My Ovacome mum 80, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in January and I have come back from France to live with her

She has had 4 rounds of chemo and although she is not aware of it they have decided not to operate even after the next 2 rounds. She is hoping for a good outcome...

I am devastated. Having come through breast cancer myself 11 years ago, I feel I cannot cope with losing her this way. I have developed stomach pains and constant indigestion which is being investigated. I am now terrifies of getting results myself, and am struggling to hold it together for her. I feel as if I am going under. I am seeing the doctor tomorrow for help with depression and have endoscopy next Monday What do I do if I fall apart? My sister lives in L A and is very busy with work so I feel alone. I am usually very upbeat but have lost my way...

14 Replies

I'm so sorry to read about your Mum. This must be devastating for you but at least you're found this friendship circle which I'm sure will give you lots of support and you won't feel so alone.

I know others will post with helpful comments so I'll just leave it there. Please keep posting so we can help you along the way. xx Annie


Thanks so much. It really doe help to know people are there to share it with x

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Thanks so much it really helps that know that people can offer support x


I'm so sorry to read your post. It must be a very hard time for you. I hope that your GP is helpful tomorrow. Do you have a local hospice? They often have good support services to help relatives? If you do it may be worth considering contacting them.

Sending my love and best wishes.

Zannah xxx


Thankyou it is another line I will follow.....most helpful Zannah x


Hi Cooster

I don't think you have lost your way, just feeling overwhelmed, and it's not surprising with all you are dealing with at the moment. I'm so sorry to hear about your mum, but there is a wealth of help on here and out there. Hopefully, your GP will be a great support and perhaps be able to advise on what is available in your area to give you practical support. Please try not to worry about your own symptoms as they may be a result of the current stress you are under. I know that is so easy to say, believe me, but considering the very difficult time you are having, the stress it causes can be severe on the body and may turn out to be nothing sinister. Until you know for sure, and I do realise how difficult it is, but until you know, you may be torturing yourself when you least need to and you have done the right thing by being pro active and getting the investigations underway.

It would be wise to mention how worried you are about this to your doctor though, to cover all the bases and see what they advise.

Hopefully, once having had a chat with your GP, they will be able to help and I sincerely hope you feel a little better soon. It is often as difficult, if not more difficult sometimes, for the carers and families of the person, and I send my love to you both.

I'm sure there are others on here who will post with more information and support that I am able as I am relatively a newbie, but I do know there is an Ovacome helpline with qualified nurses who are wonderful, I'm afraid I don't know the number, but it is on the Ovacome website if you feel a chat would help.

Love and best wishes



Not surprising you're feeling rather overwhelmed, so don't be hard on yourself.

You don't tell us much about your mum's diagnosis. There could be a range of reasons, including your mum's general health, why they feel surgery's not appropriate.

Of course your mum, and you, are hoping for a good outcome. This is a very challenging and unpredictable disease.

It's not clear how you know, but she doesn't, that they're not going to operate. Does your sister know? I'm not sure you should be only one knowing this. This feels like a big load to carry alone.

Hopefully your worries about your own health will diminish soon. This is a good site to come to for support and friendship. If there's one thing it shows is how resilient and courageous people can be when faced with really tough stuff. I'm sure this will be true for you too, so try not to worry about falling apart.

And how lucky your mum is that you've come back to be with her!

All the best x


I am very sorry to hear about your mum and also to hear that you feel as you do. Have they given you the reasons for not operating and are they making sure your mum is as comfortable as she can be as she goes through chemo? There is a lot of support that you can access through the clinical nurse specialist both for you and your mum if she needs it. GPs can be very helpful but I have found that some are more helpful than others. When I was having trouble understanding my own treatment plan my GP wrote to my consultant and helped me sort out where I was at with my cancer and the treatment plan. The news was a lot more positive than my GP and I thought.

