I feel like I'm just watching my mom die and I don't know what to do.

Back in November of last year my mom was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer stage 4. The doctors said she had 3 months to a year with Chemo. It's been a very overwhelming ordeal for our small family. I have tried to be as up beat and positive throughout this because everyone else is falling a part my dad especially. Instead of focusing on the horrible outcome that this cancer will take on my family I am trying to not think about that and just make the most of the time we have with her. However that is proving a lot more difficult than I had imagined. Before my mom had started chemo I had a lot of reservations about it. We knew it wasn't going to cure her but simply give her more time. As hard as it is to think about it my outlook is quality or quantity of life. While I don't want to face the fact that her time is unknown I also didn't want to see her sick all day everyday and be forced to live this longer version and yet not really get to enjoy it. Her first round of chemo went great. It had us all feeling very optimistic to see her have so much energy and up and about like she had been before she was diagnosed. That was short lived however and we are now about to go to her 4th round of chemo this week and the energy and life is wiped out of her. She had to have a blood transfusion last week and the doctors assured her she would have more energy after but it seems like it had the complete opposite effect. I moved 5 hours away and got married a year ago and have been back and forth to help take her to her appointments and be as much a part of all of this as I possibly can while also being a functioning parent to my family. While I'm away it's easy to not think about what is happening because it's not in front of my face but when I come down and see her it becomes to much to handle. The amount of medication she is on is beyond ridiculous especially the pain medicine and all she does is lay around and sleep. I feel like I'm just watching her die. My mom has suffered from depression in the past and I fear she is going through it again. I want to get her out of the house and up and about but she never seems to have the energy for it, or she just doesn't want to. I know I don't know the pain she is in and I'm sure it is horrible but I can't sit here and watch her waste the time she has left just laying in bed and sleeping while she pops her medicine. I just don't know what to do, I feel so helpless and just wanted to see if anyone else has been through something similiar and if so what did you do to help? 

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  • SlateramaSlaterama Community Member
    edited February 2015 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Hi ChrissyJ,
    What you are going through is (obviously) a terrible terrible thing, and no one can tell you how to react to everything. There is no doubt whatsoever that this kind of situation takes an incredible toll on everyone involved. 
    From the point of view of a caregiver such as yourself, the only "advice" I can give (and I say "advice" in quotes because I'm far from qualified in the matter) is that as much as humanly possible, try to detach yourself from the outcome. And by that I mean, just live every moment for what it is. Regardless of what the future holds it's important to learn acceptance. When you have acceptance, you aren't wasting a ton of your energy fighting what is. You are simply dealing with things as they happen and trying to make the best at every moment with what you have. (And of course, planting the seeds to try to bring about the best circumstances you can for the future, but without fighting what IS as it shows up.)
    And remember, acceptance doesn't mean you're OK with everything and it doesn't mean that you don't grieve when things take a turn for the worse; it just means that you have to be very strong right now -- for your mom, for yourself -- and you don't want to waste even more of that energy fighting what IS. That energy should be going into making your mom's life (and your own) as good and comfortable and love-filled as it can be right now, and then doing the same the next moment, and the next and the next.
    I hope anything in here helped even the slightest bit. I wish you peace during this very difficult time!