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Don't know what to do
CLAU
5 Posts
My mom was first diagnosed with breast cancer 7 years ago and it came back 4 years ago. It has gotten worst and the newest meds she's tried is not working.

I'm so scared of something happening to her and I feel so powerless. It's scary to try and live with hope from scan to scan and then to hear bad news that it is spreading.

I don't want to be upset around her because i don't want her to worry but I can't imagine my life without her and going through milestones like having a baby myself in the future without having her around is unbearable.
13 Replies
Brighty
6533 Posts
Thank you for coming here and expressing your feelings CLAU‍ . Welcome. So sorry about your moms diagnosis. So many changes... so much to think about,but you dont have to do it alone . Will you be the sole caregiver or do you have others to help you? Please reach out to others for support as you need. How is mom coping? The best way to support your mom is by being ok yourself... so please make sure you are caring for yourself too.
spending time with your mom doing things you love together would mean the world to her. What does she like to do? Can you share or cook a recipe together?
many people live productive lives while living with cancer. We have some groups on the forum..under 'groups 'you may want to join....we also have under 'forums' a breast cancer' discussion going. Many ladies to chat with. You may also want to call the cancer info line at 1888 939 3333. Someone will be able to talk to you and answer any questions you may have going forward. You are not alone.
Trillium
1053 Posts
Hello CLAU‍ - so glad you joined us and feel comfortable to talk about what you are going through. Maybe you can share these thoughts and feelings with your mom. My daughter has shared these fears with me and it does make her feel better to talk about it.

I have lost both of my parents and wish I could tell you that its not that bad but it is very hard. Unfortunately death is part of life and eventually all of our parents will die.

You will get some comfort from others in your position from the second link to one of our threads about caregiving for a parent. The first link is a guide for us from the CCS and I like the advice - “Make the most of the time you do have with your patents...”

https://www.cancer.ca/en/cancer-information/living-with-cancer/your-relationships-and-cancer/adult-children-of-parents-with-cancer/?region=on

https://cancerconnection.ca/discussions/viewtopic/35/57052#coping-with-a-parent-s-diagnosis-

Warm hugs


CLAU
5 Posts

Thank you so much @Brighty. I'm so glad to have found this group. It's hard to talk to friends about because they mean well but I don' think they can understand what I'm going through.

Thank you for all the info. I do try and spend time with her but we just found out the news today so when I see her I want to cry and I don't want her to see me upset.

She's so strong and still trying to take care of everyone else. I come from a family that doesn't show a lot of emotion so I'm worried She's not telling us how she really feels because she doesn't want us to worry.

Whitelilies
961 Posts

@CLAU Hello and welcome……I am sorry to hear of your mom's return/diagnosis….it is so difficult to hear this…..you don't want to worry her; and she does not want to worry you/her family. True love, here…..

Many folks keep emotions inside……you cannot change this…..you can ask her, what would she like? To walk outdoors together? To make fun meals together? To have you at some medical appts, even if not permitted in the ofc, you can be driver…arrange confirmations etc. Just be….together….follow her lead…..ask…..share…..love….

We are here for you….

Regards

Whitelilies

CLAU
5 Posts
Thank you to everyone for your words and guidance. It really helps to have a community to reach out to with shared experiences although I wish our shared experiences were not as painful as what we are going through/ have gone through.

It's a roller coaster of emotions for me right now especially in a pandemic where I'm blessed to be working from home and able to spend time with her but also angry that vacations I had wanted to take her have been cancelled and that she hasn't been able to see friends.
Trillium
1053 Posts
CLAU‍ - Yes, I can only imagine the emotional rollercoaster you are going through. The pandemic makes it so much harder! I hope it ends soon so you can take these vacations with your mom and you both can have support from your friends.

Hugs
Bluewater
3 Posts

CLAU
You are such a beautiful caring and empathetic and compassionate daughter. I can tell you love your Mom so much. She is fortunate to have you.
I am going through the same as your Mom since 2011 and my one grown daughter really cares for me. My other three grown children are not supportive of my cancer journey.
Do you have friends/siblings who support you. Find some and create a support system for you and your Mom? Is your father supportive?
I pray a lot for those around me and will pray for you and your Mom. God is always there waiting to hearing from us. . The best uplifting music is a radio station on line K LOVE...it keeps my spirits up, You and your Mom would enjoy it because it is uplifting and encouraging. Keep showing love to your Mom and discuss things honestly....ie: what do you believe about your eternity. I believe I'll be in the arms of Jesus..Keep showing your Mom love .I know how hard that can be when you are scared. But you are brave in difficulty..lean on God!!!
Anne
Clauds
3 Posts
Hi CLAU‍,

Thanks for posting and sharing your story. I am in almost the exact same spot as you - and can completely understand how you feel.

My Mom has had Breast Cancer twice, but now has Cancer on her Liver (it was Ovarian Cancer they believe that spread here). My Mom can no longer receive Radiation (will cause more damage to the remaining, functioning part of her liver) or Chemo treatment (she's developed an allergy to the medication).

I am constantly scared, and worried for her because my Mom is the closest person in the World to me. I'm supposed to be getting married in October 2021, and family/friends have been trying to gently let me know that my Mom may not make it. I can't imagine it, and so I try to think positively. I want her to be around for all these milestones too.

I am too emotional to share my feelings/fears with her because it's just not what we do in our home. We've always been very stoic, and same goes for her. I have no idea her thoughts/fears/emotions because she doesn't want us to worry about her. I don't live with my Mom, and try to only see her on weekends (because I don't want to put her health at risk because of Covid) but when I'm there, I try to be positive, make her laugh, and show her I'm not worried. But when I go home, I crumble - almost inconsolable.

