Going through diagnosis & mum struggling - advice?

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I don’t know if appropriate to post on here but Dr advised some may have some advice. I am in rapid assessment after a host of gynae and bowel symptoms with some small lumps found. I have been trying to keep in perspective but know three options have been ruled out and was frankly told the symptoms are looking quite likely. I wouldn’t have chosen to share with my mum but I can’t drive due to a bad back at the moment and she was at the drs too. Having been seriously ill for 12 months on top of 8 years of illness, I just didn’t have the capacity to hide it. This is seeming a big mistake.

She has literally turned into a living corpse and I am terrified. We were at a party on Saturday and she spent a lot of time just sitting on her own. She is telling me I will be the death of her and carers often die before the person they care for - this is said once or twice a week. She is disinterested in what I am saying and constantly complains about adaptions - like needing to take food for allergies etc. she tells me how much she prefers days out with others as she doesn’t have to think about anything health related. Today I was talking about trying to organise some tests and she just looked a me with the blankest expression, I almost felt like I should be pinching her. It’s all a bit draining on me and I have no idea what to not to make it easier for her. She is my carer. Currently this means she gets up in the morning (I have said she doesn’t need to do this), she cooks dinner for me and she drops me off at medical appointments (1-2 a fortnight) and takes me to the pool three times a week (but I will get a taxi if she is busy). She does clean the house and washing - but I am now able to do dishwasher and I lock up at the end of the day so she can go to bed quicker. She was doing more for a month or so earlier this year as I was just out of hospital. She sees one or two friends a day normally and has about five organised activities a week and volunteers for a charity too. She goes to church and talks to a friend every day. She has my two brothers and she sees one once or twice a week. My boyfriend comes every weekend and does almost every thing while here. However she constantly tells me it’s very hard and means she can’t look after her health. I have quite simply started saying sorry but asking why she can’t go to an appointment before a friend or something. I buy her thank you cards and chocolate frequently and do as much as I can. I say thank you every day and after anything she does for me. I organise celebrations for everything special for her - birthdays, her ex wedding anniversary, Valentine’s Day etc. I have turned down medical treatments which require more than an hour drive as she has said it would be too much for her and I can’t go on my own. I am just getting very concerned on how to support her through this and what on earth I do if the results come back positive -  do I just lie? It’s seeming like that might be easier all around. I know pretty much every one here will be in a worst boat so sorry for posting here but was hoping someone may have some advice or just reassurance I am not doing the wrong thing. I know it’s very hard on loved ones too. 

  • Hello Ebee19

    Welcome to the Online Community. You are very welcome to post on here for support. I am sorry to see that you are possibly going through a cancer diagnosis and to hear that your Mum is struggling. I see that you have had quite a journey medically with ongoing medical issues after being seriously ill. This must make it hard for you and hard for Mum as your carer. I really do empathise with both of you. 

    Am trying a bit to break down what you are saying into smaller chunks to answer. I hope this is ok.

    1) You say that you are unable to drive and that Mum is taking you to appointments and that sometimes you have had to turn them down as they are more than an hour and it's too much for her. Have you got anyone else who could support you for appointments? Is there any patient transport that would be available? I was able to organise some with the Red Cross. It may be worth asking at your hospital, they normally put something at the bottom of the letters they send out for appointments. 

    2) You haven't said how old you both are but Mum does seem to lead quite a busy life with the caring, seeing her friends, voluntary work, taking you to the pool etc. Has it just become too much for her to cope with it all do you think? Maybe worrying about the possible diagnosis for your current tests has just really got to her and that may explain how she is being towards you. Has your Mum got support for her actual caring role from anyone? 

    3)You say you have two brothers that she sees and then your boyfriend who comes each weekend. It sounds like its a busy household for you all. Could either of your brothers support with any of the care needed or any of the transport?

    4) Are you getting any financial help eg carer's allowance, PIP- that you could use for the transport or support at home? If you were able to call the Support Line - you could ask one of the financial advisors to make sure that you have everything that you can claim. I did this myself and they really helped. 

    5) It sounds like that you are being lovely to her with the thankyou's and organising things for birthdays etc but it does sound like she is struggling and finding it hard and that's making her concerned about her own health. Reading between the lines, and I am no expert, its like you need support naturally, she has given you support up to now and is now finding it too much. I don't think lying is ever a good idea in serious health matters and although you are wondering whether it may make things easier- I think it will just add to further stress. If you do have a diagnosis and need treatment it will become very obvious. But I do understand all that you are saying and how you think it may make things easier. 

    I will pop some links here that may be of some help.....................

    All the ways we can help | Macmillan Cancer Support- this has some links on how Macmillan can help

    Getting support as a carer | Macmillan Cancer Support- this has some links for practical help for carers which may be of use for you to look at as there may be things you can talk about with Mum.

    Emotional support for carers | Macmillan Cancer Support- this again may be something you may want to look at as it may be a bit how Mum is feeling and it might explain a bit how you feel she is being with you at the moment. 

    There is a very good Support Line for Macmillan (number is at the bottom of this) if you feel like chatting to someone about this may help. You are welcome to call it, even though you have not yet had a diagnosis. They also may be able to tell you of any local area support that would be of help. 

    I hope this helps a bit. It sounds like it is a really tough time for both of you at the moment. I hope that you have your results/diagnosis back quickly and then that will enable you to make plans for what happens next. Hopefully that will include some support with care and for Mum. I am sorry that you are going through this all.

    Jane

           

    Macmillan Support Line - 0808 808 00 00, 7 days a week between 8am-8pm