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Many of you read my first post about my mother and her past depression, etc. and lack of wanting to know details of her SCLC. Many of you said that she would start wanting to know more as she moves forward and not to push...and I agreed. I'm sitting her writing this crying (at work, so I need to pull it together) because I don't know what to do at this point. I talked to her onc who said that he felt she was fragile at this point (a week ago), and that he would share more information with her when he felt she could handle it. He told me that if she asked me questions about prognosis, survival rate, etc. to tell her to make a list of her questions to ask him at her weekly appointments because he had the best and most accurate information. So...she's started asking questions last week and I told her that those questions were good, but some of the data I had might be outdated and the Dr. said to ask him those questions. My mom said, okay...I'll make a list of those questions for our Monday appointment with him. When our appointment came, she didn't ask any of those heavy questions she said she was going to...nor did she write any of them down. That night, she lashed out at me telling me she felt like no one was telling her the details and I asked why didn't she ask the doctor if she wanted to know. She wouldn't answer and just kept yelling at me saying she didn't know anything...that she didn't know if she had lymph node cancer (as she called it) or lung cancer, etc....even though the doctors have told her several times that it's small cell lung cancer. It's like she wants to know...but she doesn't, so she's treating me like crap and saying really mean things to me and blaming me for stuff. She said several times to me yesterday that she just wanted to die and that I was treating her like she didn't have a brain. Keep in mind that the only symptoms she's had so are vomiting and nausea from the chemo and I don't think she's strong enough mentally to handle more. She told her friend this morning that no one is asking her what she wants, they are all just assuming that she wants to fight it. She said she wants to just go home and die. She had her port put in today and she won't speak to me since then. I tried to call her and her boyfriend told her I was on the phone and she just screamed, "not now." I really don't know what to do. I've mentioned going to the cancer care center close-by to see a social worker, etc. and someone to talk to, but she doesn't want to do that either. Please help me make some sense of this, because I can't sit here at work crying and thinking about this non-stop.

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My heart goes out to you and I wish I had a magic answer that would help you. First, it's very common for patients to be angry with their loved ones and caregivers. Often, they are afraid of what they are facing and have no other way of venting their fears and frustrations. Just remember that she loves you and, like you, is very afraid and worried. I know that it can be very hard to take in everything the oncologist is telling you and still get your head together enough to ask questions, even if they are written down. Talk to your mom and suggest that you fax the questions in to her doctor so she can have the answers on her next visit. Also, it sounds as if you need to have a heart-to-heart with your mom and see what more you can do to see that her wishes are being met. I'll be saying prayers for both you and your mom!

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What a rough experience for you. So sorry.

Sounds like your mom feels like a leaf being blown around in the wind - she feels she has no control over anything and is terrified. That's pretty understandable and I think we all go through some of that at first.

I've also had a lot of trouble with depression in my life and that can lead to not exercising your coping skills and feeling really helpless when "bad" things happen. Your suggestions and support seem totally right on; your mom's reactions are a sign of her own inability to cope right now, not a sign that you are failing her.

I'd do anything I could to meet the social worker who works with most of her doctor's patients and talk it over. Maybe if the doctor refers her to the social worker (or therapist) she may see that person - however grudgingly at first. Professionals are used to dealing with hostility and/or denial.

It's got to be so frustrating and hurtful for you when your mom lashes out after you try your best to help. Her emotions and her thinking are all out of kilter right now - seems like everything she says really translates into "I'm terrified! Save me!"

Make the professionals help you.

Hang in there,


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I'm so sorry you are going thru this awful struggle. I agree with Ann, that it is often common for the patient to lash out at those closest to them when they are scared and angry. There are stages to accepting and dealing with a lung cancer diagnosis and your mother has not even had two weeks yet to accept that she has lung cancer and determine a plan or strategy. There are many who choose to follow the path less taken and not endure chemo and/or radiation; but I think it is too soon for you to worry that your mother won't fight. For now, try to give her love and support and let anything she says or does to hurt your feelings roll off your shoulder. I wish I had some better answers, but I am sure that there will be others that can better understand your situation posting some more helpful advice. My prayers and thoughts will be with you and your mother.

What a beautiful Bride and Mother-of-the-Bride the two of you make.

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I'm so sorry you are going through this painful, situation with your Mom. I'm not sure if this will help, but my Mom acted the same way. It was so painful because you know for once there is nothing you can do to make everything "ok."

The will to survive isn't something you can make someone have. We can only be there for them...and try to stay positive. A positive attitude is rather addicting!!!

I hope your Mother will soon reach out to you without hurting you in the process.

Just hang in there...stay strong...and continue to do the best you can. It's almost like a test, but you'll come through it ok. You're not alone, we are all here to listen. Please lean on us when you need to get it out and for advice. Although I haven't met anyone from this website, I still feel the pain when I read the words from others, and I think it is important to know we are all in this together.

And remember......Take good care of yourself too-


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Continue to hang in there. Your mom is in a lot of anguish right now (you, too), and will do crazy things like lash out. Atthe next doctor's appointment, work a list of questions out with your mother beforehand and YOU take the list. Ask her permission beforehand to ask the questions for her, and YOU ask the questions. This is a very rough road to travel. I have been traveling it with my wife for almost three years now. Take heart. Grab hope. Blessings. Don

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Hi SC,

I am so sorry for everyone all around. These are such hard times. But you have to remember this is still new to her and she is so scared.

Unfortunately, patients do lash out at their love ones. You just have to be there for her and let her now how much you love her and you are there to support her.

When she says she has questions, you write it down for her and take it to the docs on her next visit.

She really could use someone to talk to. The social worker would be a good source.

I will send your mom prayers as she really needs them.

Keep us posted on her progress.

By the way congratulations on your marriage, I see you are still a newlywed. Iam so sorry you are going through this with your mom, when this should be a happy time for you and your husband. Hang in there things will change.


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It sounds to me like your Mom needs you to be her advocate. I know that Jeffrey could nver taken control of his own disease. He wanted no information at all and tossed it all to me. It made me crazy so I DO know what you are going through. I enlisted the help of his sister and some friends so that he never went to a doctor alone. We all spoke for him as he never would for himself. Now is is able to go alone to routine visits but when decisions need to be made I make sure I am with him or I write things down for the doctor to read followed by a phone call. It doesn't sound like your Mom wants to be in charge right now...I hope I have helped.


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