New to Care Givers
I'm a regular GWebber and see many familiar names, but just wanted to post a quick intro over here, as I imagine I'll be spending some time here over the next year or so.
My mother will soon be moving to a full-range senior living community in our city from the state where she has lived all of her adult life. She was the only family member left in that area and her health was failing. Her three children all live far away and far apart, and we are the only ones in this area. (Myself, husband, and two sons, 16 and college-bound, and 11 year old with autism.)
Mom's a lifelong heavy smoker, diabetic, and was recently diagnosed with lung cancer. Her diagnosis is so recent that most of the relevant medical facts aren't in yet. The facts that stuck in her mind are that her cancer was caught 'relatively early', but that it's not likely to be curable, that at least one tumor is located near some nerves that are likely to make her cancer significantly more painful than my father's (He died two years ago, also from lung cancer, but was active until the last 6 weeks.), and that this type of cancer often metastasizes to the brain. The probable pain and possible future brain involvement have her worried, as her intellect, good humor and wit have always been some of her strongest points, and she is loathe to become a burden.
Fortunately, Mom has sufficient insurance, income and assets to pay for her care, which gives her the best options available. Additionally, she is very rational and organized and has already done many things to sort out her business affairs and make things easier for us. She already has a living will with medical directives, is clear on the types of treatments she does and does not want, and has indicated she will give me full power of attorney to use as I deem fit. And thankfully, none of her children are greedy, irresponsible, addicted or trouble-makers, so I don't foresee any serious disagreements about medical care or estate matters. (Knock on wood.)
So that's the bad news and the good as we start off on this final journey. Any words of advice from those of you who know would be appreciated.