Ag­ing mother re­fuses to care

Cebu Daily News - - LIFE -

Dear Ms. Belle, I'm writ­ing you about our mother, about health in par­tic­u­lar. She is 69 years old. In the last four months, she con­stantly com­plained that her teeth hurt. So the den­tist ex­tracted them, but when she was fit­ted for new den­tures, she said it was very painful. No mat­ter how they ad­justed, she still felt pain. And then she com­plained that some ar­eas in her mouth are sore. Again, we went a doc­tor, who rec­om­mended an ul­tra­sound exam and other tests. They dis­cov­ered a small lump in her palate, per­formed a biopsy, but it was neg­a­tive for can­cer. Just the same, my brother who lives in Manila sug­gested to con­sult another doc­tor in Manila. This time it was a known hos­pi­tal, but again they didn't find can­cer cells. To be sure, my brother took her to a spe­cial­ist in another hos­pi­tal. Same find­ings. And then the small growths started com­ing out. Our mother un­der­went chemo treat­ment but it made her weaker. She said her ra­di­a­tion treat­ment is mak­ing her life mis­er­able. I had to keep go­ing to Manila to take care of her. All is well at work be­cause I have a good job and a good boss. But I just might lose my job be­cause of my ab­sences. There are many treat­ments but my mother is not very co­op­er­a­tive. We all want her to sur­vive this but she said she's tired and de­pressed. It's okay for her to die if it's her time, she tells us. Cathy Dear Cathy, That’s a tough sit­u­a­tion you have there. Some­times we can be very fo­cused on things we think are the right so­lu­tions and fail to see the more hu­man side of a prob­lem. I know you want the best for your mother. Let’s put things in or­der. First, your mom has an ail­ment that doc­tors you’ve con­sulted can­not re­ally pin­point what ex­actly. Then again, the doc­tor sus­pects it's a form of can­cer even if the lab tests do not sup­port it. She is sub­jected to treat­ment for can­cer: chemo­ther­apy and ra­di­a­tion which just made her life dif­fi­cult. One ma­jor con­sid­er­a­tion here is your mother’s feel­ings. The treat­ments make her mis­er­able. Why can't you take it easy on her and think more of what she wants, what will make her happy. My fa­ther was di­ag­nosed for pros­trate can­cer and ev­ery­one said it’s a long de­vel­op­ing can­cer. But in six months, he was gone. Talk­ing with my sib­lings who were with him in his last days, he said, “Don’t waste valu­able re­sources pro­long­ing my life. Your mom went ahead, it would be good to join her. I’ve done my job here…” Some­times, it’s our own agenda that we want to im­pose on other peo­ple. Find out what your mother wants. In short, shower her with great mo­ments be­fore she goes. Not all medicines are good for the sick. It's love and care that mat­ter most. Ms. Belle

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