Its been 3 years since I lost my Dad to this disease.  I miss him every day.  Recently I started experiencing some worrying symptoms: passing blood in urine, pain on urinating and pain and discomfort in lower back and groin.  I had a cystoscopy of my bladder and an area of 'inflamation' was found, I had this resected and I was told that it wasn't cancer.
The Dr then sent me for a ct scan of my pelvis and he has now ordered an ultrasound of my liver.  Maybe I'm just panicking - I just can't help it, the memories of what my dear Dad went through are so painful I cannot bear to think about it.  My Dad had a cousin who also suffered primary liver cancer, I know that there is nothing to say that this disease is hereditary however I have come across other people who have a family history of cc.  It is not clear why I need an ultrasound of my liver.  I do remember my Dad having an ultrasound of his liver which failed to find the tumor that was covering 70% of it!?! He also had a biopsy of his liver which again failed to pick it up.  Needless to say I have little faith in the NHS.  It wasn't until he started handing over large sums of cash to these Drs that anything was done to help him. 
Sorry for the rant, and sorry to hear that this site has lost so many courageous and inspiring people.

frogspawn,

I think you are onto something here.  My Dad's uncle died from 'liver' cancer.   That was some time ago, and the circumstances are vague, I'm guessing it was cc.  (My Dad died from cc 23/9/2007)

I went to my gp about this and I was referred to a genetic consultant who was dismissive.  I do not feel reassured.  So little is known about this disease how can they be so sure?

I did come across a clinical trial in Switzerland asking for blood relatives of cc patients to trial some type of screening - If I recall correctly it involved taking samples of the cells lining the bile duct for testing - I think it was called brush cytology - or something like that.. I will try to dig it out.

surely if we are wanting to make some progress towards a cure/early diagnosis then this needs to be taken seriously.  Thankyou for your informative postings on this subject.

Dear Sara,

I don't check in on this site very often now. Mainly because it just hurts too much.

I just wanted to respond to you.  I feel very emotional having just read your posting.  It is very likely that my Dad is the donor.  I feel very comforted knowing that you are the recipient and I know that my Dad would feel the same way.  My Dad gained strength from this online community and it helped him to not feel alone in his fight.  If he could do anything to help gain insight into this disease and progress towards a cure then I know that he would have wanted to be in there. 

Thankyou for sharing this information and I want you to know that I am thinking of you (and all my other friends on this site).  Lets beat this beast.

love to you all,
Jules

4

(10 replies, posted in New Developments)

thankyou for your good wishes, yes Karen we did try alot of treatments for my Dad.  you will find alot of info under the dc therapy thread in this research section, my Dad find chemo harsh and did not tolerate it well - harnessing the cancer fighting properties of our natural immune systems seems logical to me.  DC therapy works on the same lines too..

Jeff, thanks for your message, yes we all need hope, I will keep an eye out too.  Here is the reply from dr Cui.  (Standard response due to demand for info):



Dear cancer patients and family members and friends,

Thank you very much for your inquires about our research project on a new cancer therapeutic concept based on many years of research on cancer-resistant mice and cancer-resistant humans. Recent media events were sparked by my recent presentation at a conference at University of Cambridge, UK. (video:  http://richardjschueler.com/wp-gallery2 … mId=56888) In this talk, I briefly described our work on how we made the transition from laboratory research to a new therapeutic concept for human cancer treatment. However, since then, I have been inundated with countless inquiries about this new experimental cancer therapy. I simply can't respond to all these inquiries specifically.  I am writing this general response letter and hope that you will get some idea about the planned clinical trials with a starting time aimed for next June of 2008.

This treatment involves how to identify cancer-resistant healthy human donors, how to collect a specific set of white blood cells, particularly granulocytes, from human donors, how to infuse cancer patients with these collected granulocytes and how to evaluate the response of cancer patients to this treatment. This treatment does not involve any new compound or drug that can be shipped around. It depends on basically something similar to blood transfusion that requires both patients and donors to be at same facility, or in this case, at Wake Forest University Medical Center here in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

We planned two phase II clinical trials.  In the first trial with 22 patients (already approved by IRB and FDA), our goal is to randomly select a group appropriate cancer patients, based on criteria set by our physician team, to test the dose of granulocytes they can tolerate. The medical term for this test is called "dose escalation".  Not all cancer patients will meet the criteria for this trial. For example, late stage cancer patients who are not ambulatory or who don't have more than four months of life expectancy will not be considered for this experimental therapy.  The effect of this new therapy on malignant diseases will not be a primary goal of observation.  If the trial shows that the patients can indeed tolerate our proposed doses of granulocytes, then we are ready to move into the second planned trial. The second trial will test what kind of cancer will have beneficial responses to this therapy. We will select several patients from different types of cancers. By the end of these two trials, we should have a very good idea about if this experimental treatment is a good one or not.

