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Thread: Mom has cancer and only a few months to live..... What should I do?

  1. #1
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    Mom has cancer and only a few months to live..... What should I do?

    I just want some advice on what I can do in these last few months with her.

    I feel guilty because we found out about the cancer end of August. It was quite a shock. She started chemo and started feeling better, so we all kinda of relaxed. But she just talked with her doctor today about the chemo results and found there was no improvement and nothing can be done. She only has 6-8 months to live.

    I feel a bit guilty because I didn't spend to much time with her in these last few months. I mean I did come over several times but not every weekend. I also feel guilty because I had an abortion a few weeks ago and told her about it. I feel guilty about that.... that I shouldn't of said anything to her.... But I went to her to talk about it when I got pregnant cause I didn't know what to do and I needed to talk.. but then after talking to her I got the abortion which she was against... and I told her my decision. She was very displeased.

    This is last thing we talked about before the news today..... I feel so stupid for even bringing it up to her... why did I tell her that with what she's dealing with already. Maybe she is mad at me now...


    and also, I feel very awkward around her right now for some reason and I hate that too. I don't know why I feel so awkward around her.... If that normal? like I don't know what to say to her now that she is dying... I don't want to say the wrong thing.. or seem too cold or too sappy... I want to be more affectionate to her but I dunno I just feel awkward. Anyone else every feel like that?


    I'd like some advice of what kinda of things can I do with her and for her in the next few months? Gift ideas? Things to do with her one the weekends? Outing ideas? etc.

    She is very weak but can still walk around and stuff.

    I was thinking maybe the family can rent a cabin for a weekend and we all stay together in one place.... But I don't know if she would feel up to it.

    I dunno just wanted to get a few things off my chest and some ideas for the future.

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    First off, I am very sorry to hear about your mother. My heart and prayers go out to her and your family.

    I have never had cancer. But I was in a car accident when I was younger and in the hospital for a few months. It was a life and death situation and I was on life support for the better part of a month. So again, it was not cancer and I realize that but at the same time I thought that any moment I was going to die. And to tell you the truth, it was scary but it wasn't the most important thing to me at that time. I wasn't thinking of me. I was thinking of all the people who came to see me and the looks on their faces and it made me sad.

    It was very difficult on me as I felt as if I was the one causing their pain. Now your mom may feel different. But what I feel will be the same is that she probably doesn't want to see sad faces. She probably wants to see how happy people look when they see her, that she makes them happy. The day the doctors told my parents that I might not make it through the night, it was the first and last time I saw my father cry. I will never forget it. Please don't let your mother see you cry. Show her that you care. Show her that you are there with her. Watch TV together. Take walks with her. And most importantly...talk to her. So many people in the world never really get to know their parents and wish they could have when it's too late. Get to know her, let her tell you stories about her childhood, about what she did when she was a kid. My parents told me stories that are some of the funniest things I have ever heard. And I thought I was a crazy teenager! Be her friend. Be someone she can talk to. Have an understanding ear. You will be so glad you did and your mother will not only appreciate it, she will feel good inside. And that is something that no present or day trip will ever give her. Trust me. You'll be glad you did.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member Mesemene's Avatar
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    If she had any favorite places while you were younger - revisit some of them. It doesn't have to be long, or elaborate, it's usually the simple things, like collecting sea shells on the beach, cruising the neighborhood that always has the holiday lights all done up, or the light festivals that start in the fall.

    My mom died of cancer when I was 20, so I can relate. We did a lot of having her friends over - since she wasn't up to going out much, we brought a lot of it in - I like to cook, so I "catered" her "parties" which were basically just friends gathering in the backyard, at the pool, or playing cards for a couple of hours.
    Now, there's a reason there's no book called "The Little Engine That Couldn't!!!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by octour View Post
    First off, I am very sorry to hear about your mother. My heart and prayers go out to her and your family.

    I have never had cancer. But I was in a car accident when I was younger and in the hospital for a few months. It was a life and death situation and I was on life support for the better part of a month. So again, it was not cancer and I realize that but at the same time I thought that any moment I was going to die. And to tell you the truth, it was scary but it wasn't the most important thing to me at that time. I wasn't thinking of me. I was thinking of all the people who came to see me and the looks on their faces and it made me sad.

    It was very difficult on me as I felt as if I was the one causing their pain. Now your mom may feel different. But what I feel will be the same is that she probably doesn't want to see sad faces. She probably wants to see how happy people look when they see her, that she makes them happy. The day the doctors told my parents that I might not make it through the night, it was the first and last time I saw my father cry. I will never forget it. Please don't let your mother see you cry. Show her that you care. Show her that you are there with her. Watch TV together. Take walks with her. And most importantly...talk to her. So many people in the world never really get to know their parents and wish they could have when it's too late. Get to know her, let her tell you stories about her childhood, about what she did when she was a kid. My parents told me stories that are some of the funniest things I have ever heard. And I thought I was a crazy teenager! Be her friend. Be someone she can talk to. Have an understanding ear. You will be so glad you did and your mother will not only appreciate it, she will feel good inside. And that is something that no present or day trip will ever give her. Trust me. You'll be glad you did.

    Great advice coming from someone who had the same perspective that she has. I have a hard time knowing what SHE must be feeling right now. I feel you are right. I don't think my mom wants us to be pitying her right now. I feel like that would make her more sad. She has a very tough exterior about the whole thing. She's very 'whatever' about it. It a little strange cause we are all kinda freaking out and she's just taking care of business. But that her personality. Very very practical. But it also confuses me about how I should behave towards her..

