How to cope with losses when you're at breaking point?

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I lost my Dad following leukaemia almost two years ago and my Mom was diagnosed with a similar type of leukaemia about a year before he died (well....they were a couple that did everything together!). His death was sudden and unexpected at the end, and threw us all into the depths of despair. Meanwhile my mom's leukaemia isn't curable but was stable due to new drugs and she's been trying hard to put her life back together, determined not to let things beat her. Over the last 12 months my relationship (4 years) broke down and I quit a job where I was bullied and stressed to where I was losing my hair and losing weight. Now I'm the unemployed, spinster daughter just north of 30! As a result I've been spending more time with my mom because I have a lot of time on my hands, where I'd previously been distancing myself a little because of how I felt my world collapsed when my dad died. And now there are some other issues with my mom's health which are being 'investigated' and my gut feeling is it's bad. I took her to the hospital for a CT following a couple of X-rays on Friday and we're waiting to hear back about what they've found. We know they've found something, it's just a case of what. If anyone was telling me this story I'd say 'hey don't worry, wait until you find out what it is' but it's hard to take your own advice when you're the one in the story. I feel like this is my breaking point and it's crushing me. I've been crying non-stop all weekend and my mom is in a bit of a daze (I don't cry in front of her btw). She makes jokes about being on the way out and my heart is breaking. I just don't know what to do - we're a small family with no supportive aunts/uncles etc. and although I have friends most haven't been through this with their parents yet so either keep their distance or just avoid talking about it. My rock during my dad's departure was my ex-boyfriend, and now I don't even have him to lean on. I have a sister but she lives away and we're not very close. I'm trying to remain positive and not let this crush me but at the same time my heart is just utterly broken thinking about what is ahead. I just had to write it down.

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Great idea Barb, that's exactly what we did today. She has an appointment with the lung specialist for early next week so we're encouraging her to wait and see what they have to say.

Mum is pretty self sufficient - I read stories here of kids breaking their backs and souls caring for ailing parents and we didn't really have that with my Dad or Mum as yet - harrowing emotional rollercoasters sure, but not the same.

These journeys are so lonely though - with my Dad I hated telling people because then every conversation became about that and sometimes I just wanted to talk about purses and shoes! This forum is such a welcome release.

I'm thinking of you all too - you've all been so kind x
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I'm so sorry the news is not better, my dear. Thank you for reaching out to us with an update!

You can always tell mom that the CT was inconclusive and that she needs a followup appointment to clarify the results, if she asks.

Google Mindfulness Meditation; some exercises of that sort really help when under stress.

You'll get through this!
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Thanks for letting us know what the GP said. I'm sorry it's such bad news. I'm glad you are connecting with your sister. Your mom has her two strong girls who are going to stand by her and that's a great blessing to her.
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Thank you so much. Her GP was much more helpful than I expected. It's lung cancer and it looks bad....but they're waiting for a specialist appointment to see what, if anything, can be done.

My sister and I discussed it, as I did with the GP, and we've decided not to tell her for now. She has been through such a lot and although she knows something is up, telling her it's bad and going through the agonising wait to find out just how bad would be cruel. Without my dad she doesn't really have anyone to turn to, and another week or two of being in the dark feels like a weird kinda blessing.

Thanks so much for your kind words, I am doing my best to look after myself too.
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El, I know sometimes we are frozen when we are afraid and don't know what to do. We hold our breath. We don't mean to but we are in shock. We can't think. You are worried that you are all alone. That you have so much to do. But first things first. Have you made an appointment yet? If you can, make it right now. While you wait get out and walk. Walk like you are late for an appointment. Walk for at least 10 min. Do this two or three times a day. If you can do 20 at once do that. Work up to 30 min a day. Wear good shoes for walking. Walk before breakfast every morning for maximum benefit. This will help your anxiety and help you think more clearly. While you are walking practice breathing deeply. You are in mourning. Your father has died. Your mother is very ill. You are trying to hold it together. Your boyfriend is gone. Your sister is absent. Breath deeply. You are going to be ok. You just need to breath. Walk. Go to the dr and get all checked out. Take good care of yourself El. Be sure to keep hydrated. Let us know how your appointment goes and how your mother is doing. Just focus on the basics. Do it for mom but most of all do it for you.
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Eglinton, I'll be thinking of you - must be round about now that your mother's GP has turned up, and I hope he will have made some calls and found out what is going on. So far, the hospital and the GP between them are not exactly covering themselves in glory, here, are they.

You are having a heck of a time of it, and I'm so sorry. Please come back later and let us know how the visit went.
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Eglington - you have made a good first step - you have come here. This is a safe place to ask questions, vent, express your feelings. This is a great forum, many have had similar experiences, and we listen.

If I can comment - I think you need to keep reaching out. Have a physical with your doctor, talk about your feelings, there might be someone he recommend you talk to. If you have a church - there might be a grief group or priest you can speak to. There might be local support groups for family members helping a loved one who is very ill.

We are glad you found this site. We are here for you.
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Thanks so much for your kind words - it is a lonely place to be and it's nice to know that someone is listening.

So we didn't hear back about the CT and this morning my mum woke up very sick, in a way I'd not seen before. I called the hospital team who cares for her primary illness and they said she had to see her primary physician before they could do anything. I mentioned the CT and they assured me if it had shown anything serious she would have been admitted....

After many calls I finally talked to her primary care physician who has the CT results....and it's not good 😞 He couldn't believe the hospital team hasn't said anything about it. She has some kind of tumor on her lung which appears to be unrelated to the condition she already had (which is I assume how the hospital team got out of saying anything about it - it's nothing to do with their team). I called my sister to tell her.

I haven't told my Mom yet. How would I even say it? Her primary care physician is stopping by this afternoon to check on her and I'm hoping he'll break the news. He said the letter he got was very vague - that it was a tumor and that was pretty much all.

I am losing my mind.
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Oh my, I'm sorry to hear about the loss of your father. And now your mom is sick too. I can only imagine your concern. I think I have some idea as I am in a similar situation. I am the caregiver for my parents part of the time, although, they are pretty self sufficient for the time being. They have bouts with health crisis and ongoing support with other matters. I can't imagine losing either one. My heart goes out to you. As we get older, I know it's a possibility, but, I don't want to think about it. It hurts too much.

I notice that you talked about your health issues. I might suggest that you get yourself a physical, just to make sure that your're okay. Sometimes stress and worry can make you sick. I'd explain what you've been through and explore if you may have depression. Sometimes, medication or a support group helps. Plus, online communities like this one really helped me.

I hope there is good news with your mom's medical report. Please let us know how things are going. I'll be sending well wishes and prayers for her.
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This is a great place to write down how you're feeling and then get it out there knowing that people are going to be reading what you wrote. That you'll be heard. I think there's a lot of power in that and I'm glad you shared with us what's going on.

Please keep us updated on your mom's test results.
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