Just after Christmas, my beautiful Mother phoned me to say that she had late stage breast cancer. She was trying to keep it from us until the New Year had got under way but events forced her hand. To say I have been devastated would be underdescribing things and I don't know how to cope. She says she doesn't want to talk about it at the moment which I respect and so I don't know if she has just found out or if she has been fighting it for a while and didn't tell any of us. I had thought she looked tired and sad lately but I put it down to her age and that she had been very busy supporting my Father in his activities. Out of the four of us girls, I am the one who takes after Mum, the others, Dad and I can't even look at a photo of myself or hear my own voice without seeing or hearing her voice, I am already missing her dreadfully and it is as though I am already mentally preparing for her death. My husband and I recently moved so far away that I can't get to see her as regularly as I once was lucky enough to be able to do and I am feeling so sad. She has been nothing but supportive to me and although we have had one or two ups and downs in the past, I'm so pleased to say that they have been very rare and of not much lasting significance and our relationship has been in the large part, wonderful. She lost her own Mother when she was only 28 and her Mother was 52 and so didn't have a template for being an older parent or a grandparent but she couldn't have been more magnificent in both even though I'm quite sure there were many times I failed to show my appreciation. You just always 'think' your Mother will be there, even though interlectually you know she won't be.. I am older than her Mother was when she died and my Mother is a very young 83 so you would think I would be taking this in my stride way better than I am but I'm just not. I am a Mother to an adult son myself and am ashamed to find myself wishing I could just go to sleep and not wake up when she goes so that I don't have to face life without the wonderful lady who has been there for me my whole life, even though I know I wouldn't do anything to endanger myself for my own sake, those still around and because no Mother wants their child doing that, however old they are. I had stopped phoning so often in the past two years because she always seemed so tired and I felt that she probably didn't want to feel that she had to make converstaion with me almost every day and for that time anyway, I had some major problems of my own which I had been sharing with her probably too much as I now realise that my own problems were waring her down. If I'm honest, I knew I shouldn't be telling my problems to her as often as I was but the child in me just wanted Mum and now I feel so guilty to load my woes on to her and maybe contributing to her ill health. Because I felt I needed to stop telling her of the problems I was having, I stopped phoning as there was a point when I didn't have a lot of good to tell her even though I tried. (I'd had a lot of consequitive events which were not easy to deal with}. All the minor things that used to get on my nerves have just disappeared and now I'd welcome the chance for those things to happen again but now she's so ill and unlikely to ever get the energy back for normal 83 year old living, I doubt I'd get the chance to 'not be mildly annoyed' by some of her funny ways. I'd noticed she seemed to be shutting down a few years ago but naturally put it down to her being elderly and now I wish I'd insisted she'd got herself looked over. I love her so much and I feel like I'm already starting to grieve. If it feels like this now, I can't imagine how it will feel when the end comes for my wonderful Mother. How did other people cope when they felt like this?
A warm welcome to our forum, paf.
I'm so very sorry to hear about your mother's situation.
It doesn't matter how old we are, life really never prepares you for being without the one you love most. I think a lot of times we go on about life without thinking too much about the day we'll lose a parent or anyone close to us, not because we take them for granted but because otherwise, the pain would cripple us from doing anything else, a coping mechanism if you will.
In your case, there is still time to enjoy your mother's company and my suggestion to you is to make every minute from now onward count. Be with her as much as possible, I understand she's ill and probably not fit anymore for the activities she once enjoyed but sometimes simply being there by their side is good enough, create nice memories and try not to blame yourself for what has or not been done in the past.
I believe many of our members here will understand how you are feeling. Hopefully, some of them will come along shortly to offer you support and advice but in the meantime feel free to post as much as you need, paf, here on Cancer Chat there is always someone to hold your hand.
Wishing you and your mother the very best,
Renata, Cancer Chat Moderator
WOW, what a wonderful daughter you are ... Renata is so right, no matter what your age, your mum is your mum ... and you hope they will live forever ... even though you live so far away a loving text or call means the world, doesn't have to say a lot .. thinking of you... love you to bits ... is enough to let them know you care ... I know texts from loved ones sure pick me up and a few happy tears to know they always think of me ...
My mum had heart attack one day ... she phoned me in the morning, she'd died later that day, i so wanted to tell her I was so glad she was my mum ... though I probably said it lots, but to hold her hand one more time would have meant so much ... you can do that ... make every day, a memory day to hold in your heart forever... they never truely leave us, they just look down on us from up there to see how wer doing ... that's what I believe any way ... so be kind to your heart, and everyone can look back and wish we could have done a few things differently, but that's real life ... and although we can't go back, we can listen now and ask her if there's anything she wants to say, or tell you ... leave nothing unsaid ...
My thoughts are with you ... Chrissie xx