Kokopelli, I really understand what you're talking about. The past five years has meant caring for one parent or another. In 2000 my father developed colon cancer, but he and my mother lived far from family, so came to stay with my husband and me while Dad had his surgery and follow up care. In 2002 the cancer came back, with a vengance. My parents had moved back to the same community we lived in so we were able to care for him in his home. He lived 4 months and we stayed with him much of that time. My mother had Alzheimers, and we needed to care for her after my dad died. We got a home health aide to come in from 4-8 hours a day; we went to the house most lunch hours; and between my brother and I we spent every night with her, for about a year. (My husband is a saint - he stayed, too.) After a year, we moved her into an assisted living facility and that really eased the pressure. But, 'no rest for the wicked' as they say...my husbands mother became terminally ill about that time. She lived with us until she broke her hip. She couldn't withstand surgery (bad heart, kidneys, and nearly everything else) so she just suffered from the pain until she died, many months later. My husband's brother was primary care giver, but we went there most every weekend to 'spell' him, until she died. My mother fell and broke her hip during that time, and that was the end of the assisted living facility. We tried other options, but eventually she had to go into a nursing home. Again, between my brother and I we were there almost every day for nearly two years. She just died on Valentine's Day.
Sorry to rattle on and on. It seemed appropriate to let you my history so you know that I DO understand. There were days I absolutely DID NOT want to go see my Mom. Weekends that I DID NOT want to care for my mother in law. I was lucky - there was at least one other family member to help in each case. I feel badly, Kokopelli, that you seem to be shouldering this alone, and have done it for so long. I know how hard that must be for you. You should NOT feel guilty for wanting and needing a life of your own. It doesn't mean that you love your Mom any less. I'm so glad you're going to get some counseling. There are help groups in many communities for care givers - more and more people are recognizing what a hard job it is.
I hope this helped some, Kokopelli. My prayers are with you - please take care of yourself.
"If you trust Google more than you trust your doctor than maybe it's time to switch doctors."