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    Darkshadow, so sorry for having this sad changing event in your life right now. I just want to offer a few insights to you that may help you. My dad died from cancer of the pancreas. The doctors gave him 6 months more to live...he died 3 weeks later. When you think about it, how in the heck do the doctors know the answer to the question "How much more time do I have?" So I think that is the standard answer....6 months. As far as you worrying about your mother's reaction to your abortion, I would not worry about that now. It is done and over with and cannot be changed. Your decision to abort was just that...your decision, and only you could make that particular decision and apparently it was the right decision for you. Now is the time to spend time with your mom. Ask her what she would like to do, and then do it. Do you have family photo albums that you both can look at together? Just spend as much time as you can with her for now, sweetie. That is what I did with my dad in his last days, and he told me many, many things during that time. It is a very precious memory I have of him. Please feel free to send me a personal message anytime you like.......chi

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    Gold Member Jonty's Avatar
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    I think both previous posters have made excellent suggestions.

    My mother died of cancer a few years ago. One of the things I wish I had done (and regret) is something that Octour touched on, which was to gotten to know her better than I did, in the remaining time she had with us. Her history, what she was into when she was younger, how she met my dad...that kinda thing. Now she is gone, those stories are now also gone and lost forever.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonty View Post
    I think both previous posters have made excellent suggestions.

    My mother died of cancer a few years ago. One of the things I wish I had done (and regret) is something that Octour touched on, which was to gotten to know her better than I did, in the remaining time she had with us. Her history, what she was into when she was younger, how she met my dad...that kinda thing. Now she is gone, those stories are now also gone and lost forever.
    Yes, I did this when my grandmother was dying as well. We asked her stories about my father and my uncles when they were young. It was great for my brothers and me but it was even greater for her. She would smile smile smile and laugh laugh laugh about the times she had raising her kids. It was a joyous time in her life. She should revisit it as best she can so that she can pass down the memories of what was most precious to her. It is a great gift to give to your mother. It's not only a great chance for you to get to know your mother better, but it's an even better chance for your mother to get to know you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DarkShadowGirl View Post
    I just want some advice on what I can do in these last few months with her.

    I feel guilty because we found out about the cancer end of August. It was quite a shock. She started chemo and started feeling better, so we all kinda of relaxed. But she just talked with her doctor today about the chemo results and found there was no improvement and nothing can be done. She only has 6-8 months to live.

    I feel a bit guilty because I didn't spend to much time with her in these last few months. I mean I did come over several times but not every weekend. I also feel guilty because I had an abortion a few weeks ago and told her about it. I feel guilty about that.... that I shouldn't of said anything to her.... But I went to her to talk about it when I got pregnant cause I didn't know what to do and I needed to talk.. but then after talking to her I got the abortion which she was against... and I told her my decision. She was very displeased.

    This is last thing we talked about before the news today..... I feel so stupid for even bringing it up to her... why did I tell her that with what she's dealing with already. Maybe she is mad at me now...


    and also, I feel very awkward around her right now for some reason and I hate that too. I don't know why I feel so awkward around her.... If that normal? like I don't know what to say to her now that she is dying... I don't want to say the wrong thing.. or seem too cold or too sappy... I want to be more affectionate to her but I dunno I just feel awkward. Anyone else every feel like that?


    I'd like some advice of what kinda of things can I do with her and for her in the next few months? Gift ideas? Things to do with her one the weekends? Outing ideas? etc.

    She is very weak but can still walk around and stuff.

    I was thinking maybe the family can rent a cabin for a weekend and we all stay together in one place.... But I don't know if she would feel up to it.

    I dunno just wanted to get a few things off my chest and some ideas for the future.
    I am so sorry to hear about your mother and my heart goes out to her. I know how deeply distressed you and your family are feeling right now. Right now you must stay strong and positive to take care of your mother. Like others have said, talk to her and walk with her every day so as to distract her attention from her illness and make her feel more positive. Be there with her and help feed her when she feels like eating or drinking. You can feed her fruit juices if she is not up to eating solid food. Hope this helps.

  10. #9
    Platinum Member just M.E.'s Avatar
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    I have lost both my parents to cancer in the last 20 months and even if you are not sure what to say, do not worry. What you say is not as important as just being there. Give your mother as much time as you can. In the end, it will not be more painful because of these days or hours you can spend with her, but after she is gone, they become a sweet lingering memory. You will not regret the time and it is the greatest gift you can give her.
    There are no perfect words except "I love you" You won't do this perfectly, NO ONE does and we all handle this differently, in our own way, but don't run away from her, just be there.

    I am so sorry you and your family is facing this, I hope you are OK. Remember, it is more important for you to be a daughter, let the medical world be her care givers as much as can be. When the time comes, involve Hospice, they are a wonderful source of comfort and strength for your mother and your whole family.
    Just because you can, doesn't mean you should.

    "Life goes not backward, nor tarries with yesterday" - Kahil Gibran

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    I can really relate on this - my mum had cancer for 8 years before dying 3 years ago when I was 24, my brothers were 22 and 18.

    The best thing we did in the last days was getting the old videos we had from the little tapes as kids and getting them made into DVDs (which only ended up arriving in the post the night before she died- we didn't know she'd die the next night) - but rather than go to sleep early like usual, she wanted to stay up late and keep watching them - it was a lovely thing to do with her.

    I am very happy that we cared for her ourselves at home in her own bed, surrounded by people she loved, with lovely smelling candles. Let me know if you want me to go into further details about the last hours/day.... maybe you don't. (so basically I disagree with Just M.E.) - i was her daughter and her carer, as she has cared for me countless times in my life!!

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