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Need a better frame of mind!

Posts: 6
Joined: Aug 2011

I am overwhelmed with sadness. Her diagnosos came only 2 months ago. Lung cancer that had also moved to her brain. They radiated her brain and the maintenance medication has made a vegetable of her. She is 77. Overcome many a health issue before but it seems she just isn't going to take the next 6 months of chemo standing up. I really didn't think she would just not get up and fight this. She does talk of plans for next year, a grandson's wedding is planned, but at this rate I don't see it happening. As one of many daughters, we dicuss all the options, how to handle Dad who feels so helpless in all this, what is and should be done but Mom just isn't on board. I can see all the physical, financial and emotional weight building on us all already and I don't see how we will get Mom on the team. We are fortunate to have such a large group of care givers even though we a re spread across the states. It will be my week to be in attendance shortly and I know my frustration wil be right there out on my sleeve. How does one deal with all this? I would hope the efforts to keep her quility of life up to some standard would be the goal but at the moment it feels like all is lost.

Other than the negative vibe among us all at the moment, the cancer itself has not progressed. The lessions in her brain have been "radiated" and will be a couple of months till the reassessment.

How do i lift this dark cloud of sadness? I won't be much of the caregiver/mother/employee/sister/daughter with that hanging around.

palmyrafan's picture
Posts: 397
Joined: Mar 2011

I know that this is a very difficult time for you, your family and your mother. As a brain cancer patient (my husband is my caregiver), may I offer some insights from the patient perspective?

1) Your mother has had her world turned upside down. Her reactions are normal. She will experience: denial, grief, anger, acceptance, fear, etc.

2) For many patients, just the thought of having treatment is so overwhelming and fearful that they can't make choices. They have a hard time getting past the fear of treatment.

3) Some accept this as part of God's plan and that if God wants them well, He can fix it.

4) Quality vs Quantity: I have struggled with this myself as have many others. Some patients choose Quality of Life over Quantity of Life. I have. I would rather enjoy the last years of my life, however many that may be, with relatively decent quality, than to be operated on, radiated to death and endure months of physical and reconstructive therapy.

If the tumors are stable with no new growth, then I would recommend counseling of some sort. Let her work through her emotions with someone who is trained in dealing with patients with chronic or terminal illness. It can benefit everyone, not just your mother.

I will keep your family in my thoughts and prayers.


Posts: 6
Joined: Aug 2011

Thank you Teresa.
I have found your posts through out this sight and find your words hugely helpful and supportive. Thank you.
The fear factor is enormous for my mom and all us around her. Next week is my stay with mom amd I hope i am all ears. The quality of my stay is a priority. I can't put my energy into getting her to think what i think.

I will keep your family as well in my thoughts and prayers.


Barbara53's picture
Posts: 658
Joined: Aug 2009

Hi and welcome. I’ve been helping my mother for more than three years, and over that time I have gotten to know her as I never did before. You will have to do this in compressed time, but I urge you to use the time you have to really get to know your mother. As long as you (not the sibling group, but you) feel that she has made a decision one way or another about treatment, support her in whatever her choice is. Maybe I’ve seen too much, but with what you’ve put out there about her condition, anything that compromises her well being from day to day is not appropriate. I would opt for comfort care for everyone. Chemo after distal mets are present is for those who must go down fighting. My mom (age 80) is taking an oral chemo with minimal side effects, but she says nothing stronger than that anymore. She’s had enough.

Your father and your siblings will survive this, but your mother probably will not, nor would you want her to.

With Mom’s help, I scanned old photos and put together a nice powerpoint of her life. She enjoyed this! Her baby pictures and early childhood snapshots gave me new insights into the girl she was and woman she is. Some things finally make sense.

I have a big family, too, all good people. Don’t feel guilty about not being there all the time. Everyone should have an opportunity to help, which can only happen when you step aside.

Good luck, and bless you all.

Posts: 6
Joined: Aug 2011

This is a great idea! We can do projects, pictures, unfinished quilting, tapes, anything that does not involve my lecturing her as to what she should be and not be doing. I am so afraid my visits/stays will be counter productive! Amongst all this I do want us to find.create something memorable.

Thank you.


AnneBehymer's picture
Posts: 739
Joined: Jul 2011

I understand what your mom is going through right now I was told two months ago yesturday that at 45 I have ovarian cancer. I am still trying to work my way through it. The Chemo treatments ( I have had two so far) are very hard on me and I am much younger than your mom. Give her some time to work through what she is feeling and be there for her when she need to talk. Try not to tell her how she feels because unless you have gone through this yourself you really don't know what she is feeling unless she allows you into that pain. I will lift you up in prays as you comfort your mom she will need a lot of it. I aslo want to say thank you to all the caregivers out there we may not say it enough but without you we could not fight as hard as we are fighting now. My mom is my rock through this battle without her I wuold not make it.


lovingwifedeb's picture
Posts: 184
Joined: Aug 2010

Good advise here... I especially like the one from Barbara53, taking the time with photographs, etc. and getting to know your mom by asking about her life maybe in times you don't know about. Time is of the essence... quality is all important now.

I lost my mother at the age of 78 to bone cancer on May 19th, she decided against no treatment. She kept her cancer hidden from the family until I found out about my husband's cancer last summer. I lost my husband to melanoma which metastasized to his brain and hemorrhaged on May 27th. With my husband diagnosis was one year ago Father's Day - the end happened all within one week.

I had too much on my plate to handle with my mom and husband as I was caregiver to my husband. I had brothers who had to step in with my mom. The only advise I have in this process is love fully each day you have and don't look back and don't look forward. It will be the hardest time you will ever experience but try not to squabble with your "kin" as everyone has an opinion. Have legal papers drawn now... where, when what and be done. Then love, live and take each day as they come.

Breathe in, breathe out.

Don't ever leave the room without telling her that you love her.

Peace to your family.


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