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Mom Moving in with Me

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I'm happy to say she's finally decided it's time. She's resisted moving in with me for so long - to keep her independence - and I have always understood that. But the distance has been so hard to manage and driving to/from her house so often to do a million things has gotten very old.

Recently I began to worry that after Memorial Day weekend, the ride will be unbearable. My mom lives minutes from the NJ shore in a retirement community and the highway to get there on Friday night could take me 3+ hours. So this couldn't have come at a better time.

On Saturday I will bring her to my house with her hospital bed and "stuff" and move her in to my dining room. On Monday we see her oncologist and he'll engage hospice.

Mom has hardly been eating in the past few weeks and despite tests that never seem to yield any results that would indicate such a decline in her condition, she is clearly declining. (my Mom has always had the most voracious appetite so for her not to eat....bad sign)

I've said this before, the death of my mother will shatter me and I don't even begin to imagine how I will ever reconcile that in my life. Yet, I cannot see her or myself go on like this either. She is in pain and discomfort 24/7. No amount of meds will ever make my mom feel well again and I hate that but it's true.

My wish is that tomorrow I wake up to a call from mom, that she feels great. That she's walking (which she hasn't done in a year), that she's gained full use of the only arm she has (use nearly completely gone the past 5 years after a failed rotator cuff surgery). My wish is that she's full of pis_ and vinegar again and yells at me - yes, then I'd know she's doing good. My wish is that it would remain like that for years - that she would miraculously get progressively stronger and, somehow, blow away all of the grim predictions.

That's my sincerest wish. Because I can't even imagine what I will do without my mom at the end of the other line. Does anyone ever get over that, really? When I got a promotion, a raise, a new dog - who did I call immediately? Mom. Everyone else a very distant second.

I'm completely wrecked right now because I don't have a good feeling about this. And I do pray for that miracle I described - all the time. But I cannot pray to simply extend her life the way it is - even knowing I will hate myself for not begging to keep her here "as is" when she's gone.

The sting of my mother's death started when I learned of her diagnosis and I'm quite sure it won't leave me until I, too, depart this earth.

My only prayer right now: God, just please help mom through this, without any pain. Even if it's a hundred times worse and more stressful for me, please please please please stop her from hurting. And, lastly, help me to accept whatever you decide and please don't abandon me. :(

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I'm so sorry for everything you are going through. I can certainly relate to all your thoughts and fears about losing a parent. That is a wonderful prayer. I too am going to pray for her comfort and yours. I hope you and your mom are able to enjoy some time together with her living with you. Hang in there.

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I am sorry for everything that you are feeling right now. I know how you feel when part of you wants her to be freed from this awful disease while another part of you wants to keep her with you and for her to be all better again. I have lost my father to heart, my brother to meningitis and my husband to cancer and I can tell you that there is no easy answer to any of this. Take every day that you can and enjoy your time with your mom to the fullest and know in your heart that you have done all that you can. PS - always remember too that your mom even if she does leave you will be in your heart forever...and you know that she will be in a better pain free place...and she will more than likely let you know that too when it happens whether it be now or a year from now. All the best. Heather

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You're all so wonderful and thank you from the bottom of my heart for your kind words and thoughts.

Every time I read a post from someone who has engaged hospice, I have a GULP moment and it's brought me to tears on many occasions because I know how absolutely awful the very word is: hospice. Ugh, it's ugly and I hate it - even though I know it can be a very good thing and extremely helpful.

This morning I called my mom at 7:30 AM and she sounded AWFUL. I said, that's it, I'm taking you to the hospital. I called the office and said I wouldn't be in and headed south for what turned out to be a 2.5 hour drive (traffic mess). When I got there she was in bed (she looked like a little pea in a pod - very cute) and she was surprised. She'd forgotten that I said I was coming to take her to the hospital. Her mind is definitely not working right and she's in a lot of pain.

I put her into the shower (onto the awesome seat I built), gave her a good shower and washed her hair with really hot water and she was thrilled. I think showers can be a blessing because they sort of lift your spirits up a bit. I dried her off, put her in clean PJs, brushed her hair, put on her wool cap, gathered her hospital bag and took the 1.5 hour drive to my local hospital (which is the hospital her oncologist has privileges in and a great hospital vs. the third-world facility masquerading as a hospital by her house). I called her doctor on the way and first words were "have you gotten hospice for her yet?" and I said, I am going to but I think she needs to be admitted - he agreed.

By the way, so much has gone wrong but we were truly blessed to find this doctor. He is not only an excellent oncologist affiliated with a top-notch practice and he's young enough to know the latest and greatest treatments and thinks "outside the box" but he's old enough to have good experience. But the best part is that he's an amazingly caring person who is responsive - almost to a fault. Nearly every call I've ever made to him has been returned within the hour. He has a very positive outlook for his patients (even my mom when she was diagnosed) but is never unrealistic. He's a perfect balance of using good, aggressive medicine while taking all of the factors of the patient into consideration and he is always available and spends a long time in the visit and on the phone otherwise talking to you.

I can be a very harsh critic and this guy is 100% on all counts. There, I had to say that! :D

Anyway, she's now in the hospital and I'm home preparing the house for her to come here. I feel so much better and really alleviated by her coming here. I wish she'd decided this sooner but I'm so grateful she has now. It will be easier on us both.

Again, you guys are terrific and I hope my mom has some really moments in the next few weeks or months and that she can really enjoy living with me and the "kids" (dog and 2 cats).

Hugs right back to you all!


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I think hospice will be a big help to you once you get them involved. I would call them right away so they can be prepared once she is released. I am sorry -- this is hard for you, I know. The hospice will be there to support you too.

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