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im a bad care giver

Posts: 1
Joined: Oct 2013

hi my mother was diagnoised in august, had a masectomy in september, and we just got her pathology report. they are recomending chemo even though they say her lympnoid is negative and they got all the cancer.


all of this has been super hard on her but i just want my mom back. she has no clue that i feel this way and im doing all that she needs. but inturnally it is really hard to see her vulnerable and depressed. is this temporary or is she going to forever struggle with a poor self image. my mother is the most beautiful person alive the way i see it but what matters right now is how she sees herself. she doesnt want to leave the house and when she has to go to drs apts she wears layers to hide the 'flater' side.


im sure i am just expecting too much of her but i want to hear from others about whether this is temporary or not?

BlownAway60's picture
Posts: 848
Joined: Nov 2009

First so sorry for your mom's diagnosis. Cancer affects not only the perosn with the diagnosis but all of their family as well. You are not a bad care giver. Your mom may never be exactly the same as she was before her dx. Cancer affects the mind as well as the body. Does your mom plan on have reconstruction? If not she could get a prostessis(SP). I was lucky enough to have a lumpectomy. Check with you local American Cancer Society, I think they offer classes Feel Good Look Better or something like that, that help with makeup and self image. I was diagnosed in 2009 and there are times when I still am concerned about what my future is going to be like. I feel like I am a better person now than before I was dxd. I crochet hats and donate them to local chemo clinics. I would never have even thought about doing something like that until I went through chemo and lost all of my hair. Just let her know that you are there for her if she needs you. Recommend this site to her. There are a lot of wonderful people here that will help her trough this.


Hugs and Prayers for you both


Posts: 6587
Joined: Oct 2010

Sorry to hear of your mom's situation-We all deal with things differently-the care giver as well as the patient. I did (as patient but sure it would be helpful as caregiver) a journal-IT seemed silly to me when I rec'd it as gift..like what good will this do..but IN HIND sight it was great help. Maybe even if your mom could benefit from one.


Thinking of you


Posts: 7
Joined: Sep 2013

Oh no, you are not a bad caregiver!!  You are a very worried daughter who thinks the world of her Mother and loves her very much!  I too was just dx with breast cancer in early Sept. and it has been a whirlwind.  Things moving very fast and I have had good days and bad days and the worst is waiting on test results.  I have had the lumpectomy surgery last wednesday and my vascular port just put in this morning.  There have been so many biopsies, xrays and procedures and my daughter has been with me through it all!  My daughter and I were talking the other day and she was crying about my diagnosis after surgery (Stage 2B with positive lymph node).  I told her that between the two of us that she now has the hardest job because she has to witness a loved one go through pain.  Prior to this I was always a very healthy person who was a caregiver to my Mom, Mother-in-Law & husband.  My husband and Mom are still with us but sadly we lost my Mother-in-Law 20 yrs ago when she lost her 5 yr battle with breast cancer. So I just wanted to say that I have been on both sides of this dreadful unpredictable disease but the treatments and positive outcomes and quality of life are so much better now than then.  Just keep "being" there for your mom and let her know you love her and would do anything for her.  She knows that you can't "fix" anything (that's for the Dr's and nurses) she just needs you to be with her.      God Bless -Edna

Posts: 63
Joined: Sep 2013

Follow your heart and instincts with your mom.  It is a difficult journey for her and you.  I wish that my children had perahps given me a little more freedom of movement, to express my concerns, and theirs too.  It is hard to be both a cheerleader and the one being cheered on.  Sometimes, every one just needs to be.  Your mom is very new to this journey, give her time, but just like anyother major life changing event, she is likely to be forever changed.  In both negative and positive ways....

VickiSam's picture
Posts: 9085
Joined: Aug 2009

breast cancer, or the term of cancer sends us all into a house of horror's'.  So many unknowns, so many questions, concerns  -- our minds, body and souls go into a cycle of 'what if's' ..

Donna - gave so most wonderful information regarding care for mom...  I would like to suggest that you, find information or support groups that target 'care takers' or family members.  there is a link her..e on our site (discussion board for care takers)  maybe you can find information or support that you so deserve and need at this time.

Strength, Courage and HOPE for a Cure.


Vicki Sam


Susi F
Posts: 5
Joined: Aug 2013

You'll both start feeling better soon. It's a shock to suddenly lose a part of your body.  I felt like everybody was looking at me after surgery.  I have a vest that holds breast shaped pillows on my chest that helped me to feel "normal" again.  Check with her oncologist's office for resources.  There's a lot of help out there.

I had a friend tell me that it isn't one person that has cancer it's the whole family.  Your "job" will be as hard as your mothers...as you both focus to get her healthy again. 

coco2008's picture
Posts: 420
Joined: May 2013

You are not a bad caregiver.  Think how much worse she would feel if you paid little to no attention to her.  One of my daughters treats this disease as no big deal, no rush for treatment is necessary.  My other daughter is hundreds of miles away, but when she calls even (or especially) to talk about my grandkids it's like an invitation back into the real world again.

If she has friends nearby talk to them about visiting.  Let them know what to expect ahead of time.

My friend was over one hot day and said "take that hat off, you look like your going to melt." She wasn't shocked by my bald head.  After my dbl mastectomy a week ago last Friday she even helped me bathe my first couple days home.  It went along way in making me less freakish.

I'm not saying invite friends over and let them greet mom in her birthday suit.  But let her see her friends are not repulsed by her in her nighty or street clothes could go a long way to make her more comfortable.

Also I went to TLCdirect (click on hair loss and mastectomy products in the blue column on left).  I bought a vest with velcro front closing.  It also has 2 pockets with stuffung (removable) That she can wear with stuffing in one side to even things out.  That way she can go out in public and feel more normal.

Do keep in mind that we can be emotional at times with the best care.  I just spent half a day in tears for no specific reason.  My system just needed to let off steam, and that's a good thing.

I started out with 2 small cancers, one on each side.  Lumpectomy and radiation would be all I needed the doctor said at first.  After the lumpectomies, they tested the tumors and found I had a 22% chance of recurrance without chemo.  I took the chemo and then they wanted me to do 33 rounds of radition.  I chose dbl mastectomy over radiation.  I don't say it's right for everyone, but it is for me.

If the doctor is recommending chemo ask him why he thinks this is necessary.  Tests may have shown a necessity.  Talk things over with your mom, but please let the final decision be hers.  It is her body and as much as you may want to "make it all better", she has to live with the results.

I sounds like you're doing a great job with your love and support. Remember  professional help is available for both of you if necessary.  Cancer is a huge weight to carry.

Prayers and hugs to you both,



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