A forum for family, friends and carers of pancreatic cancer patients

Moderator: volmod

Forum rules
Please see the messages in our "Rules" section

The posts on this discussion board are made by members of the General Public and are not intended to constitute medical advice

Re: Wanting to help my mother

Postby Fifi » Tue Apr 22, 2014 6:20 pm

Hi Susan,

No one here would think you should be ' back to normal', I am absolutely certain of this. I also think, that after the death of a loved one that it is impossible to be the same person again anyway. We experience too much, and see too much to just go back to the person we once was. I know I haven't lost my dad, but I am a different person already, to who I was 4 month ago. I am normally quiet, and shy of people. If I don't know them I don't speak to them. I am normally very unsociable. I have made so many calls, to so many different people. I have seen how people treat people, and from that alone, I know I will never be the same. You are still you, but a new you.

My boss has never once asked about me or my dad. The only time she mentioned it was to tell me to keep it to the back of my mind and not let my work slip, as she has noticed mistakes. Again, seeing people in different light. I could possibly understand it if I were a Rocket Scientist, but I'm a Receptionist in not very busy place.

I am sure your mum understood that you had your husband to care for and a job to hold down. From what I have read in your posts, you were with your mum when she needed you. When your dad called, you went. I think the only way you could have done more, is like us all, leave our job and our family, and sit with them 24/7. I would love to do that. I have even asked him if that is what he wants me to do, but he doesn't want me to. I think he does, but he's seeing the bigger picture.

I too don't have a brother or a sister. When I was young, I didn't want one, I was happy alone. Now though, I would love one. I live a 90 minute drive away, and I don't drive! The train journey is 2 hours. To have someone close to him, and be there at the drop of a hat would be wonderful. When he needs me, I can't be there just like that. My parents are divorced as well.

I don't know how it must feel to have your dad around all the time, when you need to grieve. I imagine it must be hard. Can your husband cope with you letting it out in front of him? Where abouts are you? If you don't mind me asking.

My dad is reasonable today, thank you. He is seeing his oncologist tomorrow and hopefully restart chemo on Thursday. I have given him a lost of questions I want him to ask him. It is just frustrating for us both, because considering he is stage 4, he is pain free and able to go out with a huge appetite. I want him to go out and enjoy life. He is losing weight drastically, and is forever on the toilet which is making him depressed.

If you feel like you want to start a new thread, then do so. It might do you good to not keep coming back to this one, too many reminders maybe? You can always mention this thread in it, so people can refer back to this one if you wish. Up to you.

Lot of love

Leila xx

Posts: 825
Joined: Sun Dec 29, 2013 10:35 am

Re: Wanting to help my mother

Postby Didge » Tue Apr 22, 2014 8:39 pm

Dear Susan
I am so sorry to hear your sad news. I think misplaced guilt is so bound up with loss. We try to turn the clock back mentally and see what we could have done different. But all your decisions were made with love and care for your mum. Try to focus on the positives, all the things you did manage, like being there with her at the end. You still seem to be bravely struggling on with no respite. I hope you get some time to be kind to yourself soon. And yes, you do deserve a break. It's not pointless! Perhaps you could go somewhere which had special memories for you and your family and give yourself time to grieve but to relive some happier times too. As others have said, you can always come here to vent or share, no matter how much time has passed.
Didge x

Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2014 9:05 pm

Re: Wanting to help my mother

Postby Bookgirl2 » Wed Apr 23, 2014 12:51 pm

Hi Leila and Didge

Thanks so much to you both for replying.

I realise I wrote something very misleading in my last post, Leila. When I said I knew people 'here' would think I should be over it by now, I didn't mean here on the forum. I was typing my message at my desk at work (I know that's wrong but there you are - I'm far from perfect!) and by 'here' I actually meant where I was physically - at work, rather than here in the virtual world - I wouldn't like to think anyone thought I would consider my fellow forum users to be so heartless! And really I suppose it sounds unfair even to my colleagues. I meant, not that my co-workers think I should be over my mum's death, but rather I sense (some, not all of them) think I should be at the point now where I can function and work properly, which at the moment is far from the case. I feel like I've done well just to get our of bed and into the shower - then getting into the office is like a monumental achievement even before doing any actual work!