Before next June when the first trial begin, our Wake Forest team has to establish a donor registry consisted of about 100 local volunteer eligible donors from approximately several hundreds of initial healthy willing participants.  These donors will be on call when they are needed for granulocyte donation.  These donors have to pass the anticancer activity test and infectious disease test before they can become eligible donors.  The current cost estimate for each patient is about $50K to $100K and the whole trial will take $2M to $3M in US dollars. This estimate is to cover expenses for the recruitment of donors, testing donors for infectious status and anticancer activities, collection of granulocytes from donors, transfusion procedures, standard disease monitoring procedures before and after treatment and standard patient care. The treatment is an out-patient procedure and does not require hospitalization. Patients are expected to be responsible for their own transportation and accommodation during their treatment period. We are actively trying to raise funding for this trial in hope that all or a portion of cancer patients in this trial can be treated based on clinical and scientific criteria, rather than on their ability to pay.  However, such a hope will have to depend on how successful our fund-raising will be.

Early next year, Wake Forest University will make official announcement about these clinical trials. We will create a website specifically for these trials so that enrollment of patients and potential donors can be done electronically. In this way, patients who are not local would have equal opportunity to be considered for entering the trials.



Thank you.





Zheng Cui, MD, PhD

Associate Professor

Section of Tumor Biology

Department of Pathology

Wake Forest University School of Medicine

2103 Gray Building

Medical Center Boulevard

Winston-Salem, North Carolina 27157

Phone: 336-716-6185

Fax: 336-716-6757

Email: zhengcui@wfubmc.edu

5

(10 replies, posted in New Developments)

yes I know its been a while.... (I've been struggling with the loss of my Dad and burying myself in work)..

just wanted to pass this on:

http://www1.wfubmc.edu/tumorbio/srmouse/index.htm

I have emailed Dr Cui to find out more - eg how soon can we expect to see clinical trials in humans? and would he consider this effective for cc patients - even late stage.  I'll let you know.  This seems to me along the lines of DC therapy, still worth keeping a close eye on, I think.

kind regards to you all
julesx

6

(15 replies, posted in In Remembrance)

To Caroline's family,

My sincere condolences for your loss, Caroline was one of the first people with whom I connected with when I first found this website, I always admired her strength, courage and ability to appreciate each day throughout her long battle with this disease.  I am so very sad to hear that she has passed away.

Juliet

7

(7 replies, posted in Announcements)

Dear Stacie, Rick, Marianne and family,

I just wanted to say that I think this looks amazing.  I love the home page, I think the improved format is more uplifting, welcoming and clear in its mission.  Thankyou for all your hard work.  Thinking of you all on Mark's birthday,

Jules

hi kris

whenever I used the site I was always very careful to appear strong and in control, I was very aware that my Dad would not have been able to cope with seeing/reading that I was upset.  Predominately I used the site for research purposes, since my Dad has died I have still felt drawn to the site for support (and been far more open) - however more recently I have been put off from doing this (this is a side issue). 

Getting back to your question, I would say that I totally understand that you need somewhere you can vent, I did often wonder if my Dad felt curtailed in that respect by me being on here too.  It's a difficult situation and I suppose it depends alot on individual relationships however I would imagine that most people in this situation 'hold back' to a degree.  Are there any cancer support groups/carers groups locally that Hans would be willing to try? I know that it is not easy with men and emotions, my Dad kept everything in and I remember wondering how on earth he coped with it, he was so brave although I often wished he had an outlet.

I hope that this has helped give you an insight into the problem, take care, Jules

9

(43 replies, posted in General Discussion)

Tom and Ron

By all means conduct research - I certainly did when I was considering who to go to to help my father, however I would say that it is advisable to only use reliable sources when researching - eg medical journals that the dr may have contributed to (ask him if he has co-authored any articles), I also talked to other Drs whose opinion I respected (eg when we went abroad for treatment I consulted with the head of the immunotherapy unit here at St Georges Hospital, London).  Personally, I would not consider media driven reports reliable authority.

