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Cancer is a real b!tch ..

TheHitchslap
Posts: 1,231
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8/6/2013 5:51:13 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
So as you may know, found out my mom had her cancer back again.
One year ago she survived stage VI bowel cancer. It was intense. Apparently the tumor in her hip was the size of a golf ball, they surgically took it out, and put her through an intense treatment here in Canada in one of the better cancer hospitals. It consisted of surgically removing the tumor, marinating her organs in radiation, then flushing it out with chemotherapy.

She ended up surviving, and for a year we put it all behind us .. till this past weekend I got the dreaded call....

Now the tumor isn't back. It was just cancer cells found in the small intestine, however my mother now has intense adhesion's in her stomach to boot. So essentially, scar tissue in the tummy around the intestines slow down or stop food from passing through. Complete blockages may be fatal. Worst yet? Guess what caused it? Yup radiation... our doctor gave us shitty info (we were never warned of this as a side-effect)

My mother has far too many adhesion's in her stomach to possibly get them all according to her doctor, and some are in difficult spots. The only way to get rid of them is more surgery. I have read on some medical pages that some do just break down and go away, but...it seems wishful at this point.. especially with another dose of chemo coming in.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm happy my mother is alive. But at the same time, I'm sitting here hanging on the edge sometimes, waiting, hoping, and it's driving me crazy. I don't want to lose my mom, nor do I get the opportunity to vent my emotions with them. I don't like showing weakness in front of her (I was the man of the house for years when it was just my mom, me and my little bro).

So have any of you had a family member go through cancer? Or have a similar story? How do you go through this a second time? Am I wrong to "bottle" this stuff in?

I have no idea how I'm suppose to act right now... nor do I really have anyone to talk to right now that I could put my trust in.
Thank you for voting!
medic0506
Posts: 13,450
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8/6/2013 7:28:48 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I'm very sorry to hear about your mother. I lost mine to ovarian cancer in 1999, she was just 52. We thought they got it all because she was cancer free for over two years, but then it returned with a vengeance.

The best advice I can give you is to try to put up a strong front for her, and spend as much time as you can with her, even if it's just talking to her on the phone. Make sure that there is nothing that you're going to wish you would have told her, but didn't. Make sure she knows how much she means to you. She's prolly going to worry a lot about being a burden, you'll need to help her with that. I hope it isn't fatal, but like you said, cancer is a b!tch, and one whose outcome isn't always predictable. You need to mentally prepare yourself for just about anything.

You have to grieve too, and don't be afraid to cry or be angry if that's how you feel. It hurts to see your mother suffering, and nothing is going to make it any easier. Don't keep it bottled up, let yourself go through the grieving process, hurt and anger are part of that process. Siblings and other close relatives can be a big help, and you can be a big help to them by sharing your feelings and being there for them to do the same. Good luck Hitch, I wish the best for you and your entire family.
TheHitchslap
Posts: 1,231
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8/6/2013 7:42:23 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 8/6/2013 7:28:48 PM, medic0506 wrote:
I'm very sorry to hear about your mother. I lost mine to ovarian cancer in 1999, she was just 52. We thought they got it all because she was cancer free for over two years, but then it returned with a vengeance.

The best advice I can give you is to try to put up a strong front for her, and spend as much time as you can with her, even if it's just talking to her on the phone. Make sure that there is nothing that you're going to wish you would have told her, but didn't. Make sure she knows how much she means to you. She's prolly going to worry a lot about being a burden, you'll need to help her with that. I hope it isn't fatal, but like you said, cancer is a b!tch, and one whose outcome isn't always predictable. You need to mentally prepare yourself for just about anything.

You have to grieve too, and don't be afraid to cry or be angry if that's how you feel. It hurts to see your mother suffering, and nothing is going to make it any easier. Don't keep it bottled up, let yourself go through the grieving process, hurt and anger are part of that process. Siblings and other close relatives can be a big help, and you can be a big help to them by sharing your feelings and being there for them to do the same. Good luck Hitch, I wish the best for you and your entire family.

Thank you medic..

Is it normal to lose interest in everything when going through this? I haven't even thought of working out, sometimes I even forget to eat. Which is abnormal for me.
Thank you for voting!
medic0506
Posts: 13,450
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8/6/2013 7:58:34 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 8/6/2013 7:42:23 PM, TheHitchslap wrote:
At 8/6/2013 7:28:48 PM, medic0506 wrote:
I'm very sorry to hear about your mother. I lost mine to ovarian cancer in 1999, she was just 52. We thought they got it all because she was cancer free for over two years, but then it returned with a vengeance.

The best advice I can give you is to try to put up a strong front for her, and spend as much time as you can with her, even if it's just talking to her on the phone. Make sure that there is nothing that you're going to wish you would have told her, but didn't. Make sure she knows how much she means to you. She's prolly going to worry a lot about being a burden, you'll need to help her with that. I hope it isn't fatal, but like you said, cancer is a b!tch, and one whose outcome isn't always predictable. You need to mentally prepare yourself for just about anything.

