I'm very sorry to hear about your Mum. No matter our vocation, dealing with the loss of a loved one is always very difficult to deal with.
I'm not too sure if I'm qualified to be imparting wisdom to a nurse (or wisdom full stop to be honest), but perhaps I could share some of my thoughts.
You might be a nurse, but you are were a daughter first. Inside the clinical environment of the hospital, you have been trained to put emotion and feelings aside so that you can concentrate on the patient's needs. Now when your mother is ill, everything is reversed. Don't fight these feelings.
There are many people here who have had bowel cancer (myself included) and survived. My father was diagnosed with the same, and lived for many years after diagnosis.
Has your Mum received much information about her cancer?
@Isawolfe it is so very difficult when our loved ones are diagnosed with a potentially terminal condition if untreated and often even if it is. The plethora of new and at times uncomfortable emotions we experience can be overwhelming. There are so many "what if's?". We are afraid, we don't want to have to farewell the ones we love, we wonder how long this journey will be.
After supporting my husband through one life threatening illness I found that getting help from a professional counselor helped me process these emotions as did having an "understanding friend". With his new cancer diagnosis I feel better placed to not unnecessarily worry as to what may or may not happen, to take each step at a time but not bury my head in the sand. I am also more confident in my communication with concerned family and friends. I let them know that I find talking with everyone difficult and to please text. I don't feel obligated to answer the phone if I am not up to it but will politely text back to say sorry I was unable to take call for reasons such as I am feeling a bit wobbly or to update/ thank for concern and would they please not be offended as I need to keep calls to a minimum. I keep things factual, prognosis is high on their want to know info, I specifically included this at an appropriate time as I suspected this was the case, letting those who needed to know at this stage surgeons have given statistical data only and "too early to ascertain" to those who don't need to know. Being a nurse some may see you as the "go to" person; it is ok to set limits on what you feel is an appropriate level of communication in the situation.
Sorry this is a is bit long but hope it is of some help to you.
Hi Isawolfe. I am sorry to hear of your mum's diagnosis. My dad was diagnosed with bowel cancer in January this year and I have felt the exact same way. I am a speech pathologist who works in a hospital and the only "medical" person in my family, yet I have felt like I have coped with it the worst out of everyone. I can't provide words of wisdom as I type this with tears rolling down my cheeks but I can relate to feeling like I'm supposed to be the strong one when I'm not.
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