I hope this helps you in your decision, very best wishes,
Jules

10

(43 replies, posted in General Discussion)

Just to clarify my previous posting:

- I don't think that it is perticulary helpful to publically vilify Dr Canady  (posting links to media reports infering that his professional integrity is in question amount to this). 

- I am thinking perticulary of all the patients and carers searching this site for hope.  I don't see that this tittle tattle has a place on this website  (I am referring not just to this thread but also to other postings/threads referring to Dr Canady)

- I post on this board not  as a lawyer, I post as a daughter of a cc sufferer and I know exactly how it feels to be given a lifeline - hope in the battle against this hideous disease.  I wouldn't knock that.

- I support informed choice not scandel and scare mongering. 

Jules

11

(43 replies, posted in General Discussion)

I think that it is time to stop all of this.  I think we have to be clear about the aims of this site - we all want to raise the profile of cc and to work towards a cure.  (Please think of the patients on this site relying on us to carry this forward).  We should not be put off from sharing hopeful avenues however we should be careful about the context in how we do this.  (Please see some of my dad's postings re Prof Lodge/surgery - we were clear to warn of the risks involved with surgery).  Nobody is a miracle worker.  This is a difficult disease, however Dr Canady is able to offer hope to many patients.

As for the privileges system issue - correct me if I am wrong, but is this not a system that is clearly open to abuse and exploitation? we have all come across professional rivalry.

Jules

I have been informed that there is a cluster of cases of cholangiocarcinoma in West Sussex here in the UK.  My Dad lived in Steyning (small village in West Sussex) and we were told by his GP that he had other cases in the village.  If anybody reading this knows of anyone here in W sx also suffering from cc then please can you either add to this thread or contact me via email (jules@honeybunny.plus.com).  Apparantely there has been a recent 'explosion' of cases in the UK and obviously we need to understand why.

My Dad was also enjoyed running and cycling over the Downs (could crop spraying have something to do with it?) - I can't help noticing that there are other sufferers on this site who were also keen runners.

Jules

thankyou Helen for posting a link to the charity you have set up in memory of Alan here in the UK - I noticed that you have a link to DC therapy and I thought it might be helpful to post it here under the DC thread as it explains clearly how the treatment works.  It is also very encouraging to hear that this treatment is being taken seriously at a respected cancer research institute here (we travelled to Germany to get this treatment for my Dad and I believe that it prolonged his life significantly without having to suffer harsh side effects).  Anyone interested in this treatment may also be interested to investigate the immunotherapy research unit at St Georges Hospital, London.

Here is the link:

http://www.ammf.org.uk/pdf/Report.pdf

ps - Sara, wishing you every success with your treatment
very best wishes, Jules

truth4u

I would just like to ask you for some factual evidence to substantiate your claims against Dr Canady.  I think that you should bear in mind that successful surgical resection offers alot of hope to cc sufferers in the fight against this horrendous disease.  Of course, it should be stressed that this surgery is no small undertaking and that does carry risk and that the recovery may not be smooth (indeed it rarely ever is).  I am sure that any good surgeon would explain clearly the risks and prepare their patient fully for the operation.

I would urge anybody contemplating surgery to seek opinions from experienced liver surgeons only and to question them on experience with cc resections (how many have they performed?) - also consider researching into your surgeon (read published articles that he has contributed to for example). 

The debate concerning aggressive surgery rumbles on in the medical press.  However I have noticed a shift in opinion more recently and it would appear that it is more widely accepted that an aggressive technique offers improved patient outcomes. 

I do understand Neill's eurphoria concerning his wife's successful surgery and I wish her the very best for a speedy recovery.

Jules

soninlaw

there are surgeons who are willing to do aggressive surgery (my dad had a resection see my other posts on Prof Lodge here in the UK).  Although aggressive surgery was previously frowned upon there seems to be a shift in opinion and I have found research supporting more radical surgery offering improved outcomes. 

eg:
[Radical surgery for hilar cholangiocarcinoma (Klatskin tumor).]

