Conversation with my mother

Mom: "The doctor called. They found nothing wrong with the biopsy they took, so he's free to start chemo next week."

Me: "That's great."

Mom: "I'm so glad Clinton signed that law."

Me: "What law?"

Mom: "The one where you're allowed to take of work to take care of a sick relative. The only thing is that they don't have to offer you the same job when you get back."

Me: "That's not the only thing. It's completely unpaid. In this economy, who do you know that can go 3 month without income? There's another issue that if the company has layoffs, they don't have to offer me a job at all. So I can see why no one would be lining up for FMLA right now."

---End of conversation---

I get the distinct feeling that my mother wants me to take time off from work to take care of my dad. She says she can't do it because she's self-employed and needs the money. To which my inner monologue was like, "Oh, and I don't?" Taking unpaid time away from work is not an option. First, I need my full income for savings because there's a strong chance I would have to move because of my parents financial situation. Second, I do not want to, even in a small way, jeopardize my position. I'm a little floored that she would even bring it up at a time like this.

I suggested a couple of things that could work us:

1. Road to Recovery is a free service provided by the American Cancer Society. Patients are matched with volunteers to help them get to their doctor's appointments. This could help my mother and me since we both have to work.

2. Check with Medicare/Medicaid on what they cover for home help during the days. There is going to come a point where my father will need assistance bathing, eating, etc. I suggested that we look into getting a home health care assistant that's covered by Medicare/Medicaid that can come in during the days to help take care of him. The benefit if is that it allows both my mother and I to continue to work and earn income. Second, my mother works from home, so she can keep an eye on them. In the evenings she and I will be home so we can take over from there. On paper, it sounds like a win-win situation.

My mother seemed to appreciate the ACS information for getting my dad to appointments. However she was less enthusiastic about home helper info. Emotionally, I understand. It's hard to think about him getting to that point. However, in my opinion, now is the time to think about these things and have a plan, before it gets even more emotional and we feel too overwhelmed to make a thoughtful decision. By the way, she still hasn't gotten back to me on what the plan will be for her financial stability after my dad passes.

I know it's hard to think about, but do we have a choice? Putting this off until "later" seems like the absolute worst thing to do, especially since my mother's financial situation is so serious. I'm not sure what to do.