Together we will beat cancer


Can't cope with watching mum's pain. Why, why, why?

23 Jan 2014 21:21

I'm sorry to anyone who reads this because I'm so desperately sad that I don't know what to do other than rant and let it out. I'm shaking even as I type. I'm just beginning to feel that I'm going insane with grief. My poor, poor mum is so ill and, we've been told, in her last few weeks. As well as being in her bones and lungs, The cancer has spread through the membrane between her skull and brain ( which apparently is unusual) and has affected her face, her ears and now her sight. She has always been such a bright, intelligent, warm wonderful woman and now she can barely hear and her sight is fading. It's all happening so fast and I'm railing at the world today. I'm usually a really positive person and I've been trying to cope just day to day and stay really positive for mum but I feel like I've hit a brick wall. My energy is gone. I'm so angry with everyone and everything and I hate, hate HATE feeling this way. I'm not particularly religious or anything but I have my own spiritual beliefs and I just can't reconcile anything I believe with what is happening to my mum. It's so unfair and cruel. She's being so incredibly brave and stoic but for the first time today she began to cry. She didn't make a fuss, I just looked and the tears were rolling down her cheeks. It tore me apart. All I could do was hold her and cuddle her and tell her that it was ok to cry and that I loved her. I don't know how much more we can all stand. I've never known pain like this. I don't want her to feel like this. I know it's often said but she truly has never done anything to hurt anybody and doesn't deserve this. All I do when I'm alone in the car is cry. My children don't know the extent of things so I have to hold it together for them and although my lovely husband is supportive, he runs his own business and is so busy and stressed I don't like to burden him too much. My dad is in denial, I think, and is not the most caring of people which does not make things any easier. How do I cope?? I don't want to go to pieces because mum needs me. I'm sorry, I'm rambling and ranting but it's preferable to screaming out loud which is what I feel like doing. If anyone reads this, I promise I'm not as crazy as I must sound.

Re: Can't cope with watching mum's pain. Why, why, why?

24 Jan 2014 00:37 in response to Allie

Hello Allie

I am so sorry you have had to come on to this site but it is a tremendous place to come and chat when you have to experience the heart ache that you are feeling right now.  I can relate to everything you are feeling at present, as I lost my lovely  husband to this bl....dy awful disease  we were married for 45 years he was the love of my life.

You have every right to be angry you have so many responsibilities at present, your hubby has his own business to run that is a stress in itself these days, and dad in denial dosent help your situation. 

The feeling of helplessness and seeing your lovely mum suffer is horrendous I felt just

like you did when my lovely David was so ill and suffering I wanted to scream and scream It was absolute hell so I know how you are feeling.

I'm sorry I can't give you any answers my love at this sad time but what I will say is don't beat yourself up, make sure you eat something look after your lovely children and most of all never stop,telling your mum how much you love her

Thinking of you

Take care and I send you a great big hug

Beryl xxx

Re: Can't cope with watching mum's pain. Why, why, why?

24 Jan 2014 00:39 in response to Allie

Hello Allie,

First of all I am so sorry that your Mum and all of you are having to through this.  There is nothing fair about it, it is just awful.  Just so you know, you are not in the least bit crazy, its the worst pain in the world to have to watch someone have to go through all that your Mum is going through - for me it was my Dad, and Oesophageal Cancer, but I can relate to how you are feeling.  It is a particularly cruel thing that your Mum is losing her hearing and sight - this ****** disease knows no boundaries.  Anyway,  there are some lovely people on this site who understand what you are going through - I found this site shortly after I lost my Dad and found a lot of help and support here - I also found it very helpful to write my feelings down as otherwise they just kept circling round and round in my head.  I also think that if you feel like screaming out loud, this can help too - I did a bit of this in the car (on my own!) when Dad was in his last few weeks - it got it out of my system.  And let your husband support you a bit more if you can - he'll cope - you sound like you could use a few extra hugs just now, Katielouie x 

Re: Can't cope with watching mum's pain. Why, why, why?

24 Jan 2014 08:56 in response to Allie

Oh Allie,

The pain you are feeling shows so much in what you have written. I think it is one of the worst things I have ever had to deal with when my mother was in a similar condition. It is so painful to watch someone you love dearly suffering like your mother is. The trouble is it makes us feel so inadequate as there is nothing we as individuals can do to stop this evil disease taking the ones we love from us. You are not rambling nor are you crazy Allie, you are just a loving and caring daughter trying to cope with the most painful thing. Don't ever be afraid to cry Allie, for it is natures safety valve and allows us to release some on the pent fears and emotion that build up inside of us at times like this. Similarly, writing your feelings down on this site is also a big stress reliever and people on here now and understand just what you are going through, for many of us have been through something similar. But you cant and shouldn't deal with this all on your own. You do need to talk openly and honestly to your husband so he knows how your feeling. Please don't exclude him for marriage is about sharing both the good and bad things in our lives. I would not like it if my wife didnt share her feelings with me.

