My MIL, who has terminal cancer, is deteriorating rapidly and no longer able to live alone. So there is a lot of talk in the family about what the next step is. Mum always said she wanted to stay at home as long as possible then go into the Palliative Care wing of the local hospital when she was near the end.
Now that we are at that point Mum is very reluctant to go into the hospital and coming here to live with us is being talked about as an option. We are happy to have her here but I really wonder about how do-able this actually is.
I have two kids, aged 6 and 8, who are active and busy with the usual mess, morning rush to school, piano lessons, play dates etc. We live in a little old house with a tiny bathroom and narrow hallway and we need to get a hospital bed with an air mattress in here. Plus move one child out of his bedroom and in with the other. Mum is being transferred off oral medications tomorrow and having a syringe driver with 24 hours morphine instead. She is still able to toilet herself but is very unsteady on her feet due to massive fluid retention in her legs and abdomen. She is very vacant and restless atm.
I just don't know if its an option logistically or if I can provide the sort of care Mum really needs. I don't know how the kids will cope with constantly seeing their beloved Grandma like this and not having any "down time" or normal sort of space in their life where they can escape from it all. I am feeling scared of taking on this responsibility (all the rest of the family live interstate) and I worry that if she moves here next week Mum will die here and that's not what she wants, or me to be honest.
If anyone has thoughts from their own experience to share with us it would be very helpful as we deal with these difficult decisions.
Cancer Council NSW would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we live and work.We would also like to pay respect to elders past and present and extend that respect to all other Aboriginal people.