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To feel like the worst fucking daughter ever.

(78 Posts)
LivinLaVidaLoki Sun 16-Aug-15 09:19:56

My mum has lung cancer. Its inoperable. She will be having chemo to prolong her life. I am still struggling to come to terms with this.

She only wants certain people to know (ie me, two brothers and her sister/bil).

She starts chemo next week and has been asked who will take care of her afterwards. My one DB is on holiday and the other is at some work thing -they are both fucking useless.

My aunt has offered for dm to stay at hers after the treatment. At first this seemed like a good solution.

My DM is now saying no to this as she wants to be in her own home and doesnt want my cousins knowing (I think shes scared theyll tell my grandad and she doesnt want to upset him). Her logic being, if they see her there theyll know somethings up and shell have to tell them.
If my aunt stays at hers...ditto.

So she has asked if I can go and take care of hetlr. Of course I will, she is my mother and I love her dearly.

However, I live about 200 miles away with a FT job and family, and for the last few weeks I have been exhausted working/travelling to mums to go appointments with her and feeling massively guilty at being away from DS (not to mention travel costs are eating up pretty much all of our spare income)

So, now as I look ahead and see this happening continuously I just want to cry. It just seems unfair that because of fucking useless brothers and this web of secrets I have been manouevred into the position where I will have to do everything and it seems unfair.

12 years ago my dad was in the same situation and my dm and I had to care for him. It was so hard, and I didnt have a stressful job and family then...I lived at home)and knowing Im pretty much going to have to do this alone just fills me with dread.

I know Im awful as my mum is facing this terrible thing but I just want her to not be so bloody secretive about it and let others help, as I cannot do it alone.

BestZebbie Sun 16-Aug-15 09:22:13

Can you just tell your brothers when their turn is for doing things - the one who is on holiday in particular will surely be back quite soon?

fuzzywuzzy Sun 16-Aug-15 09:23:25

You're not awful at all.

Tell your DM it's not physically possible for you to be their full time. Tell her to take up your aunts offer to have her stay with your DM. You'll come by as much as you can.

If you're able would you be able to take some annual leave and go stay at your mum for a few days?

foslady Sun 16-Aug-15 09:25:01

You are NOT the worst daughter on the world, you are being asked to do way more than is fair on you, and guilted into it by circumstance. You NEED your brothers to come on side and ASAP.

Have a cry, have whatever you want/need - you have to take care of you, too

AboutTimeIChangedMyNameAgain Sun 16-Aug-15 09:25:04

flowers

Have you got help from outside, contact Macmillan? There are people out there, cancer nurses who can provide support. Don't go through this alone.

You're not awful, you can't do this by yourself.

MummaGiles Sun 16-Aug-15 09:26:17

I'm so sorry that you are going through this. I can appreciate the stress of keeping things like this from people - we've been asked to do the same by DH's side of the family and I can't say I agree with the approach even if I will go along with their wishes.

I know you think that you will be asked to help your mum out after each bout of chemo but I think you need to have a serious talk with your brothers now about how you are you bro have to share the care out as equally as possible. They won't always be on holiday or have a work thing, and they need to support you and your mum. Put your foot down.

Sending hugs and flowers

Lj8893 Sun 16-Aug-15 09:31:35

Can you contact Macmillen or Marie Curie? They may be able to help, I haven't had experience of Macmillen but Marie Curie nurses are bloody fantastic.

pud1 Sun 16-Aug-15 09:32:12

I have no words of advice but just wanted you to know you are not alone. My mum passed away in April. She had lung cancer. My dad was diagnosed with peritoneal cancer on July 1st. He has been told it's inoperable. I have traveled to my dads with 2 DD aged 6 and 7, oh and the dog every weekend since. My db has been for one night. He is the main breadwinner and cannot afford to miss work ( he does call outs). He also lives further away. Our drive is 2 hours his is 4. I am planning for my dad to move near me but in the mean time it's killing me.

