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What do you do when they want to give up?

Posts: 1
Joined: Mar 2003

My Mom has colon cancer and now in her 3rd round of Chemo. This is kind of frustrating for her, she had the actual colon surgery 3 years ago. Then last year they discovered a tumor that had started in her pelvic area and spread down to consume her right thigh, recently they removed what they could from her thigh, it now has spread to her left hip and now we are mid way through the 3rd round of chemo and she simply wants to give up, she is tired of being poked and proded every day. To make matters worse she recently fell and now has a cast on her right leg. I don't know what to do anymore. I have 2 younger brothers who looked to me for answers. She seems to be vanishing before my eyes and I don't know what to do or say to her anymore, she does not want to go anywhere or see anyone. Any suggestions? She refuses to go to talk to a therapist or join a cancer group.

StacyGleaso's picture
Posts: 1249
Joined: Mar 2003

I don't blame your mom one bit for being tired of poking and prodding. It does tend to be annoying. If she looks at the "big picture," she'll see the long journey she has already been through. Her determination has gotten her to where she is now, and that is very brave. Her motivation to keep fighting will come from you and your brothers. My kids are what kept me fighting.

Sounds like her stubborness to not see anyone for support is the same stubborness that has kept her kicking this whole time. Maybe on her "up" days, you can take her to the movies or just "out" to try to feel more "normal." If she's not very mobile, especially since she now has a cast, maybe renting a good movie will give her a little escape from her current situation. There is a reason why this disease hasn't won, and I'm sure it goes back to the saying that "you are dealt only what you can handle." Apparently, she can handle quite a bit. If there is any support I can give, since I have gone through surgery, chemo, and radiation, I'm more than willing to e-mail her or just be here for her. I know she will tackle this, only because from what you said, she sounds like a true fighter.

Take care & good luck,

Posts: 319
Joined: Jan 2003

I understand how you and your mother may feel. How old is your Mother? What was her life style before this, meaning strong independent and self supporting. Do she feel you and your brothers are old enough to take care of yourselves? Maybe she feel as if she is a burden. Has she expressed her wish to die (No disrepect) because there is no hope for recovery. Ther may be reasons unknown to you why she doesn't want to go on. Right now she appears to be grieving, depressed and a sense of hopelessness. Has your Mother discuss how she feels about the Cancer in detail? Just be there for even if you are silent. Has your brothers told her how they felt about whats happening to her and them? Try to get her to watch her favorite tv programs to help keep her mind off the situation. Maybe you can get some one from the Church to come visit if she can't go. I know it is hard for you. I have been there and had to honor someones wishes of not doing anything for them. It really hurts. I hope your Mom changes her mind and seek help.

Posts: 1
Joined: Mar 2003

My doctor told me that the advantage of colon cancer is that you can just keep cutting it out as it comes back. Seven years ago I had stage IV colon cancer which spread to my liver. I have had a liver resection, gallbladder removed, part of my sternum removed where it came back, and a hysterectomy because they were concerned it might spread there. I also had breast cancer 15 years ago with bilateral mastectomies. I haven't missed any of my missing parts and live a completely full life. I went treking in Nepal two months after I finished my chemotherapy. Since then I have backpacked in Patagonia, hiked in New Zealand, snorkled in Fiji and hiked hundreds of miles. My friend and I are currently in training to hike the Colorado Trail (468 miles) this summer. I am 58 years old. Tell your Mother she could have lots of life left to live her dreams and to not give up.

Posts: 6
Joined: Mar 2003

Dear England44: You are the first person I've encountered with Stage IV who has lived 7 years (and lived well, it sounds!). I'm now officially Stage IV since my cancer recurred in my peritoneum, despite having rigorous chemo with CPT-11, 5FU & Leukovorin. Now I'm on oxaliplatin, 5FU & Leuk. plus an experimental drug called Iressa. Hoping for a 2nd remission so I have more time to watch my boys grow up.
It sounds as if you are blessed with incredible energy!

You go girl! Pricemom

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