Cir Esp. 2007 Jul;82(1):11-5

Authors: Ramos Rubio E

In patients with hilar cholangiocarcinoma, long-term survival critically depends on complete tumor resection. Indeed, there are no long-term survivors with positive resection margins. Furthermore, hilar cholangiocarcinoma seems to have a low propensity for distant metastases and adjuvant therapy after surgery has not been shown to have clear clinical benefits. This evidence should be regarded as arguments for extended resections. The question remains of how to achieve an R0 resection. In the last few years greater use of major hepatectomy has increased resectability and has improved long-term results. Concomitant resection of the caudate lobe is recommended as this site is a prime area of local recurrence. Frozen sections should be routinely used to assess the remnant proximal and distal ductal stumps. However, if the proximal remnant is positive, additional ductal resection at the separating limits is not always feasible. Gross portal vein invasion has a negative impact on survival, but should not be a contraindication to resection. Hepatectomy with portal vein resection can offer long-term survival in some patients with advanced hilar cholangiocarcinoma. The incidence of nodal involvement in resected specimens has been reported to range from 30% to more than 50% and there is a correlation between primary tumor extension and nodal involvement. Lymphatic metastases from hilar cholangiocarcinoma appear to spread first to pericholedochal nodes in the hepatoduodenal ligament and then to spread widely toward the posteriorsuperior area around the pancreatic head, portal vein and common hepatic artery. Routine lymphadenectomy should include all these areas. The only factors precluding resection are involvement of celiac, superior mesenteric or para-aortic tumoral nodes. Survival is closely associated with the extent of nodal involvement. The no-touch technique including right trisegmentectomy combined with portal vein resection has been proposed as the surgical procedure of choice for a more radical approach, and as a measure to prevent dissemination of tumor cells during surgery.

PMID: 17580025 [PubMed - in process]

source:   http://news.rare-cancer.org/PubMed___Ch … a/2007/06/

16

(22 replies, posted in General Discussion)

Carol

I am sorry to hear that your husband is so low.  My Dad suffered terribly with depression during his illness and I used to try so hard to lift him out of it - chattering away most of the time about anything and everything, desperately trying to distract him, it was exhausting.  He was very bitter and angry and really he had every right to feel that way and he would get snappy with me.  Sometimes I would just sit with him and hold his hand and we would curse this disease together, I would tell him that I was sorry, that I would do everything I could to help and that I would be there for him.  I tried to focus on simple pleasures.  My dad hated the cold - I would light a fire for him, he loved that.  We would sit and drink a cup of tea together, watch a favourite TV programme, I would encourage him into the garden if it was a nice day, when my Dad was very low he wasn't very chatty although he seemed to like me to sit next to him, to just be there.

Carol, I know that this is the hardest time ever for you right now, there is no right or wrong way, we just try to do our best faced with this nightmare situation that is all we can do.  I remember once saying to my Dad that I was sorry for always trying to cheer him up, that I recognised that my attitude must leave him very alone with his fears.. that opened him up to talk a little, although I think that he was always thinking of me and only telling me as much as he thought I could cope with.  I regret now that he had no outlet for his darkest fears.  Is there anyone outside of the family who could talk to your husband?

I don't know if anything I have written will help you - I just wanted you to know that this is a recognised state of mind with this disease (and any other cancer I suppose) - I would try to look at it that it is the cancer he is mad at not you (if he gets snappy) and try to find an outlet for his fears and to accept that he might not want to talk, that by just being there, sitting with him is a comfort I am sure. 

I hope that the surgery goes smoothly for him and that this can give him some hope for the future, as you rightly say a successful resection offers real hope in the fight against this disease, I hope that this will lift his spirits a little.

Thinking of you both,
Jules

Jliu168,

I am so sorry for the loss of your dear father and for the pain and anguish that you must be feeling right now.  I hope that in time you are able to take comfort from the fact that you were there with him during those dark days and that must have meant so much to him, I am sure that he felt loved and cherished beyond words.

I feel for you so much as I know only too well how it feels to lose such a special father in this way, my heart goes out to you and your family at this immensly difficult time.

