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Do you have to put your life on hold at some point??


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Hi Everyone,

I often read through the posts (sometimes I post myself) and I see how much we are all being put through on a daily basis. I'm wondering how everyone seems to manage their personal lifes, jobs, families etc. I'm still a young adult and have been living on my own for just a few years. My mother isn't going to get better, slowly getting worse. I work long hours, but I try to see her on my days off. The back and forth between work, my apartment, and my mothers home is so much. I feel like lately the time I'm at work or away that I'm always worried. I don't even want to wake up and go to work in the morning anymore at all. I am considering moving back home for a while to take care of her. It's just so hard because then I'll have no where to go in order to escape. I'm thinking about taking a leave of absense from work. I just need to save a bit more first (bills). I never sleep anymore because I can't stop thinking about everything. Not sleeping is making it harder to work, spend quality time with my mother, spend time with anyone. This post is part rant, but I am also curious if anyone has taken time off from work to handle things. It's just so much right now, sometimes I wonder if I might just spontaneously combust oneof these days... :(

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I can really, REALLY empathize with you! I think at some point my auto pilot just kicked in. I'm not sure how I'm functioning either, I just do. Sleeping is dificult. It's hard to concentrate on work or think of anything else other than health and well being of your loved one. I wish I had advice for you. Maybe just try and take deep breaths and make some time for yourself and just turn everything else off for a little while. I know money is necessary for living, it makes things more stressful and complicated when you need to work in order to exsist in the midst of dealing with your Moms health.

These are new times for alot of us. I think it's just another one of lifes challenges and I have no doubt you will rise to it, in fact - you already have!

Try and take a leave of absence if thats what your instincts tell you. Spend time with your Mom and take care of your own health.

My VERY best wishes for you and your Mom,


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I think it's an adjustment of priorities and if you need the time to work on yourself....take it. I think it depends on the amount that your mother requires, work requires etc that will determine how much time you can actually get. It maybe only a few hours a week, and if it is......soak it up. Become a sponge and soak up the solitude, cry, or listen to the quiet....take every minute you've got available to you. Heck sit in the closet if that is the only place you can find ...

You don't want to take too much from work just because of the fact .... you'll have more need for that time off later! Just make sure work is aware of what your doing in a day so they are not surprised if you are cranky or even caught napping. Hopefully you have a job that will do that for you, maybe even offer you time off.

We all have to do something to get US threw this.......


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The hardest part of my day is when I walk out my front door to

come to work. That means leaving my husband and right

now I hate when I am away from him. Alan is doing fine at the moment and I

think this is what makes it so hard. We should be doing things together.

But right now I am the only one making any money and

the bills need to get paid. I did take 4 weeks of

family leave last year and alan and I traveled the

entire time. It was the best thing I could have done.

this year though, no time off as I may need it down

the road. As for work, I work 8 hours only and not a

minute more, I will not give up any more time with my

husband. You will find a rhythm that works for you

and yes, time for yourself is very important. I gave

up much of what I enjoyed doing to care for Alan, but

have slowly gotten back to some of what I enjoy.

prayers for you and your family.

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I think most of us have hit this wall at one point or another. It smacks us up pretty well, too!

It sounds like your heart is guiding you to a decision...you just need to be honest with yourself and yor motivations. Do you really want to go home, or do you just feel like you should? I know none of us want to live with regrets later, so we do all we can do avoid that. We want to help as much as we can, so we do all we can towards that.

As a teacher last year, I had to go "bell to bell." I didn't come earier, or stay later. If no one else could take Mom to her appt's, then I took the time off. My school was helpful, and I only had one disappointing showdown with a principal (she accused me of going over on my personal time, when in fact I had not--I pulled my file to show her).

At any rate, do all that you can, and then give yourself a break. Your mom knows you love her, and I'm sure she is very proud to have such a caring child!

:) Kelly

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I think you should take the leave of absence. I've heard people think about it, never do it, then regret it later. I've not heard of anyone regretting the time they took off. You do need to make time for yourself as well. Even if that means just going to a movie occasionally or finding a nice library or book store to hang out at. Also, might not hurt to talk to your doc about anti-depressants or something to help you sleep. You are dealing with a lot too!

Hang in there, Karen

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There is no right or wrong to any of this. For the most part you need to follow your heart, (but you can't forget your bills and other responsibilites)

I took a leave from work, when I was taking care of my mom. I was a single mother of 2 and had a house payment, etc. etc. etc. My mom and I worked out that she would help me out with my bills being I was going to stay home (my home) and take care of her her last months (which were 3 months from the time I started my leave of absence) I have no regrets.

I put my friends on hold, but my true friends were always there for me and they came over and lent a hand and just came for support and comfort.

I'm sure your mom is also thinking she doesn't want to be a burden to you. :( That's just something MOST of us LC Survivors think of. I know I do! So, that's why I say, follow your heart.

You may not need to take off that much work. Do you have hospice care for her? Maybe she isn't in need of it right now. I'm not clear on how she is doing. Don't be afraid to ask others for help if you move back home. So you can go to the store, or take a walk just for a change or do whatever. Maybe someone at your's or your mom's church if you attend can offer some help. Do you have siblings or close relatives or friends that would offer a helping hand?

