My mother was diagnosed with lung cancer stage 4 with brain metastasis last summer in August. This news came as a shock to everyone in our family as my mother was usually in very good health. Since then, she has been receiving chemo treatment, taking different kinds of supplements, and fighting with everything she has. Though, a few days ago, we learned that cancer spread to her hipbones and the skull. Until we got this news, we were a bit hopeful but now I feel devastated and depressed. I can't bring myself to do anything even though I know that I need to be strong for my mother and my younger sister who is just 15 years old. They are the only family I have... I am not sure how to cope with my emotions. I tried talking with my friends and doing sports etc, but I just feel so blocked and overwhelmed. Overwhelmed because I started studying again this year, as it had been already planned before I learned about my mother's condition and I still work part-time to provide for myself and support my mother. But now, I feel like I am reaching a point of burnout. Please share with me any advice you may have to handle this difficult time.
I see that this was posted a month ago, how are you and your family going?
My mother was diagnosed with Bowel Cancer, almost 20 years ago now, in 2002, I was 14 when she was diagnosed and 16 when she died, the shock of the news lets off a range of emotions that we will forever remember, I still have a very vivid collection of the day she was diagnosed and the 2 years from there went very quickly, my life, and what seemed like time, just stood still for 2 years, I stopped trying at school, I just felt numb and unsure what I should be doing.
My mum started chemotherapy and was also taking supplements and eating the healthiest diet that she possibly could, the fight that she had was amazing, she was fighting for her 3 boys, she decided to stop the chemotherapy and try natural alternatives, which I believe really extended her life beyond the 6 month death sentence.
Your post really hit me when you said that you have to stay strong for your mum and your 15 year old sister, I have 2 older brothers and to be honest it was their strength that helped me tremendously, that time in my life strengthened our bond, but just remember that letting out your emotions is important, and it is important to let your sister know this too, to cry together, to be there for each other, to let your mum know that you and your sister are going to be ok and going to live your best life.
I was probably too young to know I wanted this, but I suggest you and your sister see a psychologist, individually and also together with your mum, you need to let your emotions out and be kind to yourself, find what relaxes you, a walk on the beach, surfing, bush walking, playing soccer, whatever relaxes you just let your body and mind heal and truly relax, let your mind just go blank for 5 minutes and think about life here and now, what you can feel and smell, you need to look after yourself, your sister is looking up to you and she knows that you care, there is no failing in this situation.
Apply for government support if you can, charities will help too, you want to do the most you can to spend the most time with your mother and also your sister, if you can get professional help for your sister to share her emotions in the best way for her then this will release some pressure on you too.
I look forward to hearing back from you soon.
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