My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer in 05. First it was a stage II but after biopsies and tests, it was a stage IV. Now she's on her final options of chemo and I just don't know how to deal. I haven't seen her since her traditional chemo and my dad said she's losing her hair in clumps and is 80% blind due to glaucoma from the chemo .
I'm seeing her this Easter and I don't know how I'll react. I don't know what she'll look like and I don't know what to say. My parents are beyond difficult (i.e. abusive) people so getting through to them that she IS dying and chemo won't cure her at this stage isn't going to happen. I try to focus on her new and first grandson (he's 3 months) and I'm trying to get her to see him as much as possible before she goes fully blind. All of this just tears me up. The woman was abused by my father for 40+ years and counting, now she's going blind, dying of cancer throughout her body, the chemo is making her sick and I just am so angry. While she can be the meanest, spiteful, hard to deal with person on earth, it still hurts to see her suffer. I mean, cancer throughout and going blind on top of it? I'm just so mad. I'm mad that they couldn't figure out how to treat each other better or divorce. I'm mad that even as she's dying they're still fighting over stupid things like hot dog buns and going at it like it's life or death. It's a stupid hot dog bun!!! I'm mad that their fighting and abuse profoundly affected me and took away my childhood/teen years and took away the chance to have a good family relationship. I'm mad that they're in constant denial of what's going on with the cancer and then yell at me because I KNOW what's going on--she's dying and I don't think she'll make it to my son's first birthday (day after Xmas). I'm mad that after their gone I'm alone. I'm an only, adopted child and while I have a husband and extended family through him, it's not the same. I'm angry and scared.
I'm seeing my old therapist today. Between this and my own life feeling like it's spinning out of control (new baby, marital issues/questioning our future, work, etc). I need to sort it out.
Today I wonder maybe I have it easier/better than the people who are super close to their parents? But then again, I just feel this anger because I never had the opportunity to get the one thing I always wanted--a good family life with them.
I'm so sorry for your situation and can understand the mixed emotions during this time. It is difficult to understand why they have stayed together but I think you have to accept it was their choice. They cheated you but also cheated themselves out of alot of happiness.
You need to prepare yourself emotionally for your visit. It is quite common for chemo patients to lose hair but I was unaware of the glaucoma side effect. It is hard to watch anyone suffer. You are a very caring daughter, and I believe, capable of forgiveness too. I think you may need to do that at some point in order to let go of that anger--not that it isn't justified, but for you. You deserve happiness in your life.
I can only tell you what I would do. I would visit but would cut my visit short if the atmosphere becomes uncomfortable. Maybe you could even go to see her when your Dad isn't there?(that way they can't argue) Also, I think I'd continue seeing the therapist if it helps. I wish you the best.
Dwelling on what could have been or should have been is most counterproductive. And, the negative (angry) feelings will only fester within you and weigh you down. Rejoice in what ever goodness your mom had; forgive your dad; learn from your parent's mistakes; and vow to be a better, kinder and happier person and parent than they were.
I'm so very sorry for all the pain you have suffered and the illness that your mother is facing. My situation is that my only brother married and my mother died a week later, the following week her brother in law died, the following week, my exfiance's father, whom I was very close died (another funeral), two months later, the following 3 weeks, 3 family friends died of cancer (more funerals), 2 months later, my mother's best friend who attended moms funeral died of cancer, my brother's wife loss there first pregnancy two weeks before Christmas, loss my job, and so on. I became so physically sick, that I couldn't cry, because my throat would swell very dangerously to shutting. It is a very difficult journey, but God gave me strenght to "survive".
All you can do is just be there for your mom. Let her know she is loved. The past is the past and you will not be able to function properly to what is to come with the past in the way. As for your parents, it's very important to forgive. You must forgive them both at this time no matter how much the squabble with each other. There will come a time when your father is going to look back at his life and realize his actions. To forgive is "divine"...not easy, but it will make a better person out of you.
Right now, I'm still healing and I can only describe it as a nightmarish journey that you wish upon no one, but you will have inner peace knowing that you did everything possible for your parents regardless of how abusive there were in the past.
We are here for you and it's going to be ok...one day at a time. Judy
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