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To feel like the worst fucking daughter in the world right now - long, sorry

(59 Posts)
LivinLaVidaLoki Tue 22-Dec-15 10:59:00

My mum has stage 4 non small cell lung cancer. She was having chemo with the aim of giving her a bit longer/better quality of life. The chemo didnt work as expected and so was ended at the end of her course (the tumours hadnt shrunk - but on the positive side they hadnt grown either).

She has now found some more lumps (it was finding lumps in her chest that led to her visiting the GP in the first place, which ended with her cancer diagnosis). So she contacted the hospital to let them know.

My mum called me yesterday and said they were going to try and fit her in for a scan today and they have made her an appointment on weds at 0900.

Originally she had interpreted this as getting her scan today and getting the results tomorrow. They havent made an appointment for her scan but she is still to go and see the doctor tomorrow.

I have been with her to every consultant appointment where she has been getting test results and treatment plans (I live 200 miles away), so she has asked if I will go with her.

I just dont think I can, logistically it will be a nightmare getting trains to and from there, this close to Christmas, I have an absolute tonne of stuff that I need to get done for Christmas whilst working a full time job, and having a very excitebale pre Christmas 4 year old.

So, I have asked what the hospital appt is for (as Im guessing they wont be able to actually tell her anything as they wont have done any scans/tests), as Im guessing it will be the doctor wanting to have a look at what she has found and have a general chat to see if she is ok.

She said that she doesnt know as she is scared to ask. I asked if she had spoken with my DB/SIL and she said no "I dont really feel I can talk to them about these things". But I feel she really needs to, I genuinely do. As selfish as it sounds I feel like its massively unfair to ask me to try and cope with all this alone. Most days I feel like I am just about hanging on.

DB and SIL live about 15 mins drive from my mum and so it would not be a massive leap to ask them to attend with her this once, it would be like an hour - two max - out of their day. When I suggested this she just said "Oh well I suppose I can go by myself" so now I feel massively guilty. Not to mention I have 4 days annual leave left to last me until April, I am trying to eek that out so that I can be there for me when she really needs it. and we are visiting boxing day for a few days anyway, so will be there in a few days.

Sorry this is long and ranty I just feel horrendously guilty and dont really know what I can do or say now that will make her better.

magimedi Tue 22-Dec-15 11:03:27

You sound like a wonderful daughter & you should not feel guilty at all.

Honestly, I would ring your DB yourself & tell him what is going on & ask him to go with your Mum & then for him to ring your Mum & tell her that he is coming with her.

Obviously I don't know your DB but he might be feeling a bit left out & want to help.

Sending you my sympathy at such a hard time.

flowers

PurpleWithRed Tue 22-Dec-15 11:04:26

You have my sympathy, but you are being perfectly reasonable give the circumstances and how far away you are. This may be a bit of a wakeup call for her - it's not going to be possible for you to be with her at short notice every single time she sees a doctor over the next few months. Unfortunately if she doesn't want DB/SIL with her then that's her choice. I think you are doing the right thing although I understand you may feel bad about it at the moment.

ImperialBlether Tue 22-Dec-15 11:05:41

What a stressful situation. Can you phone your brother and speak to him? It does sound as though she'll get some very serious results and she will need someone there with her. What's your brother like? What about his wife? Does she normally get on well with them? It is hard on you to be relied on like this.

I hope her results are good. flowers

Whatdoidohelp Tue 22-Dec-15 11:06:44

Definitely phone your brother. He can take her to appts and if she ever needs examined he can simply wait outside. It's unfair of your mum to be so picky on who takes her.

BlackeyedSusan Tue 22-Dec-15 11:07:08

oh goodness. it sounds impossible to get up there when brother is on hand anyway. ring and tell him that she is going to hospital and see if he could give her a lift.

