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Colon Cancer

Chelle44
Posts: 1
Joined: Dec 2010

Hello All,
I am looking for any help/advice I can get. I am 29years old and the past year have been through a lot. My father had a slip and fall accident that resulted in blood on his brain. That was scary but worked out just fine. I after several years finally got Pregnant only to lose the baby at 9 1/2weeks this past Sept. I thought that was emotionally hard but it is nothing compared to what I am going through now. My mom had to be rushed to the ER in late October for what we found out was blood clots up and down her arm. She had gone through 4 long hard surgeries before they told us her arm was saved but the mobility of her hand is up to her and will take time. She stayed about a month in the hospital because they couldn't figure out what the clots were cause by. Come to find out my mom has stage 4 colon cancer that has spread to her liver and lungs. My mom owns and runs a pizzeria as well as takes care of everybody else her whole life. She has always been one of the strongest woman I have ever known, she can do anything. Since all this happened she has gone back and forth from depression to I am going to fight as hard as I can. Just this week she had her first chemo treatment. Over the past few days she hasn't gotten out of her PJ's and hasn't felt well. I feel like she is falling back into a depression and want to help her out of it. Please help me help my mom. She is the world to me and I can't let her give up.

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 6722
Joined: Feb 2009

So sorry that you have been all through what you have and now this with your mom. It's hard when someone we love finds out they are sick especially with cancer. It does seem like your mother is a strong woman. She should be expressing this emotional state to her doctor. Many people are put on anti depressants because it is a terrible disease to deal with. It would be helpful if your mom has someone to go with her to appointments also. Hoping that she gets out of her depression. She can always post on the board too. Sometimes just talking about how you feel can put things in to perspective. Good luck and keep us posted.

Kim

Patteee's picture
Patteee
Posts: 950
Joined: Jul 2009

sorry to hear about your Mom :(

I am guessing she is going through a combination of not physically feeling well as well as some depression. Chemo for most of us is not an easy experience- I would say first to allow her some pj time- and as chemo goes on, that will be more and more. I just plain felt like crap on chemo. It helped GREATLY to have friends, family and my own adult children to clean the house (especially the bathroom and kitchen), do the grocery shopping, make meals (even if I didn't eat, I appreciated that they made their own meals). All of this helped prepare me for the battle. Many many many many days it was all I could do to shower, brush my teeth and put on clean clothes. And many days that was the only goal I had. I tried to get outside once a day- mostly for drives- my mom and I would drive around, went by the new high school, we would go shopping for plants, go to the drug store and check out the perfume. Nothing too serious, but the change of scenery was needed. I would nap daily- watched a ton of tv- the food channel was a favorite. I did what I could and never once felt bad about not doing more. It was a blessing that when I stopped taking care of my family, they stepped up to the plate, took care of themselves and me as well.

I am forever grateful that I was surrounded by such love and such support.

This I believe to also be the way through your Mom's depression- setting small goals every day. But not expecting her to do anything more. And really cutting her a wide, very wide berth around chemo times. The more she does, the better she will feel- so I would push her to shower, take a stroll, eat a good lunch and so forth.

AnneCan
Posts: 3692
Joined: Oct 2009

I am really sorry for all you + your family have gone through. You have come to a good place. It is a big adjustment to find out you have cancer + need treatment such as chemo. You are a wonderfully caring daughter. One of the things that helps me is when someone I love spends time with me doing whatever I am up too, for example, watching a movie or favourite tv show. As Pattee said, help with household tasks, especially meal preparation helps my spirits. Having a meal prepared ahead of time so I am not wondering "what's for dinner?" is awesome. It's ok not to get out of your pjs some days; I did this myself yesterday. Good luck!

karguy's picture
karguy
Posts: 1024
Joined: Apr 2009

I'm sorry your mom has to go thru that,but she should tell the doctor how she feels,and get some antidepressants.I had to get some ,and I am still on them.While she is on chemo,and radiation she will be tired,and need some rest,but should get out when she can.Stage 4 is not the end of the world,there is alot of stage 4 survivers here.You can try to help her with her depression,and encerigment when ever you can.Try to do things with her,like watch her favorite movies,etc.We are here whenever you have any questions.Good luck.

Lori-S's picture
Lori-S
Posts: 1286
Joined: Sep 2010

Welcome to the board. I am so sorry for all the turmoil and terrible medical issues you and your family have had to deal with in such a short period of time. HUGS!

Please go easy on Mom. If she just started her chemo treatments, she most likely feels terrible phsyically. Give her the few days to rest and gather up some more energy. Remember chemo is a terrible bunch of toxic posionous medication. It works by killing cells. Good cells as well as bad cells. Your mother's body is currently under attack by both cancer and chemo. It can be phsycially greuling. She most likely will feel better next week. But, everyone handles chemo differently.

By all means have her speak with the oncologist about any possible depression. Cancer is depressing. Maybe some medications would help her ... maybe she just needs a little time to adjust to the situation. You can't be told you have a terminally illness and expect to just say ... oh ok ... and go on as if nothing has happened. Give her some space to let things sink in and suggest that she might want to talk to her doctor about anti-depressants to get through this tough time. Let her know that it is ok to be depressed and that chemo will make her feel very tired and that you are willing to help her if she can't keep up with things.