Do take care, sending best wishes and kind thoughts you way, Brian

Re: Can't cope with watching mum's pain. Why, why, why?

24 Jan 2014 13:51 in response to Allie

Hi Allie

You poor thing.  Life is so unfair to some people including yourself.  I lost my own father to COPD nearly 9 years ago very suddenly.  There were no warning signs the last few days.  He was waiting to be admitted to a ward and then his heart gave out.  He never suffered from heart problems all his life and was only 61 when he died.  I lost my father-in-law to bowel cancer two years ago after it spread to his lungs and stomach and I miss the both of them terribly.

Don't try to cope with all this on your own Allie.  Confide in your husband more and let him know how you feel.  Your father may not be able to show his emotions and this is his way of dealing with it all.

Men cope differently to women.

You are not crazy Allie you are a loving supportive caring daughter whose mum means the world to her.

Take care and sending this with hugs


Re: Can't cope with watching mum's pain. Why, why, why?

24 Jan 2014 16:58 in response to Allie

Dear Allie,

I am so so sorry you and your Mum are going through this, your pain is evident from your post.  I wish there was something I could say to ease your pain, but I know that is impossible; however I do understand some of your pain having lost my Mum and Dad within 5 months to cancer last year.  To watch somebody we love deteriorate and die is the most undescribable pain and I think it is only if you have been through this that you can truly appreciate the depth of that pain.  You sound like you are doing everything you can for your Mum and I think it is so lovely that you are able to tell her that you love her.  This is something that was left kind of unsaid between my parents and me; although we were very close they were never very vocal and so I always felt I couldn't be either.  Of course I know they knew how much I loved them but it is so much better that you are able to tell your Mum.

I understand that you don't wish to burden your husband but honestly if there was ever a time to share your feelings with him it is now.  I am sure he wouldn't want you to be bottling everything up and you will need his continued support as the bereavement and grief process is a bumpy ride.  Likewise I understand that you feel that you need to hold it together in front of your children, however I think this depends a lot on their age.  When my parents died my sons were 19 and 16 and they were a tower of strength for me; I have cried so much in front of them and I think it is important for children of all ages to realise that it is OK to cry.  Try and be kind to yourself, take every bit of support you can and cry whenever you need to, it helps somehow.  This site was a great support to me during my darkest days, I found that it really helped to write things down and found that people on here truly understood more than most.  So we're all here for you; I'm wishing you strength and please post me whenever you need to.  Hope23 x

Re: Can't cope with watching mum's pain. Why, why, why?

29 Jan 2014 18:39 in response to Hope23

Firstly, I apologise to all of you who took the trouble to read and reply to my post. You are all such lovely caring people and it truly warms my heart that you should take the time to reach out to someone when you are all going through your own difficulties and heartaches. I have had every intention of thanking you all but my days are so full of caring for mum whilst also trying to work when I can and look after my family that the time is just disappearing.

I feel like a burden again because I am still so very low and just need to vent once more. I just can't seem to find my way through this pain. I feel absolutely broken. My children now know that nanny is not going to get better so I do not have such a pressure to hide every emotion but I still can't let them see the depth of my despair. I think it would scare them. I feel in a constant fog. My poor mum has almost totally lost her hearing and her vision is incredibly poor. It's so, so cruel. She has always been so strong, caring, capable and supportive of everyone around her and now she is virtually helpless. I sit on her bed rubbing her hand and talking to her and she looks at me like a helpless child because she cannot hear me. She is still mentally aware so the fact that she cannot hear is very, very upsetting for her and she begins to cry. That's not my mum. I just kiss and cuddle her and tell her it's ok. I don't know what else to do. My dad is hopeless. He just shouts and is frustrated that she can't hear. He is handling it badly.

One minute I wonder how much longer can I bear to see her suffering this, but then the alternative is too awful to think about. At least she is still with me now and I can hold her and tell her I love her. I'm so confused. We have a lovely Macmillan nurse who always asks how I'm doing but when she comes my dad is usually there and I can't open up the way I want to in front of him. Though I guess there's not a lot she could say really to help me.

I'm sorry that I'm waffling on. I know there's nothing to be done but I can't bear it. My mum is my best friend and the best mum and the best nanny. I can't believe this is happening to her. :,(

Re: Can't cope with watching mum's pain. Why, why, why?