Jules

Dear Karen

I am so sorry that you are having to go through this with your mum especially having lost your Dad and other close family members so recently.  I just wanted to give you some information that might help:

- your mum's fluid can be drained (a simple and painless procedure that needs to be done in hospital usually over a 24 hr period as the fluid should not be taken off too quickly to avoid drop in blood pressure) - this could be combined with the use of diuretics - spironolactane and frusemide in combination usually works for about 50% of patients.  Usually with drainage of fluid it will accumulate quite quickly afterwards although I found that the diuretics worked quite well with my Dad.  Also if your mum's ankles/legs are swollen she should sit with her feet raised above hip level and when she is in bed you might want to try placing a pillow under her calves.

- as regards stents you might want to ask your mum's Drs if they would consider a metal stent as these tend to be less prone to infection and blockage, generally plastic stents are used as they are less expensive and I found that I had to push hard for a metal stent to be used.  If the stent works well and the bile can be drained then your mum's comfort should be eased considerably.

I am afraid that muscle wastage, lack of appetite, nausea and extreme lethargy are all too common symptoms with this disease.  The best that we can do as caregivers is to ensure that our loved ones are as comfortable as possible, I know this is an utterly exhausting time however if you are able to fight your mums corner with the Drs and ensure that she is provided with procedures that can ease some of the symptoms then you will be comforted by knowing that you have done your very best for her as it is clear that you  are already doing this by finding this site and researching this disease.

Jules

19

(3 replies, posted in General Discussion)

Rick, Stacie & co,

thankyou for all your hard work on the site, maybe its just me but I found the previous colour scheme clearer to read - I think the text has got a bit smaller too (I have to put my glasses on now).  Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help as I do tend to log on every day at the moment.

Thanksx

Lana,

My dad had intraheptic which was apparently wrapped around the portal vein, he had one aborted resection, when we sought a second opinion we were recommended to consult with Prof Lodge who is well respected in the field of liver surgery who performed a successful resection.  The surgery was complex however Peter Lodge is well known for attempting surgery and offering hope with such cases.  I would recommend getting a second opinion and be prepared to travel to find the right person.

I don't know if anyone from the UK was watching 'Holby City' this evening on TV - it showed a similar case of cancer that was resected using a patch on the portal vein.  Programmes like this have consultants to advise them regarding medical accuracy, the procedure was groundbreaking and complex however it was achievable.  When we spoke to Yuman Fong in SK he admitted that resections are possible with artery involvement - just complex and risky.  Half the time I think it is just about finding someone who is prepared to make the effort and isn't dismissive just because it is cancer and 'it will probably come back anyway'.   Keep going until you find a Dr who is prepared to go the extra mile for you.

Good luck, Jules

21

(8 replies, posted in Grief Management)

Dear fairydrop,
Your post strikes such a chord with me - my dad was diagnosed July 05, at that point he was in liver faliure, bright yellow and very sick, I was with him on the day of his diagnosis, I too was told that he would at best have 7-9 wks without treatment.  I lost my dad on this day last month.  Over the last 2 and a half years my Dad endured 2 major operations, chemo and commuting every month abroad for immunotherapy treatments.  This disease has dominated our lives - the emotional highs and lows included the anguish and pain at bad news, the torment of waiting for results, the hope and joys were always shortlived - this disease is relentless, it just wouldn't let up - if we tried to go out for a walk in the sunshine my Dad had to suffer the anxiety and humilation of loose and unpredictable bowel movements.  How I hated to see my proud dignified father reduced to tears of frustration and so fearful.  My Dad did try really hard to live as normal a life as possible, to share good days with us, but there was always this black cloud hanging over us. 

Charlene, I understand your pain, you are trying so hard to keep positive like I did around him, it is just so exhausting physically and emotionally, you also have the pain and memories of having witnessed your dear mother go through a similar journey.  All I would say to you now is that when you look back you will be comforted by the fact that you were there for your husband on his darkest days, that you comforted him and did everything that you could possibly have done.  That is all that we can do.  Don't leave anything unsaid and hold him close to you, comfort him but also find comfort for you - do you have support? - scream, cry if you need to (I know it is hard to do it around them, I used to do alot of crying on my own).

Thinking of you, love Julesx

Jeff,

I am SO relieved to hear that.  There is nothing like the father/daughter relationship.. it is so special.  I remember when my dad was getting over his surgery in hospital the surgeon told me to keep visiting - that I was the best medicine for him..(he would only get up and try to walk/eat/do anything if I was there)

Julesx

23

(19 replies, posted in Grief Management)

dear friends,

thankyou for your replies and sharing your experiences with me, I do not feel so alone when I hear from you, and as Joyce says, grief is a lonely experience.  I am now starting to realise that, initially I had hoped that people would be there for me or that I could grieve together with others who cared for my Dad, sadly that is not the case.  I just cannot begin to understand some people and unfortuantly events like this can open cracks in relationships and highlight just how cruel some people can be. 

