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Still looking for support

Posts: 7
Joined: Jan 2011

I am SO ANGRY at my family. I have had to sacrifice SO MUCH of my life for my mother's cancer. I don't mind helping and I want to help-but it is absolutely not fair when I am the ONLY person doing anything. I sit at the ER when she goes. I take her places. I do ALL of the chores around our house. When I go out with my friends or boyfriend, I am getting a barrage of texts from my mother. I work two jobs and I reenrolled in school to switch my career. It has gotten so bad that I feel like I don't have an identity anymore. I cry all the time. My dad is not around, my brother won't help, and my cousin stole from me when she was here last. I am SOOOO angry and just need to vent.

Posts: 1846
Joined: Aug 2010

I mean, how did you become the sole support for your mom in the ways you list? Where is she in her cancer fight?

Tell me about your mom's life before cancer. Did she have friends? Did she work? Did she go to church?

I'm sorry you are going through so much. You absolutely deserve to be able to take care of yourself. You DEFINITELY have an identify, cello - you just have to uncover it again.

I want you to give yourself permission to not answer your mom's texts when you are away from her. If you want to check your phone for her texts every 30 minutes, fine, but not every time.

I want you to take a day, soon, tomorrow or the next day or Saturday and DO NOTHING.

Talk to us about this. Tell us what you want to do. How do you want to establish the boundaries you need to breathe again?

Posts: 7
Joined: Feb 2011

It's good that you're angry you should be, and have every reason to be. It's not fair that you have to take on this responsibility, it's physically emotionally and mentally draining on you. You should be able to have at least one day to yourself, but you don't even get to have that. I'm sorry you have to go alone at this, I've been there. Hopefully your mom is progressing with her treatment, but you do need to find a day or even just 8 hrs to yourself. You shouldn't be left with all this to yourself, but it also says something wonderful about you.

Even thought you don't see it now or don't feel it. It might not even help saying this, but you are a wonderful and strong person for dealing with all this. Not many people can, for you to be able to put up with all of this says something very special about you. Though it sucks to feel betrayed by your dad brother and cousin, find the strength to keep pushing forward. Because when the dust settles, I promise you...you will be in a better place.

From a person who has dealt with having cancer, I want you to know how much I appreciate what you are doing in taking care of your mom. It might go unnoticed by others, but not with me. You are a wonderful person for doing what you do and maintaining 2 jobs and having to go to school.

I'm here if you ever need to talk.

Posts: 1
Joined: Dec 2012

I have been in those shoes, and now get to wear them yet again. I took care of my grandmother for several years. Every doctors appointment, grocery store, pharmacy, cooking, cleaning, and kept her company so she would not be lonely. We have a very large family. She had 3 children and over 100 grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great great grandchildren when she passed. Honestly most of them lived else where. However, there were several that lived in the same town. At the time I was really torked off at the lack of help, visits to her, or even an occasional phone call to her. After the fact, I have no regrets. I never have to tell myself I should have, could have, or wish I would have. Just the complete opposite. I Learned so much about her, heard stories about her life that most of the family never heard. I became best friends with my grandmother. I miss her terribly, but all of the memories are so fond. I would not trade that time ( even the hardest parts ) for anything in the world. My mother is now sick with cancer. Once again several of my siblings are fighting like a pack of wolves. I certainly understand the crying. Sometimes it feels like you are drowning. I think it is totally normal to feel as you do. After all, it sounds like you don't even have time yourself to grieve over what is happening. I know it is little consolation right now, but when you get through this with your mom, you will never have to say I should have, wished I would have. I do think it is important that you do find SOMEONE to help to give you a break. Perhaps there is a friend of your mom's that can come and visit her once a week for awhile so you can have some YOU time.

cindysuetoyou's picture
Posts: 514
Joined: Dec 2009

cfield, I can relate to what you are saying, except for me it was my son. I feel bad for the first poster who has no help with her mom and I understand how she feels. But for me, maybe because it was my son, there wasn't anything else that I really wanted to do except take care of him. I did not want breaks or to get out or have others care for him. He did have lots of visitors but only to visit, not to care for his needs. That was my honor, to get to care for him.

