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My Mom just diagnosed

JoleneKris's picture
JoleneKris
Posts: 5
Joined: Mar 2010

My mom was just diagnosed Tues with stage 3, maybe stage 4. We go back in on Monday to discuss it with her surgeon. All we really now was her mass was 7x6x6cm. She is really scared, but in good spirits. I am going to try to get her to become a memeber of the board, she does not like computers unless she is shopping!!!

Do you have any advice for her, what she should expect, things like that?? Or what we, as the family, should do for her to help her through this??

Jolene

azgrandma's picture
azgrandma
Posts: 577
Joined: Feb 2010

I will pray for her what is her name
have her come join us we will help her

JoleneKris's picture
JoleneKris
Posts: 5
Joined: Mar 2010

My mom's name is Sandy! Thank you very much, it means the world to our family.

Barbara53's picture
Barbara53
Posts: 659
Joined: Aug 2009

Hi JK,

Welcome, and make yourself at home. There are several of us here caring for our mothers, so you’re not alone.

If you know the stage, then your Mom has had The Surgery, which is huge. Right now just concentrate on helping her recover. It’s not easy, and she will need plenty of help. Usually a course of chemo begins as soon as the patient is strong enough to take it – after 4 to 6 weeks – but that’s another chapter.

How old are you, sweetie? I think I’m one of the oldest daughters here, but we got ‘em in all ages, same for brave mamas…

JoleneKris's picture
JoleneKris
Posts: 5
Joined: Mar 2010

My mom had the surgery about 4 weeks ago, they did not know at that time if it was cancer or not. But after surgery her oncologist said it was. That they were going to test it and let us know. My mom is doing great with the surgery, it has been 4 weeks and she is walking and eating great. Which was a huge improvement from what she was before she had it. She was in and out of the hospital for about 6 weeks, (insurance issues). The 2nd time she came home, they did not want her to get out of bed, unless she had to potty, she was on full oxygen. So with in 4 weeks is completely off, not pain meds. Soo happy that way. Her mass was 7x6x6cm, which apparently pretty big. We were never told that the cancer had spread to ther organs, which from my reading is stage 4. I have did nit research online and like others say, is not a good thing. So I told my mom that we need to go on message boards, that is a place we can ask questions and talk to people who have gone through it. I have posted a picture, if is my mom with my almost 2 year old twins!!!

Hissy_Fitz's picture
Hissy_Fitz
Posts: 1869
Joined: Sep 2009

The size of the tumor does not determine the stage. Stage I is basically confined to the ovaries, Stage II to the pelvic cavity. Stage IV is cancer that has spread to distant organs, such as the lungs or liver. If she has tumors on her intestines/bowel, or caking of the omentum, then she is Stage III.

My doctor told me right after my surgery that I was Stage IIIc. Unfortunately, the vast majority of women are Stage III or IV when they are diagnosed.

Carlene

nancy591's picture
nancy591
Posts: 1059
Joined: Sep 2009

I was dx at stage 4 but had no major organ involvement. I was told I was a 4 because I had one enlarged lymph node above my diaphram.

Hissy_Fitz's picture
Hissy_Fitz
Posts: 1869
Joined: Sep 2009

That is very interesting, Nancy and just shows (again) how different doctors judge/treat OVC. I had two enlarged lymph nodes, but since there was no confirmed malignancy, I was staged IIIc.

I had a completely obstructed bowel and my doctor said that could cause the enlarged nodes. His exact words were, "Sometimes an enlarged lymph node is just an enlarged lymph node."

Were they still enlarged on subsequent scans?

Carlene

nancy591's picture
nancy591
Posts: 1059
Joined: Sep 2009

The lymph node was removed. Required a thorasic surgeon. I was told I was an atypical stage 4 because I had no major organ involvement. Stage 4 none the less because they had to go above the diaphram. I too had a bowel obstruction.

Hissy_Fitz's picture
Hissy_Fitz
Posts: 1869
Joined: Sep 2009

Did they biopsy the lympth node?

I would have been Stage III, even without the enlarged lymph nodes, because I had a tumor in my bowel that was greater than 2 cm. My enlarged nodes were also in the abdomen, but they did not remove or biopsy them.

Carlene

soulsearcher
Posts: 2
Joined: Mar 2010

My mother, niece and nephew all had cancer. Mother and nephew did not survive. My niece is a cancer survivor. I have been having many problems. Could I please ask you what your symptoms were? A Nurse practioner friend of mine, stated his mother had problems walking had pain in her right leg and started walking with a limp. They noted she had missing ovaries and when they went in to explore found stg 4 ovarian cancer. So not all symptoms are typical of what is written.

