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Help over Christmas


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I feel like I shouldn't be posting here as I have not been of great support to my Step-Mum. She was diagnosed in June this year, whilst I was receiving psychiatric care for an unrelated illness. My Step-Mum was of great support when I needed to live with her and my Dad two years ago, because of my illness. Now, I am returning to spend Christmas with them, but have only had phone and face-time contact since her diagnosis (I live 200 miles away and have to work here). She had a stent fitted in her bile duct a few weeks ago and will be restarting palliative chemo between Christmas and New Year. She does not know her prognosis (although my Dad and I know that her life is now very limited). I am terrified about making her do too much to look after me when I come to stay - I want to help her! However, I have no idea about what to do to make her feel wanted and useful, without worsening her illness. I'm sorry if this seems a jumble, but I love her tremendously and want our two weeks together to be the best they can be. Thanks for any advice.

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I think it’s important to allow your step mum to do as little or as much as she wants. My partner often cooked and was still ferrying his children around until a couple of weeks before he died. Why not offer to help and when appropriate say something like “I’d like to cook for you tonight”. If you insist on treating the person like an invalid when they don’t want to be it doesn’t help anyone. Most pc sufferers just want life to be as normal as it can. I wish you luck in finding the balance as best you can x

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Hi 9ham,

We all worry that we could have/should have done more it's a normal reaction but we do what we can. I think the very best gift your Mum could have is to know that you are well, happy and confident or at least much better than you were. I agree with Didge that you should let your Mum do what she wants to do, try and be normal, sit and chat with her or work alongside. Be content to do nothing if she is tired, words are not always necessary but a hug or hand holding can be comforting.

I hope you have a good time, I know that's what your Mum would love most.

Parting is always hard so we used "good luck" rather than good bye.

Much love to you all and Happy Christmas

Marmalade x

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Thank you so much. I’m here now and taking your advice. It’s tough, but it’s Christmas and she’s determined to enjoy it. I’ll do what I can.

Best wishes to you all x

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