When I think back on the 3 1/2 years that David fought cancer, I can say that I never missed one dr appt, one treatment, one hospital stay (I always stayed with him in his room, even in ICU). I went to every ER visit, every MRI, every CT. Now that he's dead and gone, one of the few things that I feel good about, that I take comfort in, was that he was never alone, that I was always there, a fierce mother tiger who made sure that he always got the best possible care. He never had to wait for a nurse to bring him water or help him to the bathroom, he never had to argue and fight with insurance, he never had to schedule appointments or face bad news alone. I was always there. And it was my honor, my privilege, and my blessing to be able to do that for him. I just wish it would have been enough for him to beat brain cancer.

I too would never trade that time with David for anything on this earth.

Love and blessings,
Cindy in Salem, OR

PS I should add that my immediate family (husband and three other kids and their spouses) and my large extended family were a HUGE support to me. I couldn't have been there like I was for David if they hadn't had my back. My husband worked massive overtimes so I could quit my job, and my kids and my extended family took care of all my other responsibilities, leaving me free to devote myself totally to David and his battle.

Posts: 683
Joined: Apr 2010

I can copy and paste your post, That is exactly what I did with my daughter. I did everything for her. My husband, myself and friends massaged her body and legs up until the day she passed. I also kissed and kissed her all over her body. She used to laugh, then she would say "mom you are sick" and we would laugh. What an honor Cindy for both of us. We are great mothers and we should not ever have any doubts about our loyalty to our children, we did all we could. I remember her looking at me when the Docs discuss anything with her and she would say to me "right mom"? Every Nurse and Doc told me how much she respected my opinion and how much she depended on me. With these thoughts in mind, I hope as survivors and caregivers we can beat the hurt and pain we feel for our children. Cindy, I so want you to feel better and I want you to tell me you are beginning to feel better. When you start to feel better then I will start to feel better. Let's make a deal!!!!!MY husband and I will be alone for the first time this weekend so our plan is to keep everyone out, unplug the phone, lock the doors and have some drinks a nice dinner in the basement and play some soft music and then------------cry our hearts out. Then we will wash up and still drink and make some decisions about our future. I hope I made you laugh. Okay my love? I am depending on you getting better, so I can immitate you and get better. I love you,

cindysuetoyou's picture
Posts: 514
Joined: Dec 2009

Dear Nempark,

Thank you so much for your note. I'm really touched by your concern for me. Especially since you just lost your daughter. I'm always so impressed and so touched when people who are grieving a loss like yours still reach out to others (like me) who are really hurting---just like you are hurting.

Yes, you made me smile about your plans with your husband. I was wondering where you were going with drinks, dinner, soft music..... :)

So here's what I've been doing, so you will know that I am making an effort to recover. I went and saw a movie with my daughter, I've ridden my horse for hours and hours, deep in the forest, even when it's raining. I go to church every Sunday, have my kids etc over every Sunday for dinner. Decorated my house for Christmas (that was hard---my daughter did my tree and she used her ornaments so I didn't have to see my personalized ones for David.) I go to a recovery group every Tuesday night, I attend a cancer caregivers meeting every week---even though I'm no longer a caregiver, I've bonded with the group and they asked me to keep coming. I go out with some of them every couple of weeks for lunch or dinner.

On Thursday my three kids and the grand kids are going to a special Christmas lights display. On Friday we're driving up to Portland to spend the day at "Planet Pizza" with the kids and grand kids.

I babysit my granddaughters (my other son's daughters) and I spend a lot of time with them and my daughter and her two kids. We grocery shop and go to the barn 2x a day to feed my horse, and we run errands together, and we usually eat breakfast and lunch together.

I went and played Bunko with a group of friends and family. I go out frequently with friends for meals and Starbucks. . So I'm not turning into a recluse, which is very tempting to me to do. I keep super busy and try really hard to never have free time where I can just sit and think and be alone with my thoughts. When I finally go to bed, I just drop like a rock and instantly fall asleep because I'm always so tired. (I get up at 4:45 am to babysit.) I know it's not the best way to deal, but it's working for me right now. I have good moments, but when the grief hits, it's a major blow. Today I just stopped what I was doing and looked at my daughter and I said, "David is GONE, Christy. He's GONE." I just felt this overwhelming sense of shock, like it just happened. It makes me physically sick. I don't know how to deal or cope with those times....I think you must have times like that too. How do you get through them? I pray but I still struggle so much. It's like a wave of grief washes over me and I am so heartsick that I want to run in my bedroom and cry by myself for hours. Sometimes I do.

Anyway, I hope and pray that you are doing well and going forward with your healing from losing your daughter. Thank you again for caring about me.

Love and blessings, always,

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