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need help this morning.

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:cry: so my mom is home from the hospital. we're struggling a little to get her pain under control but we're working on it with the docs. I took off work from Tues. to Fri. to see her through coming home and settling in. I came in to work at 6:30 this morning to make up for it, and will be here most of the day. tomorrow a very close friend is getting married upstate. Monday I plan to visit mom at some point, and do some more work as I have a deadline coming up on Tues.

so, I just called to check on her and she said about five times that she wishes I was still there (my brother arrived when I left, yesterday morning). when I say I have to work she is silent (which means she doesn't approve, usually).

she's uncomfortable and cranky, to be sure. but she's recovering. I can't not write this brief I have to write. period.

incidently, my brother saw her for 20 minutes on Tues., came home with her on Wed. then came back yesterday. it seems like it makes sense for us to "split" this but it seems like it's not enough in her mind. she was resentful of his absence during the week, and now she's resentful of mine.

it's not like I am hanging around, doing nothing. every moment of the last two weeks for me have been filled with either her, or work. her, because I think right now she's more important than anything, and work because, well, I have to.

so where is the balance here? am I being a horrible daughter/care giver? seriously, where is the balance? my job has been very understanding, but certain things just have to get done. should I not go to my friend's wedding?

ugh, I feel horrible but at the same time I resent the guilt trip (though I can't be absolutely certain she's giving me one, it may be in my head).


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Dear Amie,

I am not sure what I have to say will be of help or not. I am not a caregiver...but the patient. I will send it in a PM.

You are being such a WONDERFUL daughter...please leave the guilt behind!

My love must go out to such a daughter as yourself,


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Go to your friend's wedding. Don't take the guilt trip.

Your mother does need some help - and she (apparently) has more than one child. If she gave birth, she should remember that! :shock:

You NEED to continue to work, you are young and need to plan for your future. You NEED to take time for yourself - it's a sanity thing.

Here's how it worked when I came home from the hospital, after nine days:

*Pain was an issue. Take the pills RIGHT ON TIME, don't let time lapse as once the pain gets a foothold, it's hard to fight it back.

*My husband has a full-time job. I was home with him to finish out the week (I got out midweek) and then arrangements were made for him to be able to go to work. Could he have gotten more time off? Yes, but I felt it was better for HIM to have something else to focus on.

*My mother came to my house every morning (except Wednesday, that's HER day) and left every evening when my husband got home. This was win-win, hubby got a break, Mom got to "help" and my son stayed home the first Wednesday because he needed to be a part of it, as well (he was 10).

It's give and take, your mother needs to be up and out of bed every morning so depression doesn't set in, but she also needs to understand that no matter what, time marches on.

No guilt trippin', you go to that wedding and have FUN! ...and if you're really having trouble, tell your mother to call ME! :wink:

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Well, here's my side of it.

After I had my surgery and went home, I was not left alone. (THANK GOD)! We made plans to have a dear friend of mine come and stay with me. She packed a bag and came to Minnesota from North Dakota! It honestly was a BLESSING! My husband worked, my kids worked, my sister worked, etc.. etc.. so having my friend was a golden answer to my prayers.

I was SOOOOO SCARED to be left alone. It was bad enough I couldn't do the things I wanted to, but the fear and the thoughts that ran through my head. Over and Over and Over! You can't IMAGINE! It's AWEFUL! WE feel like a burden and we feel like our life is over, even though it isn't, we feel it is!

It's a very HELPLESS FEELING! One I wouldn't wish on ANYONE!

I was not alone for the first 18 days after I got home from the hospital. Now, I know most people aren't as lucky as I was, but IF you can find a friend or SOMEONE your mom feels comfortable with, then I would suggest you give that person/person'S a call and see if they will lend a helping hand.

If you think your mom is putting you on a GUILT TRIP, you should think of all the things she is THINKING OF!

I've been on BOTH sides of this fence, and I'm hear to tell you that as a patient of LC the fear is overwhelming and after a major surgery like that, we don't think straight for some time! Be gentle and understanding at this time. It's not easy, but it's not easy for you mom either. She's trying to heal from a VERY PAINFUL SURGERY! Both emotionally and physically. It knocks your socks off!

I'm sure she's not feeling bad that your working or doing things, I would say she feels bad because she CAN'T! (Remembering when)! And with that feeling we send mixed signals.

Your mom has a LONG HARD ROAD AHEAD. Be patient with her.

Best wishes to mom and good luck to you.



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thanks for all the words of wisdom. I feel like a bit of a heel, but I know it's a safe place for me to vent here. the feedback is so supportive and genuine, it helps me not only feel better but see the truth!

Connie, thank you - based in part on your pre-surgery advice, my mom hasn't been alone since she came home. I think by the end of the day she'll see she's just as well cared for by my little bro as she was by me (though, of course, I only know what I think I didn't do right). her friends are attentive, but their visits and phone calls seem to tire her out in ways Justin and I don't.

we spent some of our time together this week making jewelry for me to wear to my friend's wedding tomorrow (I made, she consulted on color, :wink: ) and she was excited about it. I know she wants me to have my life, and I can only begin to imagine how scared she is hers will never get back on track. she's in business for herself, and I think she's afraid all her resources will dry up while she's "out". that said, a client called her this morning and told her he'd rather work with her from home than hire another designer, which was great for mom's morale. people are, I think, generally good.

she also spoke with a doc (surgeon is on vaca) who has her interspersing the percocet with motrin, to see if it eases her discomfort. they may also give her something to help her sleep, because she just can't.

anyway, I am ruining my holiday weekend being here in my (un-air-conditioned!) office, I may as well try and get this darn work done.

