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Mother has cancer - Feeling 'lonely'

Mother has cancer - Feeling 'lonely'

Posted by Fluttershy on Nov 9, 2019 11:17 pm


I think it was two weeks ago when I got the phone call. A phone call that wasn't supposed to happen, I know you can't control bad news or it happening, it is just is that. I am standing in a parking lot and thankfully I was sitting down on a concrete planter ledge, I think I was sitting, I could have been standing than sat down - it doesn't matter. Hearing, "I've got some bad news" then it crushes your insides hoping maybe I misheard. "mom has cancer, she has stage three cervical cancer." She has a tumor that is causing other medical issues; kidney, bladder, bowel, and other.

I am not worried about my own health. I had a hysterectomy so cancer for me is not possible.

Here I am, planning for my travels to visit her... knowing it might be the last time I see her.

I don't even know where to begin, where to start, what to do. I am struck with intense emotions - "this wasn't supposed to happen like this, our end wasn't supposed to be this." As I am dealing with other pressing matters and have them sorted out first before I can travel down there. It's a lot to process and handle.

Where do I even start? Where do I go? I feel so lonely, even when I have my friends and therapist.

Re: Mother has cancer - Feeling 'lonely'

Posted by Cynthia Mac on Nov 10, 2019 9:31 am

Hi, Fluttershy‍ , it’s true, you don’t forget where you were when you got “that call.” I’m my Dad’s caregiver, and reading your post brought that back like it was yesterday, instead of 2 years ago. It sounded as though someone other than your mom told you the news: your dad? A sibling?

You’ve got a great start, knowing that you have supports in your friends and your therapist. You could be jumping the gun, though in thinking that this will be your last visit to her. Cancer treatments can do a lot these days that couldn’t be done even 10 years ago. Still, I know how hard it is to keep your mind from going to the “dark places.”

It already sounds as though you’ve made a good start - you’re taking care of pressing stuff at home, so you can prepare to travel to your Mom. Great first steps! 

As for where you go from here, keep organizing, and working the plan you’ve already started. Know that the surgery is probably going to help your mom’s other abdominal symptoms feel better.

The truth about some of your emotions is that you probably hadn’t given a lot of thought about how your “end” was “supposed to be.” Even though my Dad is an almost life-long smoker, I never expected to be caring for him as he went through chemotherapy! And it’s OK. I’m here, and it’s happened, and I’m doing it. You’ll get through this, too. Just breathe.

There’s a lot of help and support here on this site, so come back whenever you need. There are discussions that deal specifically with cervical cancer.

We don’t usually suggest that people look for information on the internet, except to go to reliable sites, like the Canadian and American Cancer Societies, and places like Mayo Clinic. Things change so quickly in cancer research, I recommend that you keep an eye on the date on any articles, and take a pass on anything more than a few years old.

If you have any questions or need any tips for ideas to help your mom, just ask.

“When the root is deep, there is no reason to fear the wind.” - Japanese saying

Re: Mother has cancer - Feeling 'lonely'

Posted by ashcon on Nov 11, 2019 11:48 am

Hi Fluttershy‍ 

I'm glad you found us here.  I am sorry to hear of this news of your mother's diagnosis.  You are a great daughter for coming to her aid. In  addition to the great tips and insights from  Cynthia Mac‍ , let me add:

1. Yes, please don't head to your mother's place with the mindset that this may be the last time you see her.  If my daughters showed up at my door after my diagnosis of Stage 3, aggressive, and difficult to treat type of breast cancer, I would have clocked them! Thankfully they didn't - they showed up with positive words, commitments to attend appointments with me, and my favourite board games to entertain me when I was not feeling well after chemo treatments.
Your mom, in her terror, needs to know that she has you in her corner. She won't be able to manage your fears, in addition to her own, and believe me, she will try. 
So take the time to educate yourself about this diagnosis, advocate with (and for her) at every doctors appointment, do some advance planning for things that will need to be taken care of while she is in treatment. These words and actions will  convey the message that "she's got this" and that you are there for her. 
And if things do take a turn for the worse, you will still be there, saying "we will deal with this together" if and when that time arrives.

2/ Good news about your hysterectomy, but it is still not a 100% guarantee that you are free of cancer risk. You are still at risk for primary peritoneal cancer, which acts very much like ovarian cancer, even after a total hysterectomy.  Or any other cancer of other body parts.  Please still be diligent about monitoring your health, report any unusual symptoms that last more than two weeks, and do regular self-exams (breast, skin, etc)
Ovarian Cancer: Still Possible After Hysterectomy

Wishing you and your mother the best as you face this indiscriminate beast.  In the words of Malcolm X, "When 'I' is replaced with 'We', even illness becomes wellness".
---- "Nothing ever becomes real till it is experienced." ----