• Please help son of mother with repeat cancer with resources.

    Asked by anonymous on Wednesday, March 13, 2013

    Please help son of mother with repeat cancer with resources.

    My mother is currently battling a case of repeat cancer, a derivative of breast cancer she was diagnosed with nearly 15 years ago. The cancer has spread to her skull and to her spine causing her to have seizures, loss of appetite, weakness, and fatigue. My father is taking this the hardest and is shutting everyone out from knowing answers from the doctors. I need help and resources to learn more about my mother's condition and also ways to approach my family in our time of need. I appreciate anyone's insight or advice..

    5 Answers from the Community

    5 answers
    • Peroll's Avatar

      With privacy laws the way they are if your parents do not authorize the Drs to talk to you you are probably out of luck getting information from them. You need to have a talk with your parents and let them know you want to help. If you come across as you want to change thier decisions they won't talk to you so you need to be able to accept thier decisions. If you are near them volunteer to drive them to the Dr and do what ever you can around the house to help. Bottom line is that the decisions are thiers to make. If you help them then they will be more likely to tell you what is going on. You also might want to try talking to them when the pother one is not around as people will often not want to lit thier spouses know how scared they are. Good Luck.

      over 5 years ago
    • SueRae1's Avatar

      I am so sorry to hear that your dad is shutting everyone out. This is such a painful time for all of you and being there to support each other would help all of you. Speak to your mom's oncology team or a social worker to recommend a therapist you can speak to to help you sort through your feelings and help you figure out what is possible for you to do and how to do it in a way that works for all everyone.

      You might want to approach your dad and offer to take him, and if possible your mom, out for a meal, or bring them heat and eat meals for their home. I think starting with practical day to day issues might help you transition into the emotional ones.

      over 5 years ago
    • bbay65's Avatar

      My cancer has also spread to my spine, I think we caught it early. There are many good answers already posted, I just wanted to show support. It can be tough dealing w/ parental medical issues. None of us want our roles to be reversed, they are used to taking care of you. I have an adult son and 2 teens. I hate to give them bad news, but I'm realizing that they deserve the truth. Hope your Dad can figure this out. Good Luck.

      over 5 years ago
    • AlizaMLS's Avatar

      Hi anonymous,

      I'm Aliza, a BC patient and also a Medical Librarian (retired). I continue to research conditions for people however here on this site and elsewhere. I know from experience (my Dad had CLL) that parents often protect their children, regardless of their age. It does make sense that your Dad is having the most difficult time with this since it's your Mom (and it explains why he's being irrational [doesn't mean it's the right thing to do!]).

      What I'd recommend for you is to contact CancerCare. They offer counseling to Cancer patients, and their caregivers (this may even include you). They do it by phone or in person. What you might try is if your Mom's aware of her condition, when your Dad's not around is you might offer her offer her the oppotrunity to speak to a Cancer Care Social Worker. They deal strictly with Cancer patients, unlike regular therapists - they don't care about your "toilet training" or "blame your mother"...;)

      Conversely, when you're alone with your Dad, tell him about the CancerCare program and give him the phone number. This way he has the choice as to whether to phone them or not (not in your presence).

      Also on the bottom right side of this page, you'll see a purple box that says "View a list of personalized resources and useful content" Click on it and see what might be helpful.

      Parents often "prearrange" their living wills with each other (without their [adult] children around, so 1) to spare them and 2) to make sure that their wishes are carried out.

      Ultimately, this is your mother's journey. If she's open to speaking with you about it - privately (when Dad's not around) that's great, otherwise, hard as it is, you're going to have to respect her feellings for something that she decided when she was in a better state (with your father) and she may want him not to discuss with you so as not to distress you (and even him) further.

      It's not necessarily rational, but it is ultimately her choice.

      I hope that your mother is comfortable and pain-free and that you can take comfort in that.

      My very best wishes for you and your family,

      over 5 years ago
    • SandiD's Avatar

      You might take a look at www.breastcancer.org because it has good info for patients and loved ones. I am sorry to hear about your mother. Your dad sounds very upset and is handling this in his own way. You cannot do much about that other let him know you are available to him and love him. You can perhaps be the calm one in a storm and try to be the positive supportive person your mother needs right now. If you can speak to her alone, she may give you permission to access her doctors. If not, try hard to trust her doctors and stay healthy yourself so you are there as your parents may need you later on. If necessary, get counseling for yourself to help you deal with the situation. You must be very concerned about both your parents! We cannot control others, but we can love them and let them know by our words and actions that we are there for them. I wish you all the very best. Please remember to take care of yourself!

      over 5 years ago

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