Currently my mom lives alone in her own home and my sister and I take turns going over to help her but not every single day. I’m worried she’ll need round the clock looking after while undergoing chemo for next 6 months. Am afraid if I volunteer for her to come stay with me it might end up as a permanent thing and my sister will stop helping at all. For many years I’ve been the one spending more time over there and doing most of the work. Have been happy to do it but wish the tasks/hours spent there were shared more equitably, but I try not to make an issue of it. So, keep Mom in her home while undergoing chemo or not?

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Such a tough situation. We moved my 89-yo father in with my family at the start of the pandemic. Several months in he was diagnosed with stage 2 cancer and very much wanted to go through with treatment. Once radiation/chemo got going and he wasn’t feeling well, he really wanted to be in his own home. We juggled keeping him in his home as per his wishes. While I had help from other family members, it was tough. By the end of his treatment, after much weight loss and resulting fraility, he ended up hospitalized. He is now 3-months post treatment and we have a live in caretaker Mon—Fri. Weekends are handled by family. We are so fortunate to have found good help but it still feels like so much work - managing his home, help, med bills, etc. Looking back, I am not sure going thru chemo was the right decision. I don’t think he will ever live independently again. I worry about his quality of life. I worry about the added stress on myself and other family members. Just know it is going to be a heavy lift. I think it would be very difficult to do this alone. Be kind to yourself and take good care.
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According to your profile, your mother has  alzheimer's / dementia, anxiety, arthritis, cancer, depression, and mobility problems. You describe her cancer as Lymphoma, which a good friend of ours also has and has been through a lot of chemo for. It's a very, very rough journey for a person battling Lymphoma, and my question to you is this: why is your mother choosing to put herself thru chemotherapy when she's already suffering from so many other diseases? Alzheimers/dementia alone is enough to warrant no further medical treatment and choose palliative care instead, in my opinion, because what is the point of trying to extend a person's life in THIS condition?

I would choose to avoid chemo for my own 93 year old mother who has dementia if she were to develop cancer now. I try to avoid as much medical intervention as humanly possible, in fact, while trying to keep her as comfortable as possible.

That said, when my 61 y/o ex husband had colon cancer & chose chemo (no other pre existing health conditions to consider), there was no way he could live alone and suffer the ravaging side effects of chemo. He moved in with my son and his wife for the 1 year (approx) period of the chemo and the time it took him to get back on his feet afterward.

If you decide to move forward with chemo, I would not have your mother living alone during the course of the treatments. In fact, with dementia/ALZ at play, I wouldn't have her living alone period. It just becomes too dangerous wondering if they'll burn the house down or wander away one night, as the symptoms can worsen suddenly without warning. Your best bet would be to strike an agreement with your sister NOW, so a plan can be made before anything else happens

Wishing you the best of luck.
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I share Alva's concern about chemo for a woman in her late 80's.  When my mother was diagnosed, also in her late 80s and in the same year as my sister, we discussed it and decided that chemo would be too traumatic, too disruptive, and not as likely to produce positive results as it might for someone much younger.    Mom was already having other physical challenges.  

She and my sister visited the same oncologist, with whom we also discussed the issue.      The decision was to administer the same meds that my sister took, in pill form, but not to subject Mom to chemo.  In fact, we decided not even to tell her, as she wasn't experiencing any disruptive symptoms.  

In retrospect, I know that we made a difficult decision, but it was the right one.

What stage is your mother's chemo?  I think that would make a difference.  If she's in stage III, or even IV, I really would question the validity of attempting a cure with the trauma and discomfort of chemo vs. maximizing what life she does have left.  

I don't mean to disparage any positive aspects that might arise from chemo, but from watching my sister go through multiple (5 or 6 if I remember correctly) different chemo sessions, each lasting several months, I'm not sure I would even go that route for myself.   It was horrible, devastating, and w/o support now that my family members are gone, I'd have to face a lot of challenges just getting to and from chemo, w/o going bankrupt.
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I think it will be very very difficult for an 89 year old to undergo normal chemo living alone. As a nurse, without any details, that would be my opinion. However, there are some chemos that are not especially difficult to take. I had adjuvant chemo for 6 months after breast cancer and mastectomy many years ago. There was no nausea or vomiting, very few side effects at all. Chemos vary quite a lot. I cannot also know, as you haven't said, how debilitating your Mom's cancer ITSELF is. If there are daily visits this may be doable. If a lot more is needed I think you may be looking at placement for support during this time. I think your assessment of getting a lot less cooperation in care when she is placed within your home is likely correct. Wishing you the very best of luck.
PS: I see from looking at your profile that the Sisters are already hesitant to help, that there are memory issues for Mom and that her lymphoma is getting more aggressive. I think that placement is something that certainly is coming sooner rather than later, but the fact she has battled this for some time may mean also that she had dealt with chemo in past on her own, and knows what to expect.
As to taking your Mom into your home, at this age and with this diagnosis, prognosis, and a determination to keep fighting, I think that this would be the beginning of the end of her living anywhere but your home. And I think you already know that you do not want that for what time is remaining.
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