Awakening Through Love

Awakening Through Love

Trying to retain Peace in the face of Chaos

My mother has been diagnosed with Stage IV Cancer.  She's been losing weight...down to 107 lbs. from 130 a year ago.  A Cat Scan revealed a mass in her esophagus and 5 lumps on/in her liver.  Today she underwent an endoscopy and they took a sample from the mass.  The doctor seemed nervous as he approached to give us the results.  He said he knows its cancer even though they won't have the test results back for a week.  I spoke with the nurse after my mother left with my brother.  She said that I seemed to be taking it well.  I told her that I had already began grieving because I didn't think she would be alive much longer.  She also didn't think mom had much longer to live...perhaps 6 weeks.  Tomorrow she'll get a Pet Scan to see where else the cancer has spread.  She's had a giant aneurysm in her head for a couple of years that hasn't burst yet and 9 months ago she broke both arms in a fall.

The chaos lies within the codependent relationship she has with my brother who is 55 years old and living with her.  He is an alcoholic.  She recently moved from the senior citizen apartment that I found for her, where she allowed my brother to live with her...which was against their rules.  He would come and go from the side entrance to stay hidden.  Some of the residents were complaining that they thought he was living there, so the Manager called me and asked if he was.  Initially, I stayed out of it, but during the time she was in a nursing home for a month after she broke her arm, I called the Manager and told him the truth.  To keep it anonymous, he used the excuse of checking on their cat to enter the apartment and told my brother he had to leave.  My brother stayed with his only friend for a couple of nights, then my mother gave him money to stay in a cheap hotel for a couple of weeks.  During this time, he found a job through a temp agency and he kept the job until they let people go right after Christmas.

 The good that came from this was that he now knows he can get a job on his own!  Mom found a way to get him back in her apartment.  She had her doctor send a form to the Apt. Manager stating that she needed around the clock care and it would come from him.  Unfortunately, he reverted back to his old ways after the job ended and began sleeping most of the day and staying up at night.  This meant my mother had to creep around quietly during the day, so that he wouldn't yell at her.  After her arms healed sufficiently, the Manager gave my brother one day to move out again.  So, my mother made the decision to find an apartment, that she can't afford, so that he could live with her.  He wouldn't let my other brother or me help her move, so she did most of the work (packing/unpacking) herself.

He continues to emotionally/mentally abuse her, mostly by yelling/complaining about me to her.  He is resentful that when my father passed away in 2006, he only received a small monetary amount compared to myself and my brother.  Why he blames me for this...who knows.  He'll call her names, "whore", "cunt", etc.  Even now that she is dying...he continues to harrass her.  Filling out forms at the doctor's office, one of the questions was, "Are you experiencing depression".  She said, "Oh, Yes".  I picked her up to spend the weekend with me, took her out for lunch, gave her a jacuzzi bath, a massage and tried to get her to eat/drink healthy foods.  I bought her two new pairs of pants and a shirt, since she's lost weight.  I asked her if she was afraid of dying.  She said kind of, but also not really.  She believes in God and our spirits living.

I arranged for a family reunion at my house on Saturday.  We had about 30 people come.  My husband taught people to shoot his new bow/arrow, gave people a ride on his tractor and everyone enjoyed spending time with Mom.  My thoughts were, why wait until someone dies to get together at the funeral!

My brother called my Mom Sat. morning drunk.  He woke her up and started in on her.  He'll say things like, "Once you die, I know Sherry will take your car."  She has a Will leaving him everything (which has dwindled to nothing but her car).  It made me feel depressed and saddened that there can be such dysfunction in the world.  It brought back memories of the year she lived with me in 2009, when the two of them would constantly be on the phone yelling at each other.  I feel guilty for hoping that she dies soon, so that IT will go away!

During one of the three phone conversations they had in one hour on Saturday, I asked her to hand me the phone, so that I could talk to him.  I asked him why he hates me so much.  We talked for about 10 minutes and I remained calm.  I said, "Do you really want to make her miserable for the remaining months that she'll be alive".  We talked about a lot of issues and I hope it will keep him from abusing her as much.  I realize my mother perpetuates some of this insanity.  She told me on Sunday that when she got home, she was going to tell him what a good time she had and how she was treated like a queen.  She has a hate/love relationship with my brother.  I asked her to not do that, because it would just antagonize him and make him more jealous of me and my attentions towards her.

p.s.  My son has around 19 months clean now (from drugs...he still drinks occasionally) and is doing well in college...he has finals this week.  He just got his full driver's license back and will be released from the program he's been in for over a year very soon.


Dad and Mom said...

dear Sherry,

I am so sorry for you and your motehr. Now is the time for you to let go of your brother even your mother won't. Find the peace in you that allows you to make right with your mother. Sounds like you have that already.

Sherry said...

Dad & Mom - Thanks for your means a lot!

Annette said...

Sherry, I am so sorry. You sound like an amazing daughter and I hope that you can enjoy your time left with your mom....despite your brother's obvious immersion in his disease.

Such a difficult and painful situation on so many levels. You sound like you are really doing the very best that you can though....and that is all we can expect of ourselves.


Anonymous said...

I am so sorry. You are a wonderful daughter. There is a special place in heaven for your mom. Remember deep breathing...repeat.

Sherry said...

My younger brother just called me and said while he was speaking with my mother on the phone, my alcoholic brother was screaming at my mother, "You tell them you're going to die here at home, with me here"!

Anna said...

It sounds like your brother is mentally ill and abusive. I am sorry that your Mom has sacrificed so much and now she is sick. She probably just sees him as sick. That is why she has put up with it.

The reunion sounded amazing and wonderful. That was good of you to arrange. We never got the chance to do that for my mom who just died recently. Give her all the happy moments you can. A happy life has already passed her by.

Barbara said...

Sherry, so good to see a post from you but sad about your mom. I remember reading about your mom and brother and being so angry about how he treats her. How smart to have a reunion for her to enjoy. I am hoping for the best "rest of life" possible for her. And way to go J! 19 months! That's incredible. I am thrilled to read that news!

Shen said...

I'm so sorry about the dire diagnoses... All you can do is make the most of it and it seems as if you are trying. I'm sorry you have to also deal with your brother at a time like this. Detach... with love. It's not easy, I know, but you can't let his craziness take over your life.

You're in my thoughts.

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