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Feeling down

gwj7
Posts: 21
Joined: Jul 2012

Hi everyone. My mom has colon cancer and was diagnosed last month. I'm her 18 year old son (I don't know if anyone remembers because I haven't posted recently).

Well after waiting about a month, my mom is finally getting treatment with chemotherapy at Memorial Sloan Kettering hospital in NYC. She is apparently on Folfox and her second treatment was today. Her first treatment she said everything went alright, but she didn't take some of the pills the doctor gave her and she had diarrhea a few days after chemo.

I am currently away at college while all of this is happening. I'm a freshman at a huge university about a half hour away. I wasn't that excited about coming to school in the first place, and when I found out my mom had cancer I was even less excited. Three weeks into this, I really hate it and I wish I was at home. I miss my old life. I miss my house, my dog, my friends, and when my mom wasn't sick. I just want to be alone and cry sometimes and it's so hard to be alone here. I also haven't really met anyone, and I don't even really care to either. I'm so depressed. My roommate was just talking badly about his mom and I wanted to punch him because he has no idea how much I wish I was never a jerk to my mom. It's just so hard being here away from my family, and no one really understands what i'm going through here.

Does anyone have any advice? I feel so guilty because my mom wants me to have fun here but I can't. I feel like I have been so fortunate in my life up until last month, and ever since then my life has been a downward spiral. Anything that ever seemed fun to me is not the same anyone. I am NOT suicidal or anything, but before my mom's diagnoses I feared death SO MUCH but now I really don't care if I live or die.

I guess I just need someone to help me feel better and give me advice. My mom most likely has a later stage colon cancer, although my parents aren't really openly discussing it with me. Also, has anyone had any problems with sciatica? My mom has developed lower back pain in the past three weeks and it's gotten so intense where she threw up one time (which was when she dropped me off at school. It was one of the worst days of my life because it was not how I envisioned my college move in day).

Please help me feel better! I want to hear positive things about people with late stages of colon cancer. I am too young for my mom to leave me

annalexandria's picture
annalexandria
Posts: 2280
Joined: Oct 2011

as a mom myself, I tend to really notice the posts by kids whose parents are facing cancer. I know how hard it's been on my kids (who are about your age), and my heart really goes out to you. First, let me reassure you that there are plenty of us on this forum who have advanced cancer and are still around years after diagnosis. I myself am three years out, and doing fine, despite a rough couple of years of treatment and surgery. Your mom has a hard road ahead of her, but there is every reason to have lots of hope at this point in the journey! I would suggest, if you can, finding someone to talk to at your college who has professional experience in dealing with the kind of emotional trauma that goes along with having someone you love dealing with a serious illness. It really can help. This is way too hard to do on your own. And maybe it would help to talk to your mom or dad about what's going on, get more information about what's really happening? I know that my oldest daughter had a tendency to think the worst about my situation, and when she finally told me how worried she was about me, I was able to give her some reassurance. That's what we parents are there for, even when we're sick. And of course, you can always come "talk" to us...we are happy to listen. Many hugs~Ann Alexandria

Brenda Bricco's picture
Brenda Bricco
Posts: 558
Joined: Aug 2011

Hi, I can tell you are hurting and scared. The first month or two is filled with shock and horror and it all races back to you every time you wake up. I remember wishing I could sleep all the time so I didn't have to think about cancer.
How is your Mom? Is she hanging in there emotionally? Are you worried that she wouldn't tell you if she needed you? How openly can you speak to her? Maybe it is that you simply need to be close to her. Speaking as a Mom I wouldn't want my child to put his or her education on hold because of me but maybe you need to spend some time with your Mom. Have you told her how you feel? How you really feel?
There are lots of good stories out here, my husband was diagnosed in Feb 2011 and was given two years. He recieved chemo and surgeries on his colon and liver (lots of different procedures) and is NED (no evidence of disease) at this time.
It sounds like you are really struggling... is there someone you can talk to i.e. a pastor, a counselor or a family friend? It sounds like Mom is going to one of the best hospitals there is and is doing what she needs to do. I am sure she would love to know that you are being helped also. If you feel that you need to put things on hold then maybe you should. Talk to someone... you shouldn't have to feel this way all by your self.
GOD bless you.

tootsie1's picture
tootsie1
Posts: 5012
Joined: Feb 2008

It's natural to be longing for the past, because that's when everything seemed right in your world. Try to hang in there with college, and it should get better. You're not that far from home, so go see your mom often!

*hugs*
Gail

jr2012's picture
jr2012
Posts: 67
Joined: Aug 2012

I felt the same way when my dad was dx with lung cancer and I was away from him. Its natural I think as human to feel this way about people we don't want to lose. I spent the last few days of my dad with him... why don't you talk to your parents about your mom's staging and stay strong with them... once they know you are strong and ready to help, they will discuss every treatment choices with you and you will also feel much better, esp. once you know that it can be beaten. Right now you are hurtin cuz you are speculating more than what there is maybe. If you talk to them and know the real story, you can research and also feel much better.

