Breast Cancer India
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How to make my mother feel positive again?

Hi everyone,

My mother has been through her second chemo 3 days back. She is feeling really tired and weak. Normally she is very positive and happy go lucky, also after first chemo she was fine but now I think chemo is taking its toll on her. She cries and feels awful most of the time. She feels very weak and tired and obviously she doesn't like it. She doesn't need to work at home as my relatives are there to take care of her but she doesn't like anyone working for her. She feels that her body is not obeying her and is not listening to her.And she is scared as this journey seems endless to her. Is it common for everyone going through chemo?

I have read on the forum that some of you guys are also going to offices and working after chemo. Then why is my mother not able to stay calm even at home? Please suggest what measures are you all taking ? How can I help my mother cope with this stress?

Thanks and best wishes


11 Replies

mommysgirl, we all understand your feelings for your mom and your mom's sickness. First 2 chemos are a bit difficult to take considering all the changes that one goes through and one does feel weak and tired. Your sister and your father are the most closest to her and their support is going to lift her up. Why don't you tell your mom to write on this forum and we ae all there to help her. If you want more moral support please contact The Indian Cancer Society who can come home and do some counselling to her. You can get the Delhi number from the Internet . All the best to your mom and the who,e family.


Thanks for the reply rgci13. Your kind words are much appreciated. I also want my mom to join the forum but she doesnt know how to use computer. My dad and sis know and I have asked them to join but I dont know why they are reluctant. Anyway.. I am here and very thankful to all the support you guys extend.

Thanks for the information about Indian cancer society, I will try to get their numbers.



Weakness is common after any chemotherapy. Your Mom sure will feel weak, but if she is not too weak, then I suggest, please let her do some of her routine work. Let her come into kitchen, let her help with some of the stuff. Letting her do her routine work will surely help her stay calm.

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Thanks for the reply doctor. I agree that we dont let her work. I will ask my family to let her follow her normal routine as much as she can. Can we give her something that can help her handle the weakness. She is 50 years old.

Thanks again for all your help.



hi Mg

dear during first week after chemo it is very difficult and what ur mom faces every one has more or less symptoms like that. after that for second week i can not do much work but go to office as some one drops me and in third week i m ok to drive. but it takes 2 weeks and as soon third week comes again cycle comes.

I have read the suggestion of Dr. Sumeet in this forum that let the work of patient be continued it can work. Dear i m used to get up early in morning by 4.45 to 5 and i still keep the same routine. After few hours if i feel tired i take rest but it helps me to feel better. This is how i manage. I think ur mom can also manage in second week a bit and in third week we can do normal work not heavy. Keep ur mom telling that only 4 cycles are left and it encourages as we start count down.

take care of ur mom


Hi Shirdi,

Thanks for taking time to write this reply. Yes she is a little better in the second and the third weak but she looses heart some times. Mostly when she starts feeling very week. She is also used to her routine and not being able to manage that because of sickness and weakness makes her feel awful. I understand that you are also going through a very hard time yourself. I will try to cheer her up and make her understand that there are so many other people who are fighting with this disease. I hope she will understand.

Take care.



Do you seriously want the number for The Indiaan Cancer Society . I will send it to you by tomorrow . Don't be too upset and things will fall in place do take care of itself positively! All my good wishes for your mom. Are you getting the chemo done in Max, Saket? It is not very far from my home. Any help needed do let me know. Okay dear, TC.


hi mg,just let your mom do her routine work as much as her body allows her.ask her to take up her hobby if it is possible,like reading,listening to music.everyone has to go through this but don't worry this phase will also pass by.god bless your mom and the whole


MG - I'm not quite sure how I ended up on this site. I live in California and was on the HU site for CLL (a blood cancer) looking for a post from someone who has been diagnosed with breast cancer as well. I am also a CLL patient, currently doing very well, who was diagnosed with breast cancer five years ago. I am fortunate that mine was found early and required a lumpectomy and radiation, but no chemo, but I have a cousin who is in the middle of dealing with a more aggressive breast cancer right now. She is just finishing fairly aggressive chemo and will be starting radiation soon. The one thing that her husband and other family members have said repeatedly is that this is her journey. Every journey is different.

It sounds like your mother is a fairly independent person and that it is difficult for her to not be able to "be herself". Perhaps the fact that everyone is doing things for her reinforces that feeling. Maybe the family needs to let her lead as far as her needs. It might be better to let her do what she feels able to do with family members offering to help her when she needs it, rather than doing everything for her. When she is too tired to continue a project, people can ask if she wants to finish it later, would like help then, or if she would like someone to take over. That leaves her still with some sense of control. Other than real basics like meals, there aren't very many things that can't wait until later. I realize that her situations different than mine, as there is family involved, but it is still important to do what is possible to give her a sense of not losing control.

I am hopelessly independent, and other than my pets, live alone. I really didn't want people coming in to do things for me. I discovered that I could survive on frozen dinners or "take out" - I don't know what like that is available in India. Daily issues like cleaning and laundry always waited for me until I was up to dealing with them, though I wished that they would just take care of themselves, and still do, now that I am better. Having others take over things like that may make your mother feel even more helpless, which is the opposite of what she needs to feel right now.

Finding other patients going through similar treatments to talk to, I found to be very helpful. Being told that you have cancer is very scary, and I think the fact that there is so much publicity about breast cancer doesn't help. It's a very normal reaction, as is depression for both the patient and those closest to that person. I think I would worry more if your mother wasn't scared! I have come to realize that those without cancer can never really understand the way a fellow patient can. At the same time it might be helpful for your father and other family members, including yourself, to find a support group for caregivers if there is one available, as I've also learned that cancer patients can't ever really understand what it is to watch someone you love going through dealing with the diagnosis and treatment.

I assume that your mother's doctors are following her counts carefully. It is important to be aware of her neutrophils - infection fighters. It seems that this group has a doctor advising who can probably tell you about a neutropenic diet if your mother's count goes too low. It is always an issue with CLL patients doing chemo.

I put together a collection of tips from different people about ways to deal with the side effects of chemo for my cousin. I'm afraid that if I try to go to that I won't find this group again. If you e mail me I will send it to you.

Pat Kennedy

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Hi PKenn nice to be alongwith all of us. Thanks for giving support. My sister also was detected Breast cancer in Feb 2013 - 3 surgeries, completed chemo and now planning for chemo. Can you inform regarding radiation


I think that for me radiation was more difficult emotionally than physically. My doctors and technicians were great. The feeling that it was going to go on forever began to wear on me and one day I drove out of the parking lot and had to pull over to just have a good cry. Looking back, I think it was a matter of the stress being held in until I just couldn't deal with it any more. It was very therapeutic to just let everything out, though I hoped no one would stop and ask if I needed help. I just needed to cry my feelings out. I stopped counting the days until things would be over and was surprised to find out that I was actually scheduling my last appointment one day.

Some people have trouble with fatigue. I used to take myself out to breakfast after treatment at a little restaurant where the food is not extensive, but is healthy, and the people all know each other and care about each other. No one knew that I was dealing with radiation, but that place is still, 5 years later, my little comfort place. Then, if I needed it I would take a short nap, but I really didn't have the kinds of problems with fatigue that some have.

Some, also, have skin issues. I didn't have any. The radiologist should give your sister recommended lotions or creams or be able to tell her which ones are best. I used them every day, which may have helped avoid problems.

I hope this helps!



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