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cancer of unknown primary

Posts: 8
Joined: May 2011

someone please help i an the caregiver for my mother who is 77 we were told 2 years ago that she only had months to live an we should call hospis so we did an a year later they took her off. we go to doctor every 3 months an they do CT scan an every time he says it is spreading she has about 20 tummers in liver, lungs,an limpnods the last couple days she has been sleeping more an says she has pain in her back. to day she says she feels like there is a belt around her chest. i have asked the doctor what to look for so i can tell if she is getting worse but he never gives me a answer.the largest tummer is in the liver an is 9cm. i love my mother an dont want to see her suffer but she has allways been like the little boy that cryed wolf so i never know what to look for. also she has never been a very nice person an now it is getting worse every day for the last 2 years all i here is how she wants to die. i just dont know what to do.

AussieMaddie's picture
Posts: 345
Joined: May 2011

In all the posts I have read in these forums, yours is the first to acknowledge how hard it is to care for someone with cancer who is not at all easy to care for, even though we love them.

People generally don't change personality when they get sick (though sometimes it causes them to have an epiphany of sorts, makes them look back over their life and recognize in what ways they might have been more kind or considerate.)

I really believe that for many people that kind of introspection isn't possible and so neither is change.

My heart does go out to you. It takes a lot of strength to care for someone whose personality makes the caring so much harder.

Ironically, I am in the opposite position. In my case, it is *me* who is hard to care for, to be with. Not because I have the same problem as your mother. There are so many reasons that make caring for someone very hard. I've always been a loner, and I've always been emotionally or mentally troubled since early in life. It made it hard for my siblings in particular to feel comfortable, although we are all loving of each other. Now that I have cancer, they have helped to the best of their ability, have remained caring and attended to whatever I have needed. But I also know that at times it hasn't been easy. Right now, it's ok because I'm back at home where I live alone, as I wish, and they don't need to worry because I am again self-reliant (having had a scare when in hospital, when it looked like I may not be able to live alone). That's something I know that I will have to face in future as my own cancer progresses - as it expected to do.

It's never easy for the ones with cancer or the ones who love them.

I'm sorry that I can't help you with practical information about your mother's cancer. I can only imagine that you must rely on what the doctors say. I do know that my own cancer is said either to have a primary 'of unknown origin' or else it is fully Primary Perioneal Cancer. I was told that even after death, it happens many times that the primary is never found. In the end, all that you can deal with is in working with the doctors, tell them what your mother says, and leaving it to them to figure out why she would say such things. Don't put yourself in the position of having to know what to do. Leave it with the doctors, and just emphasize to them that you want your mother to be free of pain. Is she under palliative care. Their job is entirely to keep the patient comfortable.

Meanwhile, hold on tight to those who give you peace, who know you and who support you. My heart goes out to you.


Posts: 8
Joined: May 2011

ty for your thoughts. well we went to the doctor on friday an he told my mom it was time to call hospice. all tummers have dubbled in size. still cant give me a time fram. so mom says its ok to call but she does not want alot of people comming in an out of the house. she will only except the nurse. so again where is the help fpr me, she says i dont need help i should just take care of her an i do. but i also work full time an take care of my husband who just had back surg a week ago. we all live together an she says he should be able to care for himself all i should do is take care of her.an i have been doing that for over 20 years when my father died in 1989. she looked to me for everything. now i find myself just hopeing it gets over soon, an then i feel bad for thinking that way. anyway thank you for just letting me vent

Posts: 32
Joined: Sep 2010

Its wonderful you have been able to really show your true colors and care for your mother. I am sure its difficult, my mother had to do the same thing. Hopefully you have a good support system if not find someone or something to let out your anger. Its not good and you don't want to become bitter. If you can I would seek advice of a second doctor if this is possible. There has to be some answers. Also maybe see if she qualified for hospice, if anything it may give you a break from all of this.

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