Bereaved family and friends

For anyone who has lost a family member or friend to cancer to share their feelings and support one another.

Possible PTSD from being only caregiver for my mom

Posted by

My mom passed on August 25th from advanced pancreatic cancer diagnosed on August 1st.  I moved in with her and hospice only helped with supplying meds but not with administration of them.  She ckly became very jaundiced and kept trying to getting up to use bathroom yet the weight of her quickly expanding belly, made her fall. I stayed with her 24/7 , more or less for those 24 days.   Hospice never started an Iv line , as my mom wouldn't admit to pain and breathing problems.  

It became obvious and they gave us an oxygen machine but I wasn't home when they brought it in.  I was out getting m rxs.   She had trouble breathing I didn't know how to turn oxygen up, I called hospice every hour for days begging for a help with oxygen machine, and help in keeping her safe while I could eat or sleep for a few hours.

 They set a nurse up for aug 26th, the day after she passed  During this time my mother became paranoid, delusional and very very uncomfortable.   I finally broke down and gave her the morphine in small cups filled with cranberry juice.  Then figured out to wet her mouth with lemonollipops" then put oral syringe in her mouth. Hospice never helped with administration. No iv, still I did this until she passed away. I was alone, terrified and irate at lack of hospice help. saw her skin become mottled, I saw her dying, left her to jump in pool to cool off, to return, to her being passed. Hospice then  came , and stayed with body until coroner come.   

ive never felt so angry numb and lost as I do now.  I can't find pleasure in the future. I am not suicidal just stuck in a spiral that has me obsessed with what I could of done, suffocated by her house items overtaking my own home, and dealing with a depressed boyfriend who also just lost a parent very recently.  

I need guidance please to what I should do to stop this spiral and get to feeling joy again

Posted by

Let me say firstly how lucky your mum was to have you.

I know that you feel lost and that you saw things that you didnt want to see, things that probably play over and over in your mind and wont go away, you feel angry that nobody was there for you and sad because you wanted it to be so much easier for your mum in her final days. You wish that you could have done more, coped better, been stronger. And you miss her so very much, you want to tell her how much that you love her and how sorry you are that it didnt come natural to you. 

I felt like this 3 years ago 

The truth is, our mum's look after us all our lives, they make everything ok and then we are forced into this un-natural situation of looking after them, seeing them at their most vulnerable, we feel helpless but we do our best. 

Its still early days for you, you are grieving but it will get easier I promise.Its good to talk and so I'm glad that you've come to this site, you are amongst people who understand what you have been through and who genuinely feel your sadness and your concerns.

As for how to feel joy again it will take time my lovely. You have supported your lovely mum through so much, this is your time to heal. 

If you feel suffocated by your mums things put them away and only have one or two things around you. When you are ready you can get them out again little by little and enjoy the memory of them.

Its difficult for you being around your boyfriend when he is depressed and so also try to be around happy, positive friends or family who love you.

My mum said some wonderful things to me when she was first diagnosed, she said, I know that you will be sad but I dont want it to be for a long time, I want you to have a good life otherwise I havent done my job and I want you to remember me as I was and live your life for me. When things get tough I remember her words. 

I'm sending you my love and a massive hug X

Posted by

My mom and I always had a difficult relationship. Details are so not important now. But we always loved each other but both were bossy alpha and stubborn.

As soon as my mom became unable to do things herself, within 3-4 days of diagnosis, it was obvious I was going to be there, and was strong enough to help her...

She became sweet kind and affectionate. She worshiped me as i doted on her and I relished in the attention.   It was all the love and acknowledgement I had always been wanting and desperately seemed. We became so close and confidants.   It was like a whirlwind romance that ended too soon.

ive been out shopping since I wrote first post and I realize I need to be around people. People I'm not taking care of..... I need to make some changes in my home life and go to a counselor ASAP.  

please advise of anyone knows exactly how one gets themselves out of the hole that depression and grief puts you in .

in relation to my moms stuff.  I already filled 5 storage units! She had a large home and some paintings etc has to be in climate controlled area.  Now my stuff is being put to the side for her more expensive stuff. But I'm at a stailmate... which do I get rid of?

my sentimental crap or her expensive pieces!?