Dealing with terminal cancer of a parent

New Contributor

Dealing with terminal cancer of a parent

Hi there. 
My name is Lauren, I am a 27yr old. My beautiful mum found out her inflammatory breast cancer has come back in Feb this year. She was given 6-18mths. She is an amazingly strong women who is a true fighter. This year has been living hell for her, she is currently on a last chance chemo which has been horrible. She gets so sick from it but she wants more than anything the chance for more time with me and my sisters. It has been so difficult dealing with seeing her suffer (I am a nurse.. I find it hard cause I deal with cancer patients at work too). I feel at times I am complete mess, I just can’t stop the tears and fear of loosing her. I do the right things, I see a counsellor, I take meds to help the depression/anxiety, I try and look after myself. But honestly I am struggling. I am mad she has to suffer, why did this have to come back? I don’t want to loose her. I know this is all part of grieving and a fear of the future. But I just wonder what else I can do to be there for her? To try not to break down.

3 REPLIES 3
Super Contributor

Re: Dealing with terminal cancer of a parent

Hi Lauren,

You're probably doing all you can already. Just being there for her, with her, is an enormous positive in her life. You don't always have to be strong - it's good therapy to have a cry. There's nothing wrong with having a good cry together either.
Sometimes it's the best thing to just let it all out.
Unfortunately for you, being a nurse, you'll know all the things that your mum has to go thru before she finally has peace.
Talk with her about everything. Ask questions about her past, what it was like in her childhood, etc. Although this will be hard, you should, if you haven't already, talk about her funeral plans. What does she want to happen. It will ensure she gets what she wants, and it will ease the burden on you when she does actually die.

I wish you & your mum all the best
Budgie
Occasional Contributor

Re: Dealing with terminal cancer of a parent

Hi Lauren

 

Your post really hit a nerve with me. I'm also 27 and recently found out that Mum's bowel cancer is now terminal. I was 22 when she was first diagnosed. Since then she has gone through years of surgeries and chemo treatments. After each one, we crossed our fingers that it was the end of the cancer. I was so ANGRY every time it returned and had spread somewhere else. There's so many things she will miss - like grandchildren.  I feel like we've been robbed of the time we should have had.

 

I don't have any real advice about how to get through this because I haven't figured that out for myself. I just wanted to say that you're not alone. This is excruciatingly painful. Please give yourself time and space to allow all of the emotions to process. Don't put too much pressure on yourself to cope the "right way" or do the "right things" to support her. There is no "right" action at times like these. Just spend time together as a family. Take videos so that you have her voice on film (I wish we did this earlier), talk about old memories and treasure the times you do have.

 

I hope this is helpful somehow... I felt really alone when Mum was first diagnosed and I don't want you to feel the same way. We're here

New Contributor

Re: Dealing with terminal cancer of a parent

I totally get where you are coming from, it makes me so sad about the things that I won’t get to ask her and she won’t get to see. I just keep trying to make the most of it all. Great idea with the videos, I might start doing that.

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