Monday, August 06, 2007

Best Advice, Worst Advice

I once asked a patient who had recently completed breast cancer therapy what was the best advice she received and what was the worst. I don't actually remember what the best advice was so shocked was I to hear that I had offered her the worst advice. I counseled her to consider quitting her job to deal with the effects of chemotherapy. Well obviously you can't get chemotherapy if you've quit your job and lost your insurance. Quite an eye-opening lesson to me.

Now as I complete a heart-wrenching week considering nursing home or no for my mother, here's the best advice I got from my friend Ed:

Standing by her is the right thing to do. Whatever the burden on you--
which I know is huge--you are honoring your commitment. And of course you
can't do everything.

I found that very hard, know that I couldn't really lift
the weight off my mother. Her needs were infinite; my capacity to help was finite. But I offered what I could. You are doing the same.

My mom stays in her home. I continue on as #1 caretaker.


Midlife Midwife said...

I can understand your pain when it comes to worrying about your mother and wondering if you are making the correct decisions. Or worrying if you can keep doing what you are doing.

I took care of both my grandmother and mother when each of them died. Some of the hardest moments of my life. And yet some of my most treasured moments occured during those hard times. I admire you for being such an advocate and a caretaker for you mother. She is truly blessed...and so will you.

Femail doc said...

Thank you MLMW for your kind support. It means a lot.