Mothers got stage 4 cancer

Hi everyone, i recently learned my mum has stage 4 cancer, been her carer for 10 years she’s 76.
About the same time as the lock down started she developed urinary problems, thought it was just an infection at first, tried everything but it just got worse and worse, my mothers house bound and getting a GP for a house visit during the lock down was a big problem.
The pain she was in before her admittance to hospital, crying and pleading to god to make it stop, and there was nothing i could do for her but feed her painkillers.
Two months ago she was rushed into hospital after a GP finally came out to see her, yesterday i was given permission to come and see her and the stage 4 cancer bombshell was dropped on us, she’s so far gone now she barely recognized me, she fades in and out and her conversations make no sense, she said her parents came to see her, i know she hasn’t got long and i love her so much, i don’t know what i’ll do without her.
I don’t know what to do with myself, i can’t sleep, i pace about and burst into tears when i see the bed she spent most of her time in, i took her blanket and just held it for hours last night sobbing and wailing and raging at the same time, it’s the worst feeling ever.
I don’t have anyone once my mum is gone , i haven’t seen my friends for years we just drifted apart as you do, some have already passed way before their time, so it’s just been me and my mum for years.

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Hello, I am so sorry for what is happening to your mum. Seeing a loved one suffer in pain as they die is horrendous, and really affects us.

There is a very kind woman on here, @Meebee, who helps so many people, she like you has no one (apart from one uncle) after her mum died, so maybe she will be able to give you some advice on how to cope with life when that happens.

In the meantime, please feel free to continue posting your feelings should you think it will help, recently a woman had her dad in hospital dying, and she posted about it every day, it helped her to get her feelings out here.

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Dear Veiled Druid,
You must have felt so hopeless when all you could do for you dear mum was give her painkillers, but you did so much more than that. You tried to get her the help she needed but most importantly, you were there with her and for her and surrounded her with your love. I cannot believe the hospital waited 2 months before letting you come and see her. Did they do anything during that time to help you communicate with her? I cannot begin to imagine how you must have felt when you finally got to see her and found her the way she was. Have you been offered any support by the hospital and have they given you information about end of life care? You should be given the opportunity to spend as much time with her as possible. Even when people are barely conscious they can hear us and I would think that she would have sensed you were there. I write this not just as a volunteer, but as someone who has lost my dad and my mum in recent years, and has spent this week with my mother in law who on Monday heard that she has stage 4 cancer, no treatment possible. It is so difficult to see those we love in pain and distress. It is good that you have posted on this side. I hope that the responses you get will help you and that you will make friends on her with people who know what is like to be in your situation. Please feel free to message you any time.

Thank you all for your kind words, my mothers care team and i are in the process of deciding what’s best for her, i want to bring her home and make her remaining time as comfortable as possible, i really don’t want her to go to a hospice, but at the same time i don’t know if i can keep it together, i’m falling to pieces as it is.

Dear Veiled Druid,
From personal experience I would recommend that if a place is available in a hospice, you should seriously consider this. My dad’s wish was to die at home and we were able to grant that wish because he a;ready had home care in place before he went into and came out of hospital. He was in his nineties, but our circumstances were different to yours: my mum was still alive, and I have 3 sisters, a brothers and brothers in law and we did all of this together, as a team. I used to be nurse so I had some experience in looking after people at the end of life.My parents also has a very good and supportive GP. In the end, we had less than a week with Dad at home at home before he died and it was the right decision in his situation.
With my mum it was different, she had a fall at home and after hospital had to go to a ward in a care home to become mobile again, Due to complications her situation changed until nothing more could be done for her, Her needs were much more complex. On a Thursday we started to look for options and the bIngo lady at the care home recommended a hospice that was not on a list of options we were given. We phoned and they had a place for her the following Monday. The moment we wallked into that hospice was like walking into a safe haven, We were all exhausted physically and emotionally from having seen the lack f care in the care home,
The staff at the hospice immediately made us feel at home and told us: from now on you can concentrate on being her children, spending time with her, and we will look after her needs. Nothing was too much for the staff and the volunteers and mum spent her last few weeks in the best place we could have found for her, other than her own home. (it is one of the reason I now am a Sue Ryder volunteer.)
My mother in law is under the care of a hospice at home team, she has a large extended family and a suitable home with everything in place now, such as hospital bed, commode, et cetera to stay at home as long as possible so that all her family can take it in turns to be with her, but she has already decided that at the very end, she would like to go into the local hospice.
(Currently due to Covid situtation her local hospice hospice only allows 2 nominated people to visit, with exceptions in end of life situation. )
I hope that this helps you a bit to come to a decision only you can make because you know your mum best and you know your own abilities. Please do not put undue pressure on yourself, You will need all the help and support you can get.
xxx Jo

