It takes me hours to get to mums house by train, sometimes even a half a day with a number of changes and schedule disruptions. On weekends when I get there eventually, my whole time is spent organising the mess that has been accumulated throughout the week. Dad left us 6 months ago with pancreatic cancer. It took him by a storm so quickly that mum has plunged into a depression and has forgotten her own life.
People tell me that she has to go through these motions of the ocean, that the blues times are important to cross, then the sky can reappear after this period of mourning. Meanwhile, many times one just omits that life is worth living. I have tried to knock some sense into her but it is really tough. There is like a defence mechanism that keeps happiness on the doorstep. So I have accepted this predicament for now and have tried to help her in every way I can to go through this.
Last week I hired help to accompany her in the everyday chores and others who come to make certain she has taken her medication and at least gotten out of bed and washed. I have seen a considerable improvement in a short while. They have immediately taken an important place in her life; with the daily care her spirits have improved already. At the age of 80, it is hard to get back on your feet so fast but with the right team around helping you with authentic smiles; it makes all the difference in the world.
If any of you is in the same position as I was (I can now use the past tense), definitely hire caregivers for the task. It makes a big difference to those who are in need. It brightens up their world to have life again around the house if you live too far away to be there every day. In turn, your own life is much less stressful, as you know your loved ones are in good hands.
I asked mum if she would like to go away with me for Christmas and she replied no thank you. To my surprise, I asked her why? She said that she was making a Christmas tree for her caregivers and making a turkey for them to share and enjoy. She even invited the village pastor for a little bible reading. I thought to myself that happiness comes when you least expect it.
For more download this PDF http://publications.cancerresearchuk.org/downloads/product/CS_KF_PANCREAS.pdf