• What can I do to help?

    Asked by airaani on Saturday, August 25, 2012

    What can I do to help?

    I'm just feeling a little lost. My mother was just diagnosed with breast cancer. She is 60 and lives 3000 miles from my with my father and 2 younger (still live at home) sisters. I want to help in any way I can. Aside from trying to get money together to visit, what can I do to help her? She says after surgery, she wants to explore options other than chemo. What is available?

    6 Answers from the Community

    6 answers
    • Bulldogger's Avatar

      Hello, I'm going through a similar situation with my mother right now, but I live in the same city as her. Guilt is a struggle of mine when I'm not with my mom. I feel like I need to be with her at all times, but I can't I still have to work, shop for food and mow my lawn ect. My mom completely understands that I have other responsibilities that need to be taken care of. I try to take her to appointments, pick up her meds, cook dinner for her or just take out her trash. I am very involved in her

      about 4 years ago
    • Bulldogger's Avatar

      I'm also involved with her doctors and treatment, I try to educate myself and ask questions, coming to a support group like this is a great start!!!! Hang in there!

      about 4 years ago
    • lynn1950's Avatar

      What a great daughter you are. Just being available to talk will be a great help. It sounds like chemo is being recommended. Does she know her oncotype score yet? That is the best way to know whether or not chemo will be an effective approach. As others have said, educate yourself. Chemo is not easy, but there are drugs to keep the nausea at bay and it is doable. I am a poster child for wimpdom, and I had chemo while continuing to work.

      about 4 years ago
    • nancyjac's Avatar

      I know this may be frustrating for you, but my recommendation would be to wait. If your Mom was just diagnosed, she has a gazillion questions, issues, tests, etc. to deal with right now and she doesn't need any extra pressure from well meaning relatives and friends asking what can they do. She doesn't know right now. Just let her know that when she needs anything to let you know then let her get back to you when she is ready.

      As for the alternative options, now is not the time for that either. He doctor will lay out the options for her and answer her medical questions. Adding to the overload in info she will be getting for a while just adds to the stress and can add unnecessary fear and bad info at this point. Again, let her know that when the time comes, you stand ready to help with research or information gathering, but now is not the time.

      about 4 years ago
    • FreeBird's Avatar

      Hello. That must be difficult being so far away. I'm a caregiver for my dad. Not knowing your mom, her level of independence, financial situation, her personality, what her living situation is, what type of local support she has, and so on, it's hard to suggest what you could do to help from a distance. The person who can best decide what she needs is mom. Sometimes the best thing you can do is the simplest-- be a good listener, without feeling that you need to fix everything. Send her a nice card or letter or care package to remind her that you're thinking about her.

      If she gets to the point where she needs a lot of support, you can do a google search for "long distance caregiving," or "long distance caregiver," and find loads of information on how to help from afar.

      about 4 years ago
    • GetMyLifeBack's Avatar

      Visiting is sometimes not the thing that is the most helpful. Sometimes when we have visitors we feel the need to take care of them even when we are recovering. Ask her what is the best way you can help. She may not know what she needs just yet. When you listen to her just talk about her day you will hear things you can act on. In terms of options other than chemo there is a lot out there. Naturopathic things like the Gerson Method and other dietary and lifestyle changes are very controversial but promising and require a long term commitment. Start with encouraging the basics like a whole foods plant based diet, juicing, etc.

      about 4 years ago

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