How to Remain Loving

My mom was diagnosed with lung cancer 10 months ago. I took her to most of her treatments, doctor's appointments, cooked meals for her, did all of her grocery shopping, cleaned her house, did her laundry, paid her bills, etc.

At that time I was working full-time and also had to take care of my own house and husband. I retired 2 months ago (after working for 40 years) and 5 days later she became very ill and had to have 24/7 care.

She is now living with me and on at-home hospice with a nurse and CNA coming twice a week for vitals and baths. She is now completely bedridden and has to use a bedpan. She throws up day and night. Hospice says she may still have months left like this.

I know that she's dying, I know that she can't help being sick, I know that my sister can't help that she lives 4 hours away and still works, but none of that makes this any easier. She wakes me up 2 or 3 times during the middle of the night to use the bedpan or throwing up or coughing.

After dealing with all of that I usually can't go back to sleep for a while. Then my day shift starts. I do love her and I hate that she's going through this but I am having a hard time feeling loving when I'm completely exhausted!

And of course eaten up with guilt about my feelings! I don't resent her but I resent this situation so much!

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The same story!!
by: Anonymous

My mom was diagnosed with stage 1V Breast Cancer right before Xmas..metastasized. Age 90. She had radiation 4 weeks later and became very sick, needing 24/7 care immediately after.

My sister and I have been looking after her, with some support from local healthcare services (not as much as one would think). Siblings…one who lives far away and has bad health. Another one who lives locally but is a serious alcoholic, so neither are very available to help.

After 3 months of the same symptoms you are dealing with, we have come to the agonizing decision to move her into some type of care…hospice if we can get it.

We are both exhausted, both work, both have get the picture. Of course the alcoholic thinks we are just too lazy to do what's needed. We both know this is truly the hardest decision of our lives, with our mother, but we will see each other through this.

We want the chance to spend time with our mother and visit the person she is/has been, not just clean up her vomit and scrub the bedpan after B.M.s. We want, and she deserves, the integrity of our mother daughter relationship, not turn it into resentful caregiving. I am looking forward to the change. And it can't come too soon.

Heart breaking.
by: Leasa

Guilt is a terrible thing. Almost always undeserved. Think of this: if I had written your letter here, what advice would you give me? What would you say to me if I said I was eaten up with guilt?

I will tell you what you might tell me, and that is, stop beating yourself up. Right as of today, you have gone above and beyond anything that could rightly be expected from you. I kept my mom at home for two months over last Christmas and she too was bedridden. You as I did, have done more than most would even try to do.

They are right. Your mom might go tomorrow or she might go for months like this. Let's be real, there does come a time when we must make that decision that takes our parent out of their house or out of ours.

Your mom's cancer will only progress and the pain and symptoms will only increase. That is the sad hard fact. From what you've written, she is at the point where it may not be the best for her to be in your home. I had a very limited amount of home 2 hours per day, so I know what you are going through.

At the very least you need more help until you and your mom make the decision to move her out. Is there any way you can get a night aide? You are going to be worn out and your own health is going to suffer if you don't get respite help.

I wish you well, please take care of yourself and keep us posted as to how it goes. Leasa

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