Coping With Someone Who Has Cancer

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    Apr 29, 2012 4:57 PM GMT
    Well I recently found out that my mom has cancer and I just broke down. But after a few hours, it was kinda like life moves on and it didn't really bother me but it still just like haunts me when I'm not doing something else. No treatment has been done yet so I haven't seen the awful side of it just yet.

    I'm just wondering if I'm dealing with this alright, because I feel fine but it still like comes up in my thoughts and I just feel like a wreck. I try to be positive because I have to be for her, she said that'll make her feel better, but it's just kinda hard. I couldn't even look at her when she said it.

    If anyone knows good foods that'll help, or anything that can help her feel better as well as ways that I can cope with it better please let me know!
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    Apr 29, 2012 5:03 PM GMT
    MarkRoger, if I can assist I will. My background is volunteer care w/cancer patients, elderly and not, palliative as well.

    -Doug

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    Apr 29, 2012 6:09 PM GMT
    meninlove said MarkRoger, if I can assist I will. My background is volunteer care w/cancer patients, elderly and not, palliative as well.

    -Doug



    Thanks Doug, I just want to know how I can possibly make her feel better. If there are any foods that can possibly help the treatment... anything at all, your info will be very much helpful!
  • Koaa2

    Posts: 1556

    Apr 29, 2012 6:56 PM GMT
    My Mother had cancer also. Not sure when your Mother was diagnosed or what her prognosis is. It can be a long process and it all depends on type and treatment. She may not be terminal, so don't let your emotions get to carried away until you get some answers about the disease, treatment, prognosis etc. Suggest you begin by talking to her about it, how she feels and what she knows. It is a beginning. Good luck and hang in there.
  • Lincsbear

    Posts: 2605

    Apr 29, 2012 7:07 PM GMT
    Sorry to hear about your news.

    Everyone in your situation feels helpless, or they`re not doing enough. That`s a common reaction.

    Try to take each day as it comes and not anticipate or dwell on problems too much. Face them as they come.

    Be there for your mother, think of her before yourself.

    But keep doing the basics for yourself, keep busy, exercising ,etc. I`ve found that a great help.

    Best wishes,
    John.
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    Apr 29, 2012 8:52 PM GMT
    MarkRoger said
    meninlove said MarkRoger, if I can assist I will. My background is volunteer care w/cancer patients, elderly and not, palliative as well.

    -Doug



    Thanks Doug, I just want to know how I can possibly make her feel better. If there are any foods that can possibly help the treatment... anything at all, your info will be very much helpful!



    If she saw what you posted I think she'd feel better (if she knows you're gay and is OK with it) because that's love you're showing.

    I could only recommend anything if I know what the cancer is, her symptoms, and her treatment.
    warmly,

    -Doug
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    Apr 29, 2012 9:00 PM GMT
    Lincsbear saidSorry to hear about your news.

    Everyone in your situation feels helpless, or they`re not doing enough. That`s a common reaction.

    Try to take each day as it comes and not anticipate or dwell on problems too much. Face them as they come.

    Be there for your mother, think of her before yourself.

    But keep doing the basics for yourself, keep busy, exercising ,etc. I`ve found that a great help.

    Best wishes,
    John.


    The best insight, John. I took each day as it came with my Mother. Six weeks from diagnosis until she passed. The doctors guessed six to eight months.icon_rolleyes.gif

    I was blessed to be able to be with her....icon_cry.gif
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    Apr 29, 2012 11:50 PM GMT
    Well it seems to be relatively early and sometime this week she said she'd be able to find out more. It's colon cancer.

    I dunno if I'm reacting wrong to this, but after the initial news I'm not like breaking down constantly or worried but I assumed that's because treatment and all of that hasn't started yet but I can't help but feel like I should be totally worried about it constantly. I'm just so confused at what I should be doing at this stage.
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    Apr 30, 2012 12:49 AM GMT
    Well that's a little good news; the earlier it is detected the higher the survival rate. We're talking up to 90+ percentage for successful treatment the earlier it's caught.

    What I could find suggests exercise gives the patient an edge on it. Go for walks w/Mom!

    sending warmth and a couple of hugs your way Mark, to you and your Mom!

    -Doug

    I always find that learning as much as I can helps me cope.



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    Apr 30, 2012 1:02 AM GMT
    I had to go through that twice. the first time i was 12 and way too young to realize my mom was sick. My parents made every effort to not disclose her illness.

