• I am feeling super stressed about my mom's time left

    Asked by Teachertok on Saturday, April 20, 2013

    I am feeling super stressed about my mom's time left

    My mother (75 years old) has 6 months to live. I live 300 mi away (NYC lies between us so it's not an easy 300 mi). It takes 7 hours to drive to them. They want me to go up there to help with decisions (I made 2 trips in the past 3 weeks). They want me back up there in 10 days. My parents won't move to be closer to me and I still have kids at home. I really need to say 'no' to some requests but I don't know which ones are more critical than others? Her end-of-life scenario is about same time we are making an important life-move 3 hours further from their home. I am trying to envision hospice and all that needs to be done at that time. They are feeling like I am not doing enough and try to make me feel guilty. They have no friends (honestly), they are not friendly, and they don't adapt well to new situations. I am the only 'sympathetic' person in their lives. Family have come around but they push them away. They will not have "strangers" try to help them. My stress level very high!

    6 Answers from the Community

    6 answers
    • carm's Avatar

      Is your mom in Hospice? If she is I would contact her hospice nurse and get the organizations social worker involved. I would also suggest that if she does not have an Advance Directive or Power of Attorney, she should fill out a "Five Wishes Book." If she indeed has 6 months to live then you can call her doctor for an order for hospice and get that set up from where you are. I am an oncology/end of life nurse and I often interview a Hospice Organization in a different state because most of my patients do not live local. If you need help with anything, I am more than willing to help you prepare for the conversation that needs to be had. I am attaching the link to the five wishes book and I think you can print one online. Best of luck to you, Carm RN.


      over 3 years ago
    • FreeBird's Avatar

      Hospice here in Florida has been excellent. What it involved was an admission process of a few hours where the nurse came to the home and filled out a long form on the computer. Then the next day, the doctor visited, the nurse, followed not long after by the social worker, the drug delivery person, and the equipment delivery. It's very busy in the beginning. They made available if needed a nurse's aid for help bathing and so on, as well as volunteers if requested to help. I am a full time caregiver for my dad. The nurse visits twice a week. The doctor visits once every other week. The social worker comes or calls every few weeks. The pain has been managed very well. If things get very bad, they offer to take him to their facility where they have more capability and people on hand. The cost of the drugs related to the cancer and pain, as well as the hospice care is 100% covered by Medicare. My heart goes out to you for your situation, and I hope you find solutions that work for your family. Carm has a good idea to talk with the Hospice social worker if your mom has started yet.

      over 3 years ago
    • FreeBird's Avatar

      Maybe this will have some resources or ideas in it for you. http://www.caregiver.org/caregiver/jsp/content/pdfs/op_2003_long_distance_handbook.pdf

      over 3 years ago
    • SueRae1's Avatar

      Hugs, what a stressful time. I remember my parents final illness and we all lived in NYC, I can only imagine how much more difficult this must be for you so far away. first and foremost, take a deep breath. Know that you are doing the best that you can. You need to take care of yourself, and your family as well. Find someone you can talk to close to home. See what services you can arrange for mother at home or in hospice care. Try Visiting nurses service or talk with her oncology team/social worker for guidance.

      over 3 years ago
    • Iluvmymomso's Avatar

      Hugs to you!! Are you their only child? Has your mother decided what SHE wants to do- treatment or no treatment?? please try to remember that not only the patient, but all family members also experience many different emotions when dealing with cancer especially if prognosis is not very good, you have nothing to feel guilty about... You mention you still have children at home but are they old enough to be able to manage without you on a temporary basis if you choose to stay with your parents for a short visit to get things going...are you listed as an Authorized person with your moms Oncologist so you can speak directly to her Dr or Nurse?? If not I strongly suggest it... Whatever treatment options given to your Mom it's her choice to make....may want to consider a Social Worker or Hospice nurse get involved to help educate your parents you and family members of what to expect and can get alot of information from her Oncologist..... Take a deep breath and believe there's help to answer your questions and know its gonna work itself out .... Sometimes people can be stubborn including our parents but we always have options and you don't have to do this alone !!! Praying for all of you!!!

      over 3 years ago
    • gwendolyn's Avatar

      I have a lot of sympathy for your situation when you say your parents don't want "strangers" involved yet you seem to be the sole person who is not a stranger. You're in an extremely difficult situation.

      I'm afraid you regard your mother's 6-month prognosis as more specific than it really is. Your mother could die a month from now or she could live a year or more. Knowing this only adds to your stress, I'm sorry, but you do need to realize this is a huge variable you have to live with and so do your parents. Consider dropping temporarily all optional responsibilities you have. Can you take some intermittent FMLA leave off from your job (ie: one week a month?) Are there people available in your life to help with logistics like preparing meals, child care, and such?

      No easy answers, I know. I was in a similar situation at the end of my mother's life so I don't mean to sound as if I'm over-simplifying your problems. You are under a tremendous amount of stress right now and I'm sorry for this.

      over 3 years ago

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