Hissy_Fitz's picture
Hissy_Fitz
Posts: 1869
Joined: Sep 2009

Like most women who fall victim to ovarian cancer, I did not have any symptoms until just before I was diagnosed, and even then, they were so vague, my PCP thought it must be my gall bladder.

I had had a couple of bouts of painful constipation, which resolved themselves with common home remedies. I developed what I thought was a UTI (because of a frequent urge to urinate), but my doctor called in some antibiotics and that too went away on its own.

When I started having sharp pains in my mid-section, my doctor sent me for a nuclear medicine test on my gall bladder, and an ultrasound. The ultrasound showed a large (softball size) tumor on my left ovary and a smaller one in my intestine, plust two enlarged lymph nodes (also in my abdomen). At the time of surgery, my OVC was staged at IIIc.

I had no pain in my legs or difficulty walking, although some women do complain of a backache.

It is indeed possible to have a type of ovarian cancer, even though the ovaries themselves are no longer present. It's called Primary Peritoneal Cancer.

lisazee
Posts: 12
Joined: Nov 2009

Hi there!

My mom was diagnosed in November with stage III ovarian cancer, so I can also unfortunately relate. This is a great website for information and support...

Ask lots of questions when you see the surgeon, take notes... Make sure there are multiple sets of ears to hear all the information because you will be surprised who hears what and who completely misses what. Sometimes we all looked at each other like we couldn't have possibly all been in the same room - we came out with pieces of info that all added up.

And finally - stay off the internet (unless it's this site!) It will scare the bajeezus out of you but ultimately means nothing to your mom's particular situation.

Sending good thoughts your way... Lisa

rockchicksurvivor's picture
rockchicksurvivor
Posts: 46
Joined: Feb 2010

I wish your Mom the best of luck through all of this! hugs to both of you.

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

Dear Jolene, Expect to be overwhelmed and remember even at stage 4 some people have total remission. Jot down notes or comments, and remember each of you may hear what the docs say a bit differently. Lots of prayers n hugs for both you and your mom. Hugs Bonnie

saundra's picture
saundra
Posts: 1390
Joined: Mar 2007

Try to get her to come on this board. The first couple of months are scary, confusing, and busy. I am Stage IV and had 4 chemo treatments before surgery. Your mother needs to write all questions down before dr. appt. because the memory goes. You should take notes and someone needs to be at every appointment. It is a lot to swallow at once. We'll give help for chemo if she starts with that. Lots of tricks we have learned. Saundra

JoleneKris's picture
JoleneKris
Posts: 5
Joined: Mar 2010

My dad, brother and myself is going to the appt on monday. For the most part I will be at all most of her appointments, as well as my dad. We have a large family and a lot of them live with in an hour of my mom. So she will have someone with her at all times while at appointments.

msfanciful
Posts: 580
Joined: Nov 2009

Hi Jolene,

As the others have stated, please feel free to ask any questions you may have about ovarian cancer.
I was diagnosed as a stage 4 and this month makes 3years of surviving with it. I had emergency surgery and had a total hysterectomy (ovaries, omentum, cervix), everything!

After the surgery,my oncologist began my regimen of 8 cycles of carbo/taxol .

I think it is wise that you are trying to become informed about this cancer, because you will be less fearful once knowing exactly what you are dealing with. I think for me the dreaded "C" word and fear of the unknown about it was my biggest hurdle to conquer, slowly but surely one begins to come out of the fog and then prepare for the fight.

I will keep you and your mom in my prayers as well.

Sharon

Lisa13Q's picture
Lisa13Q
Posts: 683
Joined: Jul 2009

My mother was diagnosed July 21 with advanced ovarian cancer..I stay away from the staging number because I am learning that each individual has their own path with this disease no matter the stage. It is scary to hear the news...I remember being terrified. That is so normal. I think what you can expect is a de-bulking surgery and chemo...make sure you have a gynecological onc. I would expect to be somewhat overwhelmed for a little while and bring a pad and pencil to the doctors....Also, regarding your mother being on the board, I wanted my mother to join also, but she did not want to..not her thing...and you know what, I'm kind of glad because it's my place to come and this is a great place to come....I think the women with the OVCA help us to understand their experience and I hope we add some support for the women with the illness as well..Sorry you have to be here...but feel free to bring questions and concerns..

soulsearcher
Posts: 2
Joined: Mar 2010

I will also pray for your mom and for all of you all. She will need your strength and faith.

Mwee's picture
Mwee
Posts: 1316
Joined: Nov 2009

You've come to the right place and both you and your Mom are welcome. The information and support that I get here makes a world of difference for me.
(((HUGS))) Maria

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