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How do you handle all of this?

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My mom just came home after 13 days in the hospital post VATS right lower lobectomy. She has stage 2 nsclc and has been told she will need chemo. She will see the oncologist in the office after Thanksgiving to discuss exact plan of action.

Although she is improving, it is killing me to see her weak and tired out from very little activity. She had so much trouble after what was supposed to be the "easy" surgery. I dread what is coming ahead. To tell you the truth, I don't think I have it in me to deal with all of this.

My mom is my best friend and I feel like she is being taken away from me and now I have no one to talk to. I work full time from home in quality assurance for a medical transcription company, proofreading hospital reports. In addition to that I am in school full time pursuing a Masters in Fine Arts in Graphic Design. I do not like working from home and am bored with proofing reports all day, so I am in school to change careers. I have to work 40 hours a week to maintain my health insurance. I instant message and talk on the phone with a couple of coworkers but still feel pretty isolated.

People always tell me I should get more friends but this has been a longstanding issue for me. I had been to counseling years ago and they just gave me stupid homework assignments and told me to go out and meet people. With a full time job and school, I have no time for that nonsense.

I have always had a low grade depression, but now it has reached a new low. When I think I am all cried out, the tears continue to flow. Concentrating on school and work is incredibly difficult. Work is so humdrum routine, I can churn that out, but for school I need to be creative and use all of my mind.

I would give almost anything for me to change places with Mom. She has so many more friends and people who rely on her than I do. I have never had to be a caregiver and I DO NOT WANT TO BE ONE. I am chidless by choice. As for other relatives, my dad is not too nurturing either. My brother lives 1200 miles away. My parents have a great support system of neighbors and they have long term health care insurance, so I know I will not have to do any real "nursing" type care.

When she was in the hospital I sent e-mails updating her progress (and lack thereof) to many friends and relatives. It bugged me when these people would respond to me asking when to visit and call. Now that she is home, I asked those people to contact them directly. I live 12 miles away and do not necessarily know if she is up to company and calls at any given moment. I am not and will not be a cop.

Mom wants me to do her electronic banking for her which is no problem. She wanted to give me more details about it but would not get out of bed. The computer is in the other room and it would have been much easier had she come into the computer room. I just do not have the patience for all of this. I want my mom from 6 months ago back!!!!!!

Sorry this is so long, I just needed to vent and would like to hear ideas how other people coped with these feelings. Thank you.

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Hello Froggiegirl,

If you feel bad looking at your mother

weak and tired out, think of the way she

herself feel= lost, in pain, thinking of

what is next and how to go about this

sickness that she never wanted and got.

Just take it as it come, face it as a challenge

a change of orientation in her life and in yours.

That may be just the time for you to review

your own life.

It may give you the opportunity of meeting

more people through your mother friends.

Like you wrote you won't have to do any nursing

for your mother but there is also the mental

side of the sickness that has to be looked after

and you may be the one that can help with it.

Be around her when she need somebody to look

after some business for her like her electronic

banking, medical appointments, schedule for

treatments and somebody to talk to.

She is just back from the hospital, she will have

a few days to turn over in her own home and see

what se can and cannot do.

You wont get back your mother of six months

ago, that is in the past, just look for what

you can do each day that will bring her nearer

to what she was six months ago.

Don't ask you mother to do things to make your life

easier, like getting out of bed and going into

another room so she could explain better about

her electronic banking system.

You are there to make things easier for her at

the moment not the other way around.

You had your vent, now go from it and see what

you can do (with a smile) to help.

Nobody is trained to be only a caretaker in

life it is a side of life and sickness we have

to accept and within a few days you will see

that you may enjoy doing small things for her

and get at the same time to know one side

of your mother you never had a chance to see.

Take each day as it comes, Good: just keep on.

Bad:just see what can you do to improve it.

You asked for people with the same feelings

to answer you.

Don't limit yourself this way, people are not in

your shoes so answers may not be to your liking

so take what can help you and put the rest as

help in case what you cheese don't work.

Best regards to your mother.


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Thank you, I needed your loving wisdom this morning.

You are a true gift and it is wonderful to see Grace at work in you.


Try to set aside the burden of 'self' and you may be surprised at what opens for you.


