Hi - well I have just stumbled across Cancer Connections after a Friday night where there didn't seem to be anyone to call and too many questions were swirling round in my head. And already it has been so helpful to read some blogs. I feel like I have found a bit of a lifeline.
My Mother-in-law has metastatic breast cancer in her liver and is declining rapidly. Her liver is visibly swollen, she is jaundiced and itchy and has massive fluid accumulation in her legs and abdomen. She was admitted to hospital on Tuesday with suspected febrile neutropenia, cellulitis in both legs and then they found a blood clot in one. The good news was that her white cell count had actually come up since the week before but she has decided no more chemo - it only made her more sick and added a lot of complications.
So now we are looking at taking her home on Monday. She lives alone 15 mins drive from us and wants to stay there as long as possible. We are the only family members nearby, the others are interstate, but we do have a wonderful support network through our church which I know we are going to need. I also have two kids aged 4 and 6 to care for.
I have to say I am kind of scared of the road ahead. Not of the dying per se because our faith gives us hope to deal with that, but about how I am going to juggle the needs of my children, my husband and his siblings, and of course ultimately his mum. Not knowing what to expect and what help is available makes it harder too. Will I be able to go the distance and do what my family needs?? Already its a struggle.
So that's me, one carer who is very relieved to have found this network!
The people at the hospital should be able to give you information and put you in touch with people that will help you at this terrible time.
Try to get your husband to help out if he dosnt already, it is very difficult to do everything for everybody on your own, in times like this you will need help.
At this point it shouldnt be so much as what your family needs, but what they can all do to help the sufferer and make her more comfortable and ease some of the burden off you.
Your church network does sound as if they will be supportive, dont be afraid of asking for help and assistance.
I too was glad to find this place. If people from your church are willing to help in any way, just let them. Our church have also said the same thing and a number of people have visited to see what I needed. So far, just their company has been a blessing. Through prayer I am able to deal with the good days and the not so good days. As someone else said, the hospital should be able to give you information on services that could benefit you and your mother in law. If possible don't let the rest of the family stick you with all of the work. It is too much for one person with their own immediate family to look after. I also know that is easier said than done. If you wear out you wont be any good to anyone, so if needed, put your foot down.
Take Care and God bless
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.