Mom's cancer took a turn for the worse, not sure what I can do to help.
January 30, 2013 11:27 PM Subscribe
My mom has been battling colon cancer for the last 6 1/2 years, and essentially my whole family had settled into the rhythm of her treatment, and I know exactly what I could do to help, but recently her condition took a sharp downward turn, and I feel as if I'd been blindsided without any idea what I can do now.
posted by Geektox to human relations (19 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
When her condition was relatively stable, I drove her to her chemo appointment and stayed with her until she was done, bought the groceries, picked up my brother from school - I knew exactly what I could do and had done it daily for the better part of my adult life.
But recently she was hospitalized, her cancer had spread very quickly, and it's not looking great. Her oncologist is very invested in her health after 6+ years of working together, and while she has told us to mentally prepare for the worst, she also hasn't said that she is beyond help.
My father has taken up the bulk of staying by her bedside, and she is still conscious, fairly mobile and able to speak, eat, and all that stuff. I can only visit her for 5 or so hours on both Saturday and Sunday, as someone has to stay home to take care of my little brother, who is 15 years my junior (I'm 23).
So on the weekdays, I drop off my brother at school, and I then proceed to mindless dawdle through the day until I have to pick him up again. I haven't the mind to work (self-employed, luckily), I do exercise, but that's a relatively short activity. Most of my time is spent watching stand-up or playing videogames, and I feel like a real heel because of it. Back when I had cancer my mom stayed by me day-in, day-out, and it's killing me that I can't return the favor.
My dad had also told me that he thinks I don't appear to me showing enough concern for my mom, and while I don't always see eye-to-eye with my dad, in this case I think he is right. It's not as if I am not concerned, obviously, I just feel completely at a loss for what I could do. I call her daily, but those conversations are short. I want to send her an email, but I don't know what I should say. I asked my dad what I could do, and he said that he doesn't know either and that it's something I need to figure out by myself.
None of my friends have had experience with this sort of thing, either, so I feel completely on my own here. They are all busy with school and work and all that jazz and I don't feel right talking to them about it.
So I guess my question is, how can I best help my mom at this point in time without being by her side constantly?