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Need Some Honest Opinions


lc46

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Dar,

I suggest getting a counselor for her to talk to, and perhaps both of you would benefit.

Also, see if your mom would like to join some group activities. Does she have any friends in the area? Perhaps someone could take her to lunch. But start slowly. She's way too comfortable in her cocoon and does need to venture out, but may not be able to go out on her own, like if you were to drop her off somewhere.

Even though she lives with you, it is ok for you to set boundaries and let her know that she cannot be constantly entertained by you. You and your family WILL sometimes go out without her, and she will sometimes go out without you. Again, a counselor may help here. If she won't go, ask her to go with you to help YOU deal with some of the issues related to the cancer, even if it is just a ruse to get her there in the first place.

I do understand you feeling smothered. I hope you can get some help and relief.

~Karen

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Dar-

Wish I had some advice that could help solve this for you. I didn't have help from my siblings either since most of them lived out of state. My dad "sat" around at home too. He didn't get out unless we insisted and I learned that I had to plan outtings and arrange things, and then beg him to come. They are, by the way, the most wonderful memories now and I don't regret my efforts at all.

Unfortunately, for him and us, even when he "said" he felt fine...it might have been better than the week before of horrible side effects...but he never really felt "fine" or "normal" again after treatment began. :cry:

It sounds like your mom is afraid. Which is completely understandable. Does she have friends or do you have friends who might be able to help out so that you can get a break now and again?

I'm hoping things work out for you guys soon.

Keep posting and venting..we are here for you.

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Well, you recognize that you need to take care of yourself first, and that is good. Now you have to do what you need for yourself. Your mom sounds like she is depressed (understandable) and maybe even given up. So she leans on you for everything (not good for you). She really needs to do more for herself, for her own sanity and yours. I think you already know all this. Don

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Dar,

You're in a tough spot, no question. I've sacrificed every weekend for my Dad since he was diagnosed. I have no social life, my life revolves around him. He has a wife, so he's not totally alone but she is pretty much clueless. Dad speaks, I jump and the reason I do this is because, I don't ever want to have regrets. I love him to pieces and I'll do whatever he needs during his December.

If you can, put your life on hold and attend to her needs. A respite would be nice, but if it doesn't come, take care of her as she did for you in your infancy. A year of sacrifice is hard to give but it's her time now, give as much as you can. I know it is frustrating, but you will get through this and when she is no longer with you, you're conscience will be clear and you'll know you sacrificed for her as she did for you. We only get one Mom. The time will pass, she has told you she needs you, give her that.

Good luck, and I will keep your family in my prayers.

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Dar,

Between you, me and the fence post...

My mother irritates the hell out of me. I have issues with her, not the same as yours but issues just the same. K, how are we going to get you around this?

Do pipes freeze on your area of the planet? Mom needs to check on her house and make sure it is warm. Does she have a birthday coming up? Or how about Christmas...Buy her a dog from her childhood or one breed she has always wanted. Dogs need daily maintenance at her house.

PM me, I'm sure we can think of something to get you through!

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Is mom well enough to go to the park with you? I remember for my mom that once she starting losing mobility, she was devastated bc she could not romp around with my kids anymore-they were also her life.

From the motherless daughter's perspective I guess I would say that I would give anything to have my mom back one more day, doing nothing, sick, whatever. Try to remember that. I knew while mom was sick that I was not always going to have her and it got me through many days of caregiving.

Hang in there, include her in things she is able to do, and relish this time. I know everyone has said this already and we support and understand your frustration, but you are on the lucky end of this to many of us. It is so hard.

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Dar,

Would your mom use the computer and come on to this site and read about some of us here? She may be able to help others. This can become a very positive thing for one that is fighting cancer. There are a lot of people here for her to communicate with. It sounds like she needs something to get her motivated.

Stay positive,

Ernie

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Hi Dar,

Just wanted to give you a little perspective from a survivor's point of view. When I was diagnosed, and going thru tests, surgery, treatment, etc, it was spring going into summer. That is normally my best time of year. I plant flowers, look at my perenniel garden every day at least once to see what new green stuff came out of the ground,play golf a lot, and generally look at spring and early summer as a time of new beginnings. I have a burst of energy that is second to none. I make sure my house is sparkling clean, find any excuse to get outside, and on and on and on.

That spring and summer, I was so preoccupied with worry and stress and anxiety, I quit playing golf, barely was able to get any flowers planted at all, didn't do any spring cleaning or sprucing up, and mostly just sat on the couch staring at the tv. I couldn't even make myself go to work for a while.

I was also someone who really liked spending time alone, but not during that time. It wasn't even that I wanted to talk to someone, I just didn't want to be alone with my thoughts.

Everything was hard. And I'm not talking physically--I felt perfectly fine when I was diagnosed. It was just so emotionally overwhelming to me.

I would say that it was only by the passing of time that I began to feel like myself again. It's just that there is so very much anxiety associated with all this.