I'll check back later. this whole selfish/selfless/take care of yourself balancing act is hard to navigate. thanks again for all the support.



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Dearest Amie,

Honey, firstly, breathe. Secondly, hug yourself and know that you are a wonderful person, loving, caring, smart, concerned and giving.

It is so hard to find the balance.

I have 2006 AOP due by COB on Tuesday. My portion of the spreadsheet is >22000 rows X 53 Columns. It is overwhelming. Has Textron been wonderful to me through this? Yes. But my responsibility is still my responsibility. period. They are lenient about where I work and when I work but in the end, I am responsible for my contribution.

Brian's bad news on Thursday is overwhelming.

The folks that want to come to visit are overwhelming.

The doctor visits, medication schedules, coughing spells, night sweats, chills, fevers and fears are overwhelming.

Just the word Cancer is overwhelming.

Now...........let me share this...........the only way I am moving through this is through God's Grace and love.

I fall apart. I feel crappy and I cry. But then I come here and know I am not alone and I try again.

Addie's signature gives a definition of courage that applies to me............I live it everyday. Read it, it will help you, too.

Do the best you can. Make decisions with your head, not your heart and then love with your heart. Just be sure you love YOU, too.

Mom knows you and your heart, honey, she is just scared and in pain right now.

Verbally hug her and reassure her that she is important to you and then do what you have to do.

Verbally hug her for us, too. and tell her Brian is scared to pieces, too.



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oh, Pat. you nailed it - it's all about being overwhelmed, isn't it? once again, you are god's postcard to me. it's like the one's you get from the library...

Reminder: Your prayer is overdue. Please pray immediately, and let me handle it from here on out.



and YOU hugged me, so I am a little stronger to pass it on to mom. you're a beautiful, spiritual being.

thank you. love to you, and to Brian.



PS. it's great to see your face!

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It sounds to me like you are doing what you can and balancing things the best you can. You have to take care of yourself as well. Don't take the guilt trip -- you have enough real concerns.

As for parents, I am one, and I believe I can speak to that. Moms can put real guilt trips on their kids. It's not just about the cancer, it is the attention they want. When we put Lucie's mom in a nursing home, I told Lucie to decide for herself what she thought was the right frequency of visiting during the week. Because, it would never be enough for her mother, no matter how much she did. She found that to be true, and she had no siblings to help out. I loved my mother-in-law dearly, but I could see a real trap for Lucie and warned her ahead of time. It worked out fine. And, of course, I vsisited some with Lucie, and some on my own. My visits (I wasn't a blood relative) were always enough, but Lucie's never were. Just the way moms are. Give yourself a break. It sounds like to me you are very compassionate and doing what you can. Don

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It must be a terribly hard position to know just what to do. I think you need to go to that wedding and enjoy every minute of it. Mom will be glad you did when it's over. I see so much fear in what you have written about you're Mom and that alone would break my heart but I am an old softy anyway! You need to balance you're life with work, time for Amie and helping you're Mom go through this. Take time for yourself and you will not start to feel resentful of all the time Mom wants. You will also be better company to her when you are there and you dont have deadlines on you're mind and have taken some quality time for yourself, it will rejuvinate you. I am praying for all of you.

God Bless you all,


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Hi Amie,

You are balancing just fine. You could only do so much.

My mom just passed and she always felt me and my sister were not there enough. But we knew we were and we have no regrets.

Just spend as much time with her that you could. Take time for yourself as that is also just as important. Go to the wedding, enjoy yourself, you mom will be fine.

Take care sweetie,


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  • 2 weeks later...

My mom is my dad's primary caregiver...I'm just there to provide extra emotional support and run errands etc. It is hard for me because I would like to feel more helpful, but they really don't want it from me right now. I try and go to Dr. appointments and stuff,and I give probably too many words of advice (I'm a nurse, although I work L&D). Anyway...I guess I just want to say that is sounds like you are a great daughter and I just think that this whole lung cancer thing is scary for everyone...especially the patient! Just continue to be there, but also remember you must take care of yourself as well...as hard as that is sometimes.


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Hi Bunny,

Okay, before I start to rattle on and on the way that I want to I should say that I am sooooooo super jealous of you right now that it is not even funny! I wish like crazy that I could go back to over a year ago when my dad was just diagnosed and spend every waking moment with him. I would take every single guilt trip, every bad "meds" day, every bit of grumpiness that he has to dish out, if I could just do it all over again.

I remember now that even as the last days drew near it was still such a shock to me -- all very surreal -- and I just think that deep down although I knew how sick he really was I didn't expect him to ever really be gone.

With that in mind, I guess I just wanted to say that there is no perfect balance for a caregiver, family member, friend, anyone involved in this entire ugly mess of having to deal with LC. It is an unfair and brutal disease that doesn't care who it picks on. You just have to do what is best for you and your family all the way around. When you feel that you are losing your mind because it is getting to be too much, then you need to walk away. There are many people who will say that the patients can not walk away from what they are battling inside and that is more true than anything I could ever imagine, but YOU must walk away if you are going to be strong for your mom when she needs you.

You will be of no help to your mom, brother, friends, or work if you are so burned out from getting pulled into a million different directions. Vent and get it out here all day long, that is why this site is here, but just smile and love your mom.

Please don't take the time that you have with your mom for granted and let it get tainted up with guilt or anything else negitive. Maybe just give her a hug everytime that you think she is getting to the guilt trip part, you will never ever regret giving out those hugs, I promise....

Take care of yourself!


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