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My Mum, the most beautiful woman in the whole world, was diagnosed with lung cancer in January this year. The consultants said they could treat it because it was found early and despite the fact that a secondary tumor was found around her lower vertebrae, I was told it was treatable. I tried to remain positive as she was, and tried to believe that it would all go away and the nightmare would end. Then my Mum told me it wasn't treatable, it's in her blood stream and she has been given 12 months to 2 years to live. She recently started getting dizzy spells and the consultants found a new tumor in her brain. She is still really positive that she will prove everyone wrong and keep going for a long time. I'm scared. I'm worried she is somewhat in denial and I'm terrified that I won't be able to keep putting on my happy, positive, smiley face for her much longer. Things have progressed so quickly within a year and sometimes it feels like it's just too much to cope with and take on board. I don't know if I'm coping and I'm really scared for my Mum, Dad and sister. I'm also scared if I'm going to be ok. I've suffered from depression, anxiety, panic attacks and occasional bouts of psychosis for several years now. I've used self harm, alcohol and drugs to cope with other traumatizing situations in my life in the past. I thought I was holding it together ok but these past three weeks I've been a wreck. I'm only 26 and I can't let go of the thought that at the end of the day every little girl knows that Mummy's just don't die. Can someone please tell me how to cope, how to be strong for my Mum who I love more than anyone or anything in the whole world and how to cope when my Mum goes away for ever. I'm really sorry if this message upsets anyone else in the process. I just need to know if how I feel is ok and how be the best I can for my Mum. We've always been so close and she has always been my role model and guiding light. I am so scared.
I am sending you massive hugs and I am so sorry your Mam has been told that her condition is untreatable. I would venture that she is not in denial, she is just trying to be strong for you and the other members of your family. It is a very difficult time for all of you and I know how difficult it is to come to terms with. Given your own personal history I would recommend that you speak with a MacMillan nurse either at the hospital where your Mam gets treatment or over the telephone. Also have you considered counselling? This may help you too.
Added to that all the people here in Macland are here for you and we will give you as much support and love as we can.
Take care of yourself.
Everyone is gonna hurt you. You just have to work out which ones are worth suffering for.
Pixie, I agree with Nin, your Mum will most probably not be in denial but trying to be strong. Talk to her, tell her how you feel and that you want to help. The Mac nurse is there for you to speak to as well.
Thank you very much to the both of you. You're support and kind words has really helped. I had the intention of getting support from Macmillan for a few months and now after receiving your replies I am so glad that I managed to do it. Receiving your replies has made me feel like I have a place where I can turn to and has provided me with a sense of relief, like a online santuary if you will.
I've had quite a lot of counseling in the past and it was only about a month ago that my cognitive behavoural therapist agreed with me to end my sessions with him as I'd made so much progress in other areas of my life as I'd origionally been going to see him after I'd been in a physically and mentally abusive relationship. I did discuss my Mum in the sessions too and it was helpful but I just seem to have crashed quite a lot recently. My therapist did say I can always get in touch in the future and he can see me again for therapy. I know this could be a wise idea but I'm not sure as so many other people are desperately waiting for this type of help and I'd hate to take someone's place when I've already learned some techniques. My counter argument for this though is that I did not have many sessions; about 8 over the space of a few months. I suppose if I'm honest I don't think it was enough time with him but I kind of feel selfish asking him for his help again. Also I'm quite aware that the change in weather and lack of sunshine vastly affects my mood and even though I've not been labelled with seasonal depression I have been seen often by mental health professionals for anxiety and depression and I'm more than aware that the winter months are when I crash the most and more severely too.