I know this is hard on you and your family and I'm not saying that you should just let your mom take over your life and that of your family. Bad enough that this stupid disease has to turn her life upside down, it shouldn't get to destroy your homelife too.

I don't have any solutions, I just know it did get better eventually for me, and I hope your mom gets back to her life too. Counseling and medication was a big help for me. I'd highly recommend it to anyone facing this disease.

Cindy

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I think Cindy hit it.

Sounds like anxiety...it doesn't sound normal, but anxiety can completely warp what's REALLY going on. Sounds like there is a sense of safety with you, and if she is alone/out/away she feels vulnerable.

I know others have suggested counselor or social worker...and I am thinking that is good, but MAYBE with a look at some anxiety meds? I guess these drugs can interact though right?

And I know in your first post you said you felt bad when you said something to her, but just stress that you really do feel that any suggestions were really made with her well being in mind too, and you just thought it would be beneficial to her.

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It seems that you are making some progress, and some very good suggestions have been made here.

My idea is out of the box, but could be kept in the back of the mind if an excape from the house is needed. . . . flea bomb the house (or just the basement) everybody HAS to be out for 4 hours and then air out the house for a couple of hours. (Hope the weather is mild).

I'd call this plan X. There are a whole bunch of better solutions, but .... :roll:

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Dar:

Sounds like things are starting to give you at least a few hours respite.

My mom did the same thing to me after my dad passed. It's hard to get a person motivated when they have naturally preferred to be a recluse most of their life. Mom stayed home with her horses and had zero friends (was even hostile about dad's friends and his desire to go out and be active; she wanted no part of being with other people).

Eventually she quit driving all together on her own and completely stopped taking care of her horses (her life's passion) or doing anything -- I quit my job and did everything for her; this was going on for months before we even got her dx. Drove me nuts, but we didn't have the dx yet for me to know why she had shut down THAT much. I think she knew something was wrong and was really afraid inside, but kept it all bottled up inside to herself (she used to be an RN).

Even without this dx, it's just not healthy for a child to be the "everything" to a parent (i.e. ONLY person in their life). Each needs their own life too. I still think counseling for your mom would help somewhere in the mix and trying to get her involved in something she enjoys, somehow. Oh, and beware if you get the guilt trip from her that it's you, not her somewhere along the line -- don't take it personal.

I too got counseling, mostly informal from trained counselors, by the way. Problem was no one ever could help me come up with a way to help me out of the situation without mom actually doing something to help herself.

All the best to you and keep us posted.

Linda

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Dar, it is difficult enough to deal with your Mom's dx without all the extra stuff you've got going on. I empathize!

Somewhere along the line, I remember you writing that your Mom used to sell stuff on ebay. Could you round up a bunch of stuff (kids toys, whatever) and ask her to list it for you? If it was me, I'd make up a lame excuse why I couldn't do it - like you don't have time (which you probably don't), but need the extra space for to make room in your house.

Sounds like things are improving which is great.

Shauna

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Dar,

I understand it's a catch 22 ...... There is no good advice other than the suggestions that have been given. Maybe a seniors group, a knitting club, book club, playing cards etc. I'm shooting in the wind, but there has to be something that she may be willing to do. Once the spark is lite there is a good chance that more activities will come. You may have her in your home for the rest of this time. Maybe there is there something that could at least break the time up for you both? Is there anything she did years ago that she's not doing now? She obviously wants to spend time with you, and as you've said she's afraid to be alone ... maybe something you two can embark on together?????

It's not much but maybe it's just enough?

Tammy

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Dar,

I'm glad things are going better for you and your mom and your family. I guess the little push was the perfect thing for all of you, and I bet it will get better as she gets used to the diagnosis and being in her own home again. It must be a comfort to her to know that you are only a couple of blocks away.

Cindy

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Dar:

It's great that this difficult problem appears on its way to being resolved, at least to a degree. For that you can thank the many good ideas from our members, your own determination to search for a realistic solution, and -- a critical ingredient -- your mother's willingness to be reasonable and consider your needs in spite of being very frightened. She probably deserves a special hug for that the next time you see her.

The eBay angle has possibilities. My wife and I have used the service for a long time. As a caregiver for her mother (who lives with us) she's been on a short leash for several years and does practically all of her Christmas shopping on eBay. I'm more involved on the selling side, auctioning collectibles and other items which we accumulated over the years during more affluent times. For both of us, one of the bonus benefits is the chance to chat via email and phone with other eBayers around the world about mutual interests, places we've visited where they live (or vice versa), and all sorts of topics. Helps us feel involved and part of the world even though tied down to our modest home in central Oahu (all right, I didn't really expect any great outpouring of sympathy there)...

What sort of items does your mother sell? You probably shouldn't release her eBay ID to the world via a post, but perhaps some of our members here who do eBay could PM you for her ID and something positive could develop. I don't know, that's just a thought -- there may be pitfalls that I haven't considered.

Another member asked if she might be open to joining the LCSC, which would be a more direct approach and a very positive step on her part.

Hope you've had a nice weekend with your kids.

Best wishes and Aloha.

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