DelphiniumBlue Tue 22-Dec-15 11:07:18

Oh dear, how horrible for your Mum, and for you.
I'd phone the hospital straightaway and ask what time the appointment is.
Then I'd phone DB and tell him about it- presumably he does know that she's got cancer?
But you can't let her go to an appointment like that by herself - she may be getting bad news, and someone has to be with her for that, surely?

motherinferior Tue 22-Dec-15 11:07:41

Oh love, I am in a very similar situation with my mum.

I think DB needs to go with her. It is important someone is with her - but you are also right that it can't always be you

It is wearing and awful, isn't it.

lightgreenglass Tue 22-Dec-15 11:08:02

Can you get DH to cover Christmas prep? Then get unpaid leave from work - if you can afford it?

Honestly I would go with her if it was my DM. I lived 200 miles away when she was having treatment and would have gone in a drop of a hat. I understand that's not always possible. If she doesn't feel comfortable with DB / SIL then the last person that's going to calm her nerves and support her is them.

KimmySchmidtsSmile Tue 22-Dec-15 11:08:19

Truly sorry. Agree with others: you ring DB and he or SIL attend this time

ceebie Tue 22-Dec-15 11:13:27

Huge sympathies to you.

It sounds like you are being as supportive as you can, but she is very scared and you are the person she most wants to rely on. This is obviously going to be a very difficult time for you, as well as for her.

Firstly, I would suggest that you talk to your boss in order to make plans to be able to accommodate additional time off over the coming months so you can be there for your Mum. Could you manage one or two days unpaid leave here and there, if your boss would authorise it? Although the lower wage is painful, sometimes other things in life are just more important. Or are there ways you could make up the hours at other times?

As for Christmas, you may need to think about keeping things simple and recognising that not everything will be as perfectly prepared as you would have liked. Your 4-year old will be happy irrespective, I'm willing to bet.

It must be frustrating that your DB is close by and yet you are the one your DM wants. But it sounds like you might just need to accept that you will need to be the one to make additional sacrifices for your Mum.

ScarlettDarling Tue 22-Dec-15 11:15:18

Listen, you really are not a bad daughter. You sound like a brilliant daughter. But I understand your guilt. My dad recently died of bowel cancer and I spent the 2 years he was ill feeling guilty about every hospital appointment I couldn't attend with him. It just wasn't feasible for me to be there for every appointment. I'm a teacher so I don't get annual leave and I have 2 children, so I knew rationally that I couldn't be there every time. But I still felt bad!

Be kind to yourself. You've been amazing to have been there for every appointment so far. It's time for your brother to stand up and help out a bit. Ring him and tell him your mum needs him and this once you CANT help out.

motherinferior Tue 22-Dec-15 11:19:18

Please stop with the 'additional sacrifices'. I'm sure the OP is stretched to the limit. My sister and I have shared out stuff to do with our mother this year and DSis got quite ill herself at one point, not least because she was giving in to DM's guilt-tripping.

It is horrible - and it's not over yet. See what your DB can do. You shouldn't have to shoulder all this yourself.

BuckBuckBuckBuckBuck Tue 22-Dec-15 11:20:07

I'm going against the grain here. If I understand correctly, your mother is not going to "recover", and you are her choice of person to hold her hand. If you have not had a discussion with work about this, maybe now's the time to, for some special leave to cope. Unless it's changed in the past couple of years , cancer is listed in Equality Act, meaning you can't be discriminated against if you take time off to support a close family member (I 'm paraphrasing a lot here). But worth talking to them.
My mother was hospitalised a week after I went back to work, and died 3 months later, after I was driving 500 miles round trip to see her/help my dad, ever week or two, farming kids out to friends if dh was away with work, etc. Played havoc with family life, was utterly draining. But I don't regret it. Even though my sibling lives near them, they weren't the one that could help.

If you think your brother can be the support she needs, then fair enough, but I would probably pull out the stops to go.

