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Worried daugther , mom has stage 4 colon cancer Help!!

blessedone84
Posts: 1
Joined: Mar 2014

My mom has been diagnoised with colon cancer, she just had her surgery this monday they had to remove her spleen,colon and one of her ovaries and fallopian tubes and lymnodes. We didnt know what stage it was till the yesterday. The surgery itself went well . The doctor came out and said that it could be stage 3 or maybe two but come to find out it is a 4! my mom and all of us is devasted. The doctor said she is young (55) for this. She will def need chemo. She goes back this upcoming friday to get staples out and to get refereed to an onclogist. What are some advice and helpful thoughts? will she survicve this? scared to death, she is the only parent i have left. I know one thing she is one strong woman though she was up and walking around on day 2 and ready to come home on day 3 after surgery but didnt go home till yesterday. she is doing really well considering the surgery.

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 4859
Joined: Jan 2013

I am so very sorry that you have found you way onto our little forum. 

You must be one special daughter, to be out and looking for ways to help your mum and to help yourself. You have found the right place here, for sure. 

Your mum sounds like she is a go getter, and that will help her tremendously. It is good that she is up and about so quickly after surgery, and that positive, active aspect will help her along this journey. 

A few things I like to share, to help, your mum may already know about, but here goes. 

Be sure and take someone to all appointments. It is so very easy to get overwhelmed with all the information, the to dos and not to dos, that you get at the beginning. Another listening ear is a great help.

A note book to take with her to every appointment. During appointments, I found it helpful to write down everything that I was experiencing, both physical and emotional, and go over them with the Oncologist (or whichever Doctor) at each visit. 

Take it one day, one step at a time. Its so easy to get overwhelmed at the beginning. So many fears. 

One of the biggest things that helped me (everyone is different) was to allow myslef 10 minutes a day for a pity party. It is human nature, and healthy, to fear our diagnosis and everything that is touched by it (which would be everything), but it is not good to dwell on that fear. Being positive is such a HUGE element of the journey. 

I learned to meditate during chemo. Wow! It bought such peace to me. I would suggest everyone at least give it a try. It may not be up everyones street, but you won't know until you try. 

You will get loads of great advice here. 

Visit often. We are here for you, for your mum. Maybe she could join our forum too. She is the same age as I am, 55. 

Blessing and peace to you, sweet daughter. It is obvious that you will be a huge help to her as she faces treatment, as she faces her diagnosis. 

lp1964's picture
lp1964
Posts: 1238
Joined: Jun 2013

Sorry to hear that it turned out to be more than you thought. But it is what it is and you have to deal with it.

Many people live many years of full life with this disease. You and your mom should always keep one thing in mind all the time:

She is still your mom with all her personality, skills, knowledge and love. She just happens to have cancer. It is easy to get overwhelmed a let cancer take over your life. 

Chemo for colon cancer is not so bad. She won't lose her hair, but she will have less energy and feel sick sometimes. You guys will get through it. Concentrate on the good thing and make every day a good day. 

I wish you good luck. 

Laz

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 4859
Joined: Jan 2013

It can happen. 

Most of my hair fell out. When I started to resemble Gollum from Lord of the Rings (after passing through the Beaker-Muppet stage), I shaved it all off and found that I looked pretty darn good. 

Own it! Thats my motto. 

 

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 6222
Joined: Feb 2009

Welcome to the board.  I'm sure you never thought you would have to be here but you have come to a very wonderful bunch of people.  We will be here to help you through your mom's future.  First off don't go on the internet to find information.  It is outdated and not accurate.  Your mom can beat this and be here 20 years or more from now so try to take one day at a time.  It could be a difficult situation at some time but she has her surgery behind her and now is the time for her oncologist to put a plan in place.  Someone should always go with her to any appointment to be another set of ears.  She will hear something and you will hear something.  She is dealing with a lot right now and she needs extra ears, and help.  When she sees her specialist please let us know the plan so we can give you some information.  I'm sorry to hear of your mother's diagnosis.  It's a hard place to be in, but you have a wealth of knowledge here so please know you will always have us on you/her side.  Welcome again.

