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Cancer is killing my family in many ways

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  • #77516
    Trixie
    Participant

    My mother has been diagnosed with breast cancer and has had the right breast removed. All of this has happened in under two weeks. The hospital discharged her in one day and expected family to care for her (with drains etc). This is so draining on me and my family we do not live my mother and she lives alone. The pressure on me to get to appointments as she does not drive (or won’t) i am not a confident driver myself and get very anxious with it and all the appointments are in a big hospital in the centre of town and the parking is just awful and the amount of time I am having off work is causing much distress to me. I feel I am letting the team down at work when not there and feel pressure for mother when at work. Cant win. I did not live at my own house or with my family for 11 days with sleeping at mothers house and working also.
    I feel guilty for not being there 24/7 and I feel resentment for her wanting me there 24/7 and to make all the calls on her health and deal with all the medical issues. When did I become the parent of my parent. I am losing my mind. I have never had a close relationship with her and I feel the expectation of the other people that I should be kind,caring and loving but I don’t feel that way I feel angry and ticked off that now I am expected to be the “partner/support” she doesn’t have. She keeps stating it is so good to have company and not lonely but I have told her I am not moving in I have a home. I now totally understand when people state they love their parents but not like them.
    I feel scared that my daughter will react in this way to me as I react to mine and try to keep the door open to her with conversations and openness. I am just confused with life. I so want to cry but it won’t come as I doth understand if crying for her or for me. I resent her for not being there for me when growing up and being slack in her mothering skills and now she wants me to kind, caring and mothering to her when she makes me feel so cross even resentment.
    Any answers to suggestions to cope will be welcomed. we have Chemo and radiation to come also and these require trips to the City everyday! how do people cope with this and maintain jobs, work and mental function?

    #77519
    Inky
    Participant

    Hi Trixie,

    We had this too. I hate to say this, but Throw Money At It. Go onto Care.com and hire someone. When we did this we got dozens of emails. The people were OK. Even if it’s just once a week. Even if it dips into your/her savings. Remember, God rested on the seventh day, you can too! Get a schedule. None of this, “Oh, I can come on Wednesday but not Tuesday of next week”. No, have a regular, constant person. Then you can plan. When her friends ask, “If there’s anything I can do…” say YES, and BE SPECIFIC! The church ladies (there are always those ladies) if she knows them are great. The neighbors. The visiting aunt. But my main takeaway is to hire someone.

    Also, you can take care of your mother, work, and/or be with your family. On any given day, Pick Two. Don’t try to do it all in one day. That saved our sanity. You are also being a good example for how YOU or THEY would be treated if any of you were sick.

    Another option is for Mom to stay with you or to have a good kid (student) stay with her rent free to make sure she gets to appointments, is taken care of, runs errands. As long as Mom knows Kid has to go to classes once in a while. We kind of had this but didn’t plan for it. A friend needed a place and we said, “Stay with Mom in case she breaks her hip”. She was spry at the time, but over the years our OCD friend TOTALLY made her life SO much easier!! He didn’t “do” anything really, but he was THERE, which was the invaluable thing! Know what I mean?

    Good Luck!

    Inky

    • This reply was modified 8 years, 9 months ago by Inky.
    #77521
    Inky
    Participant

    P.S. On the Pick Two day, YES, sometimes we had to tell Mom “No”. “No Mom, we won’t be there tomorrow, we have to be at our daughter’s event, but we WILL be there the day after.” Or, “No Mom, we have to be at work, but so-and-so will bring you to the appointment.” YES, there was some simmering resentment we saw in her eyes, but she knew that if you’re not there for your kid’s graduation or if you lose your job, that that is a bigger “Fail”.

    Also, with the cancer, YES, the next few months will be HELL. But guess what? When she comes through it, life will be SO much easier by the time Fall/Winter rolls around.

    Both our moms had cancer so this is my advice!!

    #77549
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Dear Trixie:
    Reality is you don’t OWE your mother to take care of her. It is not your legal responsibility. To take care of one’s minor aged child is a legal responsibility and there is a reason for it- the child is defenseless and didn’t choose to be born. But taking care of one’s parent is your choice. You state she didn’t do a good job at mothering you. If she was a good enough mother to you you would probably feel differently. Society, starting with the biblical commandment to respect thine father and mother, is FULL with messages that no matter how BAD a parent was- well, they “did their best.” Even if a parent’s best destroyed a person’s life- well, they did their best. F*** that.

    Take care of yourself and your family of choice, those who need and love you before and IF you choose to take care of a woman who needs you because she needs someone/ anyone- and you are that ANYONE.
    anita

    #77560
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Dear Trixie:
    I went on a personal tantrum there. Having calmed down a bit I want to restate: it is regrettable that your mother is sick and suffering. I hope you help find her help from an agency or the like. Calmly set your limits with your ailing mother. Being respectful to her is the best you can do. Or should do. Driving yourself crazy busy is not something you should do. Nobody knows who is going to get sick next. It is so very scary to me, how insecure life is. You don’t want to get so distressed that you get into a traffic accident and get injured or dead… or get sick yourself. Take care of yourself first, then your children, then your (decent, I assume) husband.

    Please post again and hope things get better for you.
    anita

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