I have signed up today because I was hoping to find some kindred spirits who are experiencing what I am going through.
I am originally from the UK and have lived in the US for 6.5 years. My Mum had breast cancer about three years ago, which she survived and was considered to be cancer free.
In December last year she went to the doctor because she was experiencing pain in her back and it turned out that the cancer was back, this time in her bones. She has undergone various treatment to strenghthen her bones, and some radiation therapy for pain relief.
She has been in and out of hospital over the last few months with various issues - her lungs filled with fluid which had to be drained, she had a blood transfusion etc.
She had a visit with her oncologist last week and has found out that the cancer is still spreading - and there's nothing they can do to stop it - now it's a case of managing her pain. She was told she has in the region of six months to live.
Since my brothers and I were children it was always important to her that we manage our emotions - never getting to happy, silly, sad etc and in this case she does not want me to cry when I speak to her - she tells me to pull myself together.
Added to this is the fact that I live 3.5 thousand miles away from her which makes me feel incredibly helpless, it's not like I can jump in the car and go to see her whenever I want.
It has taken a few days for the news to sink in, and today I feel absolutely desperate. Any words of advice anyone can offer will be gratefully received.
Welcome and I'm so very sorry that your Mom's cancer has returned in a bad way. It is true that you have days of shock just trying to comprehend the magnitude of this dire of a diagnosis. Be gentle on yourself and allow the time for your emotions to sort themselves out. That's something that can't be forced. You will find a good place emotionally to be able to move forward and deal with this blow.
May I say this sucks eggs, that after three years, you are back in the world of cancer. I always find that to be so cruel -- oftentimes more so than those of us who knew from the beginning that our circumstances weren't going to have a happy ending. That's just my take.
Is there no other treatments that are available for her? We had a gal in our "Monday Chemo Club" that had multiple recurrences of her breast cancer and had multiple lines of therapy. Just asking, but don't really know much about breast cancer.
Do what you can to feel a part of this new journey -- either via the internet or by phone. I'd say to try and get a visit in if at all possible.
We're here for you. I'm sure others will have some good advice as many of us have been in the position of losing our mothers to cancer. Feel free to keep posting, as sometimes it helps you to work things out by writing about your feelings. This is a very safe and supportive community.
Sending hugs and asking for God's blessings,
Husband diagnosed with NSCLC Stage IV in 3/2005. Fought & lived over 2 1/2 years with multiple lines of treatment.
Left my embrace to live with our Heavenly Father in October of 2007 and now breathes with ease forever. I will miss this gentle, giving soul with the easy smile for the rest of my days, but have faith we will be together again. He's just getting a little break from me!
pb is a tough act to follow here. Not much to add beyond what was said above other than to say best wishes and prayers for her and you in this most difficult of times. You can't visit easily, true, but there is the phone and perhaps email for frequent contact?
well besides what was already mentioned maybe you can also send a card evy week or a note just letting her know altho your far away you are still there with her in throught. and before she takes a downhill curve I would also suggest for you to try and sqeeze in a visit. It will truly lift her spirits and you will know youhave done all you can. I pray she will be able to manage her pain for the time she has. keep us posted .take care of yourself.
April06- Emergencysurgery,exploratory,10units blood,largetumor and 10inches of colon removed,temp.colostomy.diagnosed stage IV colon.
Oct06-radiation,surgery,several lymphs,cervix,1 ovary,fallopian,40% remaining colon,large tumor to adipose tissue,appendix,gallbladder removed.permant colostomy/iliostomy
surgery-1/3liver,partial diaphra, removed clipped and questionable spots oblated.
port-port rejection-port removed 1week.
Oct-08-surgery-remaining ovary engulfed in tumor,partial bone scrape.
transfusion central line TPN 1 month.
oct-09-surgery tumor ,colon and jejuneum removed.
xeloda reduced. severe dehydration,heart attack.
mar-11 return to original site-oxyplatin,5fu
dec-30-back to chemo erbitux camtosar
Jan-16 injections neulasta and aranesp
feb 21-Tumor found stomach,liver, and liver "hot spots" inflamed lymph in rt ureter in kidney causing obstruction-surgery schedualed Mar 16.
march 16/12-no more kidney obstruction not lymph ...dehydration is causing blockage, two litters blood for anemia, stomach liver tumor small-med,abalation, 1 hidden tumor deep in muscle mass on side flank(hid from scans) -gone!
starting a regimine of celebrex
aug/30-12 discontinued celebrex -failure one kidney. needed to see urologist
sept/10-12-good urologist report one kidney functioning well for now.
oct/23/12-chemo pill Stivarga(regorafenib)
dec/18/12-blood transfusion chemo pill dosage cut back to 1 pill.
Feb/21/13 neulasta injection
Feb/22/13-blood transfusion. still taking stivarga.
mar/20/13-arenespt injection rehydration and magnesium IV
mar/21/13-acute renal failure-kidney infection
april/1/13.-recovery from 4 day coma infection cleared/4 units blood/ off stivarga/starting rehab therapy,
swollen hand no apparent reason black spots in vision off and on. both cleared up.
may/22/13-home oxycodone for pain shoulder neck arm
june/1/13 pain subsided off oxy onto aleve
june/09/13-pain back off aleve on vicodin
june 10/13-cancer in back/neck- starting radiation for arm neck and shoulder pain.
june24/13-last day of radiation-on steroids
july1/13-swollen legs and feet-lasix off steroids still on vicodin and xanax
july 23/13 vicodin cut in half blood transfusion.
sept/6/13-off all pain meds since late aug
scan results fracture in spine mid back
sept/12/13-spine healing on its own,weaning off steroids, no visible tumors.
nov/7/13-edema both legs and one arm on lasix since oct.
nov/21/13- leg edema subsiding still alot in one arm- she is talking but keeps her eyes closed. achy but no major pain. nurse and aide to visit once a week schedualed. having trouble standing.
nov/24/13-sadly but peacefully moms cancer journey is at an end, she will start her new spiritual journey together hand in hand with dad.
I am so sorry you are so far away and going through this; however, I know how you feel. My mom had a mastectomy about 2 years ago and we thought everything was fine. Last December we found out her cancer returned and spread so she had chemo, was in and out of the hospital, and she seemed to be better until just last month. She is so weak she can hardly walk on her own, sleeps most of the day, hardly eats and seems confused. Her oncologist gave her 6 months and I tell you, I am not ready to lose my mom! She's 81, I'm 46, but she's my mom. Like you, we didn't really share lots of emotions and kept things inside. I would say to you, if your mom is still coherent and can chat and stuff, call her all the time. Cherish the chats you have with her. I live only 20 minutes from my mom and dad but I tell you, it is hard for me to go there to see her like that. I plan to spend as much quality time I can with her, even if she sleeps through most of it. Know that you are not alone. I never thought I'd be going through this. I have 2 older brothers and it seems I have to be the strong one. So call your mom and enjoy the chats with her. Take care,
Sue in NH