You have to grieve too, and don't be afraid to cry or be angry if that's how you feel. It hurts to see your mother suffering, and nothing is going to make it any easier. Don't keep it bottled up, let yourself go through the grieving process, hurt and anger are part of that process. Siblings and other close relatives can be a big help, and you can be a big help to them by sharing your feelings and being there for them to do the same. Good luck Hitch, I wish the best for you and your entire family.

Thank you medic..

Is it normal to lose interest in everything when going through this? I haven't even thought of working out, sometimes I even forget to eat. Which is abnormal for me.

Yes it's normal, but you need to be careful that it doesn't become a constant for you. Those may very well be signs of depression, which is also normal. You may want to talk to a doctor who can prescribe something to help get you through. This is likely situational depression. You need to make yourself eat and stay hydrated, the last thing she needs is to worry about you getting sick.
Cody_Franklin
Posts: 9,483
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8/6/2013 10:56:19 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I feel you, man. One grandmother died of lung cancer. I watched the other grandmother die, slowly, of brain cancer. Mom's a breast cancer survivor, and one of my best friends has cervical cancer.

I'm not theistic, so don't take this the wrong way, but don't let it tear too much of your soul away. It's not the kind of thing you come back in one piece from. I think medic is wrong about one thing: don't put on a strong front--be a strong person. By that, I don't mean that you should act aloof or unaffected; you need to grieve. I mean you can't let yourself be consumed by despair. There's a level of grief which behaves somewhat like an event horizon--once you've passed it, there's no returning.

Dealing with cancer in someone who's close is a question of willpower. With no malice intended, it isn't about you--it's your mother's ordeal. Abstracting from her role as a mother, she's fundamentally just a person, with cancer, likely scared and uncertain. You're one of her loved ones. Your job is to be supportive and compassionate. As much as you need to grieve, you need more to fucking jump in and take care of business.
TheHitchslap
Posts: 1,231
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8/7/2013 1:06:09 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 8/6/2013 8:11:02 PM, medic0506 wrote:
This site has some links to pdf documents that you should read, on grief and the grieving process.

http://www.hns.org...

Thank you.
And yeah, thinking of seeing my doctor. Last time when I had a personal problem I had situation depression too, so it does seem logical that I could have it again. Still sucks though, first time I held together really well. This time though .. man it just sucks knowing that the people responsible for her care ended up putting her through a surgery that made it in the end tougher on her (adhesions).
Thank you for voting!
TheHitchslap
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8/7/2013 1:11:38 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 8/6/2013 10:56:19 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
I feel you, man. One grandmother died of lung cancer. I watched the other grandmother die, slowly, of brain cancer. Mom's a breast cancer survivor, and one of my best friends has cervical cancer.

My condolences, and congratulations on your mother. Though I do know how you feel man. Best of luck to your friend too.

I'm not theistic, so don't take this the wrong way, but don't let it tear too much of your soul away. It's not the kind of thing you come back in one piece from. I think medic is wrong about one thing: don't put on a strong front--be a strong person. By that, I don't mean that you should act aloof or unaffected; you need to grieve. I mean you can't let yourself be consumed by despair. There's a level of grief which behaves somewhat like an event horizon--once you've passed it, there's no returning.

Fair enough, I'll do my best to try to not pass that thresh-hold.

Dealing with cancer in someone who's close is a question of willpower. With no malice intended, it isn't about you--it's your mother's ordeal. Abstracting from her role as a mother, she's fundamentally just a person, with cancer, likely scared and uncertain. You're one of her loved ones. Your job is to be supportive and compassionate. As much as you need to grieve, you need more to fucking jump in and take care of business.

Yeah you got a good point. I kinda am being a little selfish right now, I guess normally at this point and time I could go to my mom and ask her if everything would be okay, but for once in her life time she actually can't tell me if it's gonna be or not. Kinda trouble-some ya know?
Thank you for voting!
Sidewalker
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8/7/2013 5:59:45 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 8/7/2013 1:11:38 AM, TheHitchslap wrote:
At 8/6/2013 10:56:19 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
I feel you, man. One grandmother died of lung cancer. I watched the other grandmother die, slowly, of brain cancer. Mom's a breast cancer survivor, and one of my best friends has cervical cancer.

My condolences, and congratulations on your mother. Though I do know how you feel man. Best of luck to your friend too.

I'm not theistic, so don't take this the wrong way, but don't let it tear too much of your soul away. It's not the kind of thing you come back in one piece from. I think medic is wrong about one thing: don't put on a strong front--be a strong person. By that, I don't mean that you should act aloof or unaffected; you need to grieve. I mean you can't let yourself be consumed by despair. There's a level of grief which behaves somewhat like an event horizon--once you've passed it, there's no returning.

Fair enough, I'll do my best to try to not pass that thresh-hold.