29 Jan 2014 22:20 in response to Allie

Hi Allie,

Everybody on here understands the limited time you have when you are dealing with the situation you are in so no need to apologise for a joint reply.  Vent all you need to, whatever helps you through this terrible time.  It is so cruel to have to watch somebody we love go through this and my heart really does go out to you.  I used to almost wish it were over just to end the suffering, as it seemed like everyday was just prolonging the inevitable.  People used to tell me to make the most of the time you have left but how can you when you are watching somebody deteriorate and know they are not the person they were.  Having said that I wish that I had just one day back to spend with my parents even though it was so hard - however I know that is just selfish because I wouldn't wish them to be here suffering just because I miss them so much.  Allie there is no easy way through this, just go with your heart and do whatever you feel you should.  We are all here when you need to let it out.  Hope x

Re: Can't cope with watching mum's pain. Why, why, why?

30 Jan 2014 18:47 in response to Hope23

Thank you Hope,  ( is that your real name by the way? It's lovely,)

I'm so sorry you had to go through this twice in such a short time. I honestly cannot begin to imagine how you coped with such a blow. It sometimes beggars belief how things happen doesn't it? Why is life so unfair? I feel a little calmer today, I think because I actually had a few more hours sleep last night. I'd not slept for days and had cried so much that I think my body was just completely exhausted. I have talked more to my husband recently. The trouble is that he then gets incredibly upset because he is having to work such long days that he doesn't get to see mum. He's always been very close to her too. We are childhood sweethearts and have been together for 28 years and my mum has always loved him to bits and is more demonstrative with him than his own mum. I guess nothing about this situation is going to be easy though is it. My children are 10 and 5 so that's why I don't like to get too upset in front of them, I think it would worry them. I really appreciate you answering me. I hope that I will be able to find the strength that you show. Thanks again Hope,



Re: Can't cope with watching mum's pain. Why, why, why?

1 Feb 2014 09:01 in response to Allie

Hi Allie,

I was glad to read that you feel a little calmer, you will probably find your emotions will be different daily, even hourly sometimes - it is a turmoil to go through watching loved one's suffer.  I'm glad you have spoken to your husband more, I'm sure it is also difficult for him as you say he is very close to your Mum, but hopefully you can lean on each other.  Families are complicated and many people have issues within them, I think you can only do what you feel is right and in my experience it is important to follow your heart

I don't know how we cope with the things that life throws at us but somehow we do, mostly because we have no choice.  Although I did feel it was unfair that I had to go through it twice so quickly, I am now trying to look at it differently and think that I was so lucky to have my wonderful parents for so long and that my Mum wasn't without my Dad for very long.  Grief is a strange thing, something we have to go through but hopefully something we eventually come to terms with so that we can continue our lives.  I'm not really that strong Allie, I just try to cope the best I can so that I can continue my life - I'm sure you will do the same too.  By the way Hope is my user name; when I joined this site it was my darkest day, I felt that I needed hope and hence the name, now I like it!  Thinking of you and let me know how you are.  Hope xx

Re: Can't cope with watching mum's pain. Why, why, why?

8 Feb 2014 11:17 in response to Allie

Dear Allie,

I am honestly so sorry to read what you are going through. It is heartbreaking to read and I am sending you virtual hugs and support to you and family. Words will not ease your pain but I just wanted to let you know how sorry I am and if you need to chat, i am here.

I know so well the pain you are going through and you are not crazy. I just discovered this site and I think that can help you so much to feel you are no alone and you can write down your feelings. I wish I had that as you do feel very lonely in this journey. No wonder your energy is gone, it is exhausting mentally and physically. Do try to get some rest if you can.

I lost myself my mum of liver cancer last october. Like you, she was my best friend, and a strong, caring woman and this b***dy disease completly weakened her (she was 40kg) and by the end of it, i just knew it was my mum but couldnt recognise her and it killed me. She was conscious of it all but couldnt talk much by the end as it spread to her brain, but I saw the pain to put us (her children) through this in her eyes and it was just cruel. I was also the only woman dealing with it and my dad and brothers were of course there but men have a different way of coping. It is awful about your mum's s hearing and sight.

The only thing I can say is that your mum knows you are with her and it would mean the world to her (even if hard for her to put you through this). The love you have for each other will never die and what you are doing is a beautiful thing which will comfort you just to know you could be there to show your love. Nothing much you can do unfortunately,just hold your mum as every minutes spent with her, even if sad, are also precious.

I would tell you to rely and confide to your husband... I didnt do it on a daily basis with my boyfriend as I was at mums (different city) and couldnt open up on phone...I became slightly ressentful after that I couldnt confide to him and felt lonely. It is a very difficuly and painful journey, and you do need moral support or maybe just cuddles or even scream if that helps!

