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Mom's cancer is spreading some more

Posts: 66
Joined: May 2013

Hello Everyone,

I have kind of dropped off the site for a while. Hope everyone is hanging in there. Two weeks ago I resigned from my job to take care of my mom full time and give my father a long overdue break and some emotional support.

On Wednesday the oncologist called me into his office (I already knew this was not going to be a good day) to tell me that mom's CEA levels have gone up and her colorectal cancer is spreading some more. Her last Petscan was in January. We have done all the treatments including Folfox and Folfiri. We are now on year three. With her being given a year as of last March 2013. She is currently on Oxaliplatin and he will be adding Avastin. He also informed me that this is pretty much all he has left in his arsenal. It was very upsetting. I have been pretty positive the past three years, but I had to tell this to both my mom and dad and it was so hard. I'm very fortunate that I have a real close knit group of friends to speak to, however it does not make "reality" any easier.

She is very weak, tired, in some discomfort (they prescibed something for that) and has been having these low grade fevers that come and go which I have been told is par for the course. I just feel a little lost. I have appointments to purchase a plot, went to the church to get an idea of what funerals cost. I know this is so premature but I have become so anxious that I need to have these things prepared. Maybe it's because I know I'm not strong enough to deal with it later.

I'm searching for positivity, maybe I am just in a funk.

I have to keep reminding myself she is still here and that is a blessing.

So why do I want to cry?

I feel that I have no right to wallow in self pitty when she has been so strong and calm (even though I know she is now a little scared).




Posts: 127
Joined: Nov 2012

You have a lot on your plate, that is for sure. Has your mother ever been on Avastin before? I know that there is another stronger treatment than Avastin.It is called Zaltrap. It is something to look into. Good luck Nellie.

Posts: 1019
Joined: Aug 2013

It's so hard being the caregiver. I just recently pre-planned my brother's funeral. I did it because when the time comes, I don't want my dad to have to deal with it. It's done and it's one less stress to think about. It wasn't easy to do, but I knew it had to get done. My brother isn't even 50 yet. He's my little brother. I always thought he would outlive me. I get very sad sometimes, knowing what he's going through and the fact that I'm not going to grow old with him. I try so hard to stay positive, but it's not easy. So I understand how difficult it is to put on a happy face for your mom, but inside you're hurting. Just know we're all here for you and many of us are going through similar circumstances.

Vent away!


devotion10's picture
Posts: 631
Joined: Jan 2010

sending you my best and wishing your courage. My niece died of leukemia at age 6, my brother died of a glioblastoma brain tumor, and my husband passed from this disease this past summer. For caregivers, the grieving for our loved one with cancer seems to start prior to the time they actually pass away ... go ahead and cry ... and then pull yourself together and be present with your Mom.

Peace and courage to you. ~ Cynthia

Posts: 127
Joined: Nov 2012

you are so right when you said for caregivers grief started before there loved one passes away. I have been in a constant state of grief for the past ,16 months when my wife Donna was diagnosed. I knew from the very begining what her diagnoses meant.

Nellie, I am quite positive your mom and dad know what you are doing for them. I am sure they are so very proud of you. There is a saying that goes like this, You never know how strong you are until you have to be strong. You are a strong person. I am confident you will know what to do and have the strength to do it. God Bless you Nellie, for yours is not an easy road. Take care my friend.

Trubrit's picture
Posts: 3733
Joined: Jan 2013

Maybe it's because I know I'm not strong enough to deal with it later

Just from this one post I can tell that you are a strong person, and you will surprise yourself later, when you face the worst and see for yourself that you are strong. 

You sound like a wonderful, loving and caring daughter doing the best you can to make your mother and also your father comfortable during this hard time. It takes strenght to resign from a job, to plan a funeral. to keep on top of all the treatments and Doctors and medications.

We'll be here to help you through this.

I pray that your mum will find peace and comfort as the days move on. And that peace and comfort will come to both you and your father too.  


Posts: 66
Joined: May 2013

Thank you all for your kind words of encouragement and support.

marbleotis's picture
Posts: 682
Joined: Mar 2012

You need to pull from the deepest depths in you to summon all the strength you have.

Do not think about it just do it, she needs you now.


annalexandria's picture
Posts: 2573
Joined: Oct 2011

I'm not sure there is anything more difficult than what you and your parents are going through.  It's so horrible to be told that there is no more hope.  Hope is what we humans need to survive, and when it's taken from us...well, it's just a really terrible blow to the spirit.

I've lost both my parents and my sister, and I still don't have any words of wisdom.  There's no easy way.  You just have to walk the path as it comes, and try not to look too far ahead.

I'm glad that you decided to go ahead and quit the job...one thing that helped me in the aftermath of losing someone was knowing that I had done everything i could to support them.  It may seem right now like nothing will make a difference, but I do think that helps with the healing in the long run.

And healing, of a sort, will come.  Things are never the same, but the hurt does ease with time, especially when you have many positive memories to draw upon...and I'm sure you do.  Speaking as a mom myself, I can tell you're a good daughter, and your mom is lucky to have you.

Love and hugs to you and your mom~AA

Cathleen Mary
Posts: 824
Joined: May 2011

Nellie,  this is such a hard time.  15 years ago, I, too, walked away from my job and moved in with my parents to care for them.  Both had colon cancer.  I referred to that time as my 'difficult privilege'.  You have the strength and courage within you. Rally any help you can. There are blessings in the shadows. 

Now that I have colon cancer, I realize how much I learned from them during those 18 mos. Also, because of them, I was diagnosed earlier. 

You will cry because you love your Mom, you hate to see her go through this, you will miss her, and because you are tired. Steal away some time for those tears. 

She raised you to be the generous, loving woman you are....and I bet she is proud and grateful.

Take a deep breath and be gentle with yourself. 



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