Jan 04, 2012 - 8:35 pm
Hello, I am writing this for my Mum Fiona. She is 65. I am 36yr old daughter. She is my advisor, my go-to when I am unwell, or have to 'chat' about life/men/jobs. I work aborad a lot. But I can't leave her now. She has raised 3 children as well as looking after a husband and cooking 3 course meals for 35 years (and going out to work too). I do not know what I would do without her. Her Mum, my grandmother, just died last year, aged 93. My Mum looked after her for 10 years. My grandfather (her father) was 90 when he died. My Mum has good genes if she has theirs, but she has absorbed so much stress in life, and never 'lets off steam' or puts herself first. Her health was always last. And she has had no treats or being taken proper care of by her husband who always came first and was always about to have a heart attack - despite good health (nothing wrong with him for 40 years, but he went to hospital with heartburn for 4 days).
It is so helpful to read others who have had experiences which suddenly have exploded into our lives. There is never a good time, but this Christmas was awful, my mum had fallen out with her husband badly.
She is in hospital in Scotland waiting for results from a biopsy (which was of her peritoneum). I think my Mum had the 'vague' symptoms for some time. Way back in May 2011 (it's now Jan 2012) we were in Spain and she had a very sore abdomen and bad constipation or diarrhoea. She even went to the Dr there, as a tourist, and the Dr did an ultrasound. She prescribed vitamins and said it was an infection, charged lots and packed her on her way (she was due home in 1 day). But now Mum has said the Dr looked her in the eyes as she did the ultrasound. She visited her GP when she got back, and this again is rare for her. She is an avoider (maybe as she smoked almost 40 years - stress she says) and has to be at point of collapse to go to Dr. Her GP didn't do much.
Then we get to this December. She cooked a turkey for her husband, even though she felt sick. I could see she was looking so unwell. Then she started to be sick early in morning, waking to do so even though she had almost empty stomach. Her abdomen is very swollen. The GP sent her to hospital, I took her in my car. It was just 3 days after Christmas. Outside the hospital she said 'I think I feel better, let's go back'. Then, after struggling to walk to the ward, she collapsed when they took blood from her. I had to sit and wait, mind racing. They did a Ct to rule out an emergency anuerism. It was not this, but there was a large 'mass' pressing on her aorta. She was admitted and given a single room where she finally got a bit of rest (from stress at home and being sick and then worrying about cleaning up etc).
Next day they did the biopsy under the scan at same time. Involved a long wait and then recovery lying flat. Back to her room...I was told they would not send her home inbetween the waiting for results/results and any possible operation. But then they changed their minds and suddenly they said she might come home today!!(she doesn't want to as she had stress with her husband and they were not even speaking when I took her to hospital, now he is insisting on visiting her and she doesn't want to see him, partly I think what made her so ill). I have spoken to about 5 nurses (never her Dr who never seems to be there when I ask) and explained that she is too ill (clearly - even just her palour is so awful, and she can hardly move and can't get comfortable). They moved her onto a ward even though she having diarrhoea, and today while I was there she had to ask for pain relief (again, she would not do this unless it was severe). They gave codeine but no difference, and so she finally got morphine. She has lost a lot of weight as she cannot eat much at all, and yet not on a drip or anything. She does not like the ward as she is now far from the toilet, and in her private room she was not making it on time, and then having showers in middle of night.
I have been in each day, but visiting is only an hour at a time, and doesn't seem long enough. I'm scared as my Mum's abdomen looks so big and swollen (but her cheeks sunken) and she is in so much pain. She looks pale and frail. They have said results might be 2 weeks. My goodness that seems wrong, as does moving her onto ward, as does any talk of sending her out (the nurse agreed today and said no, she is not well enough). It's a brand new hospital btw!!
If anyone can describe how their diagnosis went, or if this sounds a normal experience, it would be so helpful. I know most of it will be different as this is an Amercian site, but that is also a good comparison, as I have (worryingly) read that they might be less likely to wish to operate or explore all such options here in UK. I hope to show my Mum this site soon (but not sure I want to show her the name of the cancer which I am worried it might be, I think she is still ignoring what they said about the biopsy location). I am poring over the site and any others to get hope which I will pass on, people who survived, people who lived through the chemo and radiotherapy and even some who mention many years. I am not married, no kids. I never thought my Mum would miss it all. She deserves to enjoy her retirement, which she has hardly started. She deserves to travel and relax and be pampered.
I am not religious, but I pray anyway, and I will water my Rose of Jericho and pray that the same burst of life is infused back into my Mum. I had to tell my brother (33) a bit more today, as it was clear he was assuming all fine. I've never seen him cry and he just broke down and wept. I had to say 'it might be fine, there might be lots they can do, even if it is PPC or another 'bad' diagnosis'.
I am not religious, but I pray anyway, and I will water my Rose of Jericho and pray that the same burst of life is infused back into my Mum.