Running out of time

My mom’s cancer is progressing to the point that she is having difficulty speaking. She is currently in end stage metastatic melanoma that has spread to her left lung and brain. She had surgery in December 2020 to remove a brain tumor and was stable until now. My mom chose hospice care because she doesn’t want to be hospitalized anymore. It’s difficult to understand her because her speech is jumbled. I’ve been taking care of my mom for a while since her cancer returned a few years ago. Today I asked her if she knew my name and she got it wrong. I’ve been crying on and off since then. I know it’s the cancer but I never thought she would forget my name.


I was a hospice nurse, so I have some idea of what you’re going through, and I have to say, you are being quite heroic.

Though she may not remember your name, at depth, she knows very well who you are.

Being there for her will continue to mean a lot to her. It might be really hard, but you need to take care of yourself as best you can.


It’s tough because I don’t have much of a chance to get out. I have a sister that lives nearby but we have too many issues. I only have energy to deal with my mom. Everything else is secondary. I’ve been dreading this time for a while. Now that it’s here I find I’m not as strong as I hoped.

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Is your mom on Medicare funded hospice? If so, someone at the hospice agency might be able to find someone who can spend time with your mom, so you can take a break, and maybe do a bit of shopping or something else.

You may not feel strong, but I have no doubt you will have the strength that you need. Love has a way of doing that for you

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Yes, she’s been on hospice since December. I spoke with the nurse today and she is going to have their social worker call me to see what they can do to make things a little easier. One of my mom’s friends has been helping me by staying with her while I go run errands but I don’t like to bother her too much. I’m not very good at asking for help.


Hospice usually has volunteers that can sit with your mom. They usually have home health aides on staff, music therapy, and nondenominational ministers.

I just weird having someone with my mom while I’m not there. I want to have more free time but I feel terrible about not being with her just to go and enjoy myself.

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If you spent an entire day window shopping or something like that, I can see how you might feel bad about it. Taking a couple of hours off is a different story. Doing that is helpful in becoming emotionally refreshed. Because of that, she may actually derive greater benefit from your presence than if you never took a break.

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