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Looking for some support.

12 Jan 2018 00:47

Hello, I am 25 years old and my mother was diagnosed with mouth cancer in early 2016. She chose radiotherapy which ended in the summer of 2016. Come November 2016 we were told that my mums condition was terminal and there was nothing else they could do. They did offer chemotherapy but my mum declined as she had reacted badly to the radiotherapy. 

 

Since being told she was terminal, my mum has been like wonderwoman. She’d been getting on with her life in high spirits and full of hope, very independent, despite no longer being able to eat solid foods (she is peg fed now) and being on a lot of pain relief. 

 

My mother lives a 2.5 hour car ride from me, but has had great support from my two younger sisters who live near by and friends also. 

 

I went up to visit her in the new year and she seemed fine. She was complaining about her tummy from being sore as the tube kept popping out. 

Whilst I was visiting, Mum began coughing up a lot of mucus and blood. I was beginning to worry that the cancer had spread down to her lungs. 

A few days ago, I had an ambulance sent out for my mum as she was in absolute agony. She was complaining about her chest hurting, her whole face aching  (that’s because of the cancer) and she couldn’t breathe properly. When the paramedics arrived they said that her temperature was dangerously high and her BP was very low too. So we rushed her to A&E. 

After being checked over and a chest x Ray, it turned out my poor Mum had also come down with pneumonia in her right lung. Not long after that they moved her over to the local hospice. Since being moved there she seems to be improving a little. 

 

I hate living so far away from her and my sisters, but I will be visiting as often as I possibly can to support everybody and to see my mum. 

 

I just feel so helpless and deeply saddened because I keep getting this sinking feeling that this is the ‘beginning of the end’ for my Mum. 

I don’t know what to think and I certainly don’t know what to expect.

 

Re: Looking for some support.

12 Jan 2018 07:42 in response to Smoosh93

Hello smoosh93.  I am sorry about your mum; my own mum died some years ago now from liver cancer.  I was living 300 miles away from my parents and yes it is difficult for you but your sisters are near to her and I am sure she knows how much she is loved.  Facing the possible loss of a parent is something that nothing can prepare you for; you are thrown into it and are desperately trying to get it right even though yu don't know what "right" is.  But it is not all bleak - now that the pneumonia is being treated (I have had pneumonia and while a pain it is eminently treatable these day) she may rally and hopefully her feeding tube will be properly fixed.

I am sure you keep in regular touch with your sisters who will keep you informed of how she is doing.  The hospice staff will keep them informed if they are concerned about your mum; it is pleasing that she has such a good support network.  Sadly our parents do generally die before we do and it is a sharp learning curve for the children involved but love combined with expert advice makes them find the necessary skills to cope.  I am sure your mum is aware of the love and care that surrounds her.  But don't stress yourself too much at the moment.   Take a look at the About Cancer section of this website and in particular Coping with Cancer which will give you some pointers. 

Re: Looking for some support.

13 Jan 2018 15:54 in response to Smoosh93

Hello, 

I am very sorry to be reading how unwell your mum is with her cancer. Honestly there are no words for such thing, I just hope you realise you're far from alone. I'm 28 so not much older than you and I lost my Dad to cancer in August (almost 5 months ago). Before he died at home he had been in the local hospice for a month. So I do have experience with end of life symptoms and care so I do know what to look out for etc. My father did rally a bit before he died. I can't tell you if this is the beginning of the end because everyone is different.

If you do want to ask any further questions then please do.