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BonusMom
03-05-2011, 09:53 PM
My mom had a catastrophic type medical insurance plan the past two years so she wasn't getting regular exams. She was finally eligible for medicare in November and scheduled a physical for January.

She told me everything went fine. Liar.

Her PCP referred her to a dermatologist for a spot on her cheek that she's had for 18-24 months. She thought it was dry skin. Then, she thought it might be skin cancer, but with my dad's illness/death she didn't want to take the time to get it checked out. Afterall, it hadn't grown.

She saw the dermy in Feb and he did a biopsy, but was ninety-nine percent sure it was cancer. Yep-Basal Cell Carcinoma for the fair skinned redhead. Fortunately, the slow growing variety. Mom had a MOH procedure on Weds where they remove layers of the skin until they get clear margins.
I asked her if that was all. Yes, she said. Well, maybe....

Next Weds. mom's going in for an ultrsound and biopsy of nodules found on her thyroid. She weighs all of 100 lbs. Several years ago, a doctor told her she was "borderline" hyperthyroid. She's never had treatment for thyroid disease.

I'm trying really hard not to panic about this, but I can honestly say I don't know how I would handle the loss of my mom, especially after losing my dad last September.

Mom had breast cancer in 2000, which was detected very early so she only had to have radiation, thank goodness.

She didn't tell me about the latest stuff 'cause she "didn't want me to worry."

She lives 550 miles away from me and it's not like I can just stop by and check on her. And if I ask her what's going on I don't trust her to give me a straight/honest answer.

She wants to move closer but will have to wait another 20 months or so before she can do that, for tax reasons.

What do I do in the meantime?

magistramarla
03-05-2011, 10:15 PM
Oh, sweetie, what a rough time for you!
Could it be that she isn't trying because she wants to "join" your Dad? Often people who have been married for a long time pass away very close to each other.
About moving closer - Jeff still kicks himself about not insisting that his Mom move closer to us. She lived in Florida, and the other three boys lived near her, but Jeff is the responsible one. She talked about moving near us, but kept putting it off with excuses.
By the time Jeff got down there to check on her, he found that she had avoided getting her lungs checked, and sure enough had lung cancer. She hadn't been eating or taking care of herself right, and Brett was making things worse by constantly getting into trouble and getting thrown into jail. He was using up lots of her money for bail, fines, etc.
It was too late by then, and she passed away a couple of months later. Jeff stayed with her the entire time, and that was when I was terribly stressed and first started to show symptoms of AI disease.
After our experience, I would say to heck with the tax break - it's not worth it. Insist that she move closer to you NOW. Then you can look after her and enjoy the time with her that she has.
Just my two cents...
Lots of Hugs,
Marla

Nonna
03-06-2011, 01:09 AM
Marla is so right especially with your Mom not wanting to worry you.

mountaindreamer
03-06-2011, 07:36 PM
hi bonusmom,

you are in such a tough situation. Sounds like your mom really needs to be around someone who can help her tend to her needs...but, at the same time, it also sounds like she is resisting giving up her independence....and that can be a truly difficult option for her.

I also agree with Marla, I don't think tax reasons should keep her from moving close to you,,,,,but i just don't know if you will be able to convince her of that. So many times our elders choose to keep their familiar lifestyle over moving where it will be easier for family to take care of them, but it would be unfamiliar to them. I have seen it so many times, and i know it is tough on the family, but sometimes we just have to give them ownership of their decisions.

I am so sorry that you are in this situation with your mom. I hope that she will agree to be honest with you and to keep you updated on her drs. appointments, etc. You might even consider getting her to agree to sign the release so that you can call her dr.

Thinking of you sweetie, hope your mom will see the advantage of living close to her daugter.

tgal
03-06-2011, 07:54 PM
I am so very sorry that you are going through this! When a parent gets to the place where they need to be parented it can get tricky. They have been independent for so long that when they can see it coming to an end there are a lot of emotions that come into play. Honestly it is a lot like us and Lupus. How often do we fight against the things we know would be best for us? How after do we put off something because we just can't think about it now. How often do we underplay how we are feeling so that friends and family don't worry? I think I would have handled it when my mother was ill if I had been through what I am going through now.

I hope ya'll figure out something to do that works for everyone. {{{hugs}}}

SandyR
03-07-2011, 08:06 AM
Lana,

I was reading your post and I thought for a few moments you were talking about my family. My mom does this same thing - try to hide medical information or delay medical followups. I think she does the first out of a sense of not wanting to worry everyone or give them a sense of fear and the second out of a sense of being worried and having fears herself. She's gotten a little better about the first thing - that took a lot of heated discussions though where I had to keep explaining to her that I am the kind of person who worries more when I have less information and who is calm and cool when given the facts up front. Like you, my mom is also hundreds and hundreds of miles away. Perhaps she felt like she couldn't be sick while your father was so sick. Perhaps she just wasn't able to give herself the energy she needed to focus on these things at that time. Who knows really what goes on in another persons mind? I'm just glad to hear your mom went to finally get that biopsy and is now working on her thyroid. (((hugs)))
Sandy