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"Don't want to live any more" - how to support?

(2 Posts)
AhAgain Wed 16-Nov-16 17:14:00

Hope this is the right place to post.

Looking for help to both support my mum and deal with it myself.

My mum has had various acute illnesses (almost 6 years clear of Stage 2 lung cancer, almost 12 months remission of unrelated Stage 4 breast cancer) and chronic illness (IBS and Fibromyalgia for many many years, bladder/continence issues and - over the past maybe 20 months - many lung/chest issues). She is 78 and "other than that" fairly good health: good mobility, independence, still driving etc.

One of the biggest issues over the past 11 months - since shortly after the breast cancer went into remission - is the chest/lung issue. Over the Spring, Autumn and Winter (so majority of the year) she goes from chest infection to chest infection (on antibiotics prettt much ever couple of weeks) and problems with "mucus plugs" etc. Am sure this will be the pattern until about next May now. She is diagnosed with Emphasema (about 45% of predicted lung capacity - hardening and scarring of the pulmonary arteries). I didn't know the details of this today - mum had been saying that her lung capacity was supposedly very good: I found out at her oncologist check-up. The oncologist said had she considered trying to give up smoking. She is going to try, but basically can't see what there is to live for (so not much pint giving up what she loves). However the lung problem/smoking is a vicious circle and - especially over the past 11 months - she has missed out so much due to being unable to do things because of chest infections. Other than health, mum is financially very secure, lives in her own lovely home, has no worries, but not a great many friends or interests.

I am beginning to wonder if I should encourage her to move closer (or at least look at it). She moved to her current area about 11 years ago (18 months after my dad died): she moved from an hour one side of me to an hour the other side of me (she saw some flats on a marina anhour the other side of me and decided that is where she wanted to go). She loves her current flat, but only really has one friend. In some ways I think that moving again would be bad (i.e. A new start), but she has little support there (one helpful friend) and I really wish that I could "pop in and see her" (really not possible where she is now). Have tried, previously, to get her to accept outside help (physical and emotional) - and the oncologist suggested this again today - but she has always rejected it. I live in a very interesting and bustling small city - much more going on around here than the small town she is living in at the moment.

I live about an hour from mum. I have a 6 year old (who is fab, but fairly intense - as 6 year olds are: i.e. keeping them motivated and dealing with life's disappointments), I have a husband (who is lovely but, outside of work, needs a rocket up his backside to do anything) and I have mum (who goes from illness to illness and has no enthusiasm for life). So I feel like I need to find the enthusiasm and motivation for 4 people at the moment. I am an only child.

So, firstly, how can I support my mum better? And secondly how to deal with it mentally myself: I struggle to see her down and other able to do much about it. sad

madroid Sun 20-Nov-16 02:00:27

Hi Ah, sorry to hear about your DM. flowers

From what you say, if your DM is willing, her moving to be near you sounds a good idea. Just to know that you'd like that would be a big comfort to her I should think. From my own situation, (DM has stg4 lung cancer) I think all you can rally do is give of your time and effort to the best of your ability. And try to stay as upbeat and cheery round her as you can. Any opportunity to do do something nice for/with her is one that I'm trying to take advantage of.

Coping yourself is v hard as I know, hence posting here for me too. I think I'm in a numb phase currently. I hate thinking about the inevitable trajectory of all this. So it's one day at a time for me at the moment. Take care.

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