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Holding on


Registered User
Oct 5, 2021
My mother has melanoma cancer and is receiving immuno therapy treatments. Yesterday I found out she lost 12lbs in 6 weeks.
Before it was just dementia and now a reality check has consumed me I will lose her to cancer before Dementia.
Like going against the current Im reluctant to transition her into hospice care. It’s another level of care I’m well aware it’s focused on keeping the patient comfortable.
I just don’t feel ready not yet. Maybe this is the neon sign of signs I’ve been waiting for She’s losing weight fast. I have emotional breakdowns where I feel an emptiness inside, helplessness.
I have gotten asked this question as obvious as it may seem. What is it I’m so afraid of? Why am I desperately trying to hold on if compassion is what it’s about help her transition.
I lost my mother a long time ago and she is a shell of her former self due to dementia. Those around me give me this look as if they want to say accept that she is dying accept it and plan for your starting of a new chapter. How can anyone prepare for the loss of a loved one.
I’ve been her caretaker full time and all Ive known for the past 8 years is keeping her safe and cared for. The routine as difficult as it is and overwhelming beyond anyones imagination who doesn’t have the same experience has been the routine for so long. At some point I will say now what do I do?
Learn to crawl before I can walk with life’s demands and working life mixed up with the grieving process is just terrifying.
We learn to adapt we learn to move on eventually.
I think it’s the not seeing her face or the warm touch of her skin. Even though she doesn’t hug me back at times I can embrace her physically.
I’m afraid to think of her only in memory. The thought of I just sat right beside her yesterday, or I just tucked her in bed a few moments ago.
A memory that with time will get a little less clear with details.
I’m grateful God has blessed me with her for going on 83 years of life.


Registered User
Aug 1, 2014
Victoria, Australia
I am so sorry that you are going through this with your mum, especially after caring for her so well for such a long time.

surely you are afraid of the pain you know you are going to feel when the time comes. When someone has been ill for a long time, it’s like living on the edge, waiting for the worst and this can build up such a huge amount of stress.

Her care is what has defined you for so long and you will no longer have this time consuming and emotionally draining part of your life. Add in the grief that you are feeling and it is not surprising that you want to hold on for as long as you can.

I will say that this is a time when her best interests have to take priority even though you are finding it painful. Maybe you are not ready but I suspect your mum has had enough.


Registered User
Sep 6, 2017
My dad had cancer and dementia but he was completely unaware of this. We went through the weight loss and the weight gain a number of times and each time is a little harder than the last because you know what is coming but you don't know when. We expected dad to last 3 months with his diagnosis but we got almost another two years, all up and then down and over again. It's a horrible stressful time and you can only do what you can do. I wanted it all to end but I didn't want to lose dad.

Nobody wins, you just do the best you can and a bit more. 8 years is a long time @VillaJ far longer than I looked after dad. I was with dad until the end in his own home. In hindsight he should have gone into the hospice but he had stated that he wanted to stay at home. The hospice would have been better, they are trained and know how best to do things, I wasn't trained so I muddled through and it could have been better but that was then and now we are here and dad has gone. Don't reproach yourself, you have done an amazing job and your mum would be proud.

It will be hard and it will take a long time, I can say this with some experience, and it will stay with you but that is because you loved and cared for your mum. One day at a time I think.

Wishing you well and your mum a peaceful passing although it may take longer than you think.