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Mother just diagnosed with endometrial cancer

Mother just diagnosed with endometrial cancer

Posted by APP2015 on Jan 15, 2020 2:45 pm

I am a new member.  My mother was just told yesterday she has endometrial cancer.  Not too many details yet - she has a CAT scan scheduled next week and I assume they will tell her the stage after that?  Not sure.  I am still processing everything.
She has had some symptoms for a few months but they were testing other things (they thought it might be a bladder infection, kidney stones, uterine fibroids) until she was referred to a gynecologist who recently did a biopsy of the uterine wall.
Anyway as I said I am still in shock and trying to process.  My father passed away from metastatic liver cancer 12 years ago at the age of 57.  He lived with cancer for 9 years and went though a lot (surgeries, chemo) so I know what to expect.  My mother is 65.
I am happy to have found this community for support.  I live about 2.5 hours away from my mom and I have a family and work full time so I am also struggling with how to balance my family and work obligations, with helping to take care of my mom when she will need it.  I also have a brother who lives with her so that helps but I want to be able to do as much as I can for her.
Thank you for reading.  Any words of advice or encouragement are appreciated.
 

Re: Mother just diagnosed with endometrial cancer

Posted by Lianne_adminCCS on Jan 15, 2020 5:18 pm

APP2015‍ 
I too am glad you found this community.
Similar to you, I lost my dad to cancer and then many years later my mom was diagnosed. I had my own diagnosis in between.
You may find that this early on there is a series of of appointments and waiting - either for appointments or for test results.. While it may be difficult, try not to get too far ahead with the what ifs etc.
I have no doubt others will jump in here but in the meantime, there is a discussion about Coping with a Parent's diagnosis. It was started in 2017 and is still going strong into this month so you know you are in good company.
The link to it is here: https://cancerconnection.ca/discussions/viewtopic/35/57052

Feel free to use this community to ask questions, get support and vent if you need.

Lianne

 

Re: Mother just diagnosed with endometrial cancer

Posted by Brighty on Jan 15, 2020 5:23 pm

APP2015‍  welcome  to this wonderful  community.    I'm sorry  to hear about your mom.     It must be hard that you live so far away from her.    A phone call or email can mean the world to her. . Or if you have access to a web cam you may be able to chat with her and keep up with her progress.      Keep in touch  with her and your brother  and find out what is needed.      There might be things  you are able to do or arrange long distance.     We have chat groups in under  'forums' for caregivers.   We also have discusion groups under 'forums ' of different  cancer types where you can connect  with other members  dealing with the same cancer type.   I found 2 members for you who you can connect with.   Ttjia‍  and Lynda D‍  thank you in advance.     I'm sure these 2 ladies will have a lot of sound advice to give you based on their experiences.     
Help is out there. All you have to do is reach out.

Re: Mother just diagnosed with endometrial cancer

Posted by Ttjia on Jan 15, 2020 9:37 pm

APP2015 hi I am older adult older than your mom I was diagnosed with Endrometrial Cancer in 2017, I was lucky I was referred to a Gynaecologist shortly after Cancer was found. Most of your time now will be waiting,waiting for tests waiting for appointments waiting for a operation,radiation or chemo. I am pretty sure she have to have a total Hysterectomy. I did have the operation and was in the hospital  2 nights, I didn't  find the operation too bad, I was offered pain pills Turned them down just Tylenol was enough. I had the operation on Thursday and on Monday I was decorating a hall for Christmas for a club my husband belonged to. I am not saying the operation can be that easy for everyone I am sure it was hardier for others, just hope your mom will get through this time of her life s easy as I did  so her family can stop worrying about her. Best of luck to both of you. It has been awhile and I have forgotten some of t he details I was gotten up for a  walk the same day as the operation they want you moving as soon as possible. Now in my case you do have a follow up appt, at the cancer clinic, I was  surprised to find out they had found a rare form of cancer Clear Cell, I was fortunate I had that operation for without it the rare and agressive form could have take off. So some gooD can come from something not so good, they caught this cancer before it could spread. Good  luck to you both again. 
 
Ttjia

Re: Mother just diagnosed with endometrial cancer

Posted by APP2015 on Jan 16, 2020 9:50 am

Thank you everyone for your kind words of support. Ttjia thank you for sharing your experience.  Yes her doctor said that she will have a total hysterectomy but at this time we don't know what her treatment will be after surgery.  I am glad to hear that your operation went well and you recovered quickly after.  I hope the same for my mom.
Lianne_adminCCS thank you for the link I will definitely check it out.
It is very comforting to have people to talk to who have been through similar experiences.  Thank you again :)

Re: Mother just diagnosed with endometrial cancer

Posted by Cynthia Mac on Jan 16, 2020 10:06 am

Hi, APP2015‍ , as always, I’m sorry for the reason that brought you here, but glad you’ve found this resource.