Love and hugs from

the voice of experience.

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(((((Froggiegirl))))) Well,,,,I was a caregiver for my husband for 3 yrs before he passed away. The first 2 1/2 were more or less just making sure he had his meds, running to get his meds, etc, he at that point had hepatitis C and diabetes. He had alot of trouble with his feet also. Then came the lung cancer, the chemo and radiation treatments, making sure he had his meds etc, and I too was working to keep us afloat, as his disability income never came, he died the same month he was to receive it. He was 53. I was 51,,,when he died, I had to sell my home, so I moved to Florida, away from my kids and friends, to caregive for my 82 yr old dad. He is blind in one eye and a multitude of heart related problems........I am here 24/7/365 I am now 55. You know ,,,,somehow I feel blessed and lucky,,,,,,

That being said,,,,,,,,,,,,I can well understand your feelings,,,I have them myself at times.....why me???? again????? But,,,,,,,,,,,,the fact is, this is the way my life is ,,,,,for now. It is good to be needed,,,,even when your plate is already full.

Your mom is still your mom and your best friend, and everything she always was,,,,she has cancer, and she She needs every ounce of strength, mentally and physically to fight this beast. Help her....She needs you now more than ever....

Peace and blessings to you and your mom,,


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Just wanted to say you mom will be fine. She was so lucky that her LC was an early stage and was operatble. With the Vats surgery she should have a more speedy recovery than the traditional surgery. As they did not have to spread or bread a rib.

She will also be able tolerate the chemo. It is not as bad as you may anticipate. It is tolerable.

My husband had his upper lobe removed last year. He came throught the surgery fine. But had some other issues during his recovery, which had nothing to do with LC. He is his old self and feeling great and has been for awhile now. Except has gained a little too much weight though. Was down to 137 at one point and now over 200 :shock:

Just know that you have nothing to worry about. You mom will get through this and once she starts her treatments she will be fine.

She is a very lucky lady to be able to operated to take out that beast. Many people here did not have that honor. Be happy for that.

You must try to change your attitude and be more positive. That is what you mom needs. She is the one right now who needs the attention. Company is good for her recovery.

Let her call the shots. You just be the best daughter you can and be there for her. Keep a smile on your face when you are with her.

I do feel for you. It is very scary and you feel your life has been turned upside down. But please know that this is temporary and she will feel so much better. Just have some patience.

If you feel you are having issues handling this, perhaps you can see your family doctor and he could get you some meds that can help you. Nothing wrong with that. It has helped many people here.

Also according to your post, you seem to have lots of eggs in your basket with work and school. It might help to maybe take a semester off and just veg out. Just a suggestion.

Is there anyone who can help with your mom besides you? A relateive a good friend. Someone who can give you a break when you feel overwhelmed.

I am so sorry you are having a difficult time. We are always here to help you through this.


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"... would like to hear ideas how other people coped with these feelings."

I grew up. I realized that it wasn't about me. It was about my Mother. HER needs and wants superceded MY needs and wants.

As adults we recognize that it is our responsibility to see after those we love. It is best for our loved ones if we are able to do so without letting them know how unhappy we are doing what needs to be done.

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Just try helping your mom one thing at a time. Don't try to wrap your arms around the whole thing. It is too easy to feel overwhelmed that way.

I have had a tendency to depression most of my life. People would call me Eeyore or Puddleglum. When I got cancer, I decided to take lexapro, an antidepressant. I am sure it helped me. I took it for about a year. I am off it now. I don't get depressed much anymore. Maybe you should consider getting an antidepresant such as lexapro.

Don M

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Thank you all for your replies. Mom's oncologist appointment is this coming Thursday afternoon and I will go with her to hear what he has to say and ask questions.

A couple of you suggested taking an antidepressant. I already take Zoloft 25 mg. When I first went on it 8 years ago, I tried several different ones and different doses and I felt like a zombie with higher doses and other meds.

I am turning 43 this coming Wednesday (day before the big appointment) but I do not look or act anywhere close to my age. Work wise and money wise I do fine, but I have always had problems with interpersonal relationships. I have never done well any time Mom has had a major illness or surgery.

Thank you for letting me vent. You all seem so strong.

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