Well being

Hello. My 72 year old mum has stage 4 bowel cancer which has spread widely around her body (liver, lungs etc) and has not responded to chemotherapy. She stopped having chemo about four weeks ago and is now mainly resting at home. The prognosis is that she maybe here for Christmas, but time will tell. She is not really one for details so I'm not sure if she fully realises that - she generally prefers to remain oblivious. 

She has begun to feel very tired and lacking in energy. Though I understand this to be expected, I was wondering if there is anything she could do or take (prescribed if appropriate) which could help her? Such as a strong multi vitamin/supplement or something else or is it unlikely to make any difference. 

Thank you

  • Hi BertieB

    Thanks for getting in touch and welcome to the online community. My name is Fiona and I’m one of the cancer information nurses.

    I’m sorry to read that your mum’s cancer has not responded to chemotherapy. You said that she has been given a prognosis where they have indicated that she may be here for Christmas. Caring for someone who is dying can be difficult both physically and emotionally. It’s important that you look after yourself and know that there is support available for you. You may find it useful to look at our supporting someone with incurable cancer forum to get support from others who understand your situation.

    You mention that your mum has begun to feel very tired and lacking in energy. It can be normal for this to happen as the cancer progresses. It may help to look at our information on coping with fatigue. It would be useful to talk to your mum’s GP or palliative care nurse about her fatigue. They can check for any causes that can be managed or medications that may help. They can also refer your mum to an occupational therapist who can look at practical ways to make life easier for her.

    We also have information about the care and support that is available for someone being cared for at home that you may find useful.

    I hope this information helps. Please feel free to get back in touch if you want more information or support.

    Best wishes,

    Fiona M,

    Cancer Information Nurse Specialist 

    You can also speak with the Macmillan Support Line team of experts. Phone free on 0808 808 0000 (7 days a week, 8am-8pm) or send us an email