I just wanted you to know that I know how hard it is

LivinLaVidaLoki Sun 16-Aug-15 09:32:45

Thanks everyone.
My DB who has a work thing is self employed and he works most weekends. I thought about asking if she could stay at DB/sils but I know she doesnt want SILs family to know and they are at DB/sils a lot.
My other DB just fell apart any time we asked him to do anything when dad was ill claiming it was too much for him, so then wouldnt do it.
The only person who could realistically help under the circs is my aunt but my mum wont accept any 'real' help as she doesnt want my cousins finding out.

TheRealAmyLee Sun 16-Aug-15 09:33:14

Firstly I am so sorry to hear this news. My dm had inoperable cancer and passed away 2 years ago so I know those feels.

Secondly the secretive thing isn't going to work at this point. Cancer and chemo will affect everything. She will likely begin to look different, she may well be sick a lot etc. My dm was lucky on how chemo affected her but she was still very noticably changed by it. It just isn't possible tohide it.

Thirdly I personally feel it isn't fair to hide it. This is not something which is going to go away. Telling my elderly dgm that her daughter had inoperable cancer was the worst thing in the world. However knowing means friends and family can: help and support, spend time with her and begin to deal with it now.

I would get your aunt on board and try and explain together how important it is that people know and why. It is also just not practical or feasible for you to put your entire life on hold and leave your family to look after her, especially if your aunt is able and willing. Everyone should be doing a bit in these circumstances.

LivinLaVidaLoki Sun 16-Aug-15 09:33:32

thanks pud

Finola1step Sun 16-Aug-15 09:35:28

I think realistically, there will need to be a family rota. You can not do this by yourself. My MIL had cancer treatment twice. The first when ds was a newborn. Then last year when we knew it was to prolong life.

First and foremost, you need to know what the chemo schedule is looking like at the moment. It might be a couple of rounds over the next month or so. It might be more. You may find it really helpful to go along to the next couple of appointments to hear things for yourself.

I would suggest then calling a family meeting with your brothers and aunt ti discuss practicalities for the next few weeks and months.

I'm really sorry to hear that you are going through this. flowers

BoboChic Sun 16-Aug-15 09:39:07

Livin - your mother is being very, very unreasonable. Her cancer is not an excuse to have everything her way in accordance with her feelings and in total disregard of the feelings and commitments of others (ie you). Take a few days off work by all means but your mother must either go to her sister or, if she wishes to stay in her own home, have professional carers. You and your brothers are not 24/7 responsible for her.

Hellionandfriends Sun 16-Aug-15 09:44:21

Can you ask her to buy your train ticket as you can't afford the transport.

Unescorted Sun 16-Aug-15 09:45:01

You poor thing. It is a trully awful situation to be in. I find the worst bit is not knowing what might happen - it is such a taboo subject that my knowledge was based on BBC / ITV weepy dramas. Not the most accurate source of information.

Our experience so far....

My Mum started Chemo 7 weeks ago and radio therapy a week ago. If it is any comfort my mum has been reporting flu like sysmptoms as a result of the treatment. She is really tired and is vomiting, but much better than we expected. The week after she has the sysplatin (sp?) is the worst. She has it every 2 weeks so the third week is almost OK. I had thought that as soon as she started Chemo that all of her hair would fall out and she would be bed bound. This hasn't been the case so far.

She has gone off food - which is worrying because she is losing so much weight. Although we found out by accident that it is easier for her to eat a big lunch and keep that down than a night time dinner.

Like your mum, mine did not want anyone other than close family know - living in a small village this has been less easy than you would think. In a way it has been good because we have come to terms with things in private, but now it is in the wider domaine we are now having to support her friends as find out.

I would tell your line manager - my work were really good, saying if I need time off or work from home then they are fine with that - getting to and from appointments is really time consuming. Twice every 3 weeks ok for the chemo, every weekday for 5 weeks is less Ok. Even if they can't let you have tiime off it is useful for them to know that changes in your behaviour are not unfounded. My colleagues have been fantastic - really supportive (picking up some of my work, finding the latest random thing in town that my mum NEEDS...., making me lots of tea / coffee, telling me to go home, making bad jokes etc. ).

