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Watching my mom slowly leave us


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Hi all.  My mom had been having issues at home with mobility and falling.  she is only 70... she refused all help and it just kept getting worse.  

My sister finally convinced her to say yes to calling an ambulance to bring her to the hospital to get checked over.  it had been 2 years since seeing her doctor in person due to covid - but she also avoided doctors, she preferred not to know if something was wrong, which was infuriating.

Once in the hospital and having an MRI, the found cancer and it had spread to 3 major organs.  Prognosis is a few months, and that was one month ago now.

Mom is confused, swelling as it's impacting her kidneys, and in so much pain from osteoarthritis in her back - which now has pinched her spinal cord and she's not able to move her legs anymore.  While in hospital and delivered the cancer diagnosis, no visitors were allowed due to COVID which killed me to thing she is sitting there alone for weeks processing this information that she never wanted to hear.  She's been admitted to our hospice area of the long term care facility.

we go visit every day.  I try to be strong and not worry and be upset while visiting, but i am soooo upset.  I'm heartbroken and not ready to lose her.  Even if i do have to lose her, I hate to know she's in pain and slowly leaving us each day and how scared she is.  My dad has not been to see her which is also very upsetting, he's left this all to me and my 2 sisters to deal with and work through, the doctors, social workers, all of it.

I'm sad and angry.  I also lost my 28 year old daughter suddenly and traumatically in June 2020 and am still in counseling and trying to work through that... my husband is not able to help me much as he is also very traumatized by losing her.  Once my mom is gone I feel like I want to just go away somewhere alone to heal.  I've learned through all my losses that I can only rely on myself and find myself so disappointed in family and friends.  

Thank you for reading this far.  Struggling badly these days.

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I'm so sorry you are going through this, your mom sounds like my sister who is 77, is disabled, falls alot, diabetic, doesn't even check her BS, blind in one eye and going there in another, and has dementia rapidly progressing.  Peggy also avoids doctors, doesn't want to know, argues, stubborn, uncooperative, very hard taking care of her.

I am so sorry your mom has this diagnosis, I would think they'd give her pain meds to help with that, I took care of my MIL for three years when she was bedridden with cancer, they prescribed morphine for the pain.  I know it can be very hard dealing with doctors, nurses, family, etc, it's a lot on you.  II do hope you'll come here any time and post, vent, whatever you need, we're here and we're listening.

I also have only myself to rely on and I can relate.  I am so sorry you've lost your daughter, my gosh that's a lot in itself.  Men and women often grieve differently...Different Ways of Grieving

You may want to view this as well: Multiple Losses
I want to also leave you with my article of tips as you continue to grieve your daughter Tips to Make Your Way through Grief

You're in my thoughts and prayers as you're going through this.  :wub:

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  • 1 month later...

I'm very sorry you're going through this.  Last year my 85-year old mom died of ovarian cancer.  Started exhibiting symptoms in January and then gone by the end of July; my first experience with cancer and I'm still so sad watching how it destroys the body and mind so quickly.  I don't know if her doctor had ever advised her on getting checked through the years; I'll never know.  She did not feel any pain, but she was confused, and then I had to deal with issues like swollen legs and weeping edema.  I only had some hired help; I'm an only child with no family of my own and no other family where I live.  During her doctor and hospital visits it was so painful to not being allowed to visit her because of COVID protocols; to think that she was all alone during this time.

The whole experience also left me sad and angry and it still does.  Sad to lose my mother this way, and angry to deal with the difficulties of caregiving during the perfect storm of COVID and not having any relatives to help me.  I still second guess myself on what I should've done and how I should've dealt with certain situations even though people around have reassured me I did all I could do that was humanly possibly under the such terrible conditions.

All I can advise you on at this point is to be gentle with yourself.  I can only hope that others such as your friends will start to offer more help; if they do take full advantage of it.



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On 9/15/2021 at 1:56 PM, Mellar said:

we go visit every day.  I try to be strong and not worry and be upset while visiting, but i am soooo upset.  I'm heartbroken and not ready to lose her.

I'm so sorry that you're going through all of this, my dear, and feeling so alone in the process.

In addition to the readings Kay has mentioned, I'm hoping you'll find these helpful too. (Note that each article includes links to related resources as well).

Anticipatory Grief and Mourning

Coping with A Cancer Diagnosis: Suggested Resources

In Grief: "I Didn't Want My Mom To See Me Cry"

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Such tough situations. I'm so sorry for your losses that have occurred and are anticipated. Jeff, your experience with your mom sounds so similar to my own. My mom died 3 months ago at age 92. She had Alzheimer's and had been in assisted living for 4 years. This went quite well and she enjoyed the companionship of residents and staff. Then COVID. Residents were confined to their rooms and family visits stopped. My mom declined significantly as no doubt did other countless seniors in residential facilities. So the difficult decision was made to bring her home, where I cared for her the last 11 months of her life. She was under the care of hospice; meds and supplies were provided, an aide provided bathing 3 times a week, and a nurse came weekly. As COVID cases worsened, I asked to reduce the number of visits to the home - so the aide was discontinued and the nurse came every 2 weeks. Care in the time of COVID, indeed a challenge. Yes, dealing with swollen legs and weeping edema, wondering how to keep her and the bed dry. I did plenty of second-guessing also. The last couple days, my mom stopped drinking and eating as her body was shutting down.  Even with the dementia, I did feel that she retained her personality until the end, for which I was glad. As trying as the situation was, I do feel like this time with her was precious. I know I would have hated never being able to see her in the facility. Hearing your story, it does sound like you did everything humanly possible and no doubt this was a real blessing for your mother. Seems the country is in a state of crisis regarding elder care. Assisted living, home health, and private hires are all hugely expensive. There is the Medicaid/nursing home option, unpalatable to many. This leaves families - who have jobs, children to care for, and definitely a lack of needed resources. Hoping for improvement.

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11 hours ago, Ruby said:

As trying as the situation was, I do feel like this time with her was precious.

This is what I've noticed as well, hard to explain to those who haven't gone through it, but I'll always hold special in my heart those times but they were very rough to go through alone.  A lot of pressure and yes winging it.

These are the worst of times for anyone going through caregiving, grief, being in a facility, etc.  My heart goes out to each of you.


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