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Thyroid cancer

A group for anyone affected by thyroid cancer to get together, ask questions, share experiences and support each other.

My mum was diagnosed with Anaplastic Thyroid Carcinoma

No. of entries: 25 | Posted on 8 Jan 2013 11:26 PM

My mum was diagnosed with Anaplastic Thyroid Carcinoma

  • Hi, My mum was diagnosed with this thyroid cancer on Thursday, it only came up within 6 weeks and it is growing on a daily rate which is very visage, she starts her radiotherapy on RMH tomorrow, and has only been given upto MAX of 6 months to live with treatment.. I don't know how I'm feeling, I cried at first and then a memory comes back and I wanna cry knowing I won't have memories for the future and she's not going to see my daughter who's 3 now grow up, what's worse, my uncle died today of lung cancer and had been fighting for just over a year with that. So my whole family is in shock with everything at the moment. I don't know what to feel and I don't know what questions I'm supposed to ask her doctors/ nurses when I am see them, I know it's all palliative car, but i don't know how I'd feel with someone else coming into my home as my mum lives with me and looking after her, I want to do it all for her. I just feel stuck in glue and I can't move forward or backwards?! A I making sense?! All my cousins/aunts etc keep asking if I'm okay, but I feel it, but I can't talk anymore, it killed me enough having to tell my family when we found out about it as we thought it was just a goitre my mums only 61. I know I've got to try and talk to my mum about what she wants but I just can't face doing it, I know mi being selfish for putting it off and would kill me if she went tomorrow and I never asked her anything, but how do I and what do I say?!?! I'm just confused.... Anyone else feel the same? Thanks for reading X
  • Hi Lauramarie,

    I say welcome to this group but I'm sure you'd give anything to not be here. I am very very sorry to hear your Mum's diagnosis, everything you describe sounds so normal under the circumstances. I see you mention RMH, I am at The Marsden too and you are at an excellent hospital, they will do everything they can. Try to take any support you are offered and ask for help if you need it because then you can concentrate on spending precious time with Mum for however long she has left rather than always doing stuff.

    Good luck and keep us posted.


  • Lauramarie, I am SO SO SO sorry to read this. Anaplastic is an absolutely dreadful diagnosis and I feel so bad for you and your mum.  Coming on top of your Uncle's death, this must be just too much right now.

    I don't have experience to share but I can suggest a book that you might find helpful. I read it over Christmas and it's Lisa Niemi Swayze's book 'Worth Fighting For' which tells of her final months with her husband Patrick (yes, THE Patrick Swayze). Her attitude to making the most of limited time is really inspirational. If you can get a copy, I think you might find her infectious enthusiasm for not wasting the little time you have left and enjoying every moment together could be helpful.

    Best wishes


  • Hi Lauramarie,


    Huge hugs to you. You're not being selfish at all, you know. The stuck in glue feeling is a natural reaction to the sudden bad news.


    You might already have found these pages on the site, but if not, they could be a useful starting point.




    Are you in touch with your local MacMillan Centre? Because they can help you as well as your Mum.


    Thinking about you



  • Hi Lauramarie

    Very sad news for you and not easy.  Big big hugs to you.

    Your not being selfish you need to time to think and don't be hard on yourself for that.  Maybe sitting down and making a list of questions might help you.

    It will naturally happen talking to your mum I hope, it can sometimes be tricky.  We have had several family members die of cancer over the years and its not an easy thing for some to talk about. 

    I haven't looked on here, but I am sure there are some pages on being a carer and what to ask.  I know there are carer groups you can join.  Cancer Research Uk also does good info pages with most having questions that you can ask about. 

    All the best to you all and keep posting if and when you want to.  We are all here to help as best we can.

