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My mom and my best friend!


Calintay

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This is mainly for the caregivers or for anyone who can help me understand why I feel the way I do. My mom and I have always been so close. We keep no secrets and have always had fun together. We currently live together because we were going to school together till she got sick and my dad and husband were the money makers. Well she got LC diagnosed in Nov. two weeks after starting school and that is when this nightmare has begun.I no longer feel that we are best friends. I feel like she is snappy towards me and at times she talks to me like I am the stupidest person she has ever met. She seems to have a problem with me disciplining my son which usually just consists of a time out. My son cries at night when it is bed time and she looks at me like she can't believe he is crying. At times I would love to get my own place but I can not afford nor can my parents now.Anybody experience this behavior? I feel like my family is getting messed up and my mom is distancing herself from me. I had to vent because I have been upset for days now and I know no one in my area. :cry::cry::cry::cry: Thank you

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Sorry you have to go through all this. your mom is angry and scared at having lung cancer. So she takes it out on the ones she loves and who are handy. Cancer makes the patient and the family members crazy at times. it takes a lot pf patience and understanding. Are there some activities you and your mom could enjoy together to get both your minds off cancer for a little while? That might help. Your mom needs someone to talk to where she can unburden herself in confindence and safety. You need that, too. Hopefully, there are people each of you can turn to and talk with in an ongoing basis while you go through this. Good luck and best wishes. Let us know how we may support you here. Don

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Calintay,

Don't cry! She doesn't mean to hurt you.

I can't add one single word to what Don said, except that my husband is angry and cranky, too, at times. I do understand that he is taking out his anger and fear on me, so I try to not take it personal. That doesn't mean I always let him get away with it, though. :wink: I can get cranky and snappy right back - ya know? He knows he needs me in his corner and he'd just better cut it out! :shock:

Don is right. It does take a lot of patience and understanding. You can do this! Hang in there!

Love,

Peggy

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Hi there. I have not experienced exactly what you have, but I can say that when my mom got depressed she got a bit snappy and did not mean it. Your mom is probably so worried about you that she turns snappy and totally does not mean it.

My mom also did not want to talk to anyone about lung cancer for support. And as for the hair thing, my mom did not lose it all, but if she did, I fear she would have been the same way. We got i nto arguments b/c her fear was her hair and I said that is the DUMBEST thing I ever heard, I could care less about her hair. However, I think worrying about her vanity helped her cope.

Just hang in there. Ihave a feeling after your mom sees the surgeon and finds out she can get surgery she will be better :)

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((((Calintay))))

She is still your best friend. But right now her head is probably buzzing with so many things... fear, sadness, loss, grief over what she can no longer do... And on top of that... she LOVES you, and is probably afraid about how long she'll be with you. Maybe she is distancing thinking somewhat subconsciously that if things come to the worst that will make it easier for her/you?

That same person is there... And I encourage you to keep trying to see that person.

I hadn't heard from you through email in a while... Shoulda gotten on that and sent you a note, I'm sorry. I'm here if you need to chat.

Val

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Although I am not a caregiver but the patient.........I will say that my attitude sucks!

I am mean and nasty to everyone (at times) and I think (like Don said), I'm scared and angry. Unfortunately you take it out on those you love most.

Hang in there, after treatment things should settle down some.

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This is really a good topic. My Dad went through a period when he was just plain mean. We were all doing everything we could -- and making significant sacrifices to do it -- and he was saying mean things to us.

I've thought about it, and I think it's the loss of control and, of course, the fear. Suddenly your mom has been plunged into the great unknown, and she can't make it go away. It messes with her mind and her self image. She's been a certain way all her life, and now she's someone she doesn't know anymore.

We found with Dad that the best thing we could do was treat him the way we would have before he was diagnosed with cancer. My younger brother was very good at it. Dad snapped at him once, and Jeff just looked at him and calmly said, "Don't jump on me. I love you and I'm going to be there for you, but I'm not going take your crap." Dad calmed down and was much easier to deal with.

