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I need some advice, please.

uotterno
Posts: 5
Joined: Apr 2008

My step mother was diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer in Feb this year. She had surgery and just started chemo on 03/31/2008. She has always been the type to keep moving. She is a workaholic, even though she is retired, she was always doing something. I know this is very scary and depressing, but my dad feels like she is giving up. This is so early in her fight. What can we do to encourage her without seeming to nag. She has no appetite and won't force herself to eat. My mother died of lung cancer in 2001 and was the same way. She wasted away to nothing. I can only imagine what she is going through. Please, those of you out there that have been in her shoes, please let me know what we can do to help her fight this depression and keep her hope alive. I know she has an extremely hard road ahead of her and we want to do what we can to ease the burden, if that is even possible. Thanks for any help you can offer!

TereB
Posts: 288
Joined: May 2003

Sorry to hear about your stepmother. A diagnosis of cancer is hard on everyone, patient and family. She just started chemo and that is a hard treatment, she could be feeling tired. Tumors and treatments take your energy away. She doesn't need to keep moving to be well, she can take it easy for a while, do things that she enjoys but that do not require a lot of energy and you can all tell her it is okay to take it easy and rest for a while.

It is also normal to lose you appetite. Nutrition is important so she can drink Boost or Ensure or check with the Cancer Society, they used to have a book about how to deal with this and even had some recipes. I'll see if I can find the book so you can order it, if interested.

It is also normal to feel depressed. The trick is not to stay there too long. Your stepmom could also be scared. Most oncology depts. have a social worker than can help you deal with depression and all the other feelings you get when you have cancer. The therapist helped me a lot. If your stepmom doesn't like her/him, she can see a different one.

All of you will be in my prayers.

All the best,

uotterno
Posts: 5
Joined: Apr 2008

Thank you so much for the information. I really appreciate it, and the prayers! And please let me know if you locate that book. Thanks again!

TereB
Posts: 288
Joined: May 2003

The book is "Eating Hints - Recipes and Tips for Better Nutrition During Cancer Treatment"
by the National Cancer Institute - U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services

You can order the book by writing to:
Office of Cancer Communications
National Cancer Institute
Building 31, Room 10A24
Bethesda, Maryland 20892

NIH Publication No. 90-2079

Or you can call 1-800-4-cancer

Perhaps it will be better to call first to make sure the address has not change. I've had the book for a while.

The book has information about eating in general and eating problems during cancer treatment; nausea; feeling tired; hints for aadding protein and/or calories to diet; soft foods or liquid meals; plus assorted recipes.

Hope this information is useful.

Hope and prayers!

TereB
Posts: 288
Joined: May 2003

I think the book I told you about has been updated. The new one is free and you can order it at:
www.cancer.gov
Book is listed with a similar title.

uotterno
Posts: 5
Joined: Apr 2008

Thank you so much! I just ordered the book from www.cancer.gov ! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

soccerfreaks's picture
soccerfreaks
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

Everything TereB writes is right on (as usual :))! Try selecting Resource Library from the menu on the left, then Books, and then Find One. When I did so, several links to books were among the first 10 items listed.

Good luck to you, your mom and your family!

Hope and humor!

uotterno
Posts: 5
Joined: Apr 2008

Thanks so much!

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