I'm 17 and from a small town where support is very hard to find.
My mum was recently diagnosed with secondary breast cancer. After nine years of all clear it's back.
I have been caring for her for a long time with no support in general. I have just quit my job for closer care. Caring for her is very rewarding. But at times I just can't keep myself together. I'm scared! I'd love to speak to other carers that are experiencing the same as I am. I need advice, to hear other experiences, how do we cope?!
I feel as though if I can't cope, then how can she?
Hi Miss Molly
My heart goes out to you. I also cared for my Mum through bowel and then an unrelated lung cancer. I was happy to do it, but it was still tough. My mum passed three months ago tomorrow.
Of course you are scared! Who wouldn't be? But you show so much courage doing this.
You say you're in a small town so I'm guessing there aren't many services near you? Are you able to contact the cancer support line? They may be able to help you or at least put you in touch with support services/groups near you.
Happy to talk here anytime.
I'm 18 and my mum passed away 5 months ago from mestatic breast cancer, it was rapid, and like your mum, had been given the clear, then bang - a 3 month prognosis - and I felt like it was my responsibility to do a lot of the caring for her. i am lucky in that my dad was there to help too, but I looked after mums meds, meals, everything like that.
I wonder - has palliative care been organised for your mum? We had a nurse come to our home once every 3 days, and then progressively more visits as the cancer got worse.
Also, do you have no family around you that can assist? Give you a bit of a break to have your own time too? Its so important to look after yourself so you can better help your mum.
As much as it seems impersonal, I can suggest calling the cancer council helpline - they're trained and waiting to help you too - don't fob it off, just do it for yourself.
Something you may need to consider with doctors/ nurses is what will happen practically when your mums condition progresses? We were so lucky that my beautiful mum could stay at home with us - but dad was always needed to help with the toilet and shower - just getting mum onto the mobility chair thing, because she lost so much muscle in her legs she could no longer walk.
If nothing works Molly, talk to your friends. You've got to have a vent. 5 months since mum died I'm finally realising that - i always had the attitude that i could cope, i am strong enough etc, but holding it in makes it worse - its good to talk to people and know they are there for you to vent when needed.
And Molly, don't doubt yourself - tell yourself how amazing you are - you can cope, because you're doing it. you are there for your mum every day - coping and doing what has to be done. assisting hands on really helped me. but of course, you're not going to be honky dory - this is serious and you have to expect to have a breakdown once in a while. don't be too harsh on yourself.
here if you ever need to vent, good luck, be strong and confident xxxxxxx
Thanks guys! Really appreciate the support. I'm so sorry to here about your parents, and I hope not for a long time that I will have to write that. I recently reached out for respite, the local health centre shouted me a night in the grampians, which was awesome. So relaxing and gave me the time i so needed to get my head around things.
It's been a while now, I feel a lot stronger than I did when I wrote this blog.
We have a house cleaner, and that's great, but most like you guys everything else is pretty much up to me. We don't have many family in this town, but the family and friends we do have is incredible, a lot of support. I think I'm just stubborn sometimes, I don't accept peoples help because "no it's right, I can do it on my own', and I need to learn that I just can't. I've definitely considered calling the cancer council hotline, I'm actually looking forward to it.
A couple of weeks ago I organised a fundraiser day for the cancer council, relay for life. I shaved my head, we had auctions raffles and spinning wheels in a local bar, it was a great day out we raised over 3,700 and I'm now up to 6,000, it made mum so happy!
I love to see her happy, its like a weight just falls off my shoulders. Mum and I are doing the relay, it's in two weeks 🙂 I'm hoping shes up to it :)
Thanks guys xxx
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.