I truly feel that people can still live a great life even while living with cancer, but Covid has robbed that for so many, including my Mom. She can't see friends, or do the things that would typically bring her joy. And so her mood has been agitated, sad, down, and so my sister and I try to spend time with her doing fun things, like planning for my Bridal Shower.

There are wonderfully kind people in this group here who have responded to my fears/thoughts, and so I hope you find some solace that you are not alone. Things are hard, and they will get harder but we'll get stronger. Like others have mentioned, please be sure to take care of yourself as well.
Because of this group, and the recent health challenges with my Mom, I've decided to begin seeing a Therapist (for the first time!).

I absolutely feel for you, and if you'd like to - stay in touch. I can't really talk to my Friends about it either because they don't understand, but this group has so many wonderful perspectives from caregivers to patients, and it has helped me - so I hope it helps you too.

-Claudia
CLAU
5 Posts
@bluewater​​​​​​

Thanks for sharing. I'm happy to hear that you have a daughter that is supporting you through your journey. My sister helps but has her own family too so I definitely spend the most time with my mom and help out the most.

My dad hasn't done much and my mom is still helping him recover from his second knee replacement. I'm a bit resentful of my dad right now because I feel like he could be doing a lot more but he's quite stubborn and it's not worth it to argue about at the moment.


I will pray for you too. I'm trying to lean into God but at the same time it's hard to do when it hurts so much.

Thank you so much for sharing that radio station with me!
CLAU
5 Posts
Clauds‍, reading what you wrote was like seeing my thoughts written out.

We just found out her cancer was spreading so it's been hard for me to be around her because I too become inconsolable and I do not want her to worry.

Honestly, having these discussions have been so great because I feel like I can really open up. My friends offer to talk to me when I want but they really can't understand what I'm going through even with their best intentions. I always feel like it's too much for them to hear about it all the time but I'm scared and thoughts are constantly floating in my head. I will try to start meditating soon.

I also downloaded an app on my phone that lets me take a one second capture everyday and I plan on capturing moments of my mom everyday doing what she loves or playing with her grandkids.

I'm still in denial because I can't imagine a life without my mom and having to switch the role to taking care of her as been scary when she's taken care of me my whole life.

I've also looked into getting a therapist but I am so emotional as compared to my family that I spend so much of the sesssion sobbing. Sending you some virtual positive thoughts. Please keep in touch.
Brighty
6533 Posts
Hey CLAU‍ it is perfectly ok to spend all your therapy sessions sobbing. That's what they are there for. When my fiance was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer I spent all the sessions sobbing too. It was good to get it out in the sessions as I couldn't do it in front of him. I had to be the brave caregiver in front of him... .so get it all out in therapy if you can!. ...it's good to get it out rather than keeping it all bottled in.
Charles
96 Posts
CLAU:
My mom was first diagnosed with breast cancer 7 years ago and it came back 4 years ago. It has gotten worst and the newest meds she's tried is not working.

I'm so scared of something happening to her and I feel so powerless. It's scary to try and live with hope from scan to scan and then to hear bad news that it is spreading.

I don't want to be upset around her because i don't want her to worry but I can't imagine my life without her and going through milestones like having a baby myself in the future without having her around is unbearable.

There's a story I heard years ago that bears on this . . .
A rabbi (substitute your own "wise advisor") was visiting the hospital. The husband of a long-standing member of his congregation was being treated for cancer.

When the rabbi spoke to him, he said:

. . . "Rabbi, the doctor just told me I was probably going to die soon. I'm at peace with that, but please -- whatever you do, don't tell my wife. She couldn't bear knowing that."

The rabbi nodded, and left the room. He met the wife in the hallway. After greeting her, he asked how things were going.

. . . "Rabbi, I can see in the doctors' faces that my husband is going to die of this disease. I understand that -- we're all mortal. But please, whatever you do, don't let him
. . . . believe that -- he couldn't bear it."

Is it reasonable to expect your mother not to worry? Do you think that she's not aware of her situation? Do you really think that hearing you be "positive", is going to change her understanding of her situation?

It's cancer, and people die of it. Worry is an expected state of mind, for her, for you, for everyone involved.

. Charles

PS -- This is not an easy message to hear, or to write.

Essjay
1441 Posts
CLAU‍ Im sorry for what brings you here, and hope you are being comforted by the responses.

Charles‍ - great anecdote, and so true. And I was thinking along those lines...

Some 16 years ago my mother in law was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, stage 4, and for a few weeks we all tried to hide our feelings from each other, and we talked positively about treatment and recovery when together...it was awful, and hopeless. Things changed after a conversation I had with MIL alone. I asked her if she was frightened, she was, and I told her I was too. We talked to each other about what we were afraid of, and we comforted each other. Somehow it gave us both courage to be more honest with others - Father in Law, Sister in Law, my husband, and when we opened up and share more, we became more relaxed and accepting of what was happening. We were able to work together to give MIL and FIL in particular some nice memories together over the next few weeks, having accepted she was dying. She needed to talk about it - she wanted certain things to happen, but she couldn’t raise these things when everyone was avoiding talking about it. Our focus became her comfort, good life moments and a good death. MIL died 13 weeks after diagnosis and it was a tough time for all of us, and I still miss her, but I felt honoured to be there to support her through her last few weeks.

None of us want our parents to die, but natural processes mean that they will likely pass before us. All we can hope for is that they die loved and not in pain. I am glad you can talk to your Mom about your wedding and your plans for the future - she will know she has raised a daughter who is going to do her proud, whether she is there to see it or not. If you are needing to think about your wedding without her, have you thought about how you can remember her during the day? Is there a way you’d like to honour her memory - do you need anything from her to make that happen eg. A letter from her to read that day, something of hers to wear etc. You may both find some comfort including her in those plans xx
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