Take care

herdizziness's picture
herdizziness
Posts: 3451
Joined: Apr 2010

I'm a mom of a 28 year old and a college student, he hasn't done that well since my diagnosis, I wasn't aware of this until a few days ago, they said he is suffering from clinical depression. It appears that is due to my diagnosis, my surgeries and living with the unknown of cancer. While I, the person with cancer goes blissfully through life, my son is in torment.
How to relieve or cure this? Frankly, I don't know. I hope my son goes through more therapy and gets some medication, i.e., happy pills, because I have no solution.
However, know this, we parents are probably dealing with the cancer way better then you are, I have a hard time understanding my son's depression because I plan on living way longer then he thinks I might.
My suggestion is to try and get yourself into therapy. Your mom, like me, has a pretty good chance of living longer then you might think. If you find yourself worrying more then she is, counseling could be of some benefit to you, your mom doesn't plan on leaving you any time soon.
Stage IV and keeping the faith,
Winter Marie

Hooley's picture
Hooley
Posts: 155
Joined: Aug 2012

I was diagnosed met colorectal cancer with the mets to the lungs auf 2010. My son left for a scholarship of basketball,to NYC 6months later. I wouldntmwantmit any other way. We keep in contact via Skype. My faith and positive ness gets me thru every day. Is there anyone at your college u can talk to? Keep our chin up. It is a journey.... My son comeback,to Australia twice a year. God willing we will get over to see him in November. Make cre and God Bless u and your fam

taraHK
Posts: 1961
Joined: Aug 2003

Everything you are experiencing is so understandable. As others have suggested, I want to strongly encourage you to talk with a counsellor or therapist or similar -- I think it could help a lot. And if you want your parents to be more open with you on the medical details, why not ask them (they may not, but no harm asking -- and it might be useful for them to know that is your preference -- they may be wanting to protect you from some of the details). As others have said, as a mother, I think I would be encouraging my kid to carry on with college. But you and they need to do whatever is best for your own circumstances -- maybe what is best is to be with her and postpone college. I have two sons at college -- one a sophomore and one a senior. But they were 10 and 12 when I was diagnosed, so they were not dealing with the shock of diagnosis when they started college. I went to see a counsellor after I was diagnosed and into treatment -- she said I was suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome! It is a big deal. I hope that you are able to find someone to talk with.

Come to this board anytime to share your feelings. This is the best support group I could have imagined.

Tara

jen2012
Posts: 1228
Joined: Aug 2012

I feel for you. You would probably be having a tough time adjusting even without the diagnosis. Not fair....nothing about this is fair. Good thing is you are close to home. Are you getting home for the weekends? Do you think you could go sit through a treatment with your mom? My husband was diagnosed with stage 4 in August so we are living this new nightmare too. Its really hard and so unfair. Our oldest just turned 15 and had a similar experience with a friend complaining about her parents...she was really upset with her. No one will understand if they haven't lived through it. I was 15 when my mom got really sick...not cancer but a disease that took a year to diagnose. She was in and out of the hospital several times ended up on dialysis and was told she wouldn't live much longer....she is still here almost 30 yrs later! Miracles happen .. your mom is getting treatment at one of the best places. Talk to her and your dad....try to get home...bring a funny movie to watch together and try to enjoy your time at school too. Its really ok to have fun and still be worried about mom. I feel like I'm just starting to be able to laugh and smile a little again. Praying has helped too. I pray myself to sleep every night.

Please check in and let us know how you and your mom are doing.

hippiechicks's picture
hippiechicks
Posts: 340
Joined: Sep 2012

Hi there...I hope I can be some help to you...I was diagnosed with stage IIIc almost exactly one year ago ... yup college time, and beginning of school. I have 3 children, two were just beginning college and one middle school. It was roughest on that child. But, as for my college bounds one both decided to stay at home and commute the half hour, the other lives near college and commutes to me a half hour! Both are dealing with it the way that works best for them. The one that commutes to college enjoys being close to family and helping while I was in treatment. The other does not do well with seeing me not feeling all that well some days and prefers to visit on my good days (which are more than the not so good).

I also agree that counseling is a very very important, responsible and smart thing to do. It will never hurt you to talk to someone, but will always help. There are usually excellent couseling services directly through the oncology dept. at your moms cancer center, or could at least direct you accordingly. They are the ones who deal with this daily and would be better than a phone book couselor. School couselors may also be a good beginning or better yet...do both!

You do not have to give up your goals and dreams for this ... your mom is probably, as I am, waking every day with you first in her mind before cancer...and that is how she will live. You do what you need to for you...if being closer to her will help you be successful, then make that happen...if you need to spread your wings and fly some....then fly ....your mom just wants your success and happiness first, I am sure of that!

As for my now entering HS student, that child prefers close to home as well, and would stay home on my chemo days just to hold my hand and get me a warm drink. The ability to stay focused during school just did not work. But, as their Mom...I love each and every one of them for who they are and the decisions that they make, because this is a journey they need to travel as well as I.

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