Hey, This past few weeks has included a lot of “firsts”, including this post as I’ve never joined an online forum before. My name is Lynn and I’ve become the sole caregiver for my 56 year old mom, who was originally diagnosed with stage IV Metastatic Lung Cancer, but we just found out it is actually stage IV Metastatic Melanoma. Even though she was diagnosed in early January, has had pleurdesis and biopsies, has been to a neurosurgeon and has begun radiation on her chest and brain, we still don’t have a complete pathology and haven’t met with a medical oncologist to discuss melanoma. We have to wait until March 15th but we have our appointment with palliative care next week. To help with her financial circumstances, she moved in my apartment with me and I took a leave from my job to help with her pain management and to get her started on radiation treatments. I have two younger sisters but they can’t help due to work/family and schooling. My mom is single and, despite being an energetic, lively, and social person, most of her friends have turned out to be more work than help. We have a very small family .... all are totally dysfunctional or estranged. Mom gets bored easily because the tumor has effected her vision and she can’t follow complex tv shows due to her short term memory and confusion. The steroids for her brain tumour make her hypomanic. So she can’t stay still. She also can’t be left alone for very long... The truth is, even though I’m grateful that I have been able to take time to help mom adjust, I feel very isolated and I can’t really even grieve or show emotions. I often have really high anxiety now and she cries or expresses upset about me having to give up my job, my boyfriend, my friends. And she’s not wrong, I am grieving the loss of my life prior to her diagnosis, but I feel guilty for that given her illness. I think it would be easier if I had even a little bit of time for myself. At this point, I can’t really get more than and hour or two and everyone keeps telling me to take care of myself but how?? I have reached out to a social worker for mom, we plan to connect with wellspring and nearby hospice programming. The problem is that she wants me with her all the time. She is reluctant to engage in any part of this on her own... but I’m emotionally and physically exhausted. Mostly, it just feels good to write about how I’m feeling. I don’t feel like there is much that can be done to change our circumstance, so maybe I’m just complaining or venting. Thank you for the opportunity to share.