Mom has cancer

In the last few weeks we have found out that my mom has cancer. We have known for a while that this was the most likely possibility however she is a nurse and we were pretty sure we knew which kind she had based on her symptoms. The biopsy told us that the lymphoma we thought she had was wrong and it is somewhere in her abdominal area. Being a hospice nurse she knows the symptoms of the cancers that happen there and we have a pretty good idea which terrible one it is. She has testing the rest of this week and we should have a for sure answer by the end of the week. While I know physically she can and will/should be able to beat this... emotionally she doesn't have the will to try. She loves me and my brother but we are grown and very independent and she is no longer married and unfortunately neither my brother and his wife or myself have given her grandchildren to find joy in. My biggest struggle right now is her lack of will to live... while she helped me so much when I was diagnosed at 20 years old I feel so helpless to be there for her now...I just don't know how to help her...

I'm so sorry you are having to deal with this, my dear. Battling ill health requires a huge effort and sometimes one is just too tired to do it anymore. I'm not sure, but I have a feeling if you set your sights on helping her to just take it one step at a time and then let her decide if she will take the next one, she would at least still feel like she was in control of her life. Trying to see too far ahead and anticipate all the changes is pretty overwhelming for anyone.

Please keep us posted and come to TuD to lay your troubles down for a spell....Blessings...Judith in Portland

I'm so sorry to hear this. I'm going through a similar thing with someone close to me. I think the best thing you could give her right now is your support. Even if you think she has given up on the idea of fighting the cancer, your mother still needs you to make sure she has the quality of life she deserves. Whether one chooses aggressive treatment or not, simply the ordeal of having cancer is difficult and your emotional support can make a huge difference.

So sorry to hear the bad news
You,ll find a way to encourage her to not give up
Big hugs going your way

Honor her life choices and support her.

Tell her you love her and you aren’t ready to be without a mom. Call her, visit her, take her to doc appointments if you can. Just be there and let her know she is still an important part of your life. Moms need to hear (and feel) that their kids value them and want them in their lives no matter how old or independent they’ve become. Maybe let her know you’re concerned that she may be depressed as well as sick and you’d like her to consider treatment for the depression too. Hugs.

I'm sorry. It's frightening for you until you get some more information. Wait and see for the rest. I hope she will be fine and you will be able to give her the love she needs at this time.

Tell her you love her, talk about the future and your plans for a joint future, be there for her. Take care of yourself, too.

Just being there for her will be enough. Investing your full presence in shared moments is a great gift. Good luck to you and your mom!

i don't know how you give someone the will to live. my mom lived with breast cancer for years. even when it metastasized she still was ordering plants for her garden like crazy. we were running out of places to plant stuff. she ordered young redwoods and has us plant them in the woods on the family farm. she said we could harvest them for wood in twenty years. she traveled when her toes were turning black from chemo sick effects (she was taking a break from the chemo, i think). she went to chemo by herself. she knew time was running out and she tried to make the best of it. she was a nurse and a child holocaust survivor, so death was not some uncommon thing to her. that familiarity with death is something your mother probably has. is it she doesn't have the will to live, or as a hospice nurse she is not afraid of the dying process and just wants to go with the minimum of painful interventions?

thank you all for your comments I apologize for the delay in allowing them to show up I forgot I set up that approval process!