Good luck. It's terribly hard dealing with these situations when you live so far away, and whatever you decide to do, your mother will know how hard it is. Xx

MrsEricBana Tue 22-Dec-15 11:33:09

Oh poor you. You sound like a wonderful daughter. I think you just need to ask (tell) DB that he needs to go as you have supported her through every other appointment and you just can't make this one.

WitchWay Tue 22-Dec-15 11:37:46

I think it unfair of your mother to pressurise you with the "I'll go by myself" thing - really unfair sad

Surely she must see how difficult it is for working people to drop things as very short notice? With my job there would be absolutely no way I could have a day's leave for a relative's medical appointments, regardless of the circumstances. You'd be there if you could & you have made suggestions as to alternatives & are seeing her this weekend anyway. It's a real shame but I sympathise entirely with your position.

BeaufortBelle Tue 22-Dec-15 11:40:17

Ring your brother. Your mum should be able to understand however ill she is because she's your mum.

Rotten situation for all of you x

juneau Tue 22-Dec-15 11:42:14

YANBU at all! You sound like a bloody amazing daughter to me. A 400-mile round trip two days before to attend an appointment that is likely to be a bit of a nothing anyway, since no scans have been done, and then turn around and do trip all over again on Sat? I actually think your DM needs to be a bit braver and either attend on her own without complaint, or tk your DB to go with her. He's her DC too and she should be leaning on him every bit as much as she leans on you. It really fucks me off how daughters always get lumbered with the lion's share of this kind of stuff. Attending with her would be a far less of a burden for him that it would be for you - merely due to distance. I'd ring him yourself, if it was me, and tell him he needs to do it and that you simply can't. You have quite enough on your plate.

scarlets Tue 22-Dec-15 11:43:59

Attend this particular appointment (explain the situation to your boss, get your oh to pick up Christmas and childcare slack) but given that your mum is terminally ill, proper arrangements need to be made for the future, in conjunction with your brother. In your position I'd be looking for a face-to-face chat with him after the appointment.

Best wishes, OP.

juneau Tue 22-Dec-15 11:44:03

before Christmas

juneau Tue 22-Dec-15 11:45:12

The people on this thread guilt-tripping the OP - shame on you!

catfordbetty Tue 22-Dec-15 11:47:35

Bro needs to step up. Phone him and tell him. Tell your mother what you've arranged.

BirdsInMyPants Tue 22-Dec-15 11:52:12

OP don't feel guilty. You can't. But you absolutely must call in for more support.

My best friend recently died of breast cancer and not just the appointments but the meds at the end (collection of) making sure she is fed, comfortable and arranging a potential hospice, then taking her there and so on an so forth.

I'm sorry to have to heal that on you but from here on out you can't take all of that on alone. You absolutely need support of others, especially as you are so far away/have other responsibilities.

Chattymummyhere Tue 22-Dec-15 11:56:20

I don't think your bad op.

It's not easy to just drop everything for what seems like an appointment which won't be giving her any results as she not had a scan.

Maybe op cannot afford unpaid leave and she only has 4 days annual leave till April. I would save those days for more important appoints. The dm doesn't have to go alone if op cannot go she is choosing too.

Wolpertinger Tue 22-Dec-15 11:59:07

Hi Livin

I remember you from your other threads so I hope you don't mind if I speak bluntly.

I don't think you are an uncaring daughter in the slightest, I think you have been amazing but I think it is very very important that you go to this appointment tomorrow. I would also consider taking this as carers leave or actually having some time off work full stop.

Far from being able to tell her nothing, the fact that she has found more lumps means that her cancer has progressed further - as you would expect, given that the chemo didn't work and she hasnt started a new treatment.

Effectively the appointment will be about what she wants to do from here. If there isn't another treatment available, or she doesn't want one, there is very little point her having another scan.But if there are other treatments available, they will want to discuss those will her.

If mum doesn't want to have or isn't having more treatment then it's better to tell her palliative care nurse (and if she hasn't got one, she needs one) than asking for a hospital appintment each time for them to just note things but not do anything.

I'm so sorry this is happening to you and your family flowers

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