Kim

Lisa2012's picture
Lisa2012
Posts: 142
Joined: Feb 2014

So sorry that you and your family have started on this journey, but you will find many wonderful people on this site.  The questions running through your head are very normal, I am certain that we all have moments when we think the same.  Cry if you have to, but then get up and move on.  Your Mom sounds like a strong lady, that is good.  Yes your Mom is young, but that can be a positive because she may have more fight in her.   I was diagnosed stage IV two years ago at age 44.  

I think it is important for you to remember that yes your Mom has cancer, but it is very important that you not let cancer have her.  Live life, enjoy every day.  This journey isn't always easy, it isn't always pleasant but you will find the most loving, caring people you likely would have never met.  I know that I have.

Best wishes for your Mom's recovery.  Chemo isn't fun, but it is tolerable, check back for specifics when your Mom's treatment options are discussed there is a wealth of information here.

lisa

 

tanstaafl's picture
tanstaafl
Posts: 1292
Joined: Oct 2010

You can find extra answers here on the boards from inexpensive chemistries like cimetidine, PSK, vitamin D3, etc  to getting additional life saving surgeries. You all may also be interested in delveloping maintenance chemos like xeloda plus celebrex. But they won't be standard and people have to work hard to get the best information and answers with the best results.  

Also don't forget to take good care of yourself including a colonoscopy.  Best wishes for your and your mom.

UncleBuddy
Posts: 1019
Joined: Aug 2013

You have a lot of good advice here, especially from Trubrit. Please make sure you take care of yourself because it's going to be a roller coaster ride. Mom is going to need you or another family member/friend to go with her to all her doctor visits so she has someone taking notes and asking questions. I go with my brother to every doctor appointment, chemo visit, etx. I have read a lot of positive things from people on here. Not everyone with stage 4 ends up terminal. There are many on here who have lived many years without disease at stage 4. It all depends on the quality of doctors she has, the things they're willing to try and i believe a positive attitude has a lot to do with a successful outcome. Best wishes and keep us informed. We're here if you need to vent or if you need some information. 

My brother started as stage 2a rectal cancer and had radiation and chemotherapy. Then he had an anterior resection, temporary ostomy, ostomy reversal and then more chemo. A year after he finished chemo and was declared cancer free, his CEA numbers went up and they did a CT and PET scan. His rectal cancer spread to the lungs and liver, so he is now stage 4. He is currently doing chemo but has many other health issues that keep postponing his chemo. 

Everyone is different. My brother was on a cocktail of 4 drugs and did lose his hair. He also was on erbitux which caused a bad rash. Let us know the chemo drugs your mom is on because many people on here can give you great advice on what you can do for the side effects. Best wishes.

Lin

annalexandria's picture
annalexandria
Posts: 2573
Joined: Oct 2011

Cancer is one of the most terrifying things any of us have to face, and in many ways it's just as hard, maybe even harder, for the caregivers who love us.  I know my cancer diagnosis (also stage 4) was overwhelming for my poor kids.

First, try to remember that people do survive with stage 4 cancer...some live with it for years as a chronic disease, some even find a cure.  In my own case, the cancer spread to several areas in the colon, small intestine, rectum, uterus, peritoneum, and 5 lymph nodes.  It took multiple surgeries to get me to the point of being NED (no evidence of disease), where I have been for the last 27 months.  Your mom has gotten a good start by having what sounds like a very complete surgery.  There is hope, and having hope makes daily life much easier to bear.

Secondly, and this is just my opinion, but for me the best thing my kids could do to be helpful was to continue to live their lives as normally as possible.  The last thing I wanted was for my illness to derail them.  I don't know what your life circumstances happen to be, but if your mom is anything like me, she will be glad to see you continuing to enjoy your own life.  Not easy to do under the circumstances, I know, just something to keep at the back of your mind as your family moves forward.

Pls keep us posted, and do come back with any questions you have as your mom starts chemo.  We've all been through it, and we are happy to support you in any way!

Big hugs to you and your mom~Ann Alexandria

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