I am currently a carer for my Mother who was diagnosed with Stage 4 Bowel Cancer late last year, as many of you know this is indeed a day by day battle.
I returned from Sydney at the end of February to undertake care and since then I have slowly lost all hope. In saying this I have not lost hope for my Mum, we have been told the weeks to a month E.T.A's since before my return, I have lost hope in finding someone who understands.
I'll try to explain why my situation feels relatively rare. Stretching back over 5 years ago, my Mother always had stomach problems which came in waves yet carried on with her everyday life (hardest working person I know). My Dad and I, always insisted on getting her to go to the doctors and asked them to narrow down what this issue could be. Numerous scans were undertaken and different medication was prescribed and the symptoms subsided although it always returned at near 3-5 month intervals, but hey it could have been more often as my Mum refuses to burden anyone, she even gave birth to a 10 pound baby with no pain relief.
My Mum is fiercly independent and carried on with her life while we refused to believe it could be something like this, including close family. I will admit we should have persisted even harder but how could something like this not be narrowed down in the times we got her to see a doctor ? How could it be allowed to go this far..
I'm so happy a large effort is being put into narrowing this down before it becomes irreversible, but it seems to me it takes more than just opening up to a proffesional. As I think back I see all the warning signs and when I believe it climbed. At a rough time in life I even chose to assume the worst yet I was told otherwise. Can anyone understand the pain there ?
Despite doing what we did I will never forgive myself. I know I made the wrong assumptions and always chose to refuse to believe it but its where we are at now that matters, I at least understand that. What makes this so difficult for me and my Mother is I have also tried to seek help from family and friends, yet in trying to explain myself everyone seems hellbent on believing something they themselves should know is far from true, because of how I have chose to cope through this, through sarcasm and a dillusional optimism.
I have been asked by people who come to take care of my Mother "What are you going to do" ? They need to understand I dont know as some of you may understand as a carer I treat her life like my own. I still can't accept her to be taken in this way. To them I look like a kid who cant take care of myself.. Believe me when I say I wish I had this condition myself. At least then I am all I have to worry about. Through this ordeal my Mother was in more and more pain and the amount she was prescribed before my return was far from enough, but perhaps it was but who can say no to their Mum in pain.
As you's know this is a learning situation, I am 23. I made every effort to ensure she was never in pain with what I was being told and what to expect, until my Mum showed me what the actual problem was through small things done around the house. Then on the last day I took her to hospital I gave Mum the full amount she was prescribed and it led to a near overdose. I took her to hospital and a lady wanted me to say what was happening before she did ? Because i'm the proffesional ?
Another doctor gossiping loudly to others showed there is no privacy in sessions I had with another doctor, he also told me it is cruel to continue after lying about previous medical interventions with my Mother. Since then I rapidly reduced her pain relief and the results are great. Although her cancer is elevating again. I cant go to friends, family and obviously doctors without hearing some dillusional assumption, I have to use constructive critism buried in what they say.
Nothing makes my mum happier than seeing me happy, and she wants to stay here, where so many refuse to make this easy for me.. What do I do ?
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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.