I’m caregiver for my Dad who has metastatic lung cancer. We were at the place you find yourself two years ago. The waiting for the news/ confirmation of the doctor’s suspicions is challenging, to be sure. Two things to remember is that treatments and medications have come a long way in the 21 years since your dad was diagnosed, and that every cancer is different. Hopefully, they have caught your mom’s cancer early, as early detection is a big boost to a successful outcome.

I live closer to my dad than you do to your mom, so I would suggest that you use technology to your advantage. For example, you could conference call in on her doctor appointments so you can stay informed from your desk at work, and you could set up a calendar app that can be shared with family members so everyone is in the loop with a single entry.

It might help you feel better if you can arrange to go to your mom’s for a weekend to make sure her house is in good shape so that she isn’t worried about doing the dusting or be tempted to vacuum after her surgery. Given the distance, I think that if you can see she’s “set” you’ll feel better, too. Another thing you can do is prepare some meals ahead (or have your brother do this) so that if they’re late getting back from an appointment in the day, they have a meal ready to heat and serve.

For additional ideas, the Cancer Society has a Community Services Locator that you can use to look up services in her town - again, you could offer this suggestion to your brother.

Chime in at any time with questions.
“When the root is deep, there is no reason to fear the wind.” - Japanese saying

Re: Mother just diagnosed with endometrial cancer

Posted by Carjac87 on Jan 16, 2020 12:07 pm

Good Morning! Lovely to meet you, but sad it is because of cancer.

I am going to be 65 this September. In 2017 in August I was diagnosed with endometrial cancer....I had been bleeding on & off for some time, & finally saw a great gynaecologist who, in less than a year, performed several D & C's & biopsies...the last one 'hit the jackpot' for the answer. 

I had a complete hysterectomy plus removal of my cervix (there was a wee bit of cancer that had snuck down that way) in September, spent 2 nights in hospital & also was in very little pain...no prescription pain meds were needed.

After 3 months, I was told I'd be having 25 sessions of radiation....but then it was changed to 3 which I was thrilled with (sort of, lol). I also have Crohn's disease, & this was discussed in depth before the radiation. The treatments did cause a few bowel problems & even some bladder issues but nothing too serious or that couldn't be dealt with easily. I had brachytherapy, which went well.

It took me quite a few months or perhaps even a good year, before I stopped feeling so very tired all the time & could actually stay awake all day.

I've passed my 2 year *okay* point & instead of cancer checkups every 3 months, I've now graduated to every 6 months....so far, so good. 

Everything went so quickly....from diagnoses to surgery to radiation in 5 months....& for that I'm very grateful

I send well wishes to your Mom, she is in good hands. I also send well wishes to you & your family....please keep us informed on how things are going....Hugs Jacquie

 

Re: Mother just diagnosed with endometrial cancer

Posted by Jlo on Jan 16, 2020 2:17 pm

Hi App2015

welcome to this wonderful community.  So sorry to hear of your mom's diagnosis.  I had endometrial cancer at age 67, so a  very close age to your mom.  I had a full hysterectomy followed by 6 rounds of chemo.  Each case is different depending on the stage and type of cancer.  The best thing you can do is phone or facetime your mom regularly at the moment.  My friends all sent me encouraging notes,  email cards, pictures and that really helped me get through each day.  I was Stage 4 and am 27 months in remission.  I stay positive.  Each day is a bonus.  Best wishes.  Please reach out if I can help.  

jlo (Joan).  

Re: Mother just diagnosed with endometrial cancer

Posted by a3a on Jan 16, 2020 8:37 pm

Hello App2015,

I wanted to reach out to you today. It's a scary thing to hear that someone you love has cancer. Although you don't live close to your mom, there are so many ways you will find to support her.  Being a good listener is one of the most important things you can do for her. Listening is a profound gift that no matter where we live, we can give each other. Sending drawings your kids have made for her is a nice way to remind her she is loved.  I bet she's like most grandmas, and loves to talk to your kids on the phone, even if they are at the stage where they just burble.

Many of the uterine cancer chat group ladies here will know much more about endometrial cancer (EC) than I do. Like your mom, I am new to the "uterine cancer club." I was diagnosed Nov. 15th and had my surgery last week.  During the past 2 months since diagnosis,  I have learned a few things that might be helpful to you and your mom.  At first, I spent too much time on the internet reading things that gave me even more to worry about.  Most of them do not apply to up to 90% of women diagnosed with endometrial cancer. I wish I'd just looked at the Canadian Cancer Society site, it has enough information to start with.  Once the particular kind of EC is determined, you and Mom can learn more about her specific kind.  But staging the cancer comes later, generally after a hysterectomy--sometimes a hysterectomy is all that's needed.  My surgery was not too uncomfortable--I took painkillers for the first five days, and after a week, was able to go up and down a lot of stairs in our house and cook simple meals so my husband could shovel the snow (we've had a lot on Vancouver Island recently). Depending on what is learned about your mom's kind of UC, follow up treatment may be recommended--chemo or radiation. 