Thanks Jo, i think a hospice may be the best option, but i feel so guilty like i’m abandoning her you know,when all i want to do is spend every last moment with her until the end.
I rang the hospital today, they’ve upped her pain medication, i could barely hold back the tears as i told the nurse to tell her i called and was thinking about her and loved her very much.
I hate to think what my mothers going through, i just hope she’s not suffering to much.
Thanks again for your reply’s it’s good to get this stuff of your chest.

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Spending every last last moment with her until the end - I hope that you will be able to do that, either at home or at a hospice or even (if allowed) at the hospital if for some reason she cannot be moved. It is a good priority to have. At the same time, she will need probably need personal care and medical care around the clock, so if this could not be achieved at home but only somewhere else, that would not mean you are abandoning her, and I am sure she would understand.
Pain relief is an important part of end of life care and since I did my nurse training in the 70s has advanced so much that pain usually can be kept under control., keeping in mind that increasing the doses can make a person more drowsy and less responsive. The team caring for your mum should be able to give you more information on that. I hope your meeting with them will be helpful. Am thinking of you.

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Dear VeiledDruid,
I found your post as Abdullah referenced me. He is so thoughtful I hope I can live up to his expectations and help you a little. First off I am sorry for your circumstances but you came to the right site as everyone here is very supportive. I am sorry for the fact that all this happened to you during the COVID situation, it has made everything so much more difficult. Which is why as you know you couldn’t see her, my mum was in hospital for some of the COVID too and while noone could see her while she was in there I phoned the hospital ward everyday. I don’t know if you were able to do that or not. Unfortunately the doctors waited to tell you and your mum till just now. It is such a shock for both of you to find this out. The reason she may have been in and out mentally could be because of either the way the cancer has spread or it may be because of the painkillers the doctors may have her on. I am presuming that they now have her on quite strong morphine. This will affect her mind.
I too cared for my mum but it wasn’t for as long as you. I did give her a lot of support after my dad died and had my own illnes and job with werid shifts to contend with so as you say friends faded. Although I have ended up in a similar situation to you with having lots of friends and then having them fade away over the years having my mum become my closest friend left. It is a very difficult and lonely situation to be in. In the meantime you need to speak to someone at your local hospice, the reason is not only because they may have to take your mum as a patient but also because they offer councilling and support to relatives of people with cancer to help them cope. If you are really bad and have absolutly no one to talk to and if you live in Scotland then do phone breathing space, they wont solve your problems but there is someone there to listen and sometimes that helps if you need someone to talk to. When my dad was ill I remember calling Macmillian for help they are a wealth of support and information. So do give them a phone.
As you said you looked after your mum for 10 years, it is obvious that your mum had another condition previously to the cancer. The reason I mention this is that there may also be support groups for this condition locally and the support groups are not just there for your mum but for relatives too so do contact them. You can also contact cruz or sue ryder for counselling at this time there is a waiting list but you can refer yourself and that way you will know you have someone going to call you who is going to help.
Also I know this is hard but you can make new friends over time. I know this because I have just met a lovely lady about the same age as me when I go for a wee walk and we have been talking because of her beautiful dogs. It isn’t really a friendship yet and it may never become one, I found that when out walking you may have a lovely chat but never see anyone again. Its just that there is the chance for new friends out there. The thing is that you have to find a way to look and that is really hard for you just now because you are in a vunerable place and your emotions are all over the place. There will again be support groups and there will be lots of people like you there. There are also carers support groups (which I think will be the best place for you) and friendship meetings locally in many places but unfortunately because of COVID many of these groups have shut down but others have gone online so it is worth checking out. I don’t know if you are religious in any way but if you are then these people also offer friendship and support groups. Believe me I know how hard it is when you are young middle aged and others are getting on with their lives (seeing people out eating or being with their friends and families especially mothers is very difficault) and there you are single and alone friendship wise. I am still young enough to have my own family I don’t know what age you are but I have a wish while I am able that I find someone and have a child before I am no longer able to do so. Maybe you are still in that bracket if so don’t give up hope.
You don’t say if you have a job or not I am presuming not and that caring for your mum had become your job. This makes things a bit harder. I have a wee part-time job and I know it is hard to get one with the COVID but I think this would be good for you as you at sometime in the future when you feel able to do this. For me while I don’t have friends from work outside work I do have a couple of trustworthy and kind people that I can talk to at work and this makes a big difference for me just now.
You don’t say if you have siblings but I am presuming not from your message. Do you though have relatives on either your mum or dads side that maybe able to be there for you even just a regular friendly phone call can be a lifeline. If you have someone like that this is an opportunity to reach out to them. You will have to let any of your mum or dads relatives know about her condition anyway and you may find some support that you never knew existed before.
I have been where you are, not being able to sleep (still a problem at times) and I too have burst into tears, those feelings of utter utter despair are known to many of us on this site so in those feelings you are not alone, we understand. Many people on here know that the loss of a loved one doesn’t come alone as many who have lost partners on here find themselves with less friends or family as other people disappear.
The thing is your mum isn’t gone yet so hold onto that yes she is fading but she is still here and there is a lot you will still have to do for her. You have a lot to be strong to deal with and I and some others on here have just gone through aspects of that. Some of these things you can get support with so if its on offer reach out and ask. If you need support or just to talk keep posting or if you want to private message me. I am here. I am having problems with the site right now but I promise I will get back to you it might just take a bit longer than usual. In the meantiime take care and you aren’t as alone as you think if you are on here.

