What should I be doing as a daughter?

My mum has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer, stage 3. She starts chemo pretty soon - I don't know what I am supposed to do. I have been behaving as normally as possible - that's doesn't meant that the subject hasn't been discussed, We talk about it openly - and sometimes, I will make a joke or two. Just because I want to see my mum laugh a little bit. She has been a trooper .... And has been dealing with in a remarkable way. What should I be doing? I don't want to suffocate her but I want her to know I am there. Any advice would be much appreciated! X

10 Replies

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  • I have a lovely daughter just like you! Just keep on doing what you are doing and, above all, do not try to do too much FOR her. It is a great temptation to take over and "care" for her. She will want to retain her independence! Just be there for her when she wants you and carry on as you are doing! We have OC but we have not become it and we learn to live with it! Your mum is still your mum and wants to remain so!

    Just one thing! Put nothing off! If you want to do things together do them NOW! That way you will have a great time and no regrets! My daughter, son and I went to the opera iVerona for my 70th birthday and we have some lovely memories!

    Love to your mum! A positive attitude does help and it may sound silly but drinking lots of fluids helps too!

    Margaret xxxxxxx

  • Hi anon

    I don't have children, but I have stage 3 oc, I want people close to me to treat me as normal, but sometimes to give me a little leeway if I am a bit 'off'. As your mum has just been diagnosed she will probably still be in shock, so help her to be gentle with herself. As Margaret said, do the things both you and she want to do, and be spontaneous, keep her active (excersize helps) and be yourself, your mum loves you for being you, so don't change that. If she is struggling, why not ask if she wants help from this group- the lovely ladies on here have kept me sane for a long time!

    Take care

    Sue

  • Dear Anon88

    I'm really sorry to hear about your mum's diagnosis. I often think it's worse for our loved ones than it is for us. Margaret's advice is spot-on. I have five wonderful daughters in all and they were all worried and wanted to help. You're absolutely right in the way you're continuing as normal, discussing it if your Mum wants, and also having a joke. I seem to remember lots of jokes flying round. It was our way of coping.

    That was two years ago for me. I've adjusted and living with cancer is my new 'norm'. My family were all really helpful when I was recuperating from my surgery because you have to rest and do almost nothing for six weeks. They'd come and stay, cook, do some cleaning and shopping and generally amuse us up with their news and views on things. One of my daughters lives locally and she accompanied me to chemotherapy sessions. My biggest worry was that she was disrupting her own life on my account but I realised it was necessary for her to do this as well as helpful for me. She also came along to some of the appointments with the oncologist and this helped her come to terms with my diagnosis.

    At first everyone seemed to want to be very serious and talk about loss and dying. I really didn't want to do that. I have to say I've felt perfectly well for the last two years. I've done loads of wonderful things - as Margaret says - now is the opportunity. I've honestly had a very happy time. Having a diagnosis of cancer is hard but you can make it an opportunity to make life even more special and it does bring people closer together and create new friendships.

    I know there are several daughters/husbands/carers using this site. Hopefully you'll get lots of replies from them. I'm sure it will be a support and help for you. One of my daughters also rang MacMillan to talk things through and she said they were really very helpful indeed.

    Keep posting and let us know how your mum is getting on. She might even like to join the site herself. I often wonder whether I'll meet my own daughters on here ... lol.

    xxx love Annie

  • Hi Anon,

    Just be there for her and have a listening ear, let her tell you what she wants to tell you, if you are too upbeat she will worry that you don't get it, just be yourself and be as normal as you can be, do all the things you would normally do...laugh a little and cry a little (crying is as much a gift as laughing is) and talk to each other a lot, if that is what it takes but don't avoid issues,try and encourage her to write any questions down (when they come up in her head) to ask her oncologist, and it is a good idea for her to keep a diary so she has a record of when she is not feeling well etc sending you and your mum my best wishes love x G x

  • My daughter has been wonderful you will find your own way to do things, as you will know your Mum very well and know when to talk and not!! I have been diagnosed the same 3 years ago. My daughter gave me goals, she got married after 10 years as a partner 2010. I thought I was the bride she made sure I was well dressed my husband never saw the bill!!

    and then we now have a grandson who is 7 months and what a joy takes your mind off a lot of things. I am wondering what is next. One thing that I find is after I have seen the consultant even though we wwrite things down. although she cant come with us as much now she wants to know what been said and in fact she puts things into prospective which is great. So you can see from the other ladies they have had wonderful support. As they say carry on with your life as you mum wouldn't want to burden you. I am sure you will be ok you must care very much for her otherwise you wouldnt have ask for some support.

