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How do I support my Mum.....

(84 Posts)
winnie Fri 18-Feb-05 15:41:54

Mum was diagnosed with lung cancer last year. She is 52. She had been ill for two years and is currently int he process of making a claim against the hospital for medical negligence as big mistakes were made in her treatment and it should have been diagnosed earlier. Anyhow, she underwent major surgery within 4 days of her proper diagnosis to remove the T2 tumor and was then given the 'all clear'. The surgery took a long time to get over and in the coming months she seemed to get a little better but not properly so (in lots of pain, sleeping alot, unable to do anything physical etc)since about Sept she has been getting progressively worse, has done less and less and basically spends her days sleeping or in pain, she has also lost a stone in a very short space of time. She has aged dreadfully. She has been getting more and more depressed and has seemed convinced the cancer is back. Anyway after much pushing for follow ups etc she finally had a full body scan and today she has been told that she has a growth on what is left of her lung, 'something' on her spine and shoulder and 4 broken ribs. I just feel sick. My dd (15) who has always been very close to Mum & is distraught (my Dad unexpectedly died only 3 years ago at the age of 56). I know Mum hasn't been told the cancer is back but given the amount of pushing for a diagnosis in the first place and then the amount of pushing for follow ups we are all very sceptical. Dh had cancer years ago and is very much of the mind that one has to remain positive but today I just feel all over the place. How the hell do I support the people I love?

Marina Fri 18-Feb-05 15:48:08

You need plenty of support yourself too Winnie. So very sorry to hear this news.
I think remaining positive at all times can help people but IMO it is not the right approach for everyone. You have a right to feel deeply anxious and sad at the moment, I would in your position I have to say.
What is going to happen next for your mum in terms of her medical care? Is further surgery going to help in any way?
I suspect you have already done this but BACUP can help families living with a diagnosis of cancer - and that includes your ever-lovely-sounding dd.
Is your mum already in the care of a Macmillan nurse? They can also be enormously helpful to the whole family, not just the patient.
Vent here if it helps. Sending you hugs {{{{{}}}}}

winnie Fri 18-Feb-05 17:13:48

Thanks Marina, I will look up BACUP. Everything happened so quickly last year we didn't get time to think about it, we just had to get on with practicalities.

WideWebWitch Fri 18-Feb-05 17:19:03

Oh winnie, I'm so sorry. My dad had lung cancer and there was a fantastic specialist lung cancer nurse who really helped all of us. He provided emotional support more than anything (no idea if that was his remit but that's what he did), can you see if her hospital has one? And I agree about McMillan, although we didn't use them I've heard good things. Make sure you look after yourself too won't you. I know it's hard to do but just don't look after everyone else to the extent that your forget your own emotional needs. Thinking of you.

liseyloo Fri 18-Feb-05 17:36:23

Hi Winnie. I am so sorry to hear about your Mum. My Mum is 65 and has been fighting cancer for four years. She now has it in her lungs, bones and brain and they are basically doing what they can to prolong her life - thankfully she isn't in any pain at the moment though. I have found my local hospice a fantastic place for support and there are also specialised nurses at our local hospital - please remember to look after yourself aswell - I nearly wore myself out trying to do everything and being the emotional crutch for the rest of the family. Mum is on her own as dad died 15 years ago. I would also demand some answers from the hospital as to the delays that there have been - and demand an appt with the consultant to find out exactly what is going on. I hope that everything works out for you and I am thinking of you at this hard time. x

ks Fri 18-Feb-05 17:41:26

Message withdrawn

Chocol8 Fri 18-Feb-05 18:46:55

Hugs to you Winnie - this is so sad, your poor family. I don't have the experience of cancer that other MNers have, but my biggest hugs are coming your way. Thinking of you Winnie. x

ImuststopdrinkingBlossomhill Fri 18-Feb-05 18:50:19

So sorry you are going through this winnie.

Hugs to you and your family. Although you need to support your family somebody also needs to be supporting you too hun. Hugs {{{xxx}}}

Snugs Fri 18-Feb-05 18:52:22

Hugs and masses of sympathy winnie.

