Welcome me to the world of full-time caregiving

My mother's cancer is getting worse and it became obvious that the rehab center where she went straight from the hospital wasn't doing her any good, and that there isn't a lot of time left, so we have brought her home. I am taking leave from work, so I am caring for her full-time now. I will probably be asking for advice a lot, because I am finding myself inept about physically caring for someone. Hospice will be coming in to help, thank goodness. It is good not to have to go to work at least, because trying to care for my mom and work too was making me nuts. My biggest struggle was always feeling like I wasn't where I should be; when I was sitting at the hospital with Mom I felt like I should be at work and when I was at work I should be with Mom.

The day we brought Mom home, we also got a call that my husband's mother had taken a turn for the worst. She has lung cancer. She has now been moved to a hospice house and my husband is there almost 24 hours a day. I have gone there when I can, if I have someone to sit here with my mom.

I did face a fear of mine. Mom desperately needed her toenails cut, they were becoming pretty wild. For some incomprehensible reason, I didn't want to touch her feet, not sure why. I even thought about asking the hospice people if they would do it, but then decided that was ridiculous. So this morning I gave her a pedicure, and guess what? It wasn't really a big deal at all. I even think it was kind of nice for both of us.

On 5/22, I took her to the oncologist because she had lost 7 pounds in the week she had been at the rehab center and I was worried because I thought I was seeing an overall decline. I asked if we were looking at days, weeks or months. He said "One month, well, one to three." I definitely felt he leaned more towards one.

She is off the hormone therapy. She wasn't on it long enough to know if it was "working" or not. The dr. agreed that, given her mental deterioration also, that it didn't make sense to try to buy her another year or two, especially what with the pain she is in.
Original Post
Hi Bridget:

I am so sorry about what you are going through now. I know how rough it is and what a tailspin it can be. Take time to breathe and be at peace with all that is going on around you.

I understand the toenail issue. Some things are just harder to tackle than others. Heck it is hard to cut one's own toenails (LOL)... So - good for you overcoming that fear. I am sure her nails look beautiful!

I hope things settle into an easy-going routine for you. I wonder if her weight loss was due to the rehab center's food. I know Dad would never eat their food but when he got home he would eat like a horse. The food was bad and atmosphere depressing. He would always cheer up when he got home.

Just know my thoughts and prayers are with you now. I wish the best for you and your mother. Remember, take care of yourself too.

Love and Hugs from Glenda
Dear Bridget,
I'm so sorry to hear of your mom's failing health. I am glad to hear that you are able to take a leave from work and be with your mom full time. That has to take so much stress off of you. I do hope that you are able to find someone to come in, even if just for an hour or two, to give you a break, just to have a little time for yourself. You are under a lot of stress right now, taking care of your mom, and knowing your mother in law's health is failing, with your husband caring for her and you not having his support at home, I'm sure it is difficult for you. Just try to remember to do something for yourself.

Bridget, I remember your trip to New York with your mom -- it wasn't that long ago. I bet you are so happy that you did it. What wonderful memories you have from that trip. I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers...
Warm regards,
Miriam
Thank you. My mother-in-law did pass away on Sunday, about five minutes after I posted this. Her funeral is tomorrow.

Yes, I am glad we took our trip last summer and did not wait. The hotel doorman took our picture, insisting that we stand in 7th Ave. (yikes), facing Time Square. I took the picture out of my album and framed it for Mom to have in her room. It was a good time.

Mom fell in the bathroom the other night. She is ok, but half her face is black & blue. What next I wonder???

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