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Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 86
   Posted 5/14/2008 5:16 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello everyone
Sorry I haven't posted in a while - I'm very very busy here.  I'm doing OK and have just finished my year of Herceptin. I've just got to take Aromasin now for another 4 years.  I'm feeling quite good apart from the Aromasin side effects but I guess they're worth putting up with. 
My teaching is going really well and I would really be enjoying life again if it wasn't for my mother !  She's 95 now and has dementia.  We've just put her into a home for the second time.  Last summer she went in, didn't settle and came out again.  She immediately asked to go back in and so we found her a really nice home and moved her in a couple of months ago. Unfortunately her dementia makes her rather difficult and she spends most of her time calling me to complain.  I think she must phone me 30 or 40 times every day !  Sometimes she's really aggressive and unpleasant which is upsetting but I try to tell myself that it's her illness making her like this.  It's all very time consuming.
Not to worry - I've got a couple of nice trips organised later in the summer and am looking forward to getting away.
Take care everyone.
Best wishes
Anthi x

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 2921
   Posted 5/15/2008 9:02 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Anthi! I remember talking to you before about your Mother. I am glad to hear you are doing well. I can't imagine having to deal with the medications and my mother, too. If you remember she is also 95 and has now been in a home for three years. She thinks it has been just a matter of days or weeks sometimes. She was getting very aggressive towards the workers, too, and they threatened to kick her out. I asked about giving her some antidepressant that helps control rage and between her doctor and the admin at the home they worked it out. She is much more pleasant to deal with, altho she still gets a bee in her bonnet every once in awhile. Why the people at the home didn't suggest medication sooner, I will never know. They have lots of patients on it. It doesn't sedate her at all. It just takes the edge off her temper which has never been good.

I hope your trips are for short periods, you may take on more than you can manage if they are long. I would love to have my mother visit me, she is 1300 miles away, but I know anything more than two days would have me worn to a frazzle. It is too expensive to fly her here with someone else to watch over her for just a couple of days. But as I sit on the patio and watch the beautiful birds I think of how much she would enjoy it. Or would have enjoyed it. I am not sure she is really too interested in much of anything these days. She does play cards with some of the women at the home, but she won't read, watch TV or even walk out in the garden at the home. She does crosswords and plays Solitaire mostly. I call her every night and she seems most appreciative of my calls. It gives her something to count on each night, I guess.

Take care of yourself, first!!!

Hugs MK

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 316
   Posted 5/15/2008 4:13 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Ladies,

I just recently read an amazing book called "Dancing with Rose" by Lauren Kessler about people living in nursing homes and their caretakers. It is a non-fictional account of the time Lauren Kessler spent volunteering, trying to understand Alzheimer's, it's toll on her mother, and how it affected her. I highly recommend it to anyone who has a loved one in a home or may once be there themselves.

The finger of God touches your life when you make a friend.
----Mary Dawson Hughes---

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 86
   Posted 5/15/2008 5:32 PM (GMT -6)   

Hello GMA and Lauré.  Good to hear from you and thank you for your suggestions.

Lauré I'm going to get this book as it sounds really interesting and I'd like to understand more about the condition.

GMA I was pleased to read more about your mother.  It's good they were able to help her become less aggressive with an anti depressant.    I've decided to talk to my Mother's carers and doctor about this and see if they can suggest some medication which would help her too.  It seems a really good idea and would certainly make Mother easier to deal with and hopefully a little happier.  I'm sure Mother herself would be horrified if she really understood how difficult she is being. It's sad how they've become different people now isn't it?

Take care of yourselves.

Anthi  x

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 1564
   Posted 5/15/2008 5:48 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, Anthi! Yes, it has been a long time...so good to see your post! I kept my MIL with us for 3 years when she could no longer care for herself. We, too, had "behavior problems," and as long as we could keep her on an anti-depressant, she did very well. The problem was, when she had had a couple of good weeks, she would insist that she no longer needed the drug, and then in a few weeks we were back where we started. She was so hard to reason with! I loved her dearly, but she certainly tired my patience ( and everyone else's!) at times! She had dementia, and my biggest fear was that she would wander off in the night. She would decide she wanted to go somewhere and just go sit out in the car. I have to admit, we found it amusing, as sad as it was. She was a stinker sometimes. But she was always there when I needed her, and I'm glad I could do for her when she was in need.

Good luck with your mom, and congrats on finished the Herceptin!

Love and hugs...
"There's a difference between a philosophy and a bumper sticker."  --Charles Schulz

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2004
Total Posts : 826
   Posted 5/16/2008 12:20 PM (GMT -6)   
It's good to see your post.  I am glad you are doing so well and have some trips planned.  Enjoy yourself, but don't do too much that it will tire you out.  I can only imagine what you are going through with your mother.  Fortunately, I have not had to deal with that situation.  Good luck.
L & H,

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 86
   Posted 5/16/2008 5:26 PM (GMT -6)   

Hello Bev and Kathy.  Good to hear from you both.

Don't worry Kathy -I do try to look after myself and I get lots of rest.  I need a lot of sleep these days and I must confess I unplug my phone every night to prevent my Mother disturbing me.  The staff at the care home have my cell phone No. in case of emergency (with strict instructions not to give the number to Mother !)

Bev - good to hear from  you.  I see on another thread that you've got shingles.  I hope it clears up soon.

Take care

Anthi x

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2003
Total Posts : 1373
   Posted 5/17/2008 5:15 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey Anthi!  It's nice to hear from you again.  I'm glad treatment is progressing and I hope you get better with the mom thing.  I can't imagine it, myself.  My mom was so impacted by her own mother's dementia, that she has said since that she doesn't want us to feel obligated if she has to go to a home, to visit her much.  She knew it was very painful for her and doesn't want us to feel we have to put ourselves through it.  I just tend to feel guilty if someone looks at me funny, though.  So that's going to be a tough one.  Of course, I hope that we won't have that type of problem with Mom, that she'll be marbled until the last.  I wish you the best, all of you!
"Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." -Confucius
Don't knock on Death's Door.  Ring the bell and run.  He hates that.


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