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My Mom has Colon Cancer what do i do

Posts: 5
Joined: Oct 2004

My name is Stefanie and I'm 24 years old. 3 years ago my mom was diagnosed with colon cancer. they got her into surgery and said they removed it all and there was only a 25% of it coming back. It came back all right, now she's had another surgery and the doctor's say there is nothing they can really do exceot buy her time with chemo (she's in the 4th stage now). She has chemo every other week and it makes her so sick that she can't eat, drink or walk for 3 days. Its so sad to see such a strong women in that state.
Today I found out that the aggresive chemo isn't really doing anything, it hasn't grown but now her kidney is infected and she has to have another surgery.
My grandmother died last month of colon cancer and all I could think about was this will be my mom one day. I keep trying to think of life without her and it kills me inside. I want her to be at my wedding and see her grandchildren. Cancer is not fair!
How do people deal with this? i'm having anxiety attacks, my whole life is in shambles and i feel i'm losing everything around me.
Can anyone relate to this. please help me understand, i don't know what to do!

Posts: 296
Joined: Mar 2004


Hello my name is Sue. You have come to the right place for help. All the people here are really GREAT!!!! I can relate to your situation as can alot of your new found friends here!!!!
Sorry to hear about your Mom!!!! The first things you have to do is take a DEEP breath and take one day at a time!!! I know how over whelming this is for you!! My husband was diag. in Sept 2003. With no warning!!! WE were so blow away!!!! The gave him 6 months. His was very advanced!!!! Well, he is hanging in there and fighting it with everything he has. Chemo is rough and all you can do is be there for her and help her through it. Has She told her Dr. how bad she is feeling as they can adjust the dose sometimes to help with the effects. There are so many chemo drugs out there now and if they can stop the growth that is good to start. Then they work on shrinking it. Make sure that she eats and esp. DRINKS as much water as she can to fluse that mess out of her system during and after her treatments!!!!! The gave my husband Bob and appetite enhancer to help him eat and it really works!!!! He ate me out of house and home!!!! I told him that he was eatting like he was a growing teenage boy.

Hang in there!!!! It is a tough road to go but just take it one day at a time.
When we first found out my anxiety levels were off the charts!!!! My mind seems to take over and no matter what I did I couldn't stop it. It doesn't get easier but you learn to deals with things as they come instead of looking at the hole picture all at once. I still have moments where I lose it and then I tell myself its ok and then I pull myself together and go on. You have the strength to get through this!!!! My prayers are with you, your family, and your Mom!!!!

Just remember that you have friends here and when ever you want to vent or just talk or need info. we are here!!! You can email me at anytime if you want to. bsrules@earthlink.net

Hang in There!!! Prayers are coming your way!!!! Give your Mom and give her a BIG HUG and tell her that she can fight this and WIN!!!!
Best Wishes!!!!


Posts: 835
Joined: Apr 2004

You have come to the right place- there are many people here who can relate to what you are going through and have been through similar things themselves. I was diagnsosed with colon cancer this year at the ge of 31 and am fully aware of the affect it has had on those around me especially my wife. I have often felt that in someways it is harder for her than me as she has had to deal witht he concept of living on if I died which scares her incredibly.

Your reaction is very normal although I would say that if you are having anxiety attacks it would be worth talking ot a doctor about them. They commonly occur in reaction to stres and may be a symptomof depression (along with decreased appetite, low mood, trouble sleeping, poor energy and not enjoying things you used to). It therefore may need treatmenet and there are a lot of effective treatments in cluding talk therapies or medicaitons. It may be very helpful for you to talk to a councellor and this may be available through the oncology service that your mother is involved with. Support groups can also be very useful. Also read some iof the old postings on this site and realise there is always hope. In the meantime focus on enjoying having your mum around and ensuring a good quality to your time with her. When quantity of time is limited, quality becomes moer inportant.
Let us know how things go,

kangatoo's picture
Posts: 2115
Joined: Feb 2004

Hullo Stefanie and welcome here from us in Australia. I am stage 2 and have been through the surgeries, chemo, tests, etc. After all this horrid stuff I am in remission but am scared of a re-ocurrance---we all are!
I agree with Steve--I really think that you have a much harder time dealing with this than cancer patients--it is so hard on family and carers. We know gals like you and Sue must get emotioally and physically drained with so much worry--BUT--and I stress this! You must look after your own health as well--letting anxiety and all the associated stress get to you will not help the loved one you are worrying about. I am sure Steve will agree with me that us semi-colons in a lot of ways try to cover up the worst of the way we feel to keep our carers/partners and family from too much stress. It is not easy-sometimes my Jen can just sense that things are not quite right--but we battle on. Jen and I sought some counselling Stefanie and that helped in a big way. If you feel it is all too much , do seek some help.
Please continue to keep in touch--the guys n gals here are ready to lend a supporting shoulder.
Give your mum a hugg for us--plenty of support here to go around---kanga n Jen

littlejulie's picture
Posts: 311
Joined: Mar 2004

Hi Stefanie,
Reading your posting really hit home. I am 28 years old and my mother is also fighting cancer. She was diagnosed march of this year. I think of the same things. I want my mom to be at my wedding and see me raise my children. I want her to see the great woman I will become because of her. All I can tell you is what has been helping me. I talked to my doctor who prescribed an anti anxiety med - I wasn't on it too long. I just needed it to help me sleep during the really down times. I also spoke with a therapist who really helped. Sometimes I would just sit in her office and sob. At the time I didn't think it was doing any good but it did help.

