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My mom has been in the hospital since Apr.2/08. She was diagnosed in Feb. and chemo started Apr 3. No major side effects of chemo.

She is presently on day 3 of 5 day radiation to break up cancer cells located on or near her trachea. She has extreme shortness of breath, and for a while her blood pressure and heartbeat were irregular. Her blood pressure is normalish now, but her heartbeat is still irregular.

Good news, I think, is that yesterday and today, she was allowed to leave the hospital, with oxygen, for 6 hours. She only wanted to go home.

Between my dad, my sister and I, we try to have someone with her at the hospital most of the day. It's selfish but this is getting exhausting for me. I really want to be there for her, but I have 3 kids (12, 16 &19) at home and other than this weekend when she went home, I feel like I've hardly saw my kids. I have been working during the day, driving to the hospital to stay until 8 or 9pm. My dad is there most of the day, and he usually leaves after supper. Sometimes later. My sister is also usually there during the day.

We don't know how long she'll be in the hospital. How do you make this work? I know my dad would be there all the time if my sister and I weren't, and I don't think he should be there all the time.

Has anyone worked this out? We are also afraid of us becoming ill so we won't be able to go see my mom.

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I imagine your dad will probably be there with her everyday even if you and your sister are there.

The best thing to do is for you and your sister to take turns with her. Does she have any siblings who can also come and be with her?

You must take care of your family but I understand that you also want to be with your mom. But you all will need breaks. As long as someone is there with her its okay not to be there everyday. Make some kind of schedule if you can.

Sometimes you just have to get away as the hospital really gets to you,

Here's hoping she gets out soon and can stay home.

Sorry for all you and your family are going through.

Maryanne

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I agree with Maryanne.

Your Dad would be at the hospital all the time anyway -- that's his role as her husband. You have kids to take care of and I'm sure your Mom and Dad absolutely understand that you too are a Mom. Spend what time you can with your Mom, but your kids need you too.

It's a tough balance and I juggled that a lot when my kids were little ones and my Mom was so ill. My husband really picked up the slack after working all day, so I could visit my Mom a few times a week when she was failing. Try calling her if the rads aren't hurting her too much to talk.

Everything will work itself out and please don't over exhaust yourself or feel you're being selfish. Your priorities are in the right order.

God bless,

Welthy

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Hi Donna,

Sorry to hear that your mom was in the hospital. Yes, it is tough juggling sometimes I look back on last week and weeks before and say how the heck did I do all that and still manage not to pass out from exhausation! LOL! From the grace of God we manage. Some how we get through it and yes somethings must be overlooked that we may have had in our regular routine. Not children by no means -but housework, little things that you did will still be there. I had to make amends with myself that I wasn't perfect although we all try to be all things to all people all of the time and that is a sure set up for failure. I felt guilty that my time with my husband had somewhat diminished a little but really in some strange way it brought us closer together once we started working as team and he understood where I was coming from. Maybe talk a little with the kids about how time is a little short right now and kids that age they will understand and are resilient. I hope in time things will calm down for you - believe me I went through that and you go through tough times and there are the calm times in between you will get through it.

Take One Day At A Time and you

will Get through it!

Marci

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Have you considered the possibility that she might actually like some time to herself and/or that having company full time might be tiring for her?

I only ask because I remember that whenever I was hospitalized last year (half a dozen different times), I found myself expending energy trying to be "up" for my family and actually being relieved when they would leave and I could get some rest.

I'm not saying this is the case with your mother, but only that it is something to consider.

You might also want to consider whether your mother would want you to be neglecting your own family for her (after all, your children are her grandchildren).

Just some food for thought.

Carole

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Donna,

I don't know about the hospital where your mom is, but when I had my surgery last year there were RNs to give meds and take vital signs but no nurses' aides at all. Getting a drink of water was a big deal. I sorta coerced the family into hanging around so somebody would be there if I needed anything, even though I slept most of the time and they just sat there bored and frustrated.

I mentioned this to my bil's sister who is a nurse and she said next time call the patients' advocate (every hospital has one) and let the family get some rest. Have them save their energy for when you go home. That's when you'll really need them around the clock, at least for the first few days.

I said that all I did was take pain meds and sleep when I first got home. My husband said that I have no idea how much work it was -- guess not, I was zonked out -- and that he never would have made it if my sister and bil hadn't come to stay for a few days.

So maybe you want to take it easy now, spend time with your family and then give your mom the time you can spare when she first goes home.

Just my 2 cents worth,

Linda

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I agree with Linda, save your energy for when your mom gets home. Spend some quality time for yourself and your family. I know it is hard to do this, but it will better later because you willnot be as fustrated and tired. Try alternated days with a sibling or a friend.

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It's totally normal.. but don't feel bad about needing to live your life. You have kids that need you - it's going to stress you out more if you don't take care of your family. Stay with your mom as much as you can to still keep your sanity... if you lose it, it won't help your mom at all. You have to take care of yourself and not feel bad about it. If your mom wants someone there all the time see if there are friends/neighbors who might be willing to visit - it's amazing how many wonderful people are out there who are willing to help if asked.

Faith

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Lots of good advice. Talk to your mom to see what she'd like and then talk to your sibling and dad and see what works best for you all.

NONE of my siblings lived here when my dad was dx. and went into the hospital several times for dehydration (3-7 days at a time) and then the last time for 11 days.

I happen to have a wonderfully supportive husband and I was at the hospital every night- all night- and if it was a weekend, everyday too- which really gave my mom a break. She was so overwhelmed and overloaded.

Yes, I totally neglected being there with my son & husband, but it was only a week at a time a few times that year- then 8 straight days when my mom suddenly went into the hospital 3 years after that. I knew I'd have the rest of my life to make it up as a mom & wife and I already have tenfold! For me, I just HAD to be there.

Whatever you do, it has to be right for you and your family and if it's done out of love, it's the right thing for you!!!

Keep us posted and I will be praying for your mom's recovery.

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