I thought about speaking to my Mum and we do have an open, loving and caring relationship so maybe your suggestion would be a great idea. However I'm one of those people who doesn't really like to be a worry to others and I am scared that my fears and upset about her illness will take away some of her own positivity. I also see that both my Mum and I in the past have been strong for one another when other loved ones have passed away by not talking about their illnesses and subsequent deaths. We think in very similar ways sometimes and I know we both uphold to the best of our abilities the mentality of being a rock for all others. We both have very loving friends in our lives that both of us respectfully consider like family. Her friends are so beautiful and I know she has their support but I have the feeling that she doesn't discuss much of her fear with my Dad. Yeh, I'd say we don't talk about it to one another as we both tell ourselves we must be strong for the other one.Would I really affect her positivity if we were so open about this as we are about so many other things? This is my worry.
Anyway, thank you again. I feel like you have both offered me a place to truly express things and consider options further and new options too. I guess when I'm with friends I still like to be a rock too and help them at all costs. But speaking in a group like this has allowed me to actually be a bit more honest about my worries and inner feelings that I sometimes hide from my dearly loved friends as to not upset them. I send you my upmost gratitude and heartfelt, warm hugs and want you to know that if I can help you lovely people too, in any way, then please don't be afraid to ask.
Much love, peace and happiness.
Now is not really the time to hide your feelings from anyone, including your Mam (and perhaps your Dad). Talking seems to be one of the most therapeautic was of coping with this dreadful disease but having said that, it is up to you to decided if you want to talk things through with your parents or not! Either way you have to do what is right for you.
Please do contact your therapist and don't worry about taking someone else's place. I am sure when your therapist said you could contact him again any time he meant it and you are going through such an emotional time right now I am certain he will be more than pleased to help you.
Friends don't mind a jot if you get upset - that's what being a friend means! We support each other when the going gets rough and celebrate when things are good.
We will continue to be here for you and in the meantime take very good care of yourself.
Big squidgy hugs.
Very wise words, Pixie always remember you are not alone there is always someone hear to listen if you want to have a talk. We are here to support, understand,comfort and help in any way we can. So Look after yourself .
Take care and be safe Big Hugs Love Sarsfield.xx
This is an awful situation nobody wants to loose their mum. I guess you mum is a younger lady and it seems so unfair. Seeing the decline in your mum is bound to bring about lots of differnt emotions. It does feel like a nightmare there is no doubt about it. Staying happy and positive is really diffcult but there is no correct way to act. We behave like we do because it feels right at the time. Again we cope how we know how to and terminal illness is something that can really mess with your head. We have all been there and lived the crap that this diagnosis brings along. You probably are coping better than you think you are. I know there's no switch off when this happens and you tend to feel like you are walking with a constant dark cloud over your head.
I think everybody falls into the little girl despite what age you are because the very preson who is there to protect and give unconditional love we know is suffering. You will cope with what's to come even if you don't think you will. So far you have dealt with a variety of difficulties with you mental health yet come our the other side. What i would sugges tis to get as much support as you can. You will know the risk factors associated with relapse in depression, anxiety and psychoisis so if you need extra support during this vulnerable period please seek it..
I think it is really brave that you had the guts to write your post many peolpe will relate to it and in turn will think it's ok to write about such personal issues. You say your mum's a role model i just wander if in many ways the strength she has given you will help you through the next stage..
I can recall saying to the hospice workers that i was so scared. i was scared of looking after my mum. I was scared of seeing her become more unwell and i was scared about seeing her die. I think your fear is normal but again keep talking and share your fears peolpe will listen..
I will be honest you can't pretend that watching somebody become unwell is a bed a roses it isn't..People do however manage and even i don't know how to survive this. If you need help along the way to hold your hand on this awful rollercoaster ride grip onto it tightly.
thinking of you...
Hi Pixie, you sound like a loving and caring daughter. Your mum is not the only one that needs support, you do too. I thinks it's admirable to say others are waiting for counselling but you are just as important and deserving. I too suffer from anxiety, mine is brought on by stress. I nursed my husband through cancer and counselling helped me. Counselling helped me to be strong when I needed to be and this made me a better carer for my husband. I have just had my last session this week and I will not hesitate to go to my GP and ask for a referal if I need it again. There are times in our lives when we must put ourselves first. If you put yourself first and do whatever you need to give you strength then this could help you to support your Mum.
Take care, Yoko X
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