How to support from overseas lockdown

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    My mom was diagnosed with Ovarian cancer about 5 years ago in Canada, where she lives. She has been through chemo 3 times, responding well and being cleared each time, but this most recent time the chemo didn’t work and she had to cancel her yearly trip to visit us here in New Zealand. I booked tickets for my children and I to go visit her, leaving March 27, but of course, with Covid-19, we’re not going anywhere soon. And she has been in and out of hospital dealing with a blocked intestine due to tumours and the chemo.

    I had a panic attack in late January, and have started taking anti-anxiety drugs and speaking with a mental health nurse to deal with the uncertainty, they’ve both helped. But with a recent turn in her health taking her in and out of hospital, I am scared. I have never felt as far away from my mom since moving here 12 years ago. And with not knowing when I’ll be able to get back to Canada, I am terrified that she will die and I will miss seeing her and being able to say goodbye.

    I write her long emails about our day to day activities with the kids. I try to make videos. We used to skype, but since her latest visit to hospital, she doesn’t have the energy. So I haven’t been able to see her. I feel so far away and useless. I don’t know what else I can do to help.

    Is anyone else struggling in the midst of our lockdown with family, either here or overseas, who are going through cancer? What have you thought of to do in order to support and show love?


    Hi Erin,

    I’m really sorry to hear about your situation. It’s a really tough situation for you, and I really feel for you. I’m new to this forum, and I know it’s been almost 9 months since you posted, but I wanted to let you know you’re not alone.

    My father has terminal leukemia/non-hodgkins and every day he lives is a gift. He lives in NZ and I live in London. This year has been so hard with having the freedom of movement removed (so if anything went wrong, I couldn’t be there), and also the terror of him potentially contracting COVID.

    To me it sounds like you’ve doing everything possible to be close to your mum. She must surely feel the love through your letters and videos. It’s not the same as being there though, I know. How are you coping now?

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