A month into being a caregiver

It’s a hot night in Wisconsin and my MacBook Pro is warm under my wrists as I type. Somewhere in the distance is a respectable fireworks display, judging by the sound of it. Cicadas and crickets are a constant white noise. I am not at Mom’s but Aaron is, having given me some much needed rest from her schedule of medication. I haven’t had more than three and a half or four hours straight sleep in weeks. I am tired, but grateful for this time. I wouldn’t trade it for anything and I wouldn’t change a thing. Well, that’s not true; I wish she wasn’t ill at all, but that’s a big ask.

I haven’t written much about this whole thing as Mom is a private person. As much as I share too much, she shares too little. As alike as we are, we are very different on that point. However, I need to talk about this, at least a little. It’s how I cope and I promise I won’t put in the specific details; they don’t serve any point other than technicalities that will bore the casual reader here anyway.

Mom has cancer. Not a little cancer, but rather an overachiever’s amount of the stuff. Lungs and brain, specifically. She’s on hospice, and you only qualify for that if you have six months or less to live. She has less than that.

Mom and I are as close as you can be. We’ve been best friends for years and years – since I went away to art school I think, and when I was a little girl as well. As a young teen through high school, we had our rough patches, but most of that was due to clashes in our bi-polar conditions as well as my attention deficit disorder. Those bumpy years were the years immediately following the death of my father. We mended our relationship when I went away to school and built our mother and daughter friendship to be the strongest I know. She means everything to me, and that’s why I’m here and not leaving until after she’s gone.

There is so much to share about this recent experience, but I have lots to do in the short time I have ‘off’ caregiver duty today. It’s my first break in hours shy of a month, and there is much to do before I sleep tonight.

More soon.

6 thoughts on “A month into being a caregiver”

  1. First off, thank you for sharing. Caring for someone is such a hard labour of love. I can’t begin to imagine the vast amount of emotions you must be going through.

    My thoughts and love are with you during this very difficult time. I think about you often throughout my days and wonder if this moment, this hour, this day is a “good moment”. I hope you have plenty of those.

    If there is anything you need – from a chat, an errand, website help, a care package from the UK, or just a shoulder to cry on, please don’t hesitate to ask. I am here for you.

    With all of my love and support.

  2. You may remember that I went through something very similar a couple of years ago. I’m horribly aware that not much will bring you great comfort right now, but some of my happiest memories of my adult life with my mother came from the last few months of her life.

    However difficult, this can be a precious time.

  3. I’m so sorry to hear about your Mom… she was always very nice, & offered me her ear if I ever wanted to talk to someone when I was first dealing with depression & bipolar myself as a young adult… give her my best wishes for things to be as easy for her as they can… and for you as well– I know this cannot be easy

  4. my Mom told me she’d been trying for some time to find a way to get back in touch with your Mom… I know this isn’t the best of times, but if your Mom would like to hear from mine, let me know & I’ll send her contact info

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