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hi, looking for guidance

valnick
Posts: 1
Joined: Nov 2005

My sister has ovarian cancer which was diagnosed 2 years ago. In the beginning we thought she was going to beat it without a doubt, but now I'm not too sure. She has had a few surgeries and has gone through 4 different chemo medications. She is allergic to the last 2 and her CA-125 count keeps rising. She is in a lot of pain and her stomach is swelling. She has a hard time going to the bathroom because it hurts her so much. They have mentioned a collostomy (sp) bag, but I've haven't heard anything else about it. She has become depressed, angry, crying all the time. I try to talk with her but nothing I say helps her. I came here looking for guidance on what to do. I am a single mother of 2 who lives about 1 hour 15 mins from my sister so it is hard for me to always be there for her. We are best friends though and we talk many times a day; that is until the past few weeks since it seems she has gotten worse. Can anyone give me advice on how to comfort her? She cries all of the time and is always upset about her 7 yr old daughter being without her mom. The doctors have not told her that she is going to die any time soon, but by the way she is acting it is like she believes she is going to die tomorrow. When I tell her to take things one day at a time and we will deal with whatever comes across our path she gets angry with me. When I talk about death she cries. I don't know how to help her and I just want to make her life a little easier. Any suggestions?
Thanks for listening.

mopar
Posts: 1950
Joined: May 2003

My heart hurts for you and your sister (and family). This is never an easy road to walk. In many cases pain management can be the difference between being able to 'cope' and actually experiencing healing. Please ask the doctors (or have your sister ask)if there is something they can give her to take the edge off the pain. Maybe then she can think more clearly, get some rest, and be more positive. Especially if they have not given her a prognosis, they need to address her anxiety, fears and pain so that she can live from day to day. I know she's probably not interested right now, but exercise can be a very important tool during this time. Even if it's just a walk with her daughter, or something simple, she needs to have circulation to aide in healing. Diet is important too. I would imagine she doesn't have much of an appetite, so there are some things she can do to help her on that (let me know if you want some suggestions).

Being far apart and having your own family does limit your time. But maybe if she can get some relief she might find room for some hope. Does she have a strong faith? That has been my salvation through all of this (as it has most of my life). Reading hopeful and uplifting scriptures (such as Psalms) is very comforting. Or maybe there's a tape or CD you can get her to help enforce a positive outlook. Does she like classical music? I also find it so relaxing and enjoyable.

It just sounds to me that the doctor needs to take a more active role in her situation by offering some support, whether it's pain management or a support group, or even just someone to talk to. Is he/she a gynecologic oncologist? This type of specialist best knows how to deal with this. Does she have a computer? This is the best place to find support and hugs. She doesn't even have to read to educate herself if she doesn't want to. It's just a nice place to chat and hear from others who have gone through it or are going through it.

Please let us know what the possibilities are with the doctor. And remember that we know so much more nowadays. There's no reason anyone should have to live in fear and anxiety and pain. Please keep us informed. Until then, you are all in my prayers.

Monika

Cullipher
Posts: 7
Joined: Aug 2005

I am so sorry about your sister..your sister must be pretty young..you never said what stage her cancer was when she was diagnosed...I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer stage 2c in sept. 2003 I had surgery and had to take six chemo treatments...so far so good ...I can relate to what your sister is feeling...I was 55 when I was diagnosed...all my children are grown..but I still want to live..If she would just put it in Gods hands.....I did a lot of praying..I am sure she does to....It is great that you are there for her..when she gets ready to talk she will....It is so hard for her haveing a young child and wondering if she will live to see it grow up..It was hard on me thinking about my children even if they were grown...I just live one day at a time and try to enjoy every day that God gives me... I do hope you and your sister the best...she is lucky to have a sister like you.....God bless you both...

BonnieR's picture
BonnieR
Posts: 1549
Joined: Jan 2004

Dear Val, I can only imagine the stress and fear your sister has, especially if she has a 7 yr old. Somedays a person just has to feel the pain and mourn the loss of what their life was. But if she is stuck there I pray her Dr sees this and gives her an antidepressant to help. As far the colonostomy, I was just told to let them know when I am ready for one. Our colons get neuropathy from all the chemo, or that is what I was told.

I have been on chemo for almost 3 years and have had 2 surgeries so far. Currently in a research study group, so there are lots of obtions out there for her. As for the swelling she needs to let the Dr her pain as it is probably ascites and they can drain it for her.

As for how you can help, just listen, be as supportive as you can. Does anyone go to her Dr visits with her? That is another way to help, be with her or have someone be with her.

Keeping you all in my prayers.

BonnieRose

mssue's picture
mssue
Posts: 243
Joined: Oct 2003

My heart goes out to You and Your Sister.My sister was diagnosed very recently and there's 900 miles between us but we've been talking on the phone nearly every night.I just wanted You to know You're not alone-I don't know what to do except be there emotionally and alot of praying.My Sister had fluid drained off last Monday now-the fluid is back-none of us thought it would come back that quick,I'll talk to her again tonite-Don't know if the chemo will make it go away or if they will have to drain it again,I know she's miserable with it,can't eat or drink anything it makes it worse-she's drinking Boost I hope that's helping.
It's a hard position to be in,she is very lucky or shall I say blessed to have You for her Sister.My thoughts and prayers are with ya'll.
(((hugs)))
Sue

mopar
Posts: 1950
Joined: May 2003

SUE: THIS NOTE IS FOR YOU! You mentioned your sister is drinking Boost. PLEASE look into alternative nutritional supplements for her. Although I don't want to offend anyone, I have to speak up about the quality of Boost. It is a poor protein source, has too many carbs (especially the wrong kind), and can actually create more problems (gas, etc.). If you want some alternate choices, you can e-mail me. I just hate to see people drinking that stuff.

Hope I didn't offend you. Just want the best for your sister.

Monika

robertry
Posts: 5
Joined: Jun 2005

What drugs did your sister have an allergic reaction to? If carboplatin was one of them, this could be very important, and maybe a source of hope.

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