I have been in a kind of holding pattern for six months now. First they tell me that my Mum will die in the few months, then an experimental drug proves hopeful, and now the disease has been found in another part of her body. I have moved back home to care for her and help out my Dad. Together we are struggling to maintain a huge empty house. I feel as though have lost all my independence and sense of drive and purpose just waiting for all of this to be over. I have always been very close to my Mum. The cancer has affected her brain and although she is no longer quite the person she once was, I still love her and experience great grief knowing that she will not know my children if i choose to have any, see me grow up and share all the experiences with me that most other people get. But, I am so unhappy and all of the things that I want/need to do to get my happiness back (move out, take on full-time study, travel) are things that cannot be done whilst I am in this horrible waiting pattern. Me suggesting that I need to do some of these things is met with staunch disapproval. I feel so trapped and frustrated with the lack of control I have over my own life right now. I want some happiness back or I fear this waiting period will get the better of me. I really don't feel like myself anymore.
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Contributor
Hi Andreah I am sorry to hear of your Mum's cancer and your difficulties but also commend you for moving home to care for her and support your Dad. Life is not fair and often leaves us with hard choices to make. It is a matter of finding balance and making choices that you are prepared to live with comfortably long-term as well as fulfilling your own present needs. It is possible to be happy and unhappy consecutively; it is not necessarily a case of either, or. Can you move a short distance to allow for frequent visits? Can you study from home (http://oten.tafensw.edu.au/)? Can you make trips away for short periods? Can you get respite from family/friend/organisation? If you can do any of the latter, would you still feel the need to move out? Carers need caring for, too, so they can continue caring. Look after yourself as you look after your Mum & Dad. Don't take others' disapproval on your shoulders. If they can't see you need help, too, they have a problem. When cancer comes many are affected, not just the patient. Be kind with yourself and also with others who may well be struggling and taking their stress out on you. Sending prayers of strength and wisdom - and warm hugs of comfort, Pamela 🙂
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