1 (edited by CMPB Tue, 28 Aug 2007 19:13:29)

Topic: Mom dx. last month

On July 18, my mom, age 81 underwent what we thought was going to be a liver resection/gallbladder removal.  We were told it would be a 6hr case, but after 2hrs the surgeon called us in a room and told us they were closing her because they found multiple liver lesions with intra-op ultrasound which were previously undetected on the CT.  Pathology came back as gallbladder cancer, though the surgeon firmly believes it to be CC.  My mom had right sided pain for 2 days and had no other symptoms.  We took her for evaluation and we are now dealing with this terrible disease and poor prognosis.  She handled surgery well, and we are searching for the right treatment.  She may be 81 chronologically, but her mind, spirit and body is that of a much younger woman.  Her liver function tests are all normal so far, and her only symptom now is a slight loss of appetite.  2 weeks after surgery, we were told to send her for a colonoscopy/EGD and to pray for them to find colon cancer because it is easier to treat.  We sent her for the tests, everything was clean.  Now we are back to GB/CC, diagnosed by ruling out everything else.  I just don't understand how this could happen to someone who went faithfully for check-ups every 6 months, bloodwork, stress tests, all diagnostic procedures always perfect.  The oncologist told me it has spread to the lymph nodes and expect her time with us to be 6-12 months.  How do I begin to say goodbye?  I spend my nights and the time when I am not with her crying, praying and begging for just a little more time.  She wants to fight this.  She wants to live.  I have twin 9 year-old boys who still need to experience the beauty of their Gram.  I pray for strength.

Re: Mom dx. last month

I pray and I know that God will give you and your mother that strength.  Find whatever support you can for you, your family, and your mother.  We are dealing with it in our family as well, but it is me who has it, and my 10 year old faced with losing his mother and my parents and siblings losing a daughter/sister.  The good Lord has a plan for us all, and though I never saw myself as especially religious, I do believe that, otherwise I would never get through the day!

Re: Mom dx. last month

I know exactly how you feel. Just know that it somehow gets easier. My mom, age 61, was diagnosed with gallbladder cancer that spread to her lymph nodes after what we thought would be a simple surgical procedure. It's hard to wrap your head around a sudden cancer diagnosis and at an advanced stage, at that. My mom went to the doctor on a regular basis and always did the cancer preventive tests...we were angry at first but so many people are diagnosed at this stage because it's usually asymptomatic or is presented as a "digestion" problem.

One thing that helped me since her March diagnosis is making the decision to get some "power" back. This disease can make you feel so incredibly helpless. I got some books on nutrition to help boost her immune system, bought some supplements from the local health food place, joined this forum, etc. She did start radiation and chemo, although that decision did not come easy.

And even though my mom's doctor gave her a very bad prognosis, we travelled to NYC four months post-op and we walked miles and miles during the heatwave! When her diagnosis was so fresh, I could not have imagined that she would be able to do that. So you never know...your mom's strength in the coming months will surprise you.

The pain I felt was because I kept on worrying about the long-term and I could not get her prognosis out of my mind.  I really suggest taking things "one day at a time".  You WILL have good days and so will she. Having found this forum will definitely help you. The people here are supportive and inspiring and I wish I had found it earlier on.

Sorry for the long message but sometimes hearing from someone who can sympathize rather than just empathize helps.

Thinking of y'all,
Abigail

Re: Mom dx. last month

Dear Abigail,
Thank you for your support.  There are days when I just don't know where to turn.  You're right--I feel completely helpless, and some days hopeless.  I know this disease will take my mom, I just don't know when and how.  As long as she is willing, I will help her in whatever way possible, one day at a time.
Some have told me 'this happens for a reason', or 'there is a purpose to this'.  I don't believe either right now.  I will try hard to hold on to my faith as I know it, because the God I pray to doesn't give this or do this to anyone as a test.  He does help us through it, though. 
My thoughts are with you and your mom.  May you have many wonderful days together.  Cyndy

Re: Mom dx. last month

My mother was dx about the same time. Hopefully maybe we can talk through the message board to keep up our end I to have been very edgy and emotional. She is also a diabetic and always up on her tests. She goes to a specialist and he always checks her liver function her numbers were up very slightly in march they thought it was because she just started cholesteral meds. They took her off and were checking her levels every month they went up then down the last 2 months before dx went through the roof, started itching and jaundice. It seems so far to me that this is a very sneaky cancer. My family just got through 1 year ago this month my60 year old father-in-law dying suddenly at work of a heart attack, and now to go through this with my mom. She always said she never wanted to go through a long illness now to know this. She just knows she has cancer she don't know anything yet indepth  about it she'll find out more tomorrow. I've been doing the research and will be going with her tomorrow. Sorry this was long. I'll be thinking of you try to be strong but also know its ok to cry I feel its very cleansing. Believe me I'm doing my share of cleansing.