Estranged Mother has Cancer
I have had an on and off relationship with my mother since I was 12. I won't go into extensive details about the history, the short version is she had a problem with alchololism, and other personal problems, I was placed in foster care. I know I wasn't / haven't been a perfect child, and I do have fond memories of my mother. I am not here to blame her.
We have a delicate reconsiliation, we are not really involved in each others lives- an occasional text, phone call, birthday card are all we manage. Well, I send her mothers day gifts, and birthday presents / cards. She hasn't sent me a birthday or X mas card in years- and I got a text from her on my last birthday.
When we speak she doesn't ask me about myself or my family, we just discuss her issues and health problems. She doesn't know or ask about any part of my life, doesn't want to see picture of my house we bought, ask about my job, my husband, (who was recently laid off) or anything about me really.
Two years ago she started seeking treatment for a lump in her throat, and no one could ever find anything wrong. In the past year, she got worse, lost weight, and has been taking strong pain killers.
Yesterday, she saw a ENT who found a tumor on her throat. It is cancer. She is scheduled for a biopsy tomorrow and surgery early next week.
She was alone when he gave her the news and she was too shocked to ask too many questions. All I have is the above info. I have looked at the type of cancer she has, and caught in early stages, (not metastasised) prognosis is good.
But she's been having issues for two years now and Iw onder if it has spread. The survival rate for this type of cancer is 50/50 after 5 years.
She lives alone, and is scared. Her sister is coming to stay with her, so that helps.
I know she wants me there for the surgery, and I would like to be there....but I don't have the money and I am not certain about putting that on my credit card.
I am conflicted, I want to be there for my mother, to ease her fears, however I am still not certain that going into debt for it is within my responsibilities as her child. (Im 34)
Even though I have forgiven and tried to forget the past- I keep thinking of the time we reconciled....It was thought I had terminal cancer ( I didnt) and I decided to reconcile the relationship. My mother was willing, but we had to pay for everything, and we took on debt to get her here.
I don't want to sound petty, and please don't attack me. To be perfectly honest, I have a niggling doubt that she would be there for me were the tables tunred.
Should I go see her, and run myself into debt? Does it matter if she would do the same for me?
Should I wait and see if it's more serious?
Is a daughter bound to take care of her parent, no matter what? What if the parent didn't take care of the child? What if the relationship is such that you don't think of her in terms of a mother, other than biology?
Thanks for letting me put down these thoughts.