    Good Luck and take care.

    Barbara

  • hello.

    I have stage 3 oc too. Have had some surgery and will be having my 6th chemo next month. I also have 2 daughters. they were obviuosly upset and shocked at first but I have kept positive along with them. talk to your mum as she is probably worried about the effect it is having on you too.

    We have had days out on my good weeks.Your mum may feel rubbish for the first week after chemo. I always reckon on 1 week of feeling tired after chemo and then 2 good weeks. Just do normal things with her. You are both bound to have weepy monents at first, I know we did. Laugh alot though and do lots of girlies things. I have a 2 yr old grandson so we often take him out too.

    I am coming to the end of my treatment and its not the oc that has made me feel tired and rubbish but the chemo. After 3 cycles my tumours shrunk significantly and surgery removed any visible signs. Chemo now is just cleaning me up.

    Keep positive, keep smiling and keep laughing with your mum.

    You have a challanging start to your new year but still try and have a happy one. (I know thats easy for me to say now that I am on the other end of treatment to your mum).

    good luck

    Lorraine

    x

  • Hi Anon

    It sounds like you are doing the right things. I also had stage 3 OC and have been in remission for almost a year. I was well cared for by my husband but it is nice to have female friends and relatives to anticipate other needs - handcream, lip balm, new dressing gown for the hospital stay etc. Little things counted for a lot when I was lacking in energy. As far as possible, it was helpful to carry on doing normal everyday things with treats to look forward to.

    Wishing you and your mum all the very best. I hope you will let us know how she gets on.

    Love Mary xx

  • You are already being a great daughter simply by being on here and preparing to stand with her through this. I would say:stay as normal as possible. Keep laughing - it can all get horribly serious and we need that. Sustain the girl side of life - skin and nails get a real battering and some pampering can really lift the spirits. No more so than when it's wig trying on time - which I expected to be depressing but my best friend turned into a fun and positive shared experience. Getting out whenever she is up to it is also so important - and i discovered that cream teas out fill a perfect strategic gap of being perfect for a girlie chat, and relaxing outing with lots of calories to help the body fight back...Beyond that all the practical advice above I wholeheartedly agree with. Wish your mum my very best, and perhaps we will see her here too in future.

    Love

    sue xxx

  • Hi Anon,

    My big sis was diagnosed in dec with stage IIIc and started chemo yesterday.

    There is no right or wrong answer. The amazing ladies on here give good advice and it really helped me. Just go with what your mum wants and talk to her. We talk about, ignore or laugh about things.

    Sometimes it's practical help or emotional. All you can do is be around for her.

    I ask my sister what she wants me to do. She is in pain at the moment and our instinct is to help. Yesterday I went to help her with her shoes and she said its fine let me do it, I want to do the things I can do. By the same token I'm seeing her tomorrow and will cook lunch, but my stipulation is that when I'm there if she is tired she has to go to bed-I don't want to be entertained or her putting on a front. You will find your way through this. It is difficult but just keep talking.

    Wishing you both the best.

    Love

    Jtinder xx

  • I have stage 3c OC and sounds to me as if you are doing the right things. Just knowing you are there to help and support is very important.

    Encourage your mum to get some exercise just small walks will help. It's also important to make sure if she has any concerns she contacts the chemo unit as I did not like being a nuisance and my dad would make me ring and they were always so helpful .

    Keeping a diary is good as well helps you keep track of tablets and symptoms and feelings.

    Hope it all goes well

    Wiganw

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