I know exactly how you feel. Its a constant ache that rarely leaves. I wish you and your mom all the best and please...talk to someone. It will help.


i also believe in the power of prayer!!

grandma047's picture
Posts: 381
Joined: Feb 2004

Hi Stefanie. My name is Judy. I had colon resection July, 2003 and was told mine was early stage and that I didn't need further treatments. Mine, too, came back. I was diagnosed with a recurrence in January, 2004. Went through chemo and radiation and surgery in May, 2004. I'm doing better but still have a long way to go. I had 3 surgeries in one week and another a month later, so I know it's hard on your thinking that your mom has to have surgery again. You say that your mom is strong. That is wonderful. A positive attitude helps alot. I'm sure this is very hard on you. The only thing I can tell you to do is be there for your mom. I understand too about you wants your mom to be at your wedding and see her grandchilden. When I was diagnosed with a recurrence, that's all i could do was hug my children and say that I wanted to see my son get married and wanted to see my grandchildren(my daughter's 3 children) grow up. I will be praying for you and your mom. If you need to talk, my email is grandma047@aol.com.
Love and pryaers, Judy(grandma047)

Anonymous user (not verified)

Hi Stefanie and welcome to our group although I am so sorry for the reason that brought you here. My name is Monika and I am a caregiver to my husband Bert, diagnosed 2003 with stage III right colon cancer, and my mother as well, diagnosed stage IIIb advanced inoperable lung cancer, September 2002.

The road you are about to travel is not an easy one and it can be traveled. Like you, I was a wreck after my mother's diagnosis but when my husband's came in less than a year later, I lost it. I felt lost, alone, scared, defensive, lost 18 pounds, which I've found again by the way and a few more :), full of anxiety, couldn't function, and the list goes on and on and on!

When I joined this group, I found out first, that there were many others like me and for all the feelings that I had of being along, I wasn't; secondly, that people can and do beat this disease every single day and while those percentages may not be the highest, there was no reason on earth why these two people whom I love more than life itself couldn't be among those that do. I also learned that one of the best ways to fight cancer is to educate myself as I could see both my mom and my husband had come to rely on me to help them get through it. They both displayed and continue to display an incredible amount of courage, hope, and will to fight so who the heck was I to stand in their way by thinking only doom and gloom.

I did the book work and we got the ball of wax rolling. I encouraged both my mom and Bert to advocate for themselves and if they weren't going to do it, by golly, I would. Kept me busy too.

Now, two years into this journey, my mom remains stable (very good considering her odds...heck, she even had a period of remission for which we are truly thankful) and Bert, my husband, is now "no evidence of disease" again, something that we thank the Lord of each and every single day and pray that he stays that way.

Don't get me wrong, there are still days when it all becomes too much and I just want to crawl into a little tunnel somewhere and scream wake me up from this nightmare, but they do become less and are a little more managable. I will say that I relented late last year and saw my own doctor who after taking one look at me decided I needed some "medical help" to aid me in getting through this, so I opted for a mild anti-depressant. While it doesn't make the pain or the worrying go away or any easier, it does help take the edge off and allows me to function by putting one step in front of the other in a world that has been turned upside down for me yet continues to move along with a business as usual attitude for everyone else.

Faith and prayer has helped too! Realizing that there is only so much I can do and the rest truly is someone elses hands has removed some of the "I need to take care of everyting" or "I need to fix this" pressure that I think all caregivers tend to put upon themselves. Try not to go there...it will wear you out and take away vital energy that you will need to help support your mom in a very tough fight...but a fight that she can win.

Hang in there, take it one day at a time, one second at a time if necessary, and keep us posted. There are so many wonderful people on this board, ready, willing and able to help.

God Bless,

scouty's picture
Posts: 1976
Joined: Apr 2004


The first thing you need to do is get to a doctor and have a colonoscopy done on yourself and all of you brothers and sisters if you haven't done so. DO NOT let the doctor talk you out of it "because of your age", if you haven't ever had one. Your insurance company should pay for it easily since you are in the high risk category.

Second, start reading. Get Dr. Patrick Quillin's book, "Beating Cancer With Nutrition". Help your mother's body fight this. Diet and and other things are very important in fighting cancer. Chemo is just the easiest, most expensive, and most advertised that has enough data to have many statistics.

Fighting cancer is just that, a fighting journey and you and your Mom will continue it together.

Find an outlet to learn more about the beast. You will be amazed how a little knowledge makes you want more and the fear and anger go on the back burner.

Stay in touch with us and take care of yourself, your Mom is going to need you emotionally too.

Lisa P.

scouty's picture
Posts: 1976
Joined: Apr 2004

Stefanie, please don't think that I think you have cancer, I just want you to know you don't. The colonoscopy is an excellent test and not very hard at all. You have to drink some nasty stuff the night before, but you are "out" for the actual test, so that part is easy.

I don't want to scare you, just free your mind and energy up so you can learn more.

Lisa P.

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