Anyway I am thinking of you. Take care xx

Re: Can't cope with watching mum's pain. Why, why, why?

25 Dec 2017 22:09 in response to Allie
Hello Allie, your posts are a few years old now but I found them tonight after returning from the hospital feeling "Broken" My story is so similar to yours. My amazing, strong, caring mum is lying in a hospital bed as I type this, her cancer has now spread to her spine and she is so terribly sad to finally come to terms with the fact that she won't be returning home. She's scared and for the first time since she was fist diagnosed with this horrible disease she has been crying and apologising for it. She's been so strong and there for my whole family, all our lives. shes my best friend and I'm devastated that I'm going to lose her but watching this stage of the disease is worse that I ever imagined and I leave the hospital with tears streaming down my face and cry my eyes out and so as I get into the car. My poor dad is so lonely since she went in to hospital a week ago, none of us realising that she wouldn't come home. They haven't been apart in 63 years. My older brother and sister leave me to do all of the hard work and Im so angry at them for not being as supportive as me after everything she has done for them and her grandchildren. I want to scream at them. I just hope that my poor mum won't have to suffer for much longer as it's breaking my heart to watch her so scared and vulnerable. I may be writing this to no one as your posts are from 2014 but it was the first thing I've read where I could totally relate and it helps to put the words to paper so to speak. I hope that your lovely mum didn't suffer for too much and I hope that you are happy now with your mum still in your heart. Xx

Re: Can't cope with watching mum's pain. Why, why, why?

3 Jan 2018 13:17 in response to knoxy18th
Hi Knox, wow, it is a long time since I visited this site. Your message took me by surprise. Reading what you’re going through has brought it all back to me so vividly. It is always, always there....I’d be lying if I said it ever leaves you, but on a day to day basis the rawness does ease. I’m so, so desperately sorry for what you and your mum are going through. I wish I could say something that would ease it or make it all go away. All I can say my love is this. I was as close to my mum as it is possible to be. She was my world and my children’s world and watching her go through what she did was the worst pain of my entire life. I truly thought that I couldn’t cope, that I could no longer stand it, that I was going insane with the pain and grief of it all. I lost her on the 9th February 2014, not that long after I posted the message you read. It was surreal. I alternated between numbness and grief so deep and intense that I just felt like running away. If I hadn’t had children I think I may have done. Everyone told me that time would help. I never ever believed them, I just assumed that everyone telling me that had never loved anyone as much as I loved mum. I won’t lie to you, it’s hard, it’s so very very hard but I guess that is the price you pay for a deep love. But I can also tell you that actually it’s true...time does help. Honestly, honestly it does. Please trust me on that. The pain never leaves you, some days I still cry and cry, but it does ease. The day to day constant raw pain eases. It took me a good year to start feeling that way. I had a bit of a mini breakdown in the December after she died and I ended up at the doctors. I’ve been having grief counselling ever since and it does help. I never ever thought I would say it but when she actually passed away there was a tiny tiny part of me that was pleased that she was no longer suffering. That was something that I had to hold on to. I also understand your anger at your siblings. My anger was directed at my dad because he just buried his head in the sand and my sister and I were left to do everything. You will be full of anger and hurt and every emotion there is. It feels like you are full of emotion and there is no positive outlet for it. I felt that way and that’s why I found this forum so helpful. I’m glad my post spoke to you. It’s a good thing to know that your feelings are shared by others. Please do feel free to contact me again as your journey continues. I’m more than happy to help in any way that I can, even if it’s just to listen. Sending you strength. Keep going and take care....I’m proof that you can and will get through this xxxxxxx

Re: Can't cope with watching mum's pain. Why, why, why?

3 Jan 2018 14:48 in response to knoxy18th

Hello Allie and Knox.  Sorry you Knox are going through this at present.  It is 35 years since my Mum died of liver cancer; she was 70 which was no real age at all.  I can still see here clearly in the hospital bed but as Allie says the pain is no longer anything like so bad.  I find as I get older that I can still recall the intensity of the bad times and also the good times but they are not so bound up in my immediate existence.  I am thankful for my loving parents and the upbringing they gave me.  Over the years I  have lost more loved ones and their existence has contributed to the person I am today.  Don't know what it all means vis-a-vis our lives but I do know that they have all contributed to the good bits of me (I will take my own responsibility for the not-so-good bits).  This is a very hard time for you and it doesn't pass quickly but gradually you will be able to pick up some of the life you were living before - but of course minus the person of your loving mum.  Her memory will live on with you forever though.  Best wishes.