My Mum was ok till she lost a son five years ago to cancer, 4 weeks from diagnosis he died at 51. We noticed her changing about 18 months ago, just little things. Now, she still lives in her own flat, but hates being on her own, so my sister and I do it in turns to have her as much as possible on alternate days. Because my husband has had to leave work because of cancer, although in remission now, I have had to go back to work full-time. I go to see Mum each morning to give her breakfast, then my husband goes up, and if my sister is due her day off, my husband has her back at our house until I get home and then we take her home about 7 at night and make sure she's settled in. However, I feel like I'm leaving a young child on her own. The weekends my sister and I alternate Saturday and Sundays. Today I have had Mum and I have just dropped her off. I have cried and cried since returning home. I hate myself for being so irritable with her. My brother who has moved to Kent, even though he knew there was something going on with her, sent her a little butterfly brooch and a card and she hasn't stopped going on about them all day. When I sat her down in front of the tv she criticised everything I put on for her. I have an 11 year old and it's so hard on him, he is great with her, but he sees how stressed I get. I want so much to have more time with him and his older sister, but at the weekend all my energies go into looking after Mum. A fortnight ago, my sister and I actually came to blows with each other, things boiled over because both of us are tired. She said I didn't have to work, etc. etc.... load of cobblers as I remortgaged not so long ago and my mortgage payment is really high now, and said that I wasn't the one looking after Mum, my husband was. I haven't spoken to her since as I was cut to the quick. My Dad left my Mum when I was in my early teens. He left her penniless, with 5 children, and I didn't go to University so I could earn money to help her, and as the eldest daughter I felt she needed me. She has been my best friend and I have always had a different relationship with her than my sister. To say the things she did I am finding it hard to forgive. I had just got my husband through stem cell transplantation, going backwards and forwards from the Isle of Man to Liverpool for his treatments, sometimes once a week, and was getting him back on his feet, then Mum started going downhill. What I find the worst is trying to be continually patient and understanding when the person you have always known is changing into someone who is so different. But I find it frustrating because there are times when the person I know as Mum comes back for a short time and is more like her old self, but then she disappears. I even said to my husband tonight that I don't want her go on like this, I'd rather she died. When I get irritable with her I just know that if anything does ever happen to her, which it will one day, I will regret every moment I have not treasured with her, because I know that's the way I feel about my brother now that he is not here, and I keep trying to remember how much I miss him and wish he was here. Mum knows there is something wrong with her, I'm sure, but she won't admit it to herself. She has had a couple of visits to the doctor where he has asked her questions and her score has come out awful. I felt so bad for her because I couldn't help her and she was looking at me as if I was letting her down. She refuses now to have anything to do with doctors and certainly wouldn't let us get anyone in to keep her company the odd day. My sister and I take care of all her cooking and cleaning and hygiene care when she's at our houses. But with both of us having young families it is so hard to be with her all the time. I just thank goodness that my husband went through a similar thing with his own Mum, but she was more open to having outside help, otherwise I think he would have left me by now. I'd be so grateful to hear from anyone who understands.