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Thread: A Little Help Please?

  1. #1
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    Default Just Looking For Someone To Talk To

    Hey guys. I know it's been a while since my last visit. A couple years, I think. I haven't been around much, but I'm returning now in hopes of finding some support. Maybe some advice or someone to talk to since this is the only forum I know with mature adults.

    My mother was recently diagnosed with small cell lung cancer back in March. I first noticed something was wrong in February when she started having difficulty speaking. By the end of March, she could only say things like "I know" and "okay", and she forgot how to do basic things like drive a car.

    To make a long story short, I called a friend who took her to the emergency room where they told me she has lung cancer that spread to her brain, affecting her speech and making it difficult to remember and communicate.

    She completed a series of ten radiation treatments, which has helped somewhat. She has regained the ability to speak, but now she's doing chemotherapy and is very weak and tired. Her sleep and appetite have been affected by the treatments, so that's something else we're working through, with quicker, easier meals like soups and ice cream.

    I've never had to deal with anything like this before, and suddenly I'm the adult whose paying bills and setting up rides so my mother can get to her medical appointments. It's a long story, but I've basically been sheltered all my life and have no driver's license, no friends aside from the few my mother has. They've been helping me with things, like when I need to go grocery shopping, but I thought I'd check in here so I'd have someone else to talk to.

    So yeah, there's a life update. I thought about putting this in The Daily Groan, but I'd like to talk and hear what others have to say, and I didn't want all that clogging up the other thread.
    Last edited by Hazel Moon; May 2nd, 2019 at 01:51 PM.

  2. #2
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    First think, I'm sending you all my moral support.

    I grew up kinda "sheltered" too, at least sheltered from "adult" responsibilities (for other stuff it's another story and none to be told here), so I share with you the experience of being abruptly catapulted into adulting. Though in my country, all cancer treatments are covered by national health insurance, and there are also ways to getting ambulances to drive the patient between home and hospital - in this regard, I am super sheltered, since I never had to take responsibility for any of that kind of health issues in my blood relatives.

    I do share the experience of seeing a blood relative going through chemotherapy and everything. Went bad for my relative (he did not make it, and had other health issues in the meantime that were not addressed since he was too proud to talk about them). I sincerely hope that your mom will fight the crab and win and be well again.
    The avatar comes from HERE

  3. #3
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    I'm sorry you have to go through this, it's rough.

    Let me know if there's anything I can do to help. Hang in there.

    "That's wolves for ya', good guys!" -Wolf, t10k
    wolf/werewolf | 37 | female | writer | scuba diver | funny | chaotic good | Hufflepuff | eclectic witch

  4. #4
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    That's one of the hardest life situations anyone can find themselves in. I don't have anything I could say to make it easier, but I can say that you will need and deserve time for self care while you are taking care of a seriously ill family member. Don't skimp more than you have to on that, and don't beat yourself up if you don't do this hardest job quite perfectly all the time. Reach out for a support network if you can. It's good you're doing that online. Also try to reach out locally and ask friends for help. If you can figure out small things that others could do to make it easier on you - sharing home cooked meals, for instance - ask for that. Not everyone will know how to help unless you tell them, and you might be pleasantly surprised as to who in your life is willing to help if you ask.

  5. #5
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    Thank you, everyone. Just being here among friends helps. It makes me feel better knowing that I'm not alone in this.

    And thank you, Savage, for reminding me to take care of myself, too. I've had people say that before, and they are right. Just going for a brief walk or working on my stories can help clear my mind. Getting more sleep helps too, as I've been tired recently. But I think my mother and I are falling into a better routine now. One where we're resting more and able to balance things out.

    I'm thinking of speaking with some of my neighbors. Like you said, I might be surprised at who's willing to help, and I know some of them well enough that I can speak to them and see what happens from there. It also helps that we switched to a different pharmacy that delivers her medication to the house. So that's one less thing to think about that makes it easier for us.

    Though in my country, all cancer treatments are covered by national health insurance, and there are also ways to getting ambulances to drive the patient between home and hospital
    One thing I'm grateful for is the hospital courtesy transportation system. They have special vehicles that will take people to their doctor appointments, treatments, even for medical tests if need be. Her insurance covers the treatments, but the transportation is free for any patient who needs it, regardless of whether or not they have insurance.
    Last edited by Hazel Moon; May 4th, 2019 at 01:33 PM.

  6. #6
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    I'm glad to hear that some things are easing out.
    The avatar comes from HERE

  7. #7
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    Hey, it's really rough. My mother was diagnosed with the same thing back in the beginning of August. Unfortunately, we did not catch it in time for the radiation and infusion treatments to do anything. By the time they found it, it was already stage 4 and metastasized all over her body and in her bones. I sadly lost her in December. It is hard, and not a day goes by where I don't think of her, or wish she was still here. But, she's not in pain anymore, and I've actually been using that as a comfort. I handled her passing much better than my sister did.

    It's going to be a difficult time, for everyone involved. Do not forget to take time for yourself to care for your own well-being and mental health. And if you need someone to talk to, you're more than welcome to message me. You can PM me here or find me on Twitter or Telegram [@AnuolfRaccoon]. Stay strong, but understand that it is okay to be sad, to cry, and take time to process it all. We all deal with these sorts of things in our own way, but it helps to know there are people around who get it and have been through it.

    EDIT:: One thing I do recommend, should treatment not be as hopeful/successful as planned, definitely look into Hospice care if your mom is up for it. My mom opted for in-patient Hospice and the care was amazing. All the staff were just so caring and helpful. They all made sure my mom was never in pain. It would definitely be something to look into, if even just information hunting on it. Just a note, at home hospice is very different, and requires you or other family to be a 24/7 caretaker with home nurse visits a few times a week.
    Last edited by Anuolf; May 9th, 2019 at 11:46 PM.

  8. #8
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    If it helps, most "adults" don't know what we're doing either. We're kids who are trying to juggle responsibilities and making it all up as we go along.

    Have you considered going for your driver's license?

    Forever Running, RunningRed

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by RunningRed View Post
    If it helps, most "adults" don't know what we're doing either. We're kids who are trying to juggle responsibilities and making it all up as we go along.
    As one of said adults, can confirm 100%. Fake it until you make it...the rest of us do.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by RunningRed View Post
    If it helps, most "adults" don't know what we're doing either. We're kids who are trying to juggle responsibilities and making it all up as we go along.

    Have you considered going for your driver's license?
    Yes, I have. It's something I looked into years ago but couldn't find the time. I have the driver's manual and I've been studying it, and I've started trying the online practice test. Strangely enough, of all the adult things I've had to tackle lately, learning how to drive doesn't seem so overwhelming. I'm considering signing up for driver's school once I save up enough money for it.

    Thank you everyone for your support. I was feeling a little down so I came back here to check the replies. It helps seeing the responses you've posted. It reminds me that it's okay to feel sad sometimes, and that I can let it out then pull myself together and keep going.

    It's also comforting and helpful knowing that even adults sometimes have difficulty with things. It seems like when you're a child, you tend to think adults have all the answers. Then you grow up and realize that's not the case.

    They did tell me during her last doctor's appointment that it's a good sign that she was able to get off the steroids without having any problems. They were giving them to her to reduce the swelling in her brain. Now they've scheduled her for a PET scan in June to check her progress. I'm hoping the results will be good since she's done okay so far.

    Mostly it's just trying to manage chemo side effects. They've tried three different kinds of medication to help with the nausea. This third one helps better than the other two, but she still has good days and bad.
    Last edited by Hazel Moon; June 2nd, 2019 at 03:06 AM.

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