Working and caring for mother with cancer


Working and caring for mother with cancer

Hi all!


Well here I am! After going over and over in my head about what I should do! My mother has been diagnosed with metastatic bowel cancer in August this year. She has moved interstate to live with us as she had not much support and the medical system in the rural town she where she was living was shocking.


She has started treatment and a basic guideline for prognosis at this stage is 14months to 2 and a half years. I was job hunting and studying and was preparing to return to full time work after being at home with kids. After years of dealing with my husbands health issues whom is unable to work at present, I finally felt our situation was becoming stable, then this happened! I feel so selfish having this feeling of my life being derailed yet again.


How have others coped with trying to juggle work and being there for a loved one going through this journey? To put it simply our family needs income and I am the only one to provide this. But I cant justify moving mum to live with us then heading off to work.


I'm so torn in what to do.


Mum needs help to navigate doctors appointments especially understanding what's happening shes never been sick before this so its plunged her into the medical system which she has never experienced before. She also needs someone to just be there in the week after treatment.  Yes my husband could ferry her to appointments but I couldn't deal with being at work and knowing she is there going through this alone. But then I have this thought that life goes on and I should be able to cope with working and dealing with this. I feel so incrediably selfish for even thinking of returning to work but at the same time I know in my heart a few months from now it's going to be a financial disaster without any regular income - but I also feel it's just not possible to work at the moment. I'm just stuck!

Valued Contributor

Re: Working and caring for mother with cancer

Hello and welcome to the Online Community @Nori, we hope you'll receive a lot of great advice and support from your fellow community members.


How is your Mum doing today? And just as importantly, how are you coping with everything?


I sent you an email last week with some information about our Telephone Support Groups, feel free to let me know if you'd be interested in having one of the facilitators contact you Smiley Happy


Here are some resources you may find of interest, the podcasts in particular are great for listening to in the car:

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Occasional Contributor

Re: Working and caring for mother with cancer

Hi there,

I am a carer for my son who is 40 and was diagnosed with metastatic kidney cancer four months ago. I feel for you in your situation, it is so hard to deal with evryone's needs on top of your own. My sister has metastatic cancer too. You get pulled in different ways! The community is fantastic where  I am in Sydney south. We have the community nurses who visit every 2 weeks, volunteer people, occupational therapist, who provide advice and equipment such as bathroom adaptations or wheelchairs, the Health Direct line 1800 022 222 for general advice, a great GP who is watching my son's results, a pathology collector who comes to us every week (ring your local provider such as Laverty) and I believe some local Councils have a patient transport system that can be booked to take people to a hospital appointment.  For pensioners, (which I'm not yet) you can have your discounted medications and my chemist has a rewards program that gives you some money back for dealing with them all the time. (Terry WHite chemists - can be shopped online.) The best discount chemist for special items like blood pressure monitors  is Chemist warehouse. For larger items like walkers and special beds there are the ILS shops (Independent Living specialist) also online. The hospital also provided a dietitian and social worker contact numbers.

Don't be afraid to reach out - they are waiting to help. Good luck with your future!

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