We are Macmillan. Cancer Support
My poor mum who is 68 was recently diagnosed with cancer, the specialists are pretty sure it is in the ovaries, she went into hospital 7 weeks ago with acute tummy pains and a swollen stomach, she then had an operation to remove a blockage in the intestine, then she had to have another op a few days later as the wound had got infected, this meant she had to have a stoma fitted, she had all this to deal with and was then given the bombshell of cancer, they are treating her with chemo only but only when she is fit enough, I am just worried that she will never be fit enough as she is just so weak, she is on lots of food suppliments as her appetite is nil and she is so thin, is it usual to treat ovarian cancer with just chemo, can't they remove the reproductive organs? I just feel so helpless, she is living with us now until she is stronger and it is really hard seeing my mum so ill, what can I expect when she starts chemo? So many unanswered questions.
So sorry to hear about your mum. My mum (also 68) was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer in November. However the only symptom she had was a large tummy, due to the tumor, so she was able to start the chemo fairly fast as she felt completely fine. Well I say fast, but really it was several weeks once they had completed all the appropriate blood tests and scheduled an appointment. Like your mum she had chemo at first, as they were hoping to shrink the tumour before surgery, and also mum had blood clots so surgery would have been too risky. However she did have a complete hysterectomy and oophrectomy after her second cycle of chemo as the tumour started to grow. Ask if you can speak to your mums doctor to find out their exact plan, as far as chemo/surgery goes.
Mum's first chemo went relatively well, the first few days were great, then the middle of the cycle was the worst, with tiredness, nausea and constipation (we learnt to get ahead of the game with that one). The 3rd cycle was the worst so far, but she is midway through her 4th now, feeling positive and I heard her say that if it comes back she will need more chemo (on cycle 3 she didn't ever want chemo again, so in a warped way this is huge progress!). Mum's appetite has also been poor, but she eats because she knows she has to. Her freezer is now stocked with homemade soups to eat on days when she doesn't want much.
Hopefully you can learn more from your mums doctor. You can also contact the local macmillan nurses for info, and they can visit her during her chemo sessions if she is interested. I have also found the Ovacome website invaluable, and the support group is fabulous. Best wishes to you and your mum, hopefully we can both get good news in the not too distant future xx
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