Lost my dad to cancer in 1999. I know the Macmillan nurses were fantastic and a massive support for my mum. And our local hospice were brilliant - dad went for short stays a few times to get his pain meds sorted.

batters Fri 18-Feb-05 19:08:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ScummyMummy Fri 18-Feb-05 19:27:08

Really really sorry to hear this Winnie. I think Marina is very right about the remaining positive thing- sometimes people need to be all over the place. Also agree that your daughter always sounds like such a star- where's the surprise there when she has such a star for a mum?- and I'm really sorry she's having to go through this too. Thinking of you both and your mum too. Hang in there. xxxxxxxxxxx

winnie Fri 18-Feb-05 19:33:37

You are all so lovely. Thank you. Dd, Mum and I have been in floods of tears this evening; raging against the world. I am going to look into her getting some kind of support as when she came out of hospital she had no professional support at all and I think it might help her to have some independeent help. Until we actually know what is on her lung I am going to endeavour to keep positive. I know it is important to take each day as it comes but both of my maternal Grandparents died of lung cancer so neither Mum or I have any illusions
WWW & liseyloo thank you for sharing your experiences. I wish I had something constructive to say I just feel at aloss tonight. Cancer is a horrible, horrible disease

winnie Fri 18-Feb-05 19:36:49

Snugs & Ks, I don't know how I managed to miss your posts. Thanks for sharing your experiences too. I am so all over the place tonight sorry.
Thank you all for your kind messages. Mumsnet is so great all my 'real' friends have been at work and dh hasn't got home yet but you are all just there

suedonim Fri 18-Feb-05 20:40:01

Really sorry to hear this, Winnie. Life is so bl%dy unfair at times.

winnie Sat 19-Feb-05 21:27:01

I am feeling really sad tonight. Ds asleep, dd & dh watching movies and I am just stewing.... i spent the day planning my garden for the year and got dreadfully upset convinced that Mum won't get to see the results. Saw Mum today but she was bent double in pain, finding it terribly hard to breathe and simply wants to sleep all of the time Dh keeps telling me I have to be positive an dwe don't actually know what is wrong but I see a very strong and independent woman who has become so incapacitated that she has no fight left in her. Have decided I will try to speak to her dr on Monday as well as try to get her some professional support.

ImuststopdrinkingBlossomhill Sat 19-Feb-05 21:28:59

Winnie - I really feel for you

Your mum obviously needs help from the professionals. Is she taking painkillers to relieve the pain at all?

Many hugs to you {{{xxx}}}

Snugs Sat 19-Feb-05 21:29:39

aw winnie - so wish I could say something helpful. It is so hard watching some one you love so much when they are in any sort of pain - and I know from experience how you are feeling right now . <<hugs>>

winnie Sat 19-Feb-05 21:35:39

Thank you. Am on my third very large glass of wine (don't usually drink any more) and I've just got tears running down my face. Miss Dad so much and feel that I started to lose my Mum around the same time (when she first got ill...)(my parents weren't together when Dad died)... I feel really selfish ... sh*t happens to everyone but I am so scared for Mum and she said last night (not for the first time) that she is really scared too

ImuststopdrinkingBlossomhill Sat 19-Feb-05 21:39:58

Winnie - why on earth do you feel selfish hun. My god I think anyone that didn't feel like you would be so weird, I really do.

I have never been through losing a parent and don't know how I would cope I really don't. You have every right to grieve for your dad, it was only 3 years ago - not long ago at all.

Give the numbers a call that people have posted as it sounds as if you and your mum could do with some professional help. Remember I said before you really need to look after yourself and need support too.
You are being brave and dealing with a really hard situation Winnie.
Is there anyone you know that could come over and be with you?
Hugs Blossomxxx

Snugs Sat 19-Feb-05 21:41:52

You are bound to feel scared. And I spent most days breaking down in tears at one point or another.

Please don't take this the wrong way as it is a sincere piece of advice, again from experience - don't start leaning on the wine as a crutch. It is very easy when you are feeling like this, but it can become a need instead of a want.

winnie Sat 19-Feb-05 21:45:09

Thanks guys...
& snugs there is no likelihood of the wine becming a habit as we can't afford it I just needed something to relax with tonight as rescue remedy helps but sometimes one just needs more

ImuststopdrinkingBlossomhill Sat 19-Feb-05 21:50:21

Winnie - if the wine helps tonight you have some. You deal with things the way you feel best. I know what Snugs means by becoming a crutch as have to say I have been a bit like that with wine lately.
In the circumstances tonight I think the wine will unwind you and hopefully you should get some sleep xxx

Snugs Sat 19-Feb-05 21:53:34

Just concerned for you hon. I had terrible trouble sleeping and thought vodka would be the answer - luckily managed to curb that one before it became too much of a habit.

Keep coming back here to vent your feelings - I for one will do what little I can to help, even if it is just a (virtual) shoulder to cry on.

winnie Sat 19-Feb-05 21:55:52

Snugs and ImuststopdrinkingBlossomhill, thanks, you are kind. Am now going to try to stay off this thread for the evening and concentrate on others less depressing

WideWebWitch Sat 19-Feb-05 21:56:41

Hey winnie, sorry you're feeling low tonight. It's allowed and understandable.

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