Not handling it well

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Occasional Visitor

Not handling it well

Hi

Long story short(maybe not so short), the day before I got on a plane and moved to Australia my Mum was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. I've been here a week and I'm struggling big time. She didn't want me pass up a great job opportunity because at the time we weren't sure how serious it is. After some research and tests it's pretty clear she isn't going to have an easy time. She's a glass half full kind of person, even now she's positive and understanding of her own situation but I cant handle being so far away. She doesn't want me to come home but I can't deal with this by myself. It's unclear how advanced her cancer is and what timeframe she has. She says she doesn't feel sick but she is suck a head strong person she wouldnt tell anyone if she is. I have so much respect for her and she's never pointed me in the wrong direction, she says I need to stay here so I can be closer to my sister but I feel like I'm deserting her. Every day is a struggle being away but I know it will be even harder being home. If anyone can give some advice or guidence or insight if you've been in the same situation. I dread the fact that the next time I see her she won't be mum.

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Contributor

Re: Not handling it well

Hi @Bud,

 

I sent a private message welcoming you to the Online Community, but thought I might also comment here in case anyone reading is in a similar situation.

 

It's incredibly hard being away from a loved one who has a cancer diagnosis, and difficult to know how to support them. You don't mention where your mum lives, but some people in your situation have contacted a major cancer organisation/charity where their family member lives to see if there are some local supports that can be put in place.

 

This link to international cancer websites (scroll to the bottom of the page) covers some of the major cancer organisations internationally and getting in touch with a relevant one may provide a way to give some practical as well as emotional support from afar.

 

Please don't forget to take care of yourself too. Here is a link to another page of information and resources for family and friends of someone with a cancer diagnosis, and it might be helpful for you and your sister at this time.

 

Kind regards,

Margaret

Online Community admin team

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Occasional Contributor

Re: Not handling it well

Go home. Go home.. from my point of view..you will live with that regret for ever if she dies and you werent there....you only have one Mum...and believe as soon as she sees you she will melt into your arms...Please take your sister with you...Best of luck to you and your family..

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Re: Not handling it well

I have to agree with Nina6. When my father rang from UK and said he had terminal lung cancer and only expected to live for 6 months, I left my husband and took my (then) 6 year old daughter back home. I spent 5 months with my father and was was able to spend quality time with him as well as attend his funeral. I am so very glad I was there and I know I was able to get closure and move on with my grief. This was 20 years ago and I still feel blessed for that precious time.
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Re: Not handling it well

I strongly agree with Linzi and Nina6.  Definitely go home and seek work around where she lives to be nearer to her.   You will live with remorse and guilt if you don't spend time with her during this fearful time for her, no matter how strong she makes you believe she is able to cope. She is being Mum and looking after you by saying this, but she facing a scary situation and now it is time for you to look after Mum, she does need you regardless of what she tells you. 

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Re: Not handling it well

Hi there,

Believe it or not I’m going to disagree with the other comments. I’m American but Ive been living in Melbourne for nine years and my mom was just diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in February and despite not being there full time, I go back every couple of months to spend time and help out. I don’t have permanent residency so I don’t have a luxury of being able to leave for a while and be able to come back. It’s a pretty complicated situation begin far away from a sick parent and it does involve a lot of guilt. If you aren’t able to travel back often, at least try to Skype as much as possible. I’d be happy to connect with you off of this if you’d like to chat more. Take care, Lara 

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