Looking for support and encouragement

My mum was diagnosed with cancer in July this year after a lifetime of good health; she had never had surgery or been in hospital apart from my birth. She developed ascites, and was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. There was no tumour on her ovaries but the cancer was spread through her omentum and peritoneal wall. She immediately started on chemotherapy, and had three cycles at the Royal Marsden in Sutton. She had a laparotomy on 7th October for a hysterectomy, omentectomy and appendicectomy and is recovering before starting some more chemotherapy. It has been devastating for her and for the whole family. The prognosis given was 50/50 and we still dont know what the outcome will be. I am a nurse with many years experience but when its a family member it feels very different.

7 Replies

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  • Sue, I'm sorry you're going through this, we have a very similar situation with my Mum. There is no chance of an operation in her case as it would have been very hard for her to recover from. However it is over a year now since her diagnosis, 6 months since the chemo finished, and she is doing amazingly. Her original CA125 was over 19,000, but it is still going down, even after 6 months of no treatment at all. She never wanted a prognosis but even my sister-in-law, like you a very experienced nurse, thought the worst. Happily Mum has proved her wrong and is now enjoying a good quality of life once more. I hope she continues to do well and I hope this helps with your own Mum. Being positive and refusing to accept a prognosis has I think been of the most benefit to mine,. Very best wishes to you, your Mum and your family xx

  • Hi Sue,

    Like your mum I had never been in hospital (apart from babies and tonsiliitus), and didn't know anyone, or anything about OV when I was diagnosed in May 2007. Nobody even mentioned in might come back after my hysterectomy and chemo, and I was devasted when it came back 12 months later. I am still here, and now having my 5th different line of chemo, and managing to enjoy lilfe. Stay positive, and encourage your Mum the same - where there is life there is hope, and to make the most of every day is an important point.

    Good luck - I hope all goes well with her treatment.

  • Hi Sue

    My original diagnoses and treatment was almost the same as your mums, and like you my wonderful daughter, Kate, was devastated, as was the rest of the family. Non of us really thought I would be here now nearly 3 years later. Stay strong and optimistic as there are many treatments that your mum can benefit from which, although they can't cure OC, they can keep it in check for a long time. Not all treatments are debilitating or cause major side effects. I'm just completing my third round of chemo and inbetween courses have 2 x 6 months remission and am just into my 3rd. I've been reasonably fit, pain free and happy for most of the time even when I've been having chemo, I've travelled extensively, enjoyed my family, friends and social life as much as ever and as a result my family have come to accept it, Once I stopped worrying about how my family felt it made things much easier for me because like most Mum's family come first and I was as worried about how they were dealing with the situation as I was about myself.

    Where would us Mum's be without our lovely daughters - your so special. Thank you. XXXXXXXXX

    .

  • Hi Sue

    I have every sympathy with your mum and yourself. My diagnosis of peritoneal cancer, no sign of it on my ovaries, was made June of this year and I have had 4 chemos. My op, which I imagine will be more or less the same as your mum's, is on Monday of next week, so your mum is ahead of me on treatment. I also thought I was reasonably healthy, never had to be in hospital overnight in my life until June! (I am now 62) so I can sympathise with the shock to you all. One bright spot is that they would not be operating if the chemo had not shrunk the tumor(s).

    I am a bit of a wimp and dreading the op as I don't know how I will feel afterwards. Thanks to everyone who has left comments for Sue, Reading them has helped me also.

    If your mum has any questions I am sure we would all be happy to help if poss.

    I have certainly benefited from comments and help on this site.

    Best wishes to all.

  • I found my op was nowhere near as bad as I'd feared, I'd never had an op since my tonsils were taken out when I was 5! I did all the things the nurses told me when I was getting over it and was swimming to try and get back to some sort of normality after about 6 weeks. i was going for short walks after about two weeks. I followed all the guidelines about resting and not lifting etc etc to the letter, and I took arnica tablets beforehand, don't know whether they did me any good but they didn't do any harm. I healed well and there wasn't too much bruising. I did feel quite sick on the third day but I think I'd used the morphine a bit liberally the day before, after that I only needed paracetamol for any twinges. I did feel tired though for about four months afterwards and often indulged in an afternoon nap! You just have to give in to it when you're tired and treat yourself with lots of TLC

    All the best to you

    Love, Wendy xx

  • Hi Sue,

    Me too! I'd never had a night in hospital, or been in one on my own behalf.

    It IS different when it's your own family- the distance is necessary to be able to treat.

    If your Mum is fit and supplements the treatments with diet, exercise and stress reduction, hopefully she will be fine and recover well. Support her in making the decisions that are best for her in terms of both treatment and lifestyle. When this land-mine goes off in your family, everyone is blown up, but the reconstruction can be very positive.

    Very best wishes,

    Isadora

    (2yrs, 3mths into full remission from 3c).

  • The only thing I would add is, at the first sign of post op pain yell loud! I had not had an op since my appendix was removed in 1955 and so I thought the pain was normal. It wasn't it was infection and I only realised it when abscesses formed and burst. Most unpleasant! My new tumour is on the site of the larger of the two abscesses! C'est la vie but don't ignore your body's warnings!

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