Hellionandfriends Sun 16-Aug-15 09:45:10

Yes family rota. Email everyone saying you need to split the care

Unescorted Sun 16-Aug-15 09:51:09

Forgot to say - you need to deal with this as a family. It seems as if your Mother and Brother have assumed that it is your sole responsability to make all the care arrangements. It is not - your mother must understand that the implication of her not telling her sisters children is that you are put under considerable strain. Your Brother cannot just sit back and expect you to make sure your mother is cared for.

mojo17 Sun 16-Aug-15 09:51:39

So sorry to hear this
I too think you need to
1 talk to aunt re secrecy and the. Talk to your mum again together
2 email dbs with the dates your mum needs help and put your name down for the dates you can do it and tell them to put their names down to do their share
No negotiations you cannot do it all
3 contact Macmillan nurses they will be amazing and could possibly help with the secrecy thing with your mum as they've come across this thing before

FundamentalistQuaker Sun 16-Aug-15 09:52:12

I would get your aunt to come for a short while-that could just be billed as her staying at your mums for a couple of days for a catch-up. you are going to need support too. And your brothers can help in other ways: money etc.

I am sorry.

thecatsarecrazy Sun 16-Aug-15 10:39:25

You will have to put your foot down and make your other family help. I know its hard op. My dad has many heath problems, I'm married with 2 children, live an hours drive away, work part time but I'm Mrs reliable so everything falls to me. My brother lives with dad but does fuck all to help. E.g being when my dad was in hospital having heart surgery he went away to watch arsenal play. You have your own responsibility's and u know you want to help but you can only spread yourself so far and you will make yourself ill.

MoriartyIsMyAngel Sun 16-Aug-15 11:11:19

And how would that work as an option for you OP, just saying it's all too much? I imagine it wouldn't go over well. Your brothers are adults, aren't they? Tell them you can't shoulder all of this by yourself - make sure they know exactly what that entails - and ask them what they are willing to contribute. The brother who works all the time must be able to kick in with your expenses at least, or pay for a home carer in his place?

hackmum Sun 16-Aug-15 11:54:00

OP, what are the practicalities? If you went to look after your mum, who would look after your children? Would your employer even let you have the time off?

It seems an almost impossible request to me, however much you would want to be there for your mum.

ImperialBlether Sun 16-Aug-15 12:03:17

Your mum is being very unreasonable. Why is she so desperate for people not to know? Her dad will have to find out at some time or other, surely? If she lost her hair or was ill with chemo, would she just not see him? Surely that would be far more upsetting to him.

spiderlight Sun 16-Aug-15 12:11:23

My best friend went through similar, nursing her mum through terminal cancer alone while not being allowed to tell certain parts of the family. It all imploded at the end and people were terribly hurt that they weren't told or given the opportunity to help, and my friend is still suffering the after effects two years afte her mum's death, with formerly close relatives no longer speaking to her. It has been horrible for her.

Your brothers need to pull their weight. You can't do this alone and your mum must accept that she can't keep it a secret.

flowers Thinking of you.

DoItTooJulia Sun 16-Aug-15 12:13:47

Ok, so my mum has cancer too.

My fil worked in Cancer services and we've had many discussions about who to tell what to. And he advised me that I might want to develop a strata of who gets to know what. So, an old acquaintance that you bump into and enquires after DM, I say, she's not too good, she having some health issues, but she got great care. A proper friend gets the whole, mum has cancer and it's at x stage. Then there's the inner circle that knows everything. Could you think about something like that for your mum?

Also, you cannot care for her like this. You will be no good to her feeling, exhausted, guilty about your family and unhappy at operating in isolation from a support network. You need a family conference/rota and these things need sorting out. Unfortunately it looks like organising this may be on your shoulders. But I really think you need to try.

flowers

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