Teresa - why did your sister feel the need to ask something that should be so obvious? - her actions were unbelievable - so cruel.  I am so sorry to hear that you are now caring for your husband and having to go through this agony again in such a short space of time.  I hope that you have others there for you, Alan's friends sound like a special group of people, and it so true what you say - you find support in the most unlikely of places.  I feel that THE ONLY good thing to come out of all of this are the friendships that I have made through this website.  I have met some truly special people.  I know that my Dad felt the same way - he always admired the strength and determination of both the patients and carers on this site. 

I keep you all in my thoughts.
love Julesx

24

(19 replies, posted in Grief Management)

I have been told that this grief is something that I will 'learn to live with' rather then 'get over' and that the intensity of emotion will lessen in time.  I have also found that my moods are all over the place.  I seem to be functioning okay one minute and the next I feel overwhelmed by extreme sadness that seems to paralyse me.

Of course I know that he didn't want to die and I do not feel angry at him, I just feel extremely sad for him.  He lived life to the full and enjoyed every minute and he has been taken too young.  I feel anger at some of the Drs (eg his GP who for 2 years previous to my Dad's diagnosis told him there was nothing wrong despite the fact that my Dad had worrying symptoms).  The anger can become irrational aswell - I know of unpleasant men much older then him living full lives, I think why him and not them? - I know it does not make sense but I can't help these feelings.

I am also angry at people who say "just let me know if there is anything I can do?..." what does that mean?! - why not just turn up at my house one evening and offer me company and a chance to talk? - that is what I need - your time - I want to talk and talk, I want to go over and over the events of the last 3 years and try to make sense of it in my head if I can, I want someone to listen who cares.  Unfortuantly I don't have that, as I am sure so many people don't.  That is why venting here is such a release.  Being amongst others at this time trying to act carefree just feels like such a burden, has anyone else experienced the 'trying to outdo you on the grief front'? - you know those people - "I lost my mum, dad and niece all within the space of 6 months".  ALL GRIEF IS VALID - young, old, husband, Dad, grandparent.. it is what that person meant to you, the relationship between the 2 of you that mattered and nobody can make assumptions about that.

I am sorry Patricia that the pain is feeling worse now.  I hope that the counselling may help you now.  Betty - thankyou for your posting, I have read a book by kubler ross 'on grief and grieving' - it is written with such empathy and understanding, a real comfort and a beautiful book, I would recommend it to anyone in our position.

Jules

PS - Jeff I was very concerned to read your posting and I am hoping that your daughter is okay.  Take care, love Jules

Dear Lisa,

I am so sorry to hear about your dear father.  I understand so well how this feels and I also relate to some of the anger issues that you have been feeling.  Trust me - your Dad does know just how much you love him.  After all, you are there for him now aren't you?

I think that for now you just have to take the lead from your Dad as to how he wants you all to behave around him.  My Dad couldn't cope with my tears, he told me that they didn't help him, just made things worse.  Sometimes it was just impossible to stop the tears from flowing however I tried very hard not to cry anywhere near him.  I understand your restlessness, it sounds as though you are not sleeping very well, of course that is understandable.  I regulary wake at 5am (it is 5:30am here now) and I don't think that I have slept properly since my Dad was diagnosed.  I am sure that you are cherishing every moment that you have with your Dad and it sounds as though you are fighting hard to be strong for him.  It is the most immensly difficult and testing time, I know.  If you haven't been there you just don't understand.

You will never lose your Dad's immense love for you.  Even though my Dad is no longer here in person I feel his love surrounding me and I always know at any given situation what he would say and do.  He is always there with me.  I am half of him and when I look in the mirror his big brown eyes are looking back at me. 

Lisa, I feel for you, this is just so so hard.  Give yourself time, do not feel any pressure to behave in any other way then you feel is natural for you.  Cry, get angry, depressed, all those emotions are perfectly valid.  It sounds as though you have a good relationship with your mother, I hope that you can be there for each other now, to have support must make all the difference.

We are here for you,
love Jules