Hi all, please forgive me if l haven't used the right forum for this but l've never done anything like this before.
My mum is currently under going chemo for a secondary cancer in her lungs and liver, after having a melanoma remove and treated 5 years ago.
I am struggling with watching her go through this treatment and cancer itself. We are extremely close and if possible l would swap places with her and go through all of this to save her/her life.
I don't know how to change this mind set as l know it's not possible to do.
Has anyone else been down this track? Do you have any words of advise for me?
I watched both my parents die from cancer. My father - 16 years ago. No treatment options were given to him as his cancer was too widespread. My darling mum died 2 years ago from pancreatic cancer, and again, no treatment options for her.
It is a struggle to watch the ones we love being torn apart by cancer, but I viewed it as a priviledge that I was there with them during their times of need. I was holding my mums hand when you took her last breath, and I feel honoured (and yet heartbroken at the same time) to have been at her side.
I can only imagine how it must hurt you to have to watch your mum coping with the effects of chemo and the cancer. I'm sure if you were able to swap places with your mum she would say to you 'No - I have lived a good life and you havent lived yours yet!' I am sure she wouldnt want to deprive you of the years ahead of you. Cherish you mum while you still have, dont ask yourself 'why mum, and not me', just be there for her and dont forget to try and take care of yourself, at the same time.
Life can be a real b*&^h at times, but unfortunately there is not a lot that we can do to change it. Dont be hard on yourself and give your mum lots of love.
Take care and good luck
its so hard to watch the person you life struggling for their life.. my boyfriend of one year and 5 months has cancer and i'l never forget the night he told me.. i knew something had been up for months i think he did to but until he got tested we just thought it was from lousy diet etc...
that horrible night my walls came crashing down, i felt like there wasnt enough space to contain my pain... 6 months on and things have gotten A LOT easier! we are going down the right road so i guess that has helped.. but so many struggles on the way.. loss of friendships.. depression.. feeling crap!
i to would swap places with him, but im not in his place and i guess i should be grateful.. i know that i feel better by sticking with him and dealing with this the best i can..
just being there is the best thing you can do.. i often massage my boyfriend, he has bad side effects still from chemo, i clean up for him do little things that help him 🙂 we still live life to the fullest he still likes to go out and party when he can..
i just wish this stupid cancer would be gone, and i just want him to be in remission but i know its not going to happen over night, and we still have a lot to get through..
be strong! at the start i felt like shouldnt cry in front of him or act upset.. everyone kept telling me to 'not cry' but he actually doesnt mind.. if i need to cry i do..
best of luck with your mum, keep up the good work!
Hi Diannep52, thanks for your email. My dad also died of pancreatic cancer 30 years ago. Whilst the pain of losing him still lingers, l don't recall much of his pain and discomfort. Like your mum, he had no treatment options either.
You are correct about Mum saying "It's my time, you live your life". It's almost like you have been part of our conversation.
I honestly thank you for your words and l will try and view as you did.
Hi Maddie86, thank you for your message. It's kind of nice to know l'm not on my own in this.
We already know that there is no cure for my mum. But l do hope there is for your boyfriend.
I to cry when l need to but feel guilty about it if it's in front of my mum, because l know she feels for me. And it's not about me.
Anyway l hope that you and your boyfriend have a long and happy (cancer free) life ahead of you.
With best wishes, meandma
Thanks for your lovely response to my previous post. All I can say is, 'my heart goes out to you and what you are going through'. Unfortunately, I have witnessed cancer from 'both sides of the fence' ie: carer and then sufferer!
Dont be so hard on yourself. Your comment above re: 'It's not about me' - this is so untrue. It IS about you and your feelings and how you cope with them. I cried a bucket of tears whilst helping to care for mum and dad, and yes, on some days, I cried with them! It's our natural response when anything 'bad' happens to the ones we love.
If it is any consolation to you, we are all here for you! Take care.
Di (big hugs) xx
I can totally relate to what you're going through with your beloved Mum. My Dad has (incurable) lung cancer and has just been told he has "8-18mths". I've posted about it in the friends and family forum (I think it's called?)
It's very difficult watching someone you love so much suffering. I cry buckets!!! Not in front of my Dad though, and in some ways it still feels surreal .... it's hard to explain or describe to someone who hasn't experienced it isn't it?
My Dad is my hero, and I just cannot (or don't want to) imagine life without him. Life SUCKS like that, especially cancer (!!)
I spose I don't really have any advice hun, I just wanted you to know I'm on this journey too and am happy to talk to you.
Hi Sqweege, thanks for your reply. Like you l find it surreal, the very thought of having a life without my mum doesn't bare thinking about.
I'm at the point at the moment that she is not wanting help with things that she struggles with. It breaks my heart to watch her. She used to be sooooo independant. Now she needs help brushing her hair as her right shoulder has torn tendans. What do you do? She just shakes me off when l go to help.
I'm really starting to feel overwhelmed with the responsibility of caring for her and the extra jobs that are coming my way. Family are helping where they can - but still.....
l feel like l'm drowning - just don't know if it's in my own self pity.
(((( Hugs )))) meandma
Oh hun, I empathise. My Dad can be stubborn with accepting help as well, I can only imagine how frustrating it is for our once independent parents to go through this and not be able to do the things they want to, even basic things sometimes.
Perhaps you could get a home aide come in sometimes to help and your Mum would more easily accept help from them rather than you? I don't know really, just a suggestion. One thing I do know is, if we get don't look after ourselves in all this then we can't help our parents so I think it's important to have a break ... get other family members to come and care for Mum for perhaps a week and you get away and recuperate a bit, is that doable?
Hi Sqweege, l'm sorry l was in the middle of a meltdown earlier as l wrote to you.
Thank you for your suggestions re: other family to help care. The only two people l would ask to look after mum are my sister and niece. One lives interstate and the other is heavily preggers. So it's not really an idea time. I am trying to look after myself, which is why l have turned to the lovely people l'm finding on this site. You are all helping me make better decisions for myself and mum's care.
I think today it was not only hard watching her struggle but realising that she must be frightened of what is happening. I can't begin to image how she is feeling.
This is probably a hard question to answer but do you feel any different now you have a time line for your dad? I am currently just trying to make the best of each day. I don't know that l want to know a time frame. Sorry l probably shouldn't ask that but it's all just so scary.
Thank you for today, l do appreciate you taking the time to reply.
I'm sending hugs and best wishes back to you.
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.