A Carer's story

Wednesday 3 September, 2008 by Yan

My mother is 62. Two-and-a-half years ago she found a lump in her breast. It was removed and then followed chemo and radiation.

Eighteen months later mum had a check for asthma and was found to have tumours in her lungs. The cancer had returned.
Mum started having chemo every week since February, but it was too much. Now mum has it every 2 weeks. It is keeping the cancer 'at bay' but having a huge toll on her mind and body. Such a hideous disease!

She has had times where she walks up stairs and loses her breath and panic sets in. Mum seems to accept she is going to pass, but finds it difficult to accept how. Gasping for breath, her children watching her, changes in her appearance.

She needs mental support. What can I do? I am trying so hard to keep the family going, as to accepting mum's condition, being there to talk, cry, scream, and all the "What if?"s and "How can we cope without mum?"

You know, life throws us so many challenges. Mum has had all the struggles in the world - abusive husband, no money, living week to week, house to house. She said to me "What have I acheived in life? Nothing - cannot read or write too well."

I replied; You have 4 children who love you deeply. All have their own homes and are happy. You have 7 grand children - all well and love you dearly. Mum you have achieved something enormous... I credit my life to my mum.

God bless. Leeanne.

Editor's note: For more information about support for the person with cancer and those close to them please call your local Cancer Helpline on 13 11 20 and speak with one of our nurses. You may also find it helpful to read the information on our website about caring for someone with cancer.

Updated: 03 Sep, 2008