By Chandrama Anderson
E-mail Chandrama Anderson
About this blog: About this blog: I am a LMFT specializing in couples counseling and grief and have lived in Silicon Valley since 1969. I'm the president of Connect2 Marriage Counseling. I worked in high-tech at Apple, Stanford University, and in ... (More)
About this blog: About this blog: I am a LMFT specializing in couples counseling and grief and have lived in Silicon Valley since 1969. I'm the president of Connect2 Marriage Counseling. I worked in high-tech at Apple, Stanford University, and in Silicon Valley for 15 years before becoming a therapist. My background in high-tech is helpful in understanding local couples' dynamics and the pressures of living here. I am a wife, mom, sister, friend, author, and lifelong advocate for causes I believe in (such as marriage equality). My parents are both deceased. My son graduated culinary school and is heading toward a degree in Sociology. I enjoy reading, hiking, water fitness, movies, 49ers and Stanford football, Giants baseball, and riding a tandem bike with my husband. I love the beach and mountains; nature is my place of restoration. In my work with couples, and in this blog, I combine knowledge from many fields to bring you my best ideas, tips, tools and skills, plus book and movie reviews, and musings to help you be your genuine self, find your own voice, and have a happy and healthy relationship. Don't be surprised to hear about brain research and business skills, self-soothing techniques from all walks of life, suggestions and experiments, and anything that lights my passion for couples. (Author and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Calif. Lic # MFC 45204.) (Hide)
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I Told My Mom She's Dying
Uploaded: Nov 18, 2014
Yesterday I told my mom she's dying. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life. We cried. She thanked me for telling her and said she'll miss me so much (you see, this is why I love her so much).
She's actually my MIL, yet she is the mom of my heart.
Last fall she had uterine cancer and went through treatment, which ended in April. She was pronounced cured. I was her advocate with doctors and insurance companies.
This fall she wasn't well, and many tests were ordered. She now has cancer in her lungs, lymph system and bones. Last Friday we found out there are widespread tumors in her brain.
The docs were still talking about treatment and chemo . . . not palliative care, which is where it sounded like we are, based on my experience.
I'm not a doctor, but I am a therapist and have done grief counseling for many years and had family members die of cancer. I thought we were being given false hope, which is different than hope.
False hope does not allow the patient or family to prepare for the death.
I called Mom's primary care doctor who told me square: there's no cure, she needs to decide about quality of life and treatment options (i.e., palliative care). There is no time for a second opinion. Mom likely has weeks left to live (and no one knows if that's six or 16). The doc asked me if I could talk to Mom about these things. I said I could.
I thought Mom would call her PCP yesterday who would tell her, since a quick decision about care was needed. However, Mom decided not to call since I had.
So I had to tell my mom she's dying. After we hung up, I wailed. Then I called my husband, and he came right home so we could be together.
Mom eventually called her PCP who said all the things I had relayed. Her doc said to spend as much time as she can with those she loves.
One of those will be me.
What is it worth to you?
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