Mom has brain cancer and my father wants me to quit my job to help take care of her, what do I do?

Cigur

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Aug 21, 2014
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I am 25 and live 500 miles away from my parents. I've been working at my first job since graduating school for about two years now. Several months ago my mom was diagnosed with a brain tumor that is inoperable and will eventually be terminal even with radiation and chemotherapy. I've done a lot of reading and she could live another few months or she could live 2-3 years. No one can really tell us for sure.

My mom's symptoms have been getting worse, and now she can't stay home alone or do much other than basic tasks without help. She is also very confused and has a hard time communicating with us. My employer has been understanding and I have split my time on and off at their house and where I live, but I am close to running out of time off. Working from home is not an option.

I want my parents to move in with me where I live, at least temporarily. When she is lucid my mom agrees that this is the best option, but my father refuses. My father is retired and doesn't have any friends, family, or church to give him a reason to stay there, and I am their only child. I can't just move my mom by herself because I would need to pay a nursing aide to watch her when I'm not home, and that would cost several thousands a month, which I don't have. My father controls the money with an iron fist.

I love my mom a lot, and I want to be there for her. But if I do what my father says, I give up everything: my job, my friends, my girlfriend, and my independence to be a full-time caregiver for an uncertain period of time. I could be unemployed for years. I know my mom wouldn't want me to do that when she was healthy, but now she is confused a lot and doesn't know what to think. I feel very depressed because my father constantly takes me on guilt trips, and I am very torn between my responsibilities as a son and my own life which has only just begun.
 

Shadowstar38

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Jul 20, 2011
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You're father sounds like he's being kind of selfish to be honest. From the sound of things, moving them both out to you is the most functional option, so I really feel like you need to put your foot down and tell your dad if he really cares, he'll stop complicating the situation.
 

Kuilui

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Apr 1, 2010
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Sounds like your dad is being a selfish cheap ass. Don't throw your life away that you just started because your dad who apparently has no life doesn't want to move even though he has no attachment to where he lives according to you. Tell your dad that he and your mother can move in with you or closer to you and thats that. If he really cares about you and your mother he would do that for her since its what she wants and it doesn't destroy your life. Otherwise when he starts to guilt trip you tell him to call you back when he feels like speaking to you like an adult and not a spoiled child who wants to get his way at the expense of others.
 

OneCatch

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Jun 19, 2010
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Critical issue is what your mother wants to do, and following that as closely as is reasonably possible. She may "agree that it's the best option" to move in with you but that's not always the same as actually wanting to do it. It might be that they'd like to spend what time is left in the family home, pragmatism be damned. I think it's probably worth considering, especially if your mother isn't always lucid or clear.

Now I think that you quitting your job and permanently moving home as a full-time carer isn't a feasible option, but surely there's some middle ground. Does your father have the means to pay for some support from carers, or could you contribute towards that rather than visiting so often - in order to save what time off you have from work for when you'll most need to be there?

And when you say that your father controls the money with an iron fist, what exactly do you mean? Presumably not your money, so do you mean his and your mothers savings or something?
 

ultratog1028

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Mar 19, 2010
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You should probably be closer to home to see your Mother if she is in bad condition, BUT your father made a vow to take care of her and be with her "in sickness and in health". HE made those wedding vows. HIS responsibility.
 

Eclipse Dragon

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Quitting your job causes financial instability for everyone. I imagine the medical bills aren't cheap and on top of that, if you have no income because you quit your job on your dad's demands, he's also paying to feed and house you now. It's not practical, I say you have the right idea for them to move in with you and your father is being stubborn.