What you wrote about your boss Leila made me so angry. What a cold, unsympathetic person she must be. She has clearly never experienced the sort of thing you are going through. But anyone with the tiniest shred of empathy or human decency would treat you with more kindness and understanding. Someone capable of saying what she said to you, especially without ever having enquired after your dad's well-being shouldn't be a position where they manage colleagues. Is there anyone there who would be supportive? Do you have a personnel manager you can talk to? I hate the thought of you being so unsupported in the place you have to be so much of the time. Most people at my work as I said have been very kind - it was really just that one who was less so. Unfortunately she was in quite a powerful position.

Leila and Didge - you seem to be in a similar position, living so far away from your loved ones. That must be so hard to deal with on top of everything else. At least for the last year of her life I was just a five minute drive from my mum. Of course this just makes me feel even more guilty for all the times I could have been with her and wasn't. I have just spent a good hour re-living the first eight months after we moved into this house last year. This was the time before mum first got rushed into hospital and they diagnosed ulcers. Although it was another six weeks or so until she got the PC diagnosis she was never well enough to go out again. I've been re-imagining all the times I could have spent with her during those eight months. The whole point of moving here was to be close to mum and dad but I now feel I squandered that time - spent too long on settling in to the house, having friends stay for weekends etc (the previous house was almost too tiny to even have people for a meal comfortably, let alone stay so it was nice to be able to repay the compliment to friends we'd stayed with over the years) when I should have been making the most of being near mum and dad. It was never easy to do much because of the kidney failure and her lack of mobility but before we moved we'd talked about getting her a wheelchair once we were nearby so I could at least take her to the shops or to a teashop or whatever. We just never got around to it. I now wish I'd carved out some mother/daughter time just for us but because if the various health and family issues it was always the four of us together and I really regret not having more than the odd few minutes on my own with her. I'm looking out of the window at our lovely garden thinking about how much I'd give to be able to sit out there in the sun with my mum and have a chat. I think it's fair to say I'm wallowing today! I got through my first day yesterday without a huge crying fit - just welled up a few times but got it under control. Today the flood-gates seem to have opened again. I must stop feeling so sorry for myself...

You are both lovely, kind people and I thank you both from the bottom of my heart. Didge, you mention focusing on the positives. I hope that will come with time - so that I'm thinking more, 'at least I was with her at the very end', rather than 'I should have been with her more over her last few days', and 'at least we moved to be near them' rather than 'we could have spent more time with them once we moved'. At the moment everything is just a big stick to beat myself with but I guess it is early days.

You asked where I am Leila - I'm in Essex and commute into London for work. How about you?

Wondering if you both will be able to see dad/boyfriend soon? I do hope and I hope they remain as well as can be hoped for.

It's lovely to hear from such great people. I only wish I'd made better use of the forum whilst mum was still with us.

Take care and hope to speak soon. Susan xxx


Re: Wanting to help my mother

Postby Fifi » Wed Apr 23, 2014 7:48 pm

Hi Susan,

Sorry for the late reply. Have been at work today. I've decided to only tell one person where I work about my dads progress. I'm sick of him being some gossip for others. No one genuinely cares, so they can feed their gossip elsewhere. Sick of them.

Sorry for the misunderstanding, see where you are coming from once I re read it.

Makes me angry also, reading about your work. I wish I could just leave. I really can't cope with people there anymore. I am sure you feel the same. I think maybe some of it, is possibly seeing them living their lives, without a care in the world. Laughing, joking, talking about stuff that doesn't matter? Does it make you angry?

How far did you move to be near your parents? You might not have seen your mum constantly, but you were there. 5 minute drive you say? Think of how much a relief that would have been to them. Whereever you were before, it wasn't a 5 minute drive. You might have had to plan to see them. When you moved, it didn't matter. You could have had friends over, so what? Your mum and dad had the comfort that you were close by, that they could call you whenever and you would be there, practically immediately. What a weight off their shoulders. Just that knowledge would have helped them so much. I hope you know this. Probably why your dad called you that day. He knew you could have left and been with them straight away. Your mum, I'm sure, would have thought about after she passed away. Another comfort for her, you can look after your dad, he isn't alone. It's things like this, which you probably haven't even thought about, but which means you were there for them. Do you see?