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Thank you very much for your kind words and advice.

You’re one of the kindest and caring person here, the detail of your messages is unprecedented, if you ever decide to change careers, counselling might just be for you.

Oh Abdullah
Bless your socks that is so kind. I did once think about it but am not always very good with English, that is in the sense of exams I have a form of dyslexia. I am ok with spelling and reading but you might have noticed i am not so good with paragraphs and I tend at times to go back and forth in what I am saying. Also although I have a high intelligence and understanding due to my migraines I have a low concentration and memory all of which are very important for exams. And while I love learning new stuff I don’t think I have the patience anymore particularly now for going back to school for a few years. But I love the compliment anyway thank you. It has certainly brightened my day.
Hope you are doing okay in yourself. Take care

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I concur with Abdullah, you’ve made me feel tons better and given me sound advice, i really don’t know what to do at this difficult time, i’m all over the place as you know, but you’ve given me some clarity of thought.
Thanks again

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Totally understand, especially as you are going through such a difficult period in life. It can be difficult to train and learn new skills when you have health problems, but at least you can apply your “counselling” skills here by helping us.

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Oh I’m so sorry. Firstly, I want to say to you what an amazing person you must be to care for your lovely mum for 10 years, be immensely proud of yourself. You’ve given your all, and your mum will be incredibly grateful. I am awe actually. I’ve seen my dad care for my terminally ill mum for a year and that has taken its toll, but 10 is on another level. Well done, a huge huge Well done xx

I know what you are feeling, my mum is nearing the end too, I feel numb and don’t think I’ve got any tears left to cry. She said to me today don’t let the youngest grandson forget me :broken_heart: she’s talked about her funeral and put lots of plans in place. She has an infection, but another really helpful supportive person on here tells me they are common, so she might pull thru. What a complete rollercoaster. I just want her suffering to end and for her to be at peace.

I hope you can reconnect with your friends. When you say you’ve drifted, you haven’t had time to do what you would normally be doing with them. The true ones will be there. Forget the others.

Sending big hugs to you. You will find the strength to go on. Your mum will want you to, please find it for her. Take good care of yourself X

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Hey Veiled Druid
I just have to totally agree with everything Prettygreeneyes said.It isn’t easy to care for a loved one all the time and you do give up a lot. So do be proud of that and the thing is if I didn’t say it before you have built up many skills as a carer, a career which is very much in demand. Of course if your anything like me then I was okay caring for family but I would find it difficult washing a stranger. Know I am still thinking of you. Hope you are being allowed to spend as much time as you can with your mum. Hospitals all have different rules. Take care