Juggling uni/caring/losing Mum

  • Posts: 1
    Edited by: River - 26/09/2015 01:41

    Hi everyone,

    My Mum has been diagnosed as terminal for about 18 months now. She was diagnosed during my 2nd term of uni (first year). For the remainder of 1st year she was pretty much okay. Over my second year she was relatively okay, with a few hospitalisations which I came back for, one very significant when we nearly lost her. During that significant one, I missed about a week of uni and since then have struggled to stay on top of uni friendships properly and one of my modules as suffered.

    I'm now heading into my 3rd year and Mum isn't well at all. Each week I've been home for the past 3 weeks, she's been noticeably worse. She's having more 'off' days than on, her bilirubin is 80+ and she's more nauseous (=more tablets =more sleep etc.). Dad's suggested I come home about once a week for the time being (I only live 30mins from uni).

    I just don't know what to do. Dad needs me to be okay - whenever anyone asks how we are he skims over how my brothers are and talks about how well I'm doing at uni. Whenever I try to tell him I'm struggling he tells me I'm stronger then I think I am. I also feel like I need to be at uni - it's home for me now. Over summer I really struggled being back in the family house, seeing Mum daily, being in an isolated village etc.

    But I'm worried about my brothers and Dad. I know that Mum can't be alone any more and Dad's going to need to get out at times to do the food shop etc. He does call on family friends because he doesn't want my life to be compromised. But it doesn't feel right that friends spend more time with Mum then I do in her remaining weeks.

    I'm terrified I won't be able to stay on top of my work/achieve my potential... I just don't know what to do. Mum's going downhill so fast. My uni know about Mum, my academic supervisor is aware, as is the GP and my college team and the uni counselling team all support me, but there are limits to what they can do.

    I don't know why I'm posting here, I know there's nothing anyone can say to make this better. I know there's no right answer and I probably haven't explained this very well anyway. I guess I'm just feeling lost and alone tonight and just needed to blurt a bit.

    Thank you for listening x


  • Moderator - Posts: 18
    30/09/2015  08:46

    Hi River

    I'm so sorry you're going through such a difficult time. Going to uni can be hard to cope with in any circumstances, so doing it while your mum is so ill must be really hard, especially in your final year. I totally understand what you say about feeling as if uni is more your home now. A lot of people feel torn between their responsibilities to the person who's ill and getting on with living their own lives - it puts so much pressure on friendships, relationships, work, study, everything. 

    It's great that you're getting support from your university, even though it's limited, and talking with them about your options will help if you're finding it all too much. Marie Curie does have some information for people going through a similar situation to you here https://www.mariecurie.org.uk/help/being-there/support-carers (just cut and paste it into your browser if the link doesn't work), which includes how your Dad might be able to get support in looking after your mum, as well as how you can look after yourself and make sure you're ok. 

    I really hope this helps a little bit at least.

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