    Lolabean :)

  • Hi so sorry to hear this There does not seem many people on here diagnosed with this my Dad was diagnosed on March15th 2012 they said he had 3-6 months he is nearly 81 and still doing well he had 36 treatments of radiotherapy but the tumour is eroded in to his windpipe and round his vocal cords so can not be removed he is finding it difficult to eat and does not have a lot of energy but he is still with us there is a little more information on the American forums ive found. Big hugs to you all there are lots of emotions going round in your head at the minute x

  • Hi Lauramarie. I've been trying to post for a while now but the site kept chucking it back at me.Sorry to hear your news.Things have improved in the treatment of  these rarer thyroid cancers over the last few years. You are under one of the best cancer centres so that is a def. plus. I always think it is worse for the family watching a loved one go through treatment. I should think you are all stilll in shock things do get a bit easier when treatment starts. As for talking to your mum I find my daughter and I have most of our indepth chats in the car one to one on our way to my appointments. I hope you find some solace on this site. Keep posting Good days to you and yours...Fran

  • Hi, Thank you all for your kind words and prayers, we've settled into a routine now, we're all just trying to stay as positive as possible, my stepdad has taken it all quite badly, where he doesn't want to talk about it at all. It has been hard with my uncles death too, but I don't know what else to say really, we're going to a check up today at hospital after having a weeks worth of treatment and see how it's going etc Sorry I hadn't been on since I posted but just having had time, with acing for my mum, my 3 year old and trying to run a normal household as possible time seems to just fly away, it feels like we've been dealing with is for months rather than just a couple of weeks, my mums had good days and bad day, were just hoping the good will out weigh the bad Thank you all again xxx
  • Hi I'm finding it hard lately, had my uncles funeral on Friday, which went very well, but all kept thinking about was I'm going be at this same place again soon, but with my mum :( plus had a lot of people coming put me asking how my mum was as they didn't want to go and ask her themselves. But what I'm also finding hard is my mum gets very snappy with me and my daughter who's 3, I could of turned the tv over and she would just yell at me, or I can just be doing nothing and something she'll obviously remember about from months ago even more and will start having ago at me for it. How do you all deal with someone you love so much and yet there having ago at you? I'm just worried we're all snap and then something will happen and ill regret it. She's had all her radiotherapy treatment now, so just having to go back for check-ups but also looking to move home so I'm closer to my aunt who lost my uncle and my cousins as we're I live it's just me I don't have anyone near me, so that's anger stress. I have been crying myself to sleep most nights but try not to so I don't wake up and look like I've been crying to anyone. But one plus side I've managed to lose 14lbs and counting on my so called new year diet :-) Thanks for all readying xxx
  • You are scared and upset and your mother is a thousand times MORE scared and upset. The two of you will get snappy and say things you may regret. It's all entirely understandable.

    Your days together are numbered and if there's ever a time in anyone's life to make allowances, to forgive, to look the other way over the harsh words and actions, and to put the other person firmly in first place - even when that means fighting all the instincts to fight back or say something unkind - then this is it.

    You will have time to grieve later but now you have only time to love and to care for your mum. If she gets snappy then please tell yourself it's the cancer talking and not your mum because you don't have forever and you don't really have time to fall out and make up again. Love her while you can and try to find the strength for the time that remains. I'd also suggest - regarding moving house -  not to make too many big stressful changes in your life that will compete with spending time with mum.

    Good luck and be brave.

  • My mum died Tuesday morning, from diagnoses to death it was only 4 weeks, were all in total shock as thought had a little while longer, than the time we did have. I feel so guilty because I didn't get to the hospital in time, I was just a few mins out, so she died on her own with strangers around her, now her death certificate is taking longer than usual because mums cancer was so rare it has been passed over to a corona because mum had surgery a few hours before to change her stent as the cancer had invaded that, but was just too little to late. I can't believe I'm having to arrange a funeral for my mum so soon and I just keep thinking about all things I never got to say to her, I saw her that day and feels like a lifetime ago when in fact it was just 3 days ago. I haven't managed to go home yet because I'm just too scared as all her stuff is there so I've been staying with my aunt who lost my uncle only a month ago to cancer and I just feel like I'm in the way I know she doesn't think that way but I can't help think we're holding her back as got my 3 year old here too. My dad is at mine and his been dealing with getting rid of all mums medication, her wheelchair etc because I just can't do that right now. The night time seems the hardest, she's all alone in the morgue when she should be here with me, I know I have her memories and I found some videos on her on my iPad and my phone etc so I can hear her voice, but it's all the other bits I don't know how I'm going to afford her funeral as I'm a full time single mum, my dad can't afford a lot either, then choosing songs what if the song I chose isn't the right one, I've found a lovely poem that I'm going to try and read for her but I'm just all over the place what if I can't read it. I just miss her so much she wasn't just my mum she was my best friend my soul mate
  • Hi Lauramarie

