Dealing with death and 30 weeks pregnant

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Dealing with death and 30 weeks pregnant

by AS2008 on Fri Apr 15, 2011 07:50 PM

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About a year ago (2 weeks before my wedding) my mom was diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma. It had spread to both her lungs, breast, and brain. She has been thru surgery and multiple brain radiation as well as other treatments similar to chemotherapy (sutent). Last November, my husband and I found out that we are expecting a little girl the summer of 2011. To help my dad out and spend more time with my mom my husband and I decided to move in with my parents this past Feb. The past few months she has declined rapidly.. we have been to the hospital 3 times in the past month. She has been thru everything from septic shock to an infection that required emergency surgery to remove a mass of necrotic tissue the size of a grapefruit. She has opted not to do any more treatment ( I cant blame her) and hospice has been called in. It truly breaks my heart that I often have to convince her to eat, take her meds, and watch her slowly decline mentally and physically. I am overwhelmed, exhausted, and sad that my mom will probably not  be able to be present for the birth of her first and only granddaughter. ( My younger and only other sibling passed away 6 1/2 years ago in a hiking accident). I am truly excited to be a mom and want to enjoy the experiences of being pregnant such as baby showers and picking baby names but I am so overwhelmed with emotions. My husband and I go to a couples counselor and I am open to my obgyn about the situation. I would appreciate any advice/help with dealing with death while 30 weeks pregnant... 

RE: Dealing with death and 30 weeks pregnant

by sperry on Fri Apr 15, 2011 08:39 PM

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My family is in the same boat but things have gotten better. Mom was diagnosed,RCC, 2 years ago in June 2009. The first year was really bad with kidney and brain surgeries. Also had brain radiation, and cyberknife. Sutent worked well for the first year but now we are trying other meds. My sister cooks mom differerent types of soups and will blend in vegetables that mom doesn't like and doesn't even know she's eating it. Sis will also 'sneak' in some supplements. Believe it or not, this has really perked up my mom's energy level. Have to keep positive attitudes to fight this. Mom was only given 4 months to live .. she will be a 2-year survivor in June. She enjoys gardening and also does the accounting/paperwork for my dad's business. "Spots' have shown up but it still doesn't stop her positive attitude. My family now believes in the 'higher powers' as mom is still with us today. I'm hoping your mom will also perk up.

RE: Dealing with death and 30 weeks pregnant

by poinksy on Fri Apr 15, 2011 08:56 PM

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Hi, AS2008

I had to reply to you as your circumstances are similar to how mine were.

I had actually had my baby, she was 3 weeks old when I found out that my dad had terminal cancer. We expected him to live for less than 3 months but he survived for just over 6 1/2 months. I was exhausted from having my baby, my husband was ill and my 7 year old was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Also we were living in a mobile home as we were renovating our house and had major money worries.

With all this and keeping my dads strength and spirits up and being 'there' for my mum  I was depleted of energy. I looked after my baby but my dad was on my mind constantly, i can barely remember her being small! One day rolled into the next, I hardly noticed that my newborn was now sitting up, eating solids, clapping her hands.....It is all a blur! I wish I could bring that time back.

The difference between me and you is that your little girl is still growing within you. You really need to put yourself and your baby first as going into preterm labor is not going to help anyone. I know this sounds harsh but you can't change what is happening to your mum. You have been there for her, you still are but don't forget yourself. Tell yourself that for a certain period of the day you are going to think only of yourself and your little girl. Use this time to think of names, plan your baby shower, talk to her....she can hear you! You have the rest of the day to worry about your mum. Be selfish for a while, you and your baby will benefit and your mum would want you to have that time.

Like me you are dealing with new life and the end of life. You will be confused, angry, happy, sad and every other emotion but i'll tell you this......Your little girl will help you with your grief. I take one look at my baby who is now 9 months, she makes things so much better and reminds me of what life is about.

Once your baby is born, embrace that time. Talk to her about your mum and sibling, give her big kisses from them. That's what I do.

You will be ok, I promise xxxx

RE: Dealing with death and 30 weeks pregnant

by Pelican on Fri Apr 15, 2011 10:25 PM

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Hello.  My name is Barbara and I have been dealing w/breast cancer, liver and lymph nodes for the past 4 years.  So far so good.  I just wanted to say that as a mother of a 28 year old daughter I wonder if I will still be here when she has her 1st child.  It keeps me hanging in there. But, if I don't I know for sure that I will be there watching, listening, helping and even singing to my grandchild and to my daughter.  So just believe. Your mother will always be with you and protecting you and your future children. 

RE: Dealing with death and 30 weeks pregnant

by lucky2havemyboo on Wed Apr 20, 2011 08:19 PM

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Dear AS2008,

   My mom passed away from pancreatic cancer a couple of years ago. One thing which we did before my mom passed away, was to put aside things for grandchildren since she would not be there when they were older. Best example I can give is we got 2 record-a-message type Christmas ornaments, and had my mom record a Christmas greeting on one, and my dad on the other, for our two kids. This way, we always have my mom's voice (and dad's) saying their grandchildren's names - a gift for a lifetime.

   Other things your mom can do - write letters to her granddaughter, for her to read in the future. If she can't write them, she can dictate them to you or another. Shop for a gift to give the granddaughter on her 18th birthday, with a note/letter written from her grandmother to go with it - perhaps a piece of jewelry.  Get a printed image of an ultrasound of the baby, and have your mom write a note on it to the grand daughter. These are tangible keepsakes she will have, that will bridge the time to the future, so that your mother's presence will still reach her. If you've picked out a name for the baby, your mom can address the letters to her by name. There's no substitute for you mother, but she can leaves her voice and her words to her descendants. Hope this helps.

RE: Dealing with death and 30 weeks pregnant

by zookeeper on Sun May 22, 2011 05:01 PM

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Boy can I relate!  I was 36wks pregnant with my 7th child when my mother, who lived across the street, had a seizure in her driveway. Brain Cancer. I wasn't sure how I would survive. Her we are, almost 19mths later, and hanging in there.  The first year truly was very difficult. My own health has suffered some, but nothing than some good rest and peace can't cure.

I simply took my baby everywhere with us.  I was the person who took mom to all her treatments and dr appts since she couldn't drive.  Baby just came along. The drs and nurses loved seeing him.  He was such an easy going little guy.

Don't be afraid to talk to your dr if your emotions are out of control.  It's not healthy for you or baby to feel so much stress.  There are things you can take, even while pregnant and breastfeeding, if you so choose.  It's good that you're talking with a counselor.

Learn to just take one day at a time.  I know it seems easier said than done, but don't go down the "what if" path. Just deal with today. 

Janice

RE: Dealing with death and 30 weeks pregnant

by Aoife on Sun May 22, 2011 05:55 PM

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I am a cancer survivor but my mother is dying at the moment, being honest the stress is huge and my unborn daugher is struggling (am almost 36 weeks) and may have to be c-sectioned on Tuesday.  My family have been keeping me up to date with evreything and she has suffered as a result.  Keep away from the sitiation as much as you can until after your baby is born, they need you.

RE: Dealing with death and 30 weeks pregnant

by lainey1 on Wed Jun 22, 2011 11:50 AM

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I know its very difficult for you right now,especially when it should be the happiest time of your life,try and look to the future,a baby being born is the beginning of  something brand new and sadly a good chance for a new beginning for your own little family.life can be very cruel but also very rewarding with new life x be brave

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