God Bless and Good luck to you and your mom.

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My heart really goes out to you right now. I can relate so well to all the feelings you are having. Sometimes, it seems that we are pulled in more directions than our minds and bodies can possibly go. Like most others, I was the sole income provider after my husband became ill. Although I had always worked, his income was the one that had always counted. When he was no longer able to work, there were days when I had no idea how we would even make ends meet. Thank God, that I had was working for a wonderful company that allowed me to make my schedule around Dennis' appointments. I did take a leave of absence near the end, as he needed round the clock care. I do wish I would have taken leave earlier, so we could have spent more time together when he was completely with it. But, like you, I had a lot of financial responsibilities that had to be met. I will be praying that things start to come together for you. I'll also be remembering your Mom in my prayers.

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I'm fortunate in that I was retired when Lucie, my wife, was diagnosed with nsclc. So I did not have to juggle a job. As others have said, go with your heart -- however, the world goes on and you need to take care of your own self and your own responsibilities. It is a balancing act for sure. Think on these things and don't rush into something emotionally without considering everything that is effected. Blessings. Don

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I was fortunate that I had gone to part-time when Charlie was diagnosed. I continued part-time working 3 - 4 days per week. They were very understanding and still have been. I had a difficult getting up and going to work leaving Charlie behind, also. I think it was depression. You may need some help while you are going through this with your mom, e.g. anti-depressants, sleeping pills, anti-anxiety meds., etc. You are right to be considering what is best so that you won't have any regrets. I have no regrets. Take care.

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There is no "putting life on hold". I was the patient and received quite a bit of time off work. Odd thing is, I could hear the sound of life continuing to race by while I was sitting at the rest stop! Your life will not stay stagnant if you decide to drop out of it for a while. There is no pause button and there surely is no rewind.

I would suggest getting a bit of chemical help so you can sleep. An anti-anxiety medication along with a sleeping aid would help you sleep and therefore reason better. With a clearer head, you may find there are other options you have yet to consider.

Take care of yourself, and that includes keeping your life in order so you do not end up taking a detour that puts you totally off course.

Good luck,


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There is no right or wrong thing to do...only what you can. I completely turned my life upside for my mom and it was the absolute best thing I did. I was four months pregnant, quit an executive level position at a public company, moved from San Francisco to Utah, lived in my high school bedroom and had my baby in Utah. It was tough, very very tough and stressful -- yet I would not trade in a single day that I had with my mom. I am still dealing with the financial implications of my decision...but I will never ever regret one minute. Sometimes I still feel like my life is on hold...

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Just from a parental perspective...

We honestly don't want our children to change their routines due to my husband's cancer. It's bad enough that our lives are screwed up by this, but we don't want to see it disrupt our children's lives. They are also "young adults" -- 24, 24, & 28. We think they deserve to live their normal life and continue to grow up. They all have jobs and do come and visit every few weeks. When Tony is up to it, we go visit them too. They call and talk on the phone to their father and I frequently too. There have also been times when my husband was so sick that he didn't want to have ANYONE around. This part was hard on the kids because they DO want to see their father. The good part is that I don't work and so the kids know that I am the full-time caregiver and they don't have that worry.

It's a rough balance between what the children's wants and needs are and my husband's wants and needs. We don't want to shortchange either. I went through the same thing when I was 25 yrs old and my mother was ill with ovarian cancer. We did a lot of phone calls as she also was too sick to have people over to the house. I also went over there a lot, but I'm not sure that she would have wanted ALL the kids doing that ALL the time. (Big family and I was the only girl.)

Try and work out a reasonable schedule for yourself and unload some of your "mental burden". I'm sure you have been and continue to be a good daughter, just don't get all caught up with the regret thing. You need to strike a balance to survive this intact.

Good luck.


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It really is tough to juggle things and I think a lot depends on how involved you want to be, how you are handling things, etc.

For me, I ended up quitting my job like 1 year after my mom was diagnosed. However I was fortunate in that taking a little time off of work didn't hit me hard financially. My office was great when ny mom was diagnosed, I went to all appointments, but my job can be pretty demanding, high stress, and very long hours. All of a sudden it overwhelmed me and I quit. I ended up going back a few months later as an independent contractor and now I have a part-time/flexible schedule of about 35-40 hours a week.

Have you considered takign a Family Leave Act kind of leave for a bit? That seems to be a good option in that I believe your job is secure aftewards. I know California has one, I am not sure if all states do.

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Thank you all very much for the responses and support.

Just as of today my mother has been having increasing pain and the confusion is starting to come back. We were supposed to take her in for CT scans today, but she didn't have the strength to make it out of the house. I called the doctor and he spoke with my father and said they can't do much for her anymore. It would just cause increased stress for her to have anymore tests done. Someone from hospice is coming over today. We have been thinking about doing this for a while, but now her pain is too severe and I just want her to be comfortable. This is hard, I know it's not giving up...but it feels like this is it.

But thank you again for the support, it means the world to me.

Take Care

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