    I am so so sad to hear this.  I want to just give you a huge hug.  She will have know your love for her, don't worry about any of that.  There are never any words or things that help, you know you are thought of here and that you can seek out our support when ever.  

    I am never good with words at times like this, but I just wanted to say something there and for you to know I am thinking of you at this time.  

    Lolabean :)  

  • Hi Lauramarie,

    I'm so sorry and sad to hear that. It was so quick...
    Please, don't feel guilty because you didn't get to hospital in time, you mum would not like that you feel guilty... I encourage you read the poem and say things you've learned from your mum and mention some nice times together. Your mum would be happy of you doing that and to see you are being strong and fulfilling your dreams. I think it is the last chance to say all these things. That's all I can say... xx

  • Hi Lauramarie,

    I haven't posted for a while, cos I had a problem logging in - but i have read your posts. I'm so sorry for your loss and you are allowed to feel upset and emotional at this time.

    Please don't feel guilty - I am sure your mum knew you loved her and that is all that matters. I am sure the poem will come from your heart and this sounds like a lovely way to remember her. If you break down whilst reading it - then fine - that is allowed!

    About your Aunt - I am sure she does not feel that you are in the way, but why not try being open with her. She is probably worried that if she opens up, she will upset you too. But maybe if you both open up, you may help each other through the grieving process. She is grieving her husband and your mum too.

    Don't worry about sorting through your mums things - my friend's mother passed away a year ago and it is only just now they are sorted through her stuff. You will deal with that bit when you are ready. As for funerals, speak to the funeral home as they can advise you on the finance side of things.

    It will take take time before you feel ok,  - I know it is hard (my aunt died leaving 4 young kids last year in between my surgeries - so I didn't get a chance to talk to her either - and we are all still grieving her loss), but you have a lovely little 3 year old who needs his mum. 

    And don't forget - If you are feeling really low, your GP may be able to provide information on bereavement support groups.

    Take care of yourself - and come back to us if you need a chat or help with something else.

    Coffeemum x

  • Hi Lauramarie,

    I am so sorry to hear your terribly sad news. What a traumatic time it has been for you and your family. The loss of a parent is so incredibly difficult, try not to feel guilty, you have done all you could to make your Mum's last weeks comfortable and she is no longer suffering. All of the emotions you are feeling now are very raw, it is important that you do what makes life bearable for you now and get as much support as you can.

    With regards to the funeral costs, it might be worth trying the financial advice service offered by Macmillan. I don't know if you have a Maggies centre close to where you live, but they also offer lots of support for the families of people affected by cancer. 

    I imagine your Aunt is only too happy to help and perhaps you being there is helping her to feel less alone too. At times like these, families can be a huge help and source of comfort...take what support is being offered, because it will help you all in the long run.

    It may be worth spending some time with friends and family deciding what you think she would have wanted for her funeral, but when all is said and done, it is one day. It does not compare to the years of love and affection you shared...that is what counts, and what will keep you going through this painful time. When the hurt has subsided, the love you felt for her and your memories will still be there. I wanted to read something at my Mum's funeral, but I just couldn't find the strength. I would suggest you ask a friend or family member if they could read it for you, and then if you feel able, you can read it yourself, but if not, you know your poem can still be shared. 

    Keep posting Lauramarie...there is always someone here.

    P xxx