My Mum was diagnoised with stage 3b non small cell lung cancer in september last year, around feb/march this year we found out that it has spread to her brain, mum has undergone chemo and radiation for the lung and more recently radiation on her brain, while mum has been mostly positive I feel like she throwing her life away and I simply have to watch her do it. Mum is a smoker and when it was just on her lung she would tell everyone she was giving up and hide it from friends, once it spread to the brain her smoking has increased to about 50 per day,I watch her sit outside staring into space basically chain smoking, I've spoken to her about it but gets so upset that she shakes and then totally forgets about it. I feel like smoking is more important to her now than her own children and grandchildren who she lives for Mum has been told that she can't drive anymore yet gets in the car when she chooses to, it is not just her safety but everyone else on the road for gods sake, I am a stay at home mum and pick her up and take her everywhere so why the risk! When she has doctor appointments she downplays her symptoms and medication doses and won't let you say anything. I love my mum more than anything in the world but I just can't watch her do this, life is too too precious to be wasted, what can I do?
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Contributor
i know this must be so hard for you.. maybe get her to talk to someone? a professional? she probably thinks that if she's not going to live, why not just smoke if its something she enjoys doing? thats what she's prob thinking anyway. Im sure she'l see the damage its doing to her.. she'l have a light bulb moment where she realizes.
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Thankyou for your feedback, I understand that mum wont give up, she has enough to battle now without battling her addiction but for the smoking to increase and the mum I knew to diminish saddens me so much, is it part of the cancer?
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Occasional Contributor
Hi Daughter72, I find it amazing that both our parents chose to keep smoking after the diagnosis of cancer - lung with your mum and breast cancer with my mum, consequently my mum later developed throat cancer due to smoking and your Mum developed brain cancer! hence i havent seen mum with a smoke for 1yr and a half, mainly because her throat was removed, and she CANT SMOKE or talk anymore. But at least that distructive life has stopped and i might have her around for longer now. Mum has often said, that if the cancer had been anywhere else in her body she would still be smoking and drinking right now, it was her lifeline and is what she believed was an escape, the only escape for her (as with all addictions) - away to forget with an old "friend" she would say, a friend that ended up trying to kill her twice id say! I have spoken to my mum about you and i asked her "if she was in your mums shoes, and i sat down with her and begged her to slow down this distructive lifestyle for me and for my children, what would she say and feel about that?". Her response was "that as much as she loves me and the grandchildren, the fear of death and the unknown; the depression and feelings of seperation and loss at such a young age (under 65) would terrify her; she would still smoke but not infront of me - MUM SAID SHE WOULD ACTUALLY HIDE IT FROM ME cheeky lady. The thought of losing you and her grandchildren may seem sureal. I cant imagine whats going through her mind on those days when you see her sitting there staring into space, chain smoking. Its would be horrible for you to watch i dont even want to imagine it. Mum also said that the smoking is a big part of her life right now and that to take that away or to lecture her would add extra fuel to an already burnt out fire. Her driving sounds like a way to still be "independant", driving for many ladies is essential to their wellbeing. I know that if i baby mum to much she cracks the shits. When you feel, or are made to feel incompetent, you tend to rebel, your mum sounds lost and in despair, i hope you find a away to make her see sense! If i were in your shoes.......mmmmmmm i would want to talk to someone going through this too. Im also watching my mum deminish and trying to make her see the bright side. I have lost the mum i knew for so many years and at times, especially when you think its the end of your life; mum said suddenly little things like smoking and driving (when not allowed) dont matter to much considering. Lifes to short. Trying to stop fags and coping with cancer would be to much. Im so sorry you have to sit and watch this, if there is anything i can do to help you please PM (private msg) me! As a daughter who is caring for her mother i cant imagine what it would be like and the anger and frustration you must be experiencing towards her, i know its hard not to take things personally sometimes. Im barely coping now but i hold my head up to you, your an inspiration. I hope, for your sake if not for hers that she understands and starts caring about the conseqences of what she is doing to herself Stay in touch
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Contributor
If it is any consolation, the stage your mum is at, it makes no difference whether she smokes or nor. My oncologist told me itwas too late to give up. So be reassured in the knowledge that she is not speeding things up. Just love her while she is still here, and remember that she is probably very scared (I am) and if it heps her get through this then it is ok. S
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Deceased
Hi Daughter 72 As Vinouche says, it won't make any difference at this stage. When I was first diagnosed my consusltant suggetsed that I take some supplements for which there was, at the time, some evidence that they were protective for my type of cancer. My response was that I shoudl have been taking them thirty years previously - he stopped, thought about it and said "You're right - not a lot of point now". Your Mum has been smoking for a long time, it gives her some comfort. Giving up is incredibly stressful, so why bother. It is not going to make any difference now so let her enjoy it. Driving, if she is not supposed to, is a different matter. It is somethng that all of us with ageing parents have to deal with. If it is a medical person who has said she can't drive, then the onus os on them to report that to the releavnt authorities and you should ask them to do so. You do need to point out that if you are to do it it may destroy your relationship with her. Most GP's are reluctant to report people who should not be driving but they have a responsibility to do so. Regards Sailor
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Thankyou so much everyone for your replies, I wish I had found this site so much earlier on. I have had lots of tears while reading your messages and know I am not alone with my feelings. My beautiful mum is a young mum too (59) and She has told me how scared she is and I also know that smoking is her crutch, so being more accepting and stop mothering her is something that I am now trying although being 31 weeks pregnant makes it a bit more testing for me :) We have a very close family, I have 2 other sisters and a wonderful stepfather and of course mum, we are all there for for each other so I am blessed in this way, mum has said the grandchildren are keeping her strong and having another on the way has given her hope and something to look forward to. In regard to her driving, yes her doctor and pallative care have told her she is not to drive so it is a medical reason, independence was one of mums biggest strengths, so losing this is obviously been a bitter pill to swallow, I will however speak to our doctor if it happens again (although her rebellious actions remind me of my good old mum who was never one to conform ..lol) Thankyou all once again ... love you mum .....
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Contributor
Hey! I hear you on the driving thing...my husband was told in no incertain terms by an ED nurse that with the amount of meds he is on there was no way he should be driving unless he wanted to end up there after a car accident. I then spoke to his GP and specialist who both agreed that he should not be driving....this for him is THE WORST! WE are in the process of selling his car as we need the cash, he can't drive it if it is not there and it is old.....he constantlt throws it in my face that he has committed no crime, except to get cancer, he has done nothing wrong, except to get cancer and he is being punished by having his one hope of freedom taken away. He has been helped considerably by the Palliative Care people who will drive him wherever he wants to go at a (seemingly) moment's notice......which has given him a newish lease on life. He still can't wait to get his licence back and constantly buys lotto and scratchies in the hope he will win big and buy the best car ever! As for the smoking thing.....my grandmother had her voicebox removed because of cancer caused by smoking and I have memories in the 80s of her smoking through the stoma in her neck......She had to do what she had to do. In the end she died from Anorexia- caused by a fear of food getting caught in her throat, so she stopped eating.....go figure! CANCER is a CRAZY CRAZY trip.....one no one would go on if they had the choice! PA
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