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Caregiver Questions...

cateristar
Posts: 2
Joined: Nov 2004

Hello - I am new to CSN and so far, really appreciate the feedback and positive energy from the "chat room." My mom was diagnosed with colon cancer two years ago. She has undergone several chemo treatments and the cancer has spread to her liver and now has about 2-dozen nodules in her lungs. We are now moving to a treatment that is called irinotican(sp?) with cetuximab, recommendation from an Oncologist at Dana Farber. I am really scared to lose her. She told me tonight that she is scared to die. I continue to be positive and uplifting. She is doing amazingly well and all her vitals/tests on liver, etc., come back totally normal. Are these good signs? At stage 4 cancer, can one survive with this type of spreading? The Oncologist said that everyone is different with responding to treatment. What else can me and my sister do? I pray all the time...I lost my dad in 1978 - she is the only parent left. Any insight would be great. Thank you.

spongebob's picture
spongebob
Posts: 2600
Joined: Apr 2003

cat -

What a wonderful daughter you are, seeking help for you mom the way you are. She is blessed to have you and your sister.

Her onc is right, everyone responds to treatment differently. It's a wait and see game. Sounds like he is being positive as is your mom. Being afraid to die... now there's an issue. cat, we're all going to do it sooner or later. Help her focus on beating the cancer, not on being afraid to die. Keep her positive. That positive energy is what she needs to help her in this fight. Not negative energy of being afraid to die. Death is part of life. We all try to postpone it as long as possible, and that's a good thing as long as the steps we take to postpone it don't make us feel as though we wish we were dead! There is definitely that point of diminishing returns there...

Thee are many folks here who have beat stage 4 cancer - no doubt you'll hear from them. Sometimes you beat it and other times you manage it as a chronic illness like diabetes or arthritis or "heart problems".

Just enjoy your mom, now and for years to come. Keep her focused on positive goals. Emily will probably recommend a naturopathic regime - give it a try if you think she'd like it. So many things to do tat don't involve needles and chemicals. Things that add life to your years and may just add years to your life.

Keeping your mom and you in my prayers

- SpongeBob

kangatoo's picture
kangatoo
Posts: 2115
Joined: Feb 2004

Hiya Cat--there is nothing much I can add to Bob's reply except to say that we all here are very aware of the situation you are going through, especially carers. There is no doubt that being a sibling or spouse is the closest anyone can come to the reality of a cancer patients world. Come here often, Cat, as I am sure you will find many here to support you. In particular those here that are carers will have much to offer you. As for your mum's staging I cannot comment as I am stage 2 but nonetheless Jen and I welcome you to the board and are praying for the best prognosis for your mum.
huggs, kanga n Jen

cateristar
Posts: 2
Joined: Nov 2004

Thank you all very much for your support and inspiration. What a great place to go to, after a long day at work, and read such positive messages. I really appreciate the information. Thank you all.....

steved
Posts: 836
Joined: Apr 2004

Yours and your mothers fear of the outcomes of having this illness especially of death are very much things many on this site (including myself and my wife) can identify with. I am 31 and had my first son the day after I finished my preop radiotherapy- i am scared I won't see him grow up and will leave my wife a single parent.

but living with that prospect is part of learning to live with this diagnosis. In time it has faded and is no longer so at teh front of our minds and some normality has returned to our lives. But it is still there. The benefit of it though is we don't take a single day for granted. When the length of time you have left is threatened you focus more on the quality of it and that is something you and your mum really need to do. If her time is limited then how would she want to spend what time is left. no one can ever say how much time any of us have even with our diagnosis and doctors admit they are notoriously bad at predicting such things. Your mum has a very serious illness though and it will most likely affect the amount of time she has left (i'm sure i'm not telling you something you don't already know). Make the most of it- enjoy your time and continue to be there for her.

Let us know how you get on and we will be thinking of you,
Steve

bsrules
Posts: 296
Joined: Mar 2004

Hello and WELCOME!!! It is Sue here. I am a caregiver and know how frustrating it can be. Sponge Bob and Kanga are correct!!! Positive thinking is the key!!! My husband Bob was diag. a year ago this past Sept. they gave him 6 months and he is still with me!!! We are going through a very rough time right now but positive thinking and taking one day at a time has gotten us this far and will get us through this rough patch that we are faceing now!!! Come here are chat anytime no matter what news you have!!! The people here are great as they have helped us through so very rough times!!! Family is very important and you are doing a GREAT job.

Prayer heading your way!!!

Sue

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