Cancer changes people .... it changes how the mind works. It takes some time to adjust and it's even more difficult when you are on chemo that might be very hard to handle. Just be there for her as best you can and please don't expect her to be her "old self". I am not the same person I was before cancer. In some ways I'm better ... in others I'm not as I'm just so freaking tired from the chemo. Nothing sounds better to me right now than staying in my PJs for days. If I could do that I would. And I have done that a couple of times when my schedule allowed it. It's time for others to take care of Mom. I know that's a very big change for everyone ... but, it's time to pay mom back for all the years that she's taken care of everyone else.

Your mother is very lucky to have a daugther like you who cares so much. Thank you for taking care of your mom.

steve g
Posts: 59
Joined: Dec 2008

I've been self-employed my whole life (70) and found that work was the answer to depression. While under chemo and radiation prior to surgery I added to the existing business and after surgery bought a new one for another project. Post operation I found myself getting tears in my eyes, laying in bed watching TV, not drama just the news and I knew I had a problem. After 2 years, I don't think of cancer, too busy, only the colostomy reminds me and that is now routine. Read about Kerry the (OLD coot) He splits wood for therapy.
Keep her involved in the business and out ot the house, keeping the body and mind active is better than pills. Best of luck to you and your Mom. Steve

pete43lost_at_sea's picture
pete43lost_at_sea
Posts: 3908
Joined: Nov 2010

she sounds like a fabulous mom. but now she is not so independent. biggest challenge for some cancer patients.

get her talking about her feelings and issues with family, friends and doctors. you have started the fight, make sure she knows you care.

thxmiker's picture
thxmiker
Posts: 1282
Joined: Oct 2010

First, I am sorry to hear about your family's tragic year.

Cancer is a tough one. This is round 2 for me of colon cancer. A lot of this disease is a strong mind to help create a strong body. It is easy to feel bad since the symptoms are there full time. I work hard at trying to mentally feel good.

When I feel real bad I walk the dogs. Call a friend. Go to the grocery store and buy 1 item, just to get out in public. It would be easier to sit at home. I risk soiling my pants when I go out. (I have the bladder control of a 4 year old.) Company of people make me feel better.
Attitude is everything in fighting cancer.

Just my 2 cents.
Best Always!
mike

tina dasilva's picture
tina dasilva
Posts: 644
Joined: Sep 2010

Oh hun I'm so sorry to hear about your mom. My prayers are with you and your family

luvmum
Posts: 457
Joined: Dec 2010

I totally understand how you feel as I have the same experience. I don't get much help here with the oncologist or general doctors. I do get a lot of help from friends. Try to keep yourself happy and keep your mum happy. My goal is to make her laugh at least once a day. If she feels more comfortable wearing PJ, let her wear them. In fact, both my mum and I haven't gotten out of our PJ's in the last couple of days when she felt really bad.
My mum is my best friend and she knows how much I love her. Whenever she is feeling really bad, she will say 'because of you, I will fight this battle'. She wants to recover to keep me company. Give her some goals and reasons to fight this battle.
No matter how bad and sad I feel, I tried not to show in front of her now. When she first diagnosed with colon cancer with liver met, I had been crying for a week in front of her. At that time, she had to comfort me. I really shouldn't have behaved like that at that time.
Although I have only joined this discussion board recently, I found this place great! Talking to people who have similar experience helps a lot! I also read the information post on caregivers, it helps a great deal. My mum had serious mouth sore and diarrhea in the last few days after her first chemo, I followed the instructions there and suggestions from other people in the discussion board, her mouth sore problem ease a bit this morning.
Be expected you will have some good days and some bad days, it's normal. In the last 6 weeks, sometimes, I feel full of hope and being positive; sometimes I feel hopeless and being very negative. Whenever I feel hopeless or too sad to fall asleep, I will pray.
I sincerely hope your mum and my mum will remain strong, positive and will not give up.

Dora

sharpy102's picture
sharpy102
Posts: 371
Joined: Apr 2009

Chelle: I know what! Show her this website, make her register here with a username and password, and join us! Seriously! I'm not kidding! These people here are AWESOME! She'll get ideas first of all what she should be doing/not doing, plus she'll see there's soooooooooo many other people who are in a similar shoe as hers, and have been hanging around here for years with tons of chemo treatments, and there are people here who were sent home to "enjoy their life as long as they can" because the doctor said it's "uncurable" and that they have a couple months to live, and guess what? They are still here after x many years. These facts would encourage your Mommy that this is not the end of the world, even though it seems, and that although the chemo might make her sick as hell, but that's exactly how sick the cancer cells are getting too! Tell her we want to see her here, we want to chit-chat with her, give her advices, what she should eat, what she should avoid, how she could help overcome the great side-effects of chemo treatments etc. Seriously!!! These people here are my FAMILY! I come here to brag and boast about school, but also when I'm down, angry, depressed I come up and leave a note...sometimes I get some messages and encouragement...tell her she belongs to this family. Tell her I already miss her!!!!

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