Many of us will say that waiting for biopsy results or waiting for surgery is one of the hardest parts of the process. I found colouring a way to relax, and I signed up for Acorn TV, which has a lot of British shows that  I enjoy. That might be something you and your siblings if you have any could do--help Mom sign up for Netflix or Acorn TV so she can watch reruns of favourite shows. It's about $10 a month, you can watch on your computer or tablet, or with an extra device or a smart TV, on television. I've found light comedies a good way to spend a bit of time laughing each day.  I also asked friends to send me funny jokes or cartoons. Just between all of us in this chat group, I've gently discouraged visits from folks who are very negative, and spend more time than I used to chatting with some of my favourite people more often. 

It's important to live with hope, regardless of the prognosis an individual has. When the first surgeon gave me a diagnosis of high grade UC, I was very discouraged.  After my surgery just last week,today  I learned that there is no sign of spread of cancer to other areas. I'll probably have a bit of radiation just to reduce chances of a recurrence, but I'm optimistic that at 66, I have many good years ahead.  I hope your mom does too!

 

Re: Mother just diagnosed with endometrial cancer

Posted by APP2015 on Jan 17, 2020 9:18 am

 a3a Jlo . Carjac87 It really means a lot that you took the time to share your experiences with me.  It is very comforting to have your support and to hear your stories.  I know every case is different but hearing positive stories gives me hope and I am not as stressed as I was 2 days ago.
Waiting for appointments and results is hard. She has 2 appointments at the beginning of next week.  I know it will be a long road ahead but I will try to be as hopeful and positive as I can.  

Re: Mother just diagnosed with endometrial cancer

Posted by a3a on Jan 17, 2020 12:21 pm

So glad to hear you are feeling reassured. I'm very grateful to have new friends on this site too.  A big shout out to the administrators, who do a wonderful job supporting us all.

Re: Mother just diagnosed with endometrial cancer

Posted by APP2015 on Jan 22, 2020 9:45 am

Hi everyone,
So I have an update, which is pretty good under the circumstances.  My mom had her CT scan on Monday and appointment with the surgeon on Tuesday.  The biopsy showed that the cancer is aggressive but the CT scan showed that the cancer hasn't spread.  So they will do hysterectomy including surrounding lymph nodes. Surgery will probably be in about a month, but they will call my mom to schedule so we don't have a date yet.  They didn't discuss treatment options following the surgery yet, they will wait until after the surgery when they determine the stage.  
My mom sounded very relieved knowing it hasn't spread and is feeling optimistic, as am I.
Thank you again for all of your encouraging words.  I will continue to update as I have more information.

Re: Mother just diagnosed with endometrial cancer

Posted by Rayline on Jan 22, 2020 11:34 pm

That is very good news and what a relief to be on the path now. Just having a plan makes the extremely hard diagnosis more manageable. Thinking of you and your Mom!

Re: Mother just diagnosed with endometrial cancer

Posted by a3a on Jan 23, 2020 1:00 pm

That is just the best news under the circumstances, that CT scan showed no spread.  We have been celebrating the same news at our house.  

Re: Mother just diagnosed with endometrial cancer

Posted by APP2015 on Jan 30, 2020 9:19 am

Hi everyone,
I have another update, which is also the reason I haven't posted in several days.  My mother had her hysterectomy on Friday - a lot sooner than we expected!  The surgery went well, the doctor was very positive.  She said they didn't see anything further but of course have to wait for the pathology report to determine the stage and will proceed from there (i.e. any treatment).  So now she is at home recovering.  I was with her at the hospital until Tuesday when she was discharged.  
Thank you again for all of your encouraging words, and I will follow up again when I have another update.  

Re: Mother just diagnosed with endometrial cancer

Posted by Carjac87 on Jan 31, 2020 10:40 am

Sounds like the best news ever.....SO glad to hear that! I'm sure she will quickly heal being at home now....keep us posted please!.....Jacquie

Re: Mother just diagnosed with endometrial cancer

Posted by a3a on Jan 31, 2020 7:19 pm

Glad to hear surgery went well, and that your mom is home again.  Here in BC, lab results are usually back within 2 weeks.  Hoping for a super result for your mom!

Re: Mother just diagnosed with endometrial cancer

Posted by Cedar on Feb 12, 2020 10:54 am

APP2015‍ Hi, I am a mom, about the same age as yours, I think, and was diagnosed with UC late November and had surgery Dec 4. I'm now waiting for my appointment at the Cancer Centre next week and dreading it. Waiting is hard. I try to think of the positives rather than the worst possible scenario. Through this journey my daughter has been my rock. She rearranged her own life to spend 4 days with me during my surgery and after, cleaned my house, bought me food & shared it with me when I didn't have much appetite, & drives me to appointments. She also includes me in what's happening with her kids which is a great diversion. My point is that my wonderful daughter is like you; caring thoughtful and always there to listen. The mental journey is the hard part, knowing someone is there for you is crucial.