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Just Needed to Vent

Posts: 13
Joined: Jun 2009

My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1995 when I was just 12 years old. 16 years later it has metastasized in to both lungs and we are both struggling to accept it. The last few days have gone from bad to worse. It seems like she was fine one day and the next she couldn’t walk without losing her breath. She went to the doctor and the doctor said it was the cancer and that she would need oxygen. Two days later she’s feeling worse and I take her to the ER. They said they couldn’t find anything and again said it was the cancer. They sent her home and told her to use the oxygen day and night. Finally last night the oxygen just wasn’t cutting it. I took her to the ER and they finally found something. She has apparently developed pneumonia. Over the course of the last week all I have heard is that she is dying. Yes, I do understand the cancer is growing and there probably isn’t much that can be done anymore. But this downward spiral over the last week happened so quickly I felt blinded by it. I don’t really know how any of this is going to turn out. She is in ICU right now and doesn’t look good. I’m hoping for more time; but at the same time understand how long she has been fighting and she might be tired. Over the course of the last 16 years I have lost my father and my only sibling. It’s hard to watch my mom so sick by myself. For whatever reason my mom doesn’t talk to my aunts and uncles or anyone and she doesn’t want me talking to them either. Out of respect for her and her condition I haven’t. I have friends but none of them really understand what this is like. They have all of their parents and their parents are healthy. I just feel really alone right now. Its hard sitting in that room with her watching her and listening to all of these machines go off by myself. I just needed to let some of this out to people who might understand how I am feeling.

zinniemay's picture
Posts: 534
Joined: Mar 2009

No words come to me to say how sad I am for you. I know some of the feelings My father died 16 years ago my mother died 3 years ago. I do have siblings but we are not always close. I rarely talk to some I had 6 brothers four left and two sisters one left. I live 800 miles from my brothers and 50 from my sister. My husband had stage 4 E.C. mets to both lungs. we have two adult children . But it is still lonely. There are feeling we have that we can not tell our children , there are feeling we have we can not tell our siblings. All of us who have to walk this path feel alone. Talk to the nurses or the Doctor ask they for help . There are people out there that do really care. Sometimes we just don't know how to reach you or hold out our hands . Some are afraid of rejection. Some just don't know how to help so the just stand by.
I think you might be looking for premission to talk to your Aunts and Uncles? I know I don't get along with my siblings . But if my Child was hurting and needed them I would understand. I would be glad that they could have some one to go to for help. So maybe in your heart you need them there with you.
I can't tell you what to do or not do.

Posts: 2
Joined: Oct 2010

I'm sorry to hear about your Mother. I'm sure your scared and exhausted. I understand how lonely you must feel right now. Know that your Mom loves you unconditionally and even though she may not be close to other family members and has asked you to keep things between the two of you, she will surely understand and be okay with it if you choose to reach out for support from your family. this is a very difficult time for you and even if no one has any words, a warm hug would do you wonders. You may find that the other family members care more than you or your mom think and would love the opportunity to be there in support of both of you. Do what your heart tells you to do - and it will be the right thing. Hang in there, good luck and take care. Shelby56

Posts: 13
Joined: Jun 2009

Thank you for your kind words. Just shortly before all of this happened I had been pushing my mom to reach out to my uncle. She didn't want to. It's been so many years; I don't know how to get a hold of them. I would ask her if I could but she almost looks worse today. While I was at the hospital her oxygen dipped to 80-82; she was already wearing an oxygen mask that was providing her support. The nurse and respiratory rushed in and started trying to open up her airway ASAP. She can't talk without choking. She expressed to me that she is tired of being sick and I cannot blame her for feeling that way. I'm angry though. Angry that her doctors kept blaming the disease meanwhile the pneumonia kept growing. She needs a break and I understand. It's just not easy letting go. Especially when she is all I have left. I'll get through it somehow.

zinniemay's picture
Posts: 534
Joined: Mar 2009

I have ancestry.com and can look up some directoryies for Phone # and such if you need.
my email is woody@i2k.com
If you just need some one to chat with or anything I can try to help.

Barbara53's picture
Posts: 658
Joined: Aug 2009

Sweetie, you need more than just to vent. You should not have to bear this alone, and it is definitely time to beat the bushes for your mother's estranged relatives. Even if they can't or won't come through for her at this late date, they will come through for you. I have nieces and nephews who I barely know, but I would be there in a minute if I thought they were in a position like yours.

Also consider that you have always been your mother's child, so naturally she has called the shots, but now she can't. You have to think and act for her, and there is nothing to lose by poking through her things or talking to her friends to find leads on her brother. There may be a hospital social worker who can help with this. They often need to find missing relatives.

The doctors may have suspected pneumonia, but didn't say it. It's a very common complication among people with advanced cancer, and very little can be done. Try not to waste your energy on anger. Your mother may need your permission to let go. Even if she can't talk, assume that she hears everything you say.

Good luck with this day.

bluerose's picture
Posts: 1102
Joined: Jul 2009

I am so sorry you are struggling right now with watching your Mother go through all of this but you are incorrect about one thing - you aren't alone in all of it now, you have us on this site. We do understand what you are going through so anytime you need to vent or talk in real time in our chatroom that is open 24/7 you do that. There are usually plenty of people to help you through.

You mentioned that your Mother didn't want you talking to relatives and I understand how you want to honour her request but I am a little concerned about you being alone in all of this. Is there not an aunt or uncle who you feel could be sensitive to your Mother's request for you not to see them but still be able to be there for you in all of this? Your Mom has you to be with her but who do you have? Just a thought because I don't know the details of the situation and maybe communicating with them would put you in some sort of bad position and wouldn't want that. Does your Mom need to know that you talk with family? Of course it's your call but it's alot to carry all on your own. Do you guys have a trusted minister or doctor you might share with? I hate to see you carrying the whole thing on your shoulders.

Like I said though, you now have us to be there with you. Take your laptop in to your Mom's room if you can and maybe chat with surivvors/caregivers in the chatroom or just post now and again and hopefully that will help.

You never know though, don't give up, miracles happen all the time. Never give up hope. Take care of yourself too in all of this. Blessings, Bluerose

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