005

You are not alone. Just hang in there, cling to family and friends and pray for your Mother to have peace.
Been going through this with my 50 year old best friend, cancer went from her lung to her brain then to her bones, she is angry, hateful and trying to send all of her family and friends away in her final days, I think she wants to die alone.
Hang in there, sounds like you are doing a GREAT job!
Try to find the positives in your experience.

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