Six Ways to Make Your Sick Mother Happy

My mother is celebrating her 67th birthday tomorrow hence I am dedicating this post to her. So why the post title? Obviously because she is sick. Not bed-ridden or incapable of caring for herself but you know that life-threatening C? Yes, she is suffering from cancer. It’s been a year since we learned about my mother’s serious health problem and I am very thankful that she live this long to celebrate her 67th birthday. I am fervently praying that she get to live until 70 or 75 and if fate allows, until 80.

To anyone who is familiar with cancer, they know how painful it can be to the sufferer. I am certain there is nothing I can really do to stop the pain and prevent it from coming but I managed to think of ways to make her feel happy despite the pain the disease brings. While I do not wish for anyone to go through the same as what we are going through now, I am sharing this hoping to help those who needed an extra lift to help them bring in good vibes out of this situation.
  1. Give time. No matter how busy you are, make sure to spend time with your mom as often as possible. They may not say it but mothers love it when her children are around. Also, when you are at home, remember to…
  2. Listen to her stories and update her with what’s going on in your life. Of course you are not oblige to tell her anything but those updates like your adventures during your recent out of town trip or when you ran from first floor to fifth floor of your office building because you are running late can make a difference. In turn, you also have to listen as she shares her experience for the day. Each time I arrive home, my mother would usually sit beside me as I eat my dinner and tell her about my day. No matter how insignificant her story is to you, pay attention and respond to her if possible. Appreciate her when she says she ate all the fruits in the fridge or when she went out of the room to get some sun and fresh air.
  3. Show her that she is still needed. Mother’s never outgrow the need to be a mother. They will always do their roles as mother no matter how old her children are. In other words, they will always try to care for us regardless of their condition. That is their purpose in life. Now, when you take that purpose away from them, in addition to their sickness, they’d eventually lose reason to live.
  4. Allow cheat days. We all know that most people who are ill have special diet to follow and most of these foods are less appetizing. Upon learning about my mother’s illness, I spent hours researching on how I can help prevent the disease from progressing, if not cure it. I learned that there are lots of foods she needs to avoid and I prevented her from eating those. At first she was okay with her diet as she is determined to get better but over time, those foods became boring. Imagine her joy when I brought home a box of butter cookies and chocolate chip cookies. The sparkle in her eyes is priceless! From then on, I allow her to indulge from time to time.
  5. Make her comfortable. If you are able to provide things that can give her comfort, then go for it. If she wants extra pillows, cold compress bag, am/fm radio (to serve as her companion during those sleepless nights), board games and many other things to make her comfortable and forget about her pain even just for a while, provide her those. You will see how these “comfort things” can change her mood.
  6. Respect her wishes. When her biopsy result was released, her doctor advised us that she will have to undergo TAH-BSO to prevent the cancer cells from spreading to her other organs. I asked her about going through the surgery and when to do it but she said that she do not want to do it. I used to ask her almost every day if her mind has change but her answer is always the same. The last time I asked her to go through the surgery, she pitifully told me as if pleading, not to bring up the topic again because her decision will never change as she will only die during the surgery. Some people may see it as an act of giving up but to her it is an act of accepting something she didn’t ask for and letting God take over her life… our lives. Right now, she is bent on living life to the fullest and I think I like it better than seeing her in vegetable state, waiting for the light in her eyes to fade.
It is not easy to have someone in the family suffer from cancer but surely there are some ways on how you can make that person’s life more bearable. Hopefully I was able to share a little something to people like me whose loved one is affected by cancer.

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