CSN Login
Members Online: 14

m

malu
Posts: 3
Joined: Jan 2014

c

Alexandra's picture
Alexandra
Posts: 1220
Joined: Jul 2012

Sorry about your mom. Cancer diagnosis is a big shock to your parents, they need time to process this information and to come to terms with the consequences. They probably don't want to upset you with technical details. The best you can do is respect your mom's privacy and be compassionate and loving. While on chemo and after surgery she may experience unpleasant side effects and will need your help around the house and moral support.

Your mom's CA125 could be elevated for a variety or reasons, including peritoneal, ovarian or uterine cancer. Doctor's decision to start with chemo (probably Taxol & Carboplatin) before surgery is most likely caused by pelvis-wide spread of metastasis (seeding) or by ascites (malignant fluid in the abdomen). He expects chemo to shrink cancer enough to be able to successfully remove it with surgery later. Surgery usually involves removal of uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, omentum, appendix and any other (part of the) organ where surgeon sees cancer. Stage and grade is determined by pathology after surgery. If your mom responds to chemo well, after surgery she will have another 3-4 chemo rounds either via IV or directy into her abdomen (IP) in order to get rid of microscopic cancer cells. If at the end of all chemo there is no radiologic evidence of cancer on the CT scan and her CA125 is in the normal range (below 35), she will be declared in remission. I suppose that's what the doctor meant by saying that she will be OK in 6 months.

Good luck to your family,

Alexandra

malu
Posts: 3
Joined: Jan 2014

Does chemo pain much??...i just found out that cancer is just spresding but did not spread till livers...that is what the doctor told my parents..what does that mean? ...wshe's really freaked out...i am trying to make her feel brave by tellingstories of many people i have read on net....what else can i do to make her feel better?

can u tell me how chemo is done?..so that i can tell her before her first chemo...How much time does it take?

And are the side effects too bad?

My dad goes with her to chemo..but do u think  i should be with her too??...i live in hostel which is about 50 kms away from home!!

Alexandra's picture
Alexandra
Posts: 1220
Joined: Jul 2012

If your mom's cancer did not spread beyond her pelvic cavity into distant organs (like liver or lungs), it is probably stage 3, which has better prognosis than stage 4.

If your dad accompanies your mom to chemo appointments, I don't think you need to be there too. Before every chemo round she will have her blood drawn and will take antiemetics (anti-nausea meds). Chemo nurse and pharmacist will go over the procedure with your mom and give her printouts with side effects and how to cope with them. Chemo is done through IV into the arm. Once the needle is in chemo does not hurt. Some people get chemo port installed into their chest which saves them pain from needles. For about 1 hour she will get Benadryl and Steroids that reduce potential allergy. For the first few rounds Taxol is given slowly (about 4 hours), then Carboplatin (another hour). Overall it will take the best part of the day. Most people don't have adverse reaction to chemo and rest or sleep comfortably in the arm chair or bed.

Side effects are individual, impossible to predict and vary from person to person. They usually set in 1 day after chemo and get better 1 week after chemo. They may or may not include nausea, vomiting, fatigue, low blood counts, anemia, infection susceptibility, diarrhea, constipation, fever, poor appetite, mouth sores, weird taste. Full body hair loss will happen around day 11 to 14 after first chemo. Some people get peripheral neuropathy (nerve pain in their hands and feet) and "chemo brain" (short-term memory loss and cognitive impairment). Some people lose weight, some - gain weight. Side effects are usually cummulative, meaning that they get worse with every next chemo. And some lucky people sail through chemo with no side effects.

As far as making your mom feel better: don't try to feed her every bit of ovarian cancer statistics you can google. There is such thing as too much information and it will only cause anxiety and depression. When you read on the internet about alternative "miracle cancer cures", use common sense and don't get fooled by dishonest vendors. Suggest getting second opinion from another reputable GYN-ONC. If your family is religious, offer your prayers. Tell her motivational stories, that she is not alone and encourage her to talk to other patients and survivors. Suggest for her to start a journal or a blog as she goes through her cancer journey. You can help her select a wig or chemo scarves / hats or attend "Look Good Feel Better" workshop. Don't make grand plans, take it one day at a time.

Subscribe with RSS
About Cancer Society

The content on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition. Use of this online service is subject to the disclaimer and the terms and conditions.

Copyright 2000-2014 © Cancer Survivors Network