    In college (senior year, she was diagnosed again). she fought it but unfortunately lost the battle. One thing I can tell you which I never will regret. Spend all the time you can with her. sometimes seeing her in pain or sick and nauseated from chemo might feel overwhelming. Def find someone to be able to express these feelings with. There will be times when she will feel overwhelmed and lash out at you... dont take it personally. you have to remember she will be going to chemo and talking to people and have people in her groups who will die and she will have an enormous fear that she will be reluctant to express. Let her lash out, let her grieve and when she is fine, stop and ask her about her emotions. ask if shes scared and tell her that its okay to cry.

    ask your dad how he feels. you wouldnt believe how much people forget to ask the person's spouse how they are coping. Cancer def hurts everyone. keep that in mind. have a support group and remember to keep an open mind, be optimistic and live your life!

    my relationship with my mother meant everything to me and her illness made us all stronger and closer.
  • runnermtl

    Posts: 129

    Apr 30, 2012 1:23 AM GMT
    I speak from experience - you have an immensely painful road ahead of you. Your mother will tell you what she needs from you. Think now about who might support you emotionally so that they can help you to help her. Good luck.
  • Art2D2x

    Posts: 148

    Apr 30, 2012 2:03 AM GMT
    Well, you're already doing the right thing by supporting her, and at least TRYING to remain positive. The worst thing you could do is constantly worry and treat the person as if they were a cancer patient. Take it from me; I had cancer a few years ago.

    While our lives may have changed through the course of treatment (and we take certain precautions to avoid further fallbacks) all we really want is to be treated normal. Most of all we want a shoulder for support or a hand to hold on to when we need it most. There's really not much you could do from there. Just be accommodating.

    I hope your mom will get through this. I send my good vibes.
  • barriehomeboy

    Posts: 2475

    Apr 30, 2012 2:06 AM GMT
    I was diagnosed with cancer in 2010. I've had treatments and I'm back to being healthy and cancer free. Cancer is no longer a death sentence. Same for being diagnosed HIV + .
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    Apr 30, 2012 2:06 AM GMT
    jrunner25 saidI had to go through that twice. the first time i was 12 and way too young to realize my mom was sick. My parents made every effort to not disclose her illness.

    In college (senior year, she was diagnosed again). she fought it but unfortunately lost the battle. One thing I can tell you which I never will regret. Spend all the time you can with her. sometimes seeing her in pain or sick and nauseated from chemo might feel overwhelming. Def find someone to be able to express these feelings with. There will be times when she will feel overwhelmed and lash out at you... dont take it personally. you have to remember she will be going to chemo and talking to people and have people in her groups who will die and she will have an enormous fear that she will be reluctant to express. Let her lash out, let her grieve and when she is fine, stop and ask her about her emotions. ask if shes scared and tell her that its okay to cry.

    ask your dad how he feels. you wouldnt believe how much people forget to ask the person's spouse how they are coping. Cancer def hurts everyone. keep that in mind. have a support group and remember to keep an open mind, be optimistic and live your life!

    my relationship with my mother meant everything to me and her illness made us all stronger and closer.


    Went through it myself, in three separate occasions. Hope he follows your advice. It worked for me. Cancer doesn't respect no race, sex or age, but it will test the strongest. Wish the best for you and your family buddy!
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    Apr 30, 2012 11:39 PM GMT
    Thank you guys so much, I'll try my best and find out more this week!
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    May 03, 2012 11:09 PM GMT
    Some new thoughts just swam into my head. Sometimes like right now I'm feeling as if I should ask more about what's going on with her because all she ever tells me that she does is rest, but I want to see some action being done.

    I don't want to say that to her because it might make her feel worse about the situation since I'm not the one going through it but she is... and I don't even talk to her about it I don't think I can. When she told me I could barely look at her, I just felt so messed up.

    Advice?
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    May 03, 2012 11:19 PM GMT
    Imagine being her. It's going to haunt her for the rest of her life as well. I am a cancer survivor and only been in "remission" status a short while. Although I feel like I am healthy and stay active, it is ALWAYS in the back of my mind that it could reoccur and that I will die. Obvouisly, I am in therapy for this. I had a lot of stuff go down when all of this first happened. My boyfriend of five years walked out and left me at my worst. Additionally, my parents live 2500K miles away and weren't able to even come out and see me being treated. Which I think is kind of good becasue I would never want to see my mother upset. Actually, the only person that really stood by me was my hag. Everyone else saw me getting worse and worse, bailing in fear that they were watching me die a slow death. Eventually, I came out of it but the reminents of the whole ordeal will always be with me and have forever changed my life. My adivce to you is stay by her side no matter what happens. Don't push her to talk about it until she is ready to talk about it. I still have trouble talking about it today and some even think that I am in denial. But I'm not. I just chose to live for now and not dwell on it, which, TRUST ME, is easier said than done. It always comes up on dates, and the reaction is 99% bad and I never see the guy again. I know this is random information but hang in there and try not to get down about it. I cling to the hope that GOD has a plan for me and that's why I am still alive.
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    May 03, 2012 11:39 PM GMT
    Well she brought it up just now when I called her. She said that there was nothing in her lungs or bones just in the colon and a meta-something in the liver. Anyone know what that is?
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    May 04, 2012 12:04 AM GMT
    MarkRoger saidWell she brought it up just now when I called her. She said that there was nothing in her lungs or bones just in the colon and a meta-something in the liver. Anyone know what that is?


