I am 16 and was my mother’s caregiver these last 6 months. She passed away a week ago after a 6 year long battle with cancer. I am not handling this very well.

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I am 16 and was my mother’s caregiver these last 6 months. She passed away a week ago after a 6 year long battle with cancer. I am not handling this very well.

by mooseymoose on Fri Apr 20, 2018 04:54 AM

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I had watched my mother slowly deteriorate these last six years from despicable disease called cancer. Our lives changed immensely when she was diagnosed, having to go back and forth to hospitals and doctors countless times. These last six months, as my mother became sicker and my father had to return to work, I was put in charge of driving my mom to all of her treatments and appointments. And while I can’t even imagine the kind of stress she was under, I was also suffering from the pain and stress of losing my mother when we were both so young. I developed horrible depression a few years ago, and it has recently gotten much worse watching my mom die in a hospital. It had happened so fast. And although we knew that cancer was inevitably going to take her life, we didn’t think it would be so soon. She wasn’t even put on hospice. When I drove her to the hospital less than 10 days ago, it wasn’t even a thought in my mind that would be the last time I would talk to her, and hug her, and tell her I loved her. While I don’t have any regrets about my time with her, as we seldom argued and always had a fun time in each other’s company, I just feel so awful that I didn’t get to say goodbye and ask her all the life questions I’ve been meaning to ask her. There are often times I feel so low and suicidal, but I keep telling myself that I need to keep going and be successful for her, and myself. I don’t know what to do. I also wanted to say that I can’t get the image of her on her death bed out of my head. My once vivacious, beautiful, and charismatic mother, was unconscious and under a lot of sedatives and life support in ICU. Her eyes were half open and they were clouded over and yellow because of her liver failing. She was on all kinds of life support, a ventilator, dialysis, amongst other things. It was very traumatizing. I had known the minute she was rushed to ICU that she was going to die, but my father and older brother still had hope. I just didn’t because I had seen things like this before. It was so hard to look at her. I had heard that hearing was usually the last thing to go in a dying person, so I was singing to her her favorite songs and reassuring her that I loved her and that it was okay to let go. She had always loved hearing me sing. And when the doctor finally said that she was not going to make it, they started taking her off life support. I couldn’t bear seeing my beautiful mother die, so I had to step out. I went alone to a room the chaplain had reserved for us, and I just sobbed there. She only lived 45 minutes once all the life support was taken off.. My dad came into the room after she passed, and he was sobbing and hugging me, saying “your mommy went home, sweetheart”. It just hurts so much. I hate this. I want to hug my mother and have her hold me and say everything is going to be okay. I want to laugh with her and dance to our favorite songs and watch stupid shows on Netflix with her again. This hurts so much. She was too young to be taken from this world. I want to stop thinking about her clouded, dead eyes. I want to think of her as the lively and beautiful mother she was. Sorry for the choppy sentences or bad grammar. I was kind of hysterical and sobbing while writing this.

RE: I am 16 and was my mother’s caregiver these last 6 months. She passed away a week ago after a 6 year long battle with cancer. I am not handling this very well.

by mooseymoose on Fri Apr 20, 2018 05:28 AM

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I would also like to add that my mother was initially diagnosed with stage III inflammatory breast cancer in April 2012. She had 20 rounds of intensive chemo, 30 days of radiation, and a double mastectomy in October of that same year. She had bad complications from that surgery, she had rabdo, and all her organs were shutting down. She was in the hospital for a few months and was in ICU a for a week. She eventually was let out of that, but was very week for a good two years after that surgery. She even had to do dialysis back then for a few weeks, and we were afraid her kidneys wouldn’t come back but they did. After that whole debacle, she was NED until October 2015 when she had metastasized breast cancer in her liver. She had bad liver cirhossis and damage, and the doctors didn’t want to operate to remove the cancer. The cancer was very slow growing and she seemed to be responding well to treatment until these last six months. I personally think she should have been put on hospice at that point, but she never was. So we never got to prepare and say goodbye. Although, it might have been better this way so we didn’t have to worry constantly about her dying.. and she is also no longer suffering.. We were very optimistic for awhile there, and my mom and I have been planning trips to the places we’ve always wanted to go. However, these last couple of months, my mom started to get ascites which is usually a sign of advanced stages of liver disease. So this last week I was just driving her to the hospital to get the fluid drained from her stomach, because she was in a lot of pain and wasn’t breathing that well because the fluid was pushing up against her lungs. Apparently, though, she had a UTI that we didn’t know about and it eventually evolved into sepsis. That’s what made her crash and she was rushed to icu. After she started crashing, she became very lethargic and delirious. She became very agitated and aggressive from this and was trying to escape icu. She had to be put in restraints and was heavily sedated. This was not the mother I knew and it was a very scary experience. I never got to get another word from her after she went to icu. She wouldn’t even acknowledge my presence when I came to see her, and the only words she was saying was “let me out” and she was struggling so much. It hurt so much to see her that way. This all happened within a few days. And to think at the start of this month we were laughing and telling stories...

RE: I am 16 and was my mother’s caregiver these last 6 months. She passed away a week ago after a 6 year long battle with cancer. I am not handling this very well.

by ABCgirlz on Fri Apr 20, 2018 05:52 PM

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I am so terriblly sorry for you and your family's loss.  I lost my daughter and now care for her young son.  We also lost my husband of 30 years 2 days after her.  That was almost 2 years ago.  I want to tell you everything you are feeling is completely normal.  The saddness and grief, the fear, the anger, the guilt, the regrets, it's all normal.  No one would be able to handle this well.  It also changes over time.  You will be able to find joy again.  You will probably need help with that though.  It is okay to tell your story and let others know how this has affected you.  No they probably won't understand, but their presence will help.  Tell them you don't expect them to fix it or make you feel better, but just hear you.  It's okay to tell family that you need them to tell you they are going to take care of you and you will get through this together.  People don't always know what to say and we need to tell them what we need from them.  I would encourage you to get grief counseling.  You may even need it off and on for years to come.  My grandson's counselor told me that he may need it again when he graduates high school or college or gets married, because the feelings of loss although different may have to be dealt with again.  You may need help with medication.  My other daughters have both had to start anti-depressant/anti-anxiety medication.  There is no shame in that.  You do not just get over this kind of loss.  You do move through it.  Try not to make any major changes or decisions for the next 6 months to a year.  It takes that long to be able to see the possiblities of what that new life will look like.  Now at almost 2 years, I still have tough times emotionally, but we also have good times, very good times.   Be patient with yourself and with others right now.  Please let me know if there is anything else you need to hear or ask about.  

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