2 weeks ago, my Mum was admitted to hospital with a suspected severe infection. 10 days later we were told the shocking news that she had liver cancer and there was nothing they can do for other than palliative care. At this point she was very weak but able to talk, eat and drink. As of today she is barely conscious and even saying a few words is a major struggle.
She has been awarded fast track care and yesterday I was looking for nursing homes for her, however on seeing her last night I felt that I hospice would be better and the palliative nurse agreed with me and was going to put through a referral. She was quite shocked at the speed of decline and checked her bloods. Her calcium levels are very high so she has asked the doctors to treat this to see if this will help the extreme tiredness, we are then going to review again on Thursday.
I'm absolutely shocked by both the diagnose and speed of decline.
I'm a single Mum and am currently trying to juggle a demanding full time job, visiting Mum, looking after my son and managing the house.
I've lost my dear Dad, 3 grandparents and a great aunt and 2 great uncles to cancer. I can't believe its happening again.
I am from the breast group, so don't have much experience of liver cancer (except a friend who passed away with liver cancer a couple of years ago and she passed in a hospice).
I just wanted to respond to your post and sympathise with your situation. Losing a parent and family members to cancer (or any disease) is so awful and I do so feel for you. I lost my Mum suddenly to sepsis and if there is anything I can suggest for you at this time is to start remembering the good times you and your Mum have shared, so that your immediate memories aren't full of seeing her declining.
The other thing that is very important is YOU. You must take some time for yourself - just sit down and have time when your son is in bed and forget housework etc! The dust will come back, the carpets can be hoovered later etc - making sure you take 'time out' to think about your own mental well-being is very important. Having been diagnosed with cancer myself, I was never one to 'not do anything' and it is only since my diagnosis that I realised how important it was to take time out and not feel guilty for not 'doing something'. Your mental health is and has been tested to its fullest and you must look after yourself first and foremost. I am sure for a period of time, your doctor will be happy to sign you off work so that you can spend time with your Mum or even do you a 'part time' certificate to enable you to be able to cope? It might be worth asking your doctor if you get paid sick leave from your employer (as I do appreciate you don't want money worries on top of everything!).
You may well be offered it or you can ask for counselling for yourself and this will be worth taking up the offer, even if you don't think that it's normally something that you would do, if nothing else it will force you to take the time to think about yourself in all this.
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