I have also found that I have become more confident in talking to my consultant but this is over a much longer period of time, it has taken me years. We all have our ups and downs and this is normal and what gets us through is never going to be the same for all of us. I think someone mentioned the hospice, which for me was the last place I wanted to contact but when I went through first line chemo, my local hospice was so brilliant. If you have a local one to you and your mum, this could be a really good place to try.

Mine was a lifeline, they had time to listen to me and help me understand what I was going through. There are also throughout the country some very good places to get support. As I am treated at St James in Leeds they have the Robert Ogden centre, it is a drop in centre with advisers to help with just about everything. From benefits to counselling and everything in between.

Ovacome or any of the other Ovarian Cancer charities can point you in the right direction I would have thought, but these centres are thin on the ground.

There is a to to take in and it sounds like you have already done really well finding this site.

Keep us posted and although we cannot give you medical advice, there is a lot of help in all sorts of areas.

You are not alone,

Love Wendy x


This diagnosis , any diagnosis , of something we feel we cannot contol , is of course devastating . The more information from reliable sources,the more control we can exert .

This site and the nurses in the office , are fantastic : you are going to your doctor and you must make it clear how alone and devastated you feel .

In terms of operating on your mum , at any age , most Oncologists will weigh up the pros and cons ...ops can be dreadfully difficult in terms of convalescence : and chemo can hold back the cancer , if not get rid ot completely .

As everyone here will tell you , everyone responds to treatment in a unique way .

" One day at a time " is a good line to hold on to ...and take a notebook to all meetings ! Write down your queries , make sure you get answers and in this way you can sort your feelings out . You say you've come back from France to look after your mum , which is a amazing ...but , you are also remembering your own trauma when diagnosed .

All this will make you sad , but this is normal .

You will be surprised how people rally round to help if you are open with them . Shout ,

" I need help here ", and hopefully you will move on with some more support .

My very best wishes to you and your mum , for some good quality life still to come .


Hi there, I was once in a similar situation with my mum. I went through a period of not eating and sleeping and my stomach was constantly in pain, I was convinced I had cancer too. I went to the Dr and asked for some medication to help and it really did take the edge of it all once I had the correct dosage. I lost her in November last year at the age of 67. I thought I would fall apart and nearly did but I didn't and haven't although I miss her everyday and always will.

Do not feel guilty for feeling the way you do, it is a very scary time, traumatic but you are not alone. xxx

Thinking of you and your mum, my mum didn't go to her Dr until very late and she was too weak to cope with chemo.

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I'm sorry you're going thru' all this. Two points occurred to me - the first is, have you been tested for the BRCA gene? Because most of us have heard ovarian cancer called the silent killer it has the power to shock, even terrify anyone who comes in contact with it. Hopefully your GP will be able to reassure you.

The second point is that unless the reasons for not giving your mother surgery are very clear, you might consider getting second opinion? The other day I read about a woman who was debunked for ovarian cancer aged 91. If your mother's health is good she might benefit from surgery - there has been a lot of publicity recently about the fact that older people with cancer tend to get less aggressive - i.e. effective - treatment. And also a second opinion would resolve any questions you have.

Thinking of you both. Vx

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Hi, I am sorry to hear of your mums illness and how tough this is on you. As one of the other ladies said, try not to worry too much. I am glad you have an understanding GP who is being proactive.

With regard to some help, is there a MacMillan centre near you. They offer complimentary therapies, relaxation classes or just a simple ear to listen to you. This is open not just to your mum but you also. I also think you need t o speak to your sister. You cannot shoulder all this on your own, and I am sure she would like to be kept in the loop, busy job or not! Keep boosting and we will do our best to support you. Ann xo


So sorry to hear about your Mum. It must be so difficult for you to cope with especially after your own fight with cancer. Everything is overwhelming you at the moment and the advise given above is spot on and I can't really add anything to it. I just want you to know you are not alone, we are all here to support where we can.

Thinking of you both.


Annette xxx


Thank you so much for all the helpful advice. Mum is doing really well, despite a transfusion yesterday...she is very upbeat. My endoscopy Monday should help me to get back to health so I can support her better.

I value the time people have taken to respond.

Love Chris x


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