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She won’t qualify for Medicaid for 2 more years. What am I going to do if I need to undergo treatments? I feel utterly helpless.

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As a 34 year survivor of breast cancer that actually had 2 positive nodes as well, I want to caution you to take this a step at a time. First of all, for myself I opted for mastectomy. I chose not to do radiation and I did do what they call "adjuvant chemo" which was two infused drugs, once a month for six months. I never got sick enough to throw up once. Overall, in fact, after initial soreness, I felt quite good. So I want you not to take on the whole disease all at once. We don't even know that you HAVE it yet. If you do, it is a step at a time. For the first weeks after any surgery you will need some really good help. That will be hired in for you if need be or Mom will have to go to respite. Also you keep saying "we have...." Who is we? Is that you and Mom or is there a child or hubby involved. Because if there is then you need to call in ALL THE TROOP. This is something you can beat the pants off of; I guarantee that. No nonsense about reconstruction and that waste of time money and pain. Just take care of it and on you go. If you have to face it down. Wishing you good luck. Cancer surgery is in and out now. You leave same day or next day after mastectomy, so call in your friends and acquaintences. This is a time of need. Church? Anyone you can think of IF YOU HAVE TO.
You do need to know that as your Mom's sole caregiver there are other Moms out there with NONE. They are not on the street but are in some kind of care. So that, if this bridge needs to be crossed the first step is to her Doctor to tell him that you would need help going forward, for an unknown amount of time, that you would prefer not to have to do the ER DUMP, but that if you have to, to get Mom care while you are unable to care for her, then that is what will have to be done. For now it is one step at a time. I hope you will keep up updated.
Whoops, just read down and see why Mom isn't eligible for medicaid. These are some of the problems that can come to us when we do these things that protect assets, that look so good on paper initially, but that can come back to bite us.
My answer still holds. We don't know that you have cancer. We can't know what stage you are nor how it can be treated, but I can tell you they tend now to overtreat, and if this is a stage one, a mastectomy or lumpectomy will likely knock this out. Take it a step at a time. Keep us posted.
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Momsonlychild Jul 7, 2020
Met with the breast surgeon this morning. She thinks the mass is benign. Unfortunately it’s growing right next to where I had my lumpectomy about 2 years ago so it’s pressing on scar tissue, etc. She wants to wait 6 months and do more testing. It makes me uneasy but I do trust her. Thanks for all your concern.
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Contact your Area Agency on Aging. Ask for a needs assessment for you, your mom and your MIL.
Let us know how your tests turn out. Don’t discount any help offered. Every little bit helps.
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I agree! Get a biopsy!! Did you have a 3D mammogram?

I was diagnosed with endometrial cancer in March, Dad fell and broke his hip a day later, hospital 5 days, rehab 36 days. In the meantime, I had a hysterectomy with lymph nodes removed in April. (The Lord was so gracious in that timing!)

Then I decided to check some things off my healthcare list and get a mammogram in May before brachytherapy (high-dose intravaginal radiation) began in July. Wellness mam turned into diagnostic mam which turned into a needle biopsy and malignant diagnosis. Lumpectomy with sentinel lymph nodes removed in June, last of 3 brachytherapy treatments next Wed, then healing time before 4wks of daily breast radiation begins in August. Throw in all the COVID 19 restrictions and it's been a liiiitttttttle crazy.

I'm exhausted. Even with family coming in periodically to assist, my dad is still my sole responsibility, so I'm glad to read here about more options available for assistance during this time! Let's take advantage of those mentioned! But get that biopsy! And ladies, get that annual mammogram and pap smear!
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Daughterof1930 Jul 10, 2020
A little crazy is a huge understatement...God bless you
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Momsonlychild, does your mom have the means to pay for in-home agency care for 2 years (or while you deal with your health issues)? A consult with an elder law attorney who specializes in estate planning and is familiar with Medicaid would be a good investment so that you get accurate and wise counsel specific for your state. I wish you all the best in your health journey and peace in your heart.
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Maryjann Jul 6, 2020
Her question states she cannot afford it. :(
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I was thinking that maybe the cancer clinic or your oncologist's office may be able to point you in a direction or recommend a resource, so be sure to ask.
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Momsonlychild Jul 6, 2020
Thank you I will.
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1. You need to have a good, frank conversation with your oncologist, if you are positive for cancer. My sister's offered suggestions for home care, and on other issues which surprised me at the time. I had never thought of an oncologist acting in that capacity, but it was also the first really serious health issue for anyone in the family.

2. Contact your local Gilda's Club and find out what they have to offer or suggest.

3. You don't mention health insurance; do you have any?
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Momsonlychild Jul 6, 2020
Thank you. I wouldn’t have known this either. Yes I have insurance. I haven’t heard of a Gilda’s Club but will check. I do know our Hospice offers Respite care to give caregivers a break but don’t know if they’d do this.
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Call Medicaid and request a hardship waiver. I don't know how it works, but I do know that they exist.

I would also ask about adult foster care. This may be the care solution if you need treatment.

It sounds like the attorney did you no favors with what they set up, just shielding the real estate. Unfortunately not all elder law attorneys actually know what they are doing, they sign up at NAELA (which requires no special anything to sign up) and learn on the job. Did you use a certified elder law attorney? I know you can't unring the bell, but it is good to know for future.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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I don't have an answer for you, but I just wanted to give you support. One, take care of yourself, you can't help your mom if you're not healthy. Two, try and see if the state offers in home assistance.
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Reply to Mountain87k
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I hate to be a nervous, negative Nellie but there is no way in HECK I'd wait around 6 months to see what the lump will do. Have you had a biopsy? If not, why not?
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"I may have breast cancer." Went through the scare last year - I did not.

"What if" - of course you will save your own life, otherwise, with slight humor added, among other things, who will eventually take care of mom again.

You are not helpless. Even if you are, you're not, you can go to God in prayer.

In the meantime, she will need a temporary solution. Some charities like Jewish Family Services or St. Vincent de Paul might have ideas. Your county or state may have services you're not aware of. There are albeit very expensive temporary residential facilities for the elderly. I know of one that requires minimum 3 month stay. Maybe there is something she qualifies for financially like that.

Were you typing Medicare or medicaid? If she can get medi caid, she could possibly get in home supportive services, which could replace you at least part of the time.

Regardless. We hope you don't have breast cancer. If you do, you're saving your life. The rest, by God's Merciful Grace, will fall into place. Keep doing exactly what you're doing. Don't be silent.

You will be ok.
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HVsdaughter Jul 10, 2020
Yes! You will be okay! A breast cancer diagnosis no longer is a death sentence. The first thing the radiology oncologist said to me was "you're going to be okay." And then she laid out the plan. I went into the appt with a stress level of 9 out of 10 and left on a 3ish level (never a zero as a caregiver). Painful? Uncomfortable? Inconvenient? Yes, for a while, but just take a day at a time. Insist on the biopsy.
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