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My mom has cervical cancer

nartime
Posts: 2
Joined: Jun 2009

Hello,

I'm writing to you seeking help and information. My mom who is 67, was just told she has cervical cancer, stage IIIB. She will be starting radiation next week for the next 5 weeks and Monday thru Friday and Sunday she will have chemo. I was told by the chemo nurse, this chemo will not make her hair fall out because is mild and is used in conjuction with the radiation so it may work better. Her oncologyst told us she has a 20 - 40%. I work and have made plans to possibly stay with her the Monday after her chemo and my brother who lives with us who is disabled (emotional problems) will probably help her in the house and will also drive her for her radiation therapies. My mom is in good health except for occassional anxiety attacks wich she is taken medication. I have also heard, a lot of people with her size of tumor and radiation have had rectal failure and needed a colostomy bag? I don't know, I guess my mind is a sea of confusion and I'm trying to keep everything together. Thanks to anyone who takes the time to read this and answer.

beckyracn's picture
beckyracn
Posts: 323
Joined: May 2009

Sorry to hear about your mom nartime...but welcome to the right place for sharing, seeking answers, support, etc. Your mom and all those around her are about to step on a roller coaster ride that doesn't stop to let you off when you feel you've had enough.
I was diagnosed with stage IVA last April, have survived all the treatments, and have been in remission since Dec. '08. The first thing to remember is taking it all in one day at a time or it can become overwhelming very fast. Write down your questions as they pop into your head so that you can speak with her doctor on the next visit.
The radiation can cause a multiple of problems...deal with each one as it arises. Diarrhea/GI distress being a tell tale sign the radiation is working. My docs had/have talked about me getting a colostomy throughout my journey, but by paying attention to what my body was doing to me and adjusting my diet...I have been able to avoid one. In the event your mom does need one, just remember...it could be worse...she's still alive!
Cisplatin is often the chosen chemo for cervical ca, not sure if this is the one your moms doc with use, but I didn't loose my hair (did loose pelvic hair from radiation). I have read posts where people have lost their hair from this chemo...each persons journey is different. I did experience alot of nausea, occassional vomiting, but eventually the docs found a combination of meds that helped this greatly.
It's good to hear your mom is in good shape prior to starting treatment and that she has support. I drove myself to all my radiation appts. (except internal radiation), but did accept a ride for chemo. That one kinda wiped me out. Fatigue is the one side effects that seems to hit everyone. Your body is fighting a courageous battle and it gets tired easily!
I know the % the doc quoted is a very scary thing...I live with it on a daily basis and so do many others here. But many have beat those odds...I plan to be one of those! My husband and I have always talked about buying a mobile home when we retire (which is many years down the road) and just travel...I have not given up on that dream! One day at a time!
Keep posting...it's very therapeutic!!

nartime
Posts: 2
Joined: Jun 2009

When you wrote you were able to avoid a colostomy by adjusting your diet, would you please share how? This seems to be a big possibility in my mom's case as the doctor explained from the radiation and the size of the tumor.
Again, thank you.

beckyracn's picture
beckyracn
Posts: 323
Joined: May 2009

If the doc is telling you this already, then it's a distinct possibility. Colostomys can be reversed...maybe that is a possibility also.
The natural peristalsis of my GI completely stopped due to the radiation...I won't go into detail, but lots and lots of fluids with a cocktail of pills is what got me through.
HUGS

chdewan
Posts: 3
Joined: Jul 2009

Hi.
I was dx'd with cervical ca 9/05. Had hysterectomy, chemo and radiation. For me the radiation was the worst. At that time, nobody ever mentioned colostomy. I had a recurrence June 06 and was told my only option was a radical surgery, pelvic exeneration. My bladder, vagina and part of my bowel removed. Before the surgery I was told I would have a urostomy and a temporary colostomy, to be reversed in a few months. The 'few months' turned in to a year when it was finally reversed. However I was back in the hospital, the reversal did not take because my insides were so damaged from the radiation, the connections wouldn't hold and would never heal. Anyway, I have a permanent colostomy. Sometimes I HATE it, sometimes I am okay with it....but I am alive. I am 41 and want to see my child grow up, so I accept it.
I guess what I am saying is that its not that bad.
Good Luck to your mom....I hope she does well.

rock4mom
Posts: 3
Joined: Oct 2009

I am curious to find out how your Mom is doing now. My own mother was just diagnosed with cervical cancer on 10/17/09. She is receiving radiation Monday-Friday and chemo every Monday. They have not given her an actual stage yet but I know that her tumor is very large and that there may be some slight lymph node involvement. How large was your mother's cervical tumor and did it spread to other areas?

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