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Mar 16, 2019 08:13AM
Mar 16, 2019 08:18AM
I wish I had had either of my mothers alive and well to be with me through this journey - I lost my biological mother to breast cancer almost twenty years ago. In my nostalgic imagination, she would have been the perfect support, and never ever annoyed me :) In real life, I'm sure we would have butted heads.
I agree that it is very easy to be sensitive from any kind of advice from mom, no matter how well meant. I think be very careful to wait for her to ask for your thoughts, and even then, give it as gently as possible, with more performative humility than you'd think you'd need. E.g., 'this is what it sounds like to me, but what do you think? I'm not sure what I would do if I were you, but maybe xyz?' and keep the focus on her and support her in developing her own positions. That is a key part of education, as I'm sure you know. When she does turn to you to discuss things, don't assume she's asking for advice, but keep the focus on her and ask her follow up and clarifying questions for her own thoughts. Don't try to restate or summarize her position, but just reflect back what you are hearing, one little piece at a time.
Be ready to give her time and space, even though you are staying with her, and also be ready for her to be a little unreasonable at times. You are a safe person for her to be a little unreasonable with, and not need to be grown up and strong in front of.
I couldn't always predict when I would want solitude and when I would want company. I had someone come stay with me for my lumpectomy recovery but it turned out I didn't really need it and she wasn't really the right person for it. She needed a bit too much direction and attention from me, but we found our equilibrium and she spent time enjoying my city and I had the quiet days I needed.
Trust that she will find her understanding and her own way. No matter how much your sweet precious momma instincts are raring to go to step in and fight for her, ultimately she must do this her own way. That is also the best thing for her and the relationship long term, no matter how sure you are in any particular instance that she is not making the medically optimal (in your view) decision or approach that you wish she would.
Maybe think about how you'd like her to treat you, if/when the time comes the shoe is on the other foot and she is taking an meaningful role in your eldercare :)
Dx at 39. 1.8cm. Oncotype 9.
9/19/2018, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH)
10/18/2018 Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal: Sentinel
12/3/2018 Whole-breast: Breast
Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)