Cody is more than fair here, he's spot on. There is a grieving process you will have to go through and it's probably best to have help going through it. My wife of 26 years died rather abruptly of liver cancer, I thought I could handle it alone and ended up with alcohol and drugs for a couple years, cleaned up my act and remarried, thought I was all better. New wife told me I had never grieved and got me to go to a grieving counselor even though it was six years later. It helped a ton, they explained why it's so important to go through the process, it's important that you do, and like I said, it's not a good idea to try it on your own.

Dealing with cancer in someone who's close is a question of willpower. With no malice intended, it isn't about you--it's your mother's ordeal. Abstracting from her role as a mother, she's fundamentally just a person, with cancer, likely scared and uncertain. You're one of her loved ones. Your job is to be supportive and compassionate. As much as you need to grieve, you need more to fucking jump in and take care of business.

Again, he's right on, grieving comes after she's gone, right now you need to stay in the game and whether or not you feel strong, you need to act strong, be strong, grieving will be harder if you have regrets about what you do now.

Yeah you got a good point. I kinda am being a little selfish right now,

Depression is almost always a self-indulgence.

I guess normally at this point and time I could go to my mom and ask her if everything would be okay, but for once in her life time she actually can't tell me if it's gonna be or not. Kinda trouble-some ya know?

Don't ask her that, show her your strength so she knows you are going to be OK no matter what happens, that's what she wants to know right now. Just be there for her, let her talk and respond with love and comfort, she's probably most worried about her loved ones, she needs to know they will be OK, let her know you will be there for them too. and they'll be there for you. There's a process she needs to go through too, and you are there to help her go through it, the time to grieve comes later.

I'm sorry you are going through this, as Cody said, there's a lot of information out there, read it and learn about it, how you feel, how your mom feels, it's all natural and it follows a pretty well defined process, it's best to learn what those process are and go through them aware and informed.
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
medic0506
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8/7/2013 9:13:29 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 8/6/2013 10:56:19 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
I feel you, man. One grandmother died of lung cancer. I watched the other grandmother die, slowly, of brain cancer. Mom's a breast cancer survivor, and one of my best friends has cervical cancer.

I'm not theistic, so don't take this the wrong way, but don't let it tear too much of your soul away. It's not the kind of thing you come back in one piece from. I think medic is wrong about one thing: don't put on a strong front--be a strong person. By that, I don't mean that you should act aloof or unaffected; you need to grieve. I mean you can't let yourself be consumed by despair.

That's a fair point, as Cody says you don't want her to think it isn't having an effect on you, that you aren't hurting too. I just meant that no matter how much it hurts you, you have to be there for her and let her know that no matter what she needs or how sick she gets, you'll be there.

There's a level of grief which behaves somewhat like an event horizon--once you've passed it, there's no returning.

Dealing with cancer in someone who's close is a question of willpower. With no malice intended, it isn't about you--it's your mother's ordeal. Abstracting from her role as a mother, she's fundamentally just a person, with cancer, likely scared and uncertain. You're one of her loved ones. Your job is to be supportive and compassionate. As much as you need to grieve, you need more to fucking jump in and take care of business.

Good advice.
slo1
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8/7/2013 11:38:06 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Each situation is different due to dynamics. You said you can't talk about true feelings because of a need to put on a front on of courage and being strong. That does not mean though that you don't get into meaningful discussions with your mother.

I agree with some of the sentiment our feelings that are selfish, need to wait, but on the other hand there is nothing wrong to have a discussion with your Mother about death and what it means to you and her.

This is not the typical north american way, but being open and honest about the anxiety, worries, and what if's can go along way to alleviate fears that everyone has when going through.

It can be as easy as saying, "I'm really worried about how you are feeling, mom, with all the difficulties ahead."

Let the discussion go from there and let her know you are there to help her. Also, don't forget the value of just maintaining communication for the small regular stuff going on in your life. It is nice after countless doc visits and bad news, and waiting for news to just have some moments of normalcy.

Transition into being a care taker for your mother, physically and emotionally. That will help you through his tough time.

I am very sorry your mother, family, and you have to go through this. I hope you all find moments of peace and lots of love.
Eitan_Zohar
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8/13/2013 4:16:06 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
My mother had breast cancer, but she got better. Moar news?
"It is my ambition to say in ten sentences what others say in a whole book."
SitaraForGod
Posts: 19
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8/17/2013 12:27:12 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
How can I help?
I get my politics from Ecclesiastes 3:1-8. There is a time and a place for everything. Even a time to be liberal, and a time to be conservative.
1Devilsadvocate
Posts: 1,518
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8/18/2013 5:33:17 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 8/17/2013 12:27:12 AM, SitaraForGod wrote:
How can I help?
http://www.cellslider.net...
http://www.clicktocure.net...
I cannot write in English, because of the treacherous spelling. When I am reading, I only hear it and am unable to remember what the written word looks like."
"Albert Einstein

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