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Any Suggestions for a daughter wanting to help?

Posts: 6
Joined: Aug 2021

My mom (76 yrs. old) was recently diagnosed with colorectal cancer and has lost 15 pounds this month.  She hasn't started treatment yet and she is down to 95 lbs.  We've talked to the dietitian and it's not that we don't know what she needs to eat, it's her lack of desire to eat.  She also lost my father this past spring, to a heart attack, after 56 years of marriage.  It's been a very hard season for her and I'm struggling on how to help.  She's lost interest in everything, or so it seems.  She simply lays in a fetal position until she needs to use the bathroom and then returns.  I've suggested counseling and hopefully that will start soon.

It’s breaking my heart seeing her so lost and sad.  I pray for her.  We talk when she wants to, but it’s becoming less and less.  I try to get her outside to get some sunshine and fresh air, but that's dropping off too.  What do I do?

beaumontdave's picture
Posts: 1170
Joined: Aug 2013

She sounds depressed, a very normal reaction to those circumstances. If you can get her seen by even a GP she might be able to start on medication to blunt the worst of it Mine offered me Xanax at diagnosis and it absolutely helped me cope with the worst moments of anxiety and dispair. I still keep the script, what will be 14 years later, in Sep. I don't use it often, but I'd rather have it and not need it, than the reverse.  Find out if the right medication will help.......................................Dave

Posts: 6
Joined: Aug 2021

Thanks Dave.  I'll absolutey look into it.  She was allergic to the one antidepressent she tried but hopefully she'll be open to others. 


Posts: 61
Joined: Apr 2017

This might sound silly. Still I want to give it a try. Does she have her best friends/siblings who might be able to visit her? If she does not want them to talk, they could perhaps just sit with her holding her hand?

Posts: 6
Joined: Aug 2021

I'd love that, but her siblings live out of state and my dada was her only friend.  She invested all of her time into him and never found the need to cultivate other friendships.

PamRav's picture
Posts: 323
Joined: Jan 2017

Consider staying with you for a short time. Would that even be possible on your end.  Maaybe a constant presence of people might help.  You dont have hover just be around.  Elderly parents can be a bit hard headed and tough to convince, at least my sure were.  
an appt with her family doc might be a good idea, and maybe a nutritionist 

just throwing out randon thought,

wishing you well 


Posts: 6
Joined: Aug 2021


Thanks for the suggestions. She has decided to move in with my brother's family.  My sister-in-law is a stay home mom and four of the grandchildren live there.  Hopefully that makes a difference.   As far as hard headed,  yes.  I understand though.  It has got to be hard feeling like decisions are being made for you and it's just one more thing you can't control. 

SnapDragon2's picture
Posts: 582
Joined: Nov 2019

She is in a very serious and vulnerable situation.  Keep a close watch on her.  Treat her first to get her physically and mentally strong is my suggestion.  You have to be in the best place within yourself that can possibly be to fight cancer.

Posts: 6
Joined: Aug 2021

Thank you.

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