    Metastatic liver cancer? Rather than guess, how about getting permission to speak directly to her MD and then you'll know just what you're both facing. You will want to know if she is a candidate for surgery, or chemo, or radiation. You will get some solid answers from the MD and you'll know more of what is happening and how to best go forward. If there is hope - great. If not, there is good palllative care and hospice available in most places. Good luck and best wishes for you and your mom.
  • monet

    Posts: 1093

    May 04, 2012 12:07 AM GMT
    I have two suggestions:

    First, send your mother a card or a hand-written letter telling her how much you love her. Tell her that she's the strongest person you know and that you're confident that she will fight this challenge with all her strength. Ask her what you can do to help.

    Second, volunteer to accompany her to her doctor appointments if she doesn't have someone else to go with her.

    My mother-in-law is a 23 year survivor of colon cancer and she is doing great. When caught early colon cancer has a very good long-term survival rate.

    God bless you and God bless your mother.
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    May 04, 2012 12:13 AM GMT
    Jockbod48 said
    MarkRoger saidWell she brought it up just now when I called her. She said that there was nothing in her lungs or bones just in the colon and a meta-something in the liver. Anyone know what that is?


    Metastatic liver cancer? Rather than guess, how about getting permission to speak directly to her MD and then you'll know just what you're both facing. You will want to know if she is a candidate for surgery, or chemo, or radiation. You will get some solid answers from the MD and you'll know more of what is happening and how to best go forward. If there is hope - great. If not, there is good palllative care and hospice available in most places. Good luck and best wishes for you and your mom.


    Well I just know what she tells me, she told be about the metastatic liver thing but she said she'll know more tomorrow when she sees the oncologist. Thanks everyone who's posted so far, I'm trying to keep here up to date... I'm afraid that I won't be as normal with it as I am now in a few weeks...
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    May 04, 2012 11:16 PM GMT
    MuchMoreThanMuscle saidSorry to read of you mother having cancer. What type is it and what stage is it?


    Well I just heard from her today, I don't know the 'stage' but I know it's very early and the doctors told her it's very hopeful for her. It's colon and metastatic something in the liver. They said that on next week Friday after they finish running some final tests on Monday, they want to start Chemo to shrink it.

    I thought it'd be better to cut it all out but they said that's the best approach apparently. She didn't give me all the details but they seem to be very hopeful with it, she said that she felt like it wasn't a death sentence after talking to the doctors while she kind of felt like it was before hearing more info today.

    If anyone can tell me what to expect while she's on Chemo therapy, please enlighten me. Any foods that will be good during that time as well because I want to cook a lot for her then.

    And thanks for you guys' concern!
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    May 04, 2012 11:43 PM GMT
    Hi MR:

    Most of the Chemo drugs are given in cocktail - the most common is Fluorouravil & Leucovorin and also Capecitabine- it is usually infused at the hospital or doctor office.

    The side effects are pretty harsh on the patient. but it depends on the patient as well not all patients have all or one symptoms -

    *Hair Loss
    *Diarrhea
    *Nausea and Vomiting
    *Nerve Pain (Neuropathy)
    *Fatigue
    *Mouth Sores

    If you can speak with her doctor and be with her since it can really take a toll on her body. Also, most of the side effects should go away once she completes the treatment.

    Hope this helps, and I am sorry what you and your Mom are going through.

    You will be in my thoughts and prayers.
  • LJay

    Posts: 11612

    May 05, 2012 12:20 AM GMT
    Chemo can be rough, but it is never quite the same for everyone. Ask if you can talk with the nurses and doctors to see how to help.

    Though your mother may not have the same experience, I found that things kept changing so that what was ok once might not be again. In general, I was told to eat whatever I wanted and to drink LOTS of water.

    Changes in the way things are handled are happening all the time. The way nausea was handled the first time I had cancer and seven years later when another case emerged were quite different.

    The big thing is being there and working to make here life as normal and stress-free as you can. Learn as much as you can. A few new jokes would not be a bad idea. Distraction was always important for me.
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    May 06, 2012 2:26 AM GMT
    Thanks for the support guys and yeah I am getting her some stuff to distract her, like these old shows that she loves and wished she could see again I'm trying to get for her.