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Supporting an unwell parent from abroad

Supporting an unwell parent from abroad

Old Apr 21st 2022, 7:10 am
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Default Supporting an unwell parent from abroad

Hi all,

Been back in the UK since January and just found out that my mum (who lives in Canada) has been diagnosed with cancer. I've always been really close with her and I really don't know what to do. She was hospitalised a few days ago with internal bleeding and the diagnosis came after a few days of tests. She tells me that I shouldn't sacrifice my new job and home but all I want to do is see her. Has anyone else been in this situation before? She's 75 years old and I worry that if I don't act fast I might not ever see her again but I honestly hate the idea of living in Canada again as I struggled quite a bit but also feel that just visiting isn't the right course of action. Her partner is there and great he supports her with everything, my brother is there as well. Don't know the prognosis or anything but since I've been told my mind is just running in circles.

Any advice would be appreciated.
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Old Apr 21st 2022, 7:58 am
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Default Re: Supporting an unwell parent from abroad

Freshwhyte, I'm sorry to read your post.

I was in a similar position a couple of years back, when my Mum got diagnosed with cancer. It was reversed though - Mum was in the UK and I was here in Oz.

I went back for a visit and to support her for a hospital stay / operation which was a few months from initial diagnosis. I was only able to stay a few weeks, and knew the prognosis was not good when I returned to Australia.

Ultimately I wasn't there in the end - but lots of other family were. It was not an easy time - and she was not really there at the end.

No one can really tell you what to do. Whatever you decide, be kind to yourself xx
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Old Apr 21st 2022, 8:16 am
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Default Re: Supporting an unwell parent from abroad

I am afraid I can't give you advice but can commiserate. We (my sister, brother & I are all expats) and my Mother (88) back in the UK is getting very frail (although, amazingly, she has just got over covid!). Only this morning I had a message from my sister in Australia, expressing concern.

I agree about visiting, something I also don't wish to do, you can only do what you feel is appropriate at the time.

Sorry, that doesn't really help.
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Old Apr 21st 2022, 10:02 am
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Default Re: Supporting an unwell parent from abroad

Thanks for the replies all, I think a visit is definitely in the cards it's just a matter of getting the time off (although if my employer doesn't grant it I will just quit since at that point they won't be worth my time). She has a CT scan scheduled for today so should know more about prognosis etc. I just feel so bad for her, cancer has always been her biggest fear so I can only imagine how she feels, and also don't want to be that person who isn't there to support her even if it's for just a short time.

So I think it's probably time to pack some things in a bag and be ready to jump the pond to be there for her for a couple of weeks.
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Old Apr 21st 2022, 10:06 am
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Default Re: Supporting an unwell parent from abroad

Originally Posted by Freshwhyte View Post
Thanks for the replies all, I think a visit is definitely in the cards it's just a matter of getting the time off (although if my employer doesn't grant it I will just quit since at that point they won't be worth my time). She has a CT scan scheduled for today so should know more about prognosis etc. I just feel so bad for her, cancer has always been her biggest fear so I can only imagine how she feels, and also don't want to be that person who isn't there to support her even if it's for just a short time.

So I think it's probably time to pack some things in a bag and be ready to jump the pond to be there for her for a couple of weeks.
all goes well today
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Old Apr 21st 2022, 10:08 am
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Default Re: Supporting an unwell parent from abroad

Originally Posted by old.sparkles View Post
all goes well today
+1
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Old Apr 21st 2022, 10:47 am
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Default Re: Supporting an unwell parent from abroad

Originally Posted by Freshwhyte View Post
Hi all,

Been back in the UK since January and just found out that my mum (who lives in Canada) has been diagnosed with cancer. I've always been really close with her and I really don't know what to do. She was hospitalised a few days ago with internal bleeding and the diagnosis came after a few days of tests. She tells me that I shouldn't sacrifice my new job and home but all I want to do is see her. Has anyone else been in this situation before? She's 75 years old and I worry that if I don't act fast I might not ever see her again but I honestly hate the idea of living in Canada again as I struggled quite a bit but also feel that just visiting isn't the right course of action. Her partner is there and great he supports her with everything, my brother is there as well. Don't know the prognosis or anything but since I've been told my mind is just running in circles.

Any advice would be appreciated.
Hi and so sorry about the news I think this is something a lot of expats have had to “face” and all deal with it differently. I myself have been in both situations my mother passed away very suddenly whilst I lived in Australia, I had not seen her for a while and in some ways I found it a little bit easier to cope with which was a blessing and a surprise to me, maybe “distance” helped I am not sure why. Ten years later I returned to live in the UK but a couple of years later my wonderful Dad suddenly lost his sight (I was away on holiday at the time) on the drive home from the airport my SIL phoned me with the news and I went straight to my Dads, the next couple of years were difficult but we managed with the situation (my dad to me with how he coped was a hero) he passed away a couple of years later and those years I had with him were precious the easy part though was that I had already returned to the UK so no decisions for me to make. If I were you I would wait for more news on your Mums prognosis and make a “plan” from there, she has people “looking out” for her in Canada so try and take comfort from that, have you spoken to your Mum about what she thinks? Sending you hugs
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Old Apr 24th 2022, 2:55 am
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Default Re: Supporting an unwell parent from abroad

I can only say as a 2 time cancer survivor (1995 and 2011) and OH also a cancer survivor (2005), that the diagnosis of cancer is not a death sentence. In fact, it rarely is these days, survival rates are high, and Canada has super results.

So try to calm yourself, think positive, and wait for the complete diagnosis. Work with your mum's partner to find out what is going on, if your Mum won't give you all the details ................. we Mums are awful for not wanting to worry our kids.

My daughter got a tattoo on her thigh as a way of coping during my recovery time from the first operation back in 19995 ................. her way of calming her nerves.

Good luck!
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