You are not feeling sorry for yourself. I have never once thought that. You're grieving. I cry at least once a day now, just thinking of him smiling when he sees me, breaks my heart. Knowing how scared he is and how much he doesn't want to die, will stay with me forever, it's all I see and hear when I close my eyes. A young girl that has just started working with us, she is only 19. Her dad dies of a brain tumour 3 years ago. She said you never get over it, you just learn to live with it, and she is only just learning. Be gentle on yourself. You have to grieve.

I live in Spalding, in Lincolnshire. My dad is in Nottinghamshire. I will be seeing him on Friday. I look forward to it, I miss him more and more every time I see him.

This forum is a great place. For me, it is the only place where people understand me. I am pleased I found it. Sometimes, it's all I have.

Take care Susan.

Leila xx

Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2014 9:05 pm

Re: Wanting to help my mother

Postby Bookgirl2 » Thu Apr 24, 2014 5:09 pm

Hi Leila

Funny that you live in Spalding. My husband's dad lived there (he died a good few years ago, sadly I didn't know him) and my sister-in-law lives in Wigtoft.

So pleased that you're able to see your dad this week. You must both really be looking forward to it. Hope you have a lovely weekend (well, as lovely as can be of course under the circumstances). It's obvious from your posts how much you love him and I know it must tear you apart not being able to see more of him.

My work colleagues generally don't make me feel angry. Most of then are kind and understanding - I'm just aware that, sympathetic though they are, they also need me to do my job and that a month on they maybe think I should be performing better than I'm able to. They don't explicitly say that so it's maybe more me projecting that on to them - maybe I'm not being fair on them! I'm sorry you feel so unsupported at work. I'm sure due to her own experiences your new colleague would be a sympathetic ear.

We were forty five minutes drive from mum and dad before we moved so still relatively close but of course not so close that we could be there at the drop of a hat so yes, you're right I'm sure mum took comfort from that. I just wonder now if she might have wished for more. I know I have to stop beating myself up about stuff. This would be hard enough to deal with as it is without constantly blaming myself for anything and everything.

Anyway, will be thinking of you and wishing you well this weekend. Enjoy your precious time with your dad. He's lucky to have such a caring daughter and you're a real star spending so much helping me when you have so much got deal with yourself.
Take care and lots of love, Susan x


Re: Wanting to help my mother

Postby Fifi » Thu Apr 24, 2014 5:52 pm

I come from Worksop, where my dad is. I moved here with my ex.

How are you feeling today?

What is your job? I work at a health and beauty place. I have always been a Solicitors Receptionist but got made redundant, that's why the change. My closest work colleague is the nicest to me, though I wouldn't have said we got along the most. The two girls I thought I got along with the most haven't shown the slightest interest. In fact one of them started singing yesterday, when I was on the phone to my dad. She knew I had been worried all day. They make me so frustrated.

Looking forward to seeing my dad tomorrow. I miss him so much. Wish he could put weight on, it breaks my heart to see him so vulnerable.

Sorry to ask a painful question, but where is your mum now? Is there a grave you can visit? Maybe if you went alone, said all the things you are feeling, maybe that could help?


Leila xx

Posts: 788
Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2013 5:43 pm

Re: Wanting to help my mother

Postby Cathy » Thu Apr 24, 2014 9:13 pm

Hi Susan

I haven't been here much and just read your post now.

As others have said, please please don't berate yourself. The truth is that really no-one knows. You asked earlier about juggling work and really there is no way to know. You know, I think about last year and that I was working from home 1 day a week to be with Jonathan, only towards the end of the year did I up that to two and the he declined quickly then. I have often thought, if only I'd worked more days from home earlier but then everything I did was done in the light of what I knew, or could ascertain at the time. We make decisions based upon the best of the information that is available. With PC the information isn't necessarily reliable. Take comfort in the thought, if you can, that you did the best you could and made the best decisions you could based on the information that was there.

We can all see that you were there for your Mum.

Thinking of you

Cathy xxx