Pasta_is-Only_Okay Posted October 28, 2020 Share Posted October 28, 2020 Hi everyone, My mom is 64 and was just diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer, which has metastasized to her brain. It's been a bit of a shock - my parents have been going through a lengthy, nasty divorce and I think my mom had been chalking up most of her symptoms to stress and anxiety from that (shortness of breath, diarrhea, fatigue, loss of appetite/weight loss). In the last three or four weeks, however, her health has declined rapidly (starting with pain in her chest and having a hard time breathing) and a visit to the ER led to a CAT scan of her brain which has confirmed multiple lesions there. She also has spots in her breast and lung(s). While we are waiting to learn "what kind" of cancer she has, everything I have read here points to lung cancer. She was a lifetime smoker, just quit within the last 6 month so that's... a cruel irony. Because of COVID, she can't even get in to see an oncologist until the 5th and I am worried about what that wait will mean given the rapid decline she's already seen. I knew it was bad when I went to visit her last Monday. I could see it in her. She is a shadow of her former self. It was really heartbreaking. She's done a lot to try to cover up just how bad things were. Trying to "protect us kids." And now that my dad has moved across the country post-divorce, it leaves my sister and I to figure out how to help my mom through this. My sister is in denial, and is approaching this with a "she can still beat this" mentality. I have an 18 month old at home (who goes to daycare), a full time job, and live 90 minutes away. My mom is in the process of selling the family house (again, divorce) and just signed a lease on an apartment two weeks ago... a second floor apartment. In the last week and a half she has lost the use of one of her legs and is having bouts of temporary blindness in one eye. I don't know how to do this. It's hard to know what my role is here. Where my mom should go. How much I need to step in. How long she can/should live on her own. If we should try to cancel the lease on the apartment. If we should try to stall the sale of the house. When/how to approach hospice. If I should go to her doctor appointments. If I should ask to be made a health proxy. When I should ask my mom to detail out her last wishes. It's... it's a lot. I know that you all know this. I know the person who did her CAT scan said something like "They are doing amazing things these days. You might get another 1-2 years!" And I'd like to believe that, but I know deep in my gut that this is going to move fast. Any insight you all can provide would be most appreciated. I am not a naturally "warm and fuzzy" person. I am not good with death (I mean, who is?). But I have seen a lot of loss this year (including the death of my nephew) and I just want to try to do right by mom here at the end, even if none of this comes naturally to me. I'm only going to get to do this once, you know? I want to do my best to do it right. Thanks for listening. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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