I came to the conclusion early in the battle that I would not expect anything from Dad, that I would just accept whatever he did or didn't do. I decided that I wanted to practice unconditional love and giving openly without any expectations from Dad one way or the other.

My sister-in-law asked me once, "Didn't he hurt your feelings when he said that?" The question actually surprised me, and I told her, "There is nothing Dad could do or say that would hurt my feelings. This battle is about him, not me."

That sounds sickeningly noble, doesn't it? Reading it kinda makes me feel silly, but I meant it. I couldn't take the cancer away and I couldn't make my life go back to what it was before cancer, but I wanted to give my Dad the very best I had while I still had him. I'm glad I did.

It's uncharted territory for you and your mother, so it may take awhile for things to settle into your "new normal."

My heart is with you.

Pam

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I totally understand how your mom is acting. There is a lot of fear and anger associated with this disease. Your mom, like me, is taking it out on the people she cares about most because they are there.

Last week, I had a total meltdown at work and told my coworkers that I thought I should just leave and not come back until my next follow-up appt is done (which is tomorrow, by the way). They talked me out of it, but I really am just one incident away from totally losing it over the tension of this appt tomorrow.

I find it best during these times if I can just be left alone, but of course, that never works. People call, and I end up biting their head off.

I will tell you though, the torture of uncertainty is enough to drive a previously sane person crazy. I am not going through active treatment now, but I understand your mother's problem about the hair. I did not want to lose my hair and chose an option that made me go to chemo once a week instead of once a month so that I didn't have to lose my hair. It is a big deal if it's your hair falling out.

I don't really have any advice. I'm just speaking from the patient's perspective, and I totally understand how your mom is acting because I act the same way. Can't help it, can't apologize for it either. I've seen a lot of bad behavior for things way less important than life itself.

Just remember, she is scared and she is angry because she has a disease that is threatening her life. Counseling helped me and anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medication helped too. But, there's still that terror that takes hold sometimes, and nothing makes it better except a positive doctor's report.

Take care and I hope things improve for you.

Cindy

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Cindy, I read your profile at the bottom or your post. And Iam just wondering why you are following up with your surgeon for 2 years??

Joel has the same stage as you and the same operation, but he only saw his surgeon once after the surgery. He gave him a clean bill of health, we thanked him and said our goodbyes.

I am just wondering if other people follow up with their surgeon?

To the person who post about her mom: Hang in there, she is so scared, her whole life has been turned upside down. When people are used to being in control are faced with this type of diagnosis it is devestating and extremely depressing.

Just give her time to get use to this. She will feel better once she starts getting some clean scans and knows that she can lick this. It takes awhile, but know that she will come around. After all this chemo is gone, her hair will come back and she will feel much better.

Maryanne

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Cindy,

Maybe all cancer patients go thru anger. They can take it out on those who are the closest to them. They don't mean it. They're just scared to death. Cancer is a family affair, unfortnately. We are here for you when the going gets tough. Please write anytime if it gets to be too much. That's the purpose of this board. ((())).

Joanie

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Maryanne,

I think it just all depends if one follow up with the surgeon. My mom didn't, she actually had an apt, but it is far, 1 hour away, and my dad called and the surgeon said he can keep tabs on her from the oncologist. I know a lot of surgeons like to track hwo the patients are doing for statistical and research purposes.

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Maryanne,

I see my surgeon every three months and have a chest x-ray just prior that he evaluates before he sees me. He says that 90 percent of the time, if these come back, they will come back in the first two years, and of course, catching them early is what it's all about. I will see him once a year forever after the first two years are up.

I don't know that it has to be the surgeon Joel sees regularly, but I think the important thing is that somebody see him. That may be oncology, pulmonologist, whoever. But he does need regular follow-up. I know my onc checks with me every time I see her to make sure I'm still seeing the surgeon and getting the chest x-rays.

Hope this helps.

Cindy

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