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Okay caregivers, need to vent

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Caregivers, I have to tell you the guilt I feel. When my Mother first felt her "pain in the armpit and back" in April 07 I insisted that she go to the doctor and get a "stress test or something". I thought she was having a heart attack. She downplayed the situation, wasn't as aggressive as I wanted her to be to insist on finding out what was wrong. Her "pulled tendon" at that time turns out later to be lung cancer, pancoast tumor. I think I should have drove to her house, put her in the car, then took her to the doctor then, and insisted on some type of test. Maybe at that time this cancer wouldn't have progressed to the point that it is now.

Now, since she is in so much pain, she can't even take a "trip" or do something that she has always wanted to do, after, being 63 years old, doing everything for everyone else, me included.

I find myself getting mad at her, she doesn't do anything for herself. Now this downward spiral makes me feel like I have been selfish, not pushing the issue when maybe it could have been caught earlier.

The only advice I have to offer is, when your gut tells you is something is not right, insist on getting your loved one the tests they deserve, no matter what the doctor or nurse practioner says, because they can be wrong.

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We all have those moments of regret about things. When John woke up with pressure in his neck I told him it was probably an allergy and to take some benadryl and go back to sleep. Thank God he went to the doctor the next day. Hindsight is 20/20-- even if you had taken your mom when she complained about the pain, most likely they would have sent her home once they realized it wasn't her heart.

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I have the 20/20 hindsight, too. After Rod's knee surgery, with the leg pain, he started losing weight. We thought he just lost his appetite from pain and meds but you don't just lose 40 pounds in a couple months from that. But I truly believe I was in such deep denial that a back hoe couldn't have dug me out. I was at the therapist telling her all my troubles and bless her heart, she WAS listening. She said recently that she suspected cancer and she has never seen him. She just knew so much about us from our appts. that she knew something else was wrong. Did I beat myself up? Yes, until my sister said, "It wouldn't have made a difference by then if you had gotten him in earlier". His lungs are so diseased by emphysema and the cancer that surgery was never an option.

So, we just do the best we can and have a great oncologist and his team.

I hope you will let go of the guilt and just love your mom like I bet she loves you. You are a good daughter and it isn't your fault.


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Mom is a grown woman and even though we think we can make people do things, the reality is that we can't Please don't go down that 'woulda, coulda, shoulda' road. You;ll be beating yourself up unnecessarilly (sp) and it's doubtful that it will change anything. You have done your best and that is all anyone can do.


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Vent and post whenever you need to, HOWEVER, do not beat yourself up with guilt. THe coulda,shoulda,wouldas and 5$ will get youa large starbucks coffee. You did what you thought was right. THat is the important thing here. the guilt will eat you up and spit you out.

WHen my wife, Deb was diagnosed she had been a smoker and she was so hoarse from coughing that she thought was smokers cough, that her coworkers convinced her to go to our Doctor who was right around the corner from where she worked. I actually got the call from my Doctor and friend saying, "We need to talk NOW!" get here asap!!

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Hindsight is certainly 20/20, if not better. When I look back on it we had sign after sign after sign. All I can say, is that these feelings happen, we do everything we can to recognize them, acknowledge them, let them do whatever it is they do to us, and then try to get right back to what we can do now to get through this. Please don't let it overrun you.

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Hello, I too have those same feelings. I look back all of the time and wish to God that I had taken her to the doctor. The only time my mom wanted to see a doctor was when she was having children. My mom is 77 years old and smoked for 69 years. She does not have any faith in doctors, never did and never will. She is the most stubborn and willfull person I have ever met. I know this, but at the samtime I wish so bad I had taken her in to be seen because if it had been caught earlier maybe her chance of survial would be greater. As it stands now she is stage 4 and has been told she won't be here in 6 months. I am learning that it is what it is and looking back at what ifs will just drive a person insane. I too get mad at my mom because life before was so good and I'm sure life was going right along for you as well and then Bang. I'm angry that my mom did not think enough of herself to go to a doctor on a regular basis. I have had to realize though that I am her daughter and not her mother. Be kind to yourself. You have such a kind and gentle soul. Prayers for both you and your beautiful mother.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Sometimes I too wonder if I had caught on to my Father's chronic cough if the outcome would have been different..... It wasn't until after I was told what the diagnosis probably is that I recalled reading on the back of the Robittussin bottle a long time ago "see your physician if your cough lasts for longer than 2 weeks as it may be a sign of a more serious illness"

Please don't beat yourself up on this. Like what everyone else has said, hindsight is twenty twenty.


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Hindsight 20/20 may be fine,

had it for my husband------

but no docor would take me

seriously.......now he is

dead........I tried, the medical

side let me down.

Hindsight 20/20 is still fine

for myself.............but no

doctor can gave me a straight

answer after all the x-rays,scans

and tests I had since the start

of October...........I tried,

the medical side is letting me down

once more.

So don't go blamimg yourself.....

when nothing works the way you

would like, life has a role to play

in it and with some people the ride

is smooth till the treatment and for

others the ride is rough from the start.

Just do what you can from now on and

look for tomorrow, yesterday is gone

and even if you could have change it

all could have gone wrong anyway and

the situation still could be the same

or worst.

Hope, and more hope from now on.


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What you feel is absolutely the norm. I think we all feel it. My mom was the same....always putting her own health and personal needs off for others. Even when she couldn't afford it, was too tired, etc. she just did, did, did for others. When she was sick with "pneumonia" last spring, it took her a while to take herself in to the doctor. She couldn't breathe, was coughing, was weak....and I pounded HER about being more aggressive with her own health. I gave her a bad time about going back to the doctor and telling them that the anti-biotics weren't working, told her to take what they gave her....was almost annoyed when she forgot to take her meds. And then when she finally demanded a chest x-ray, we found out that it was lung cancer. I'll never forget the Friday I came by her house and asked about the x-ray.....she started to cry and said, "They said there is something seriously wrong....my left lung is 85% filled with something...they need to drain the fluid and test for cancer...."

My heart became lodged in my throat and I felt like I was going to faint. I NEVER expected it. And then the guilt hit.....all the "I should've done this for her...... I should've gone with her.....I should've taken her.....I should've.....I wish I had...."

And then you move forward. Now you know. Now you do all you can for her. You listen when she needs someone to listen.....you clean, you drive, you make calls, you fight bill companies, you tell people to give her space if it's what she needs, you take over so that she can concentrate of treatment....you make her life easier any way you can.

And I'm saying this to myelf as much as I am to you.....you don't look back and think about what you should have done. =)


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