Hi - I am new to this site and was hoping for a bit of support and advice (although I am not sure there really is any). My mum has terminal cancer which she has been battling amazingly for 3.5 years. She is finally losing her battle though and she doesn't have very long left to live now. I live in Edinburgh and have come back to Oz for a couple of weeks to spend some time with her. Unfortunately, there is no way I can stay any longer this time and have to go back home on Monday. It will probably be the last time I see my mum alive. I really don't know how to say goodbye. It is made even more difficult because she hasn't accepted or won't admit to others that she is dying and keeps talking about when she gets better. I want to thank her for being a wondeful mother and say my goodbye, but I am afraid that it will just upset her and she doesn't want to hear it. She is becoming particularly anxious of late and gets quite wound up. Has anyone been in a similar situation or have any thoughts? Thanks, Katy
Hi Katy There is an article in the Carers section on Anticipatory Grief that you maight find helpful. It must be difficult for you and everyone concenrned. I hope you get the opprtunity to say goodbye and and to spend time togther.
Hi Katy You are in such a difficult place emotionally. My hubby's dad had the same approach and was in denial right up to the end. He made it very hard on my hubby's mum, who was his carer, as he refused palliative care, respite etc and the only support he'd allow was the community nurse. He agreed to go into the hospice the night he died, which was very traumatic for all. It's a difficult tightrope to walk on; you want to say goodbye and yet she's not ready to accept her situation. If you have time to phone your local palliative care unit (the hospital should have contact details if you haven't already touched base with them), they should be able to make someone available to talk to you about how to say goodbye when your mum's not ready. Our thoughts are with you
I cannot imagine the emotional distress you must be feeling at this point. My only advice is that you tell your mum that you love her. She knows this, but hearing it always makes a difference. She will understand your situation and knows that if you could stay, you would.
While you cannot be there, phone her in the days she has left, and tell her you love her. Every day - several times a day if you can.
My dad was just as stubborn as your mum sounds, convinced that he would get better, and he put up a good fight! There is no real way you can say goodbye, because that would mean that you have given up hope, even if the inevitable is approaching, I always held out for some miracle.
I am comforted by the fact that I was able to tell my dad every day that I loved him, and knew that he loved me with all his heart, just as dearly. I think that's all a parent needs to know and hear in these very hard and dark days.
Knowing they are loved by their children is all the thanks they need.
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.