Family and friends

If a member of your family or a friend, or someone else you know is living with cancer, this group is the place to share your feelings and get support.

My mum

Nicky D
Posted by

Hi, I'm Nicky and I'm 25 (and sound like I'm at an AA meeting lol)

I found out on Saturday (02/02/13) that my mum has terminal small cell lung cancer. She's 54 and the cancer has spread to one of her ribs (7th right I think), her tailbone and four lymph nodes.

She starts chemo on Monday (11/02), I can't remember what it's called but it's the type where she (hopefully) shouldn't lose her hair - she really doesn't want that.  She'll continue to have chemo one every 3 weeks for 6 sessions, then her dr will see about other medications to prolong her life.

We don't know how long she has, when the dr asked if she wanted to know, she said no, she doesn't want to be counting down the days, she's been told she's young (compared to the age most people have tis kind of cancer) and she's otherwise healthy so I hope to God we have a few more years with her at least.

Anyway, I live in Sheffield with my fiance, my family all still live in Liverpool. I'm not working at the moment so I'll be travelling to Liverpool to stay at my mum & dad's for a few days after the chemo every time (my dad is going to the hosy with her but they can't afford for him to have much time off) to look after her.

The crux is, I have borderline personality disorder (a bit like bi-polar) with an anxiety disorder, I'm on top of it and I have a support system but crisis' can...exacerbate my condition so I'd like to know what to expect. I don't want to walk in blind, it won't be good for my health which will be bad in turn for my mum and I want to be strong for her more than anything. It's still a bit raw as I only found out a few days ago, the rest of my family have known for a month or two, they were holding off telling me until everything was definite to protect me, I understand this and don't resent it, but, everybody else has come to terms with the fact that she is going to die, she's not getting better.

I'd just like some information please, I don't really feel like I can ask my dad, his wife is dying and I don't want to upset or stress out my mum more than she already is, it's not fair on her.

Thank you very much in advance.

Nicky x x

Posted by
Hi Nicky I'm Katie and also 25 and from Liverpool - how odd! Sorry to hear about your mum, it's just not fair is it ? My dad has terminal kidney cancer. He has been terminal for just over two years. He too is taking life prolonging drugs. Not IV chemo as kidney cancer doesn't really respond well. So he takes a tablet form called stutent.. He takes it for 2 weeks on, 2 weeks off. When I first found out I was so devistated..... He had previously had his kidney removed and was in remission, so it was such a shock when it came back in his lungs. I still can't believe this is happening to my dad, but I suppose we've sort of come to terms with it a little and we enjoy doing family things, like meals out when he's up to eating and little weekends away etc. All I can say is just enjoy the good days and be brave on the rubbish days. Lots of love xxxx
Posted by
Hi Nicky,
I'm sorry to hear about your Mum but on you will get help and support second to none.
Katie has given good advice about making the good days count. I understand why your Mum doesn't want to know how long she has left, but the doctors can only give an estimate anyway based on what usually happens and everyone is different.
Good luck on this journey, when my wife was ill on the good days we had some.of the best times and I have some lovely memories.
Posted by

Hi Nicky so sorry to hear about your mum x i lost my dad to cancer in 2005 and all i can say is cherish the time you have with your mum , have fun and make wonderful memories these are what will keep you strong x As for coping i an inner strength that helps you be there for them- I am sure you will cope and be strong.for.your mum just remember to talk to your family.and friends dont keep.things bottled up -I was diagnosed in 2010 currently in remission - my fella didnt cope.well at the start at all and still wont talk about it with me - luckily i know he talks to his friends but i can see both sides as a relative and patient. Just make sure you take care of yourself too come on here and have a chat or a moan were all here ive only been on the site a short time but people have noticed a change in me i feel happier and more able to.cope.with things l wish your mum all the very best and sending hugs and best wishes all xx lots of love xx 





Nicky D
Posted by

Thank you all for your replies, I'm feeling a bit better about it all, I think I've got over the shock of the news so I'm going to take your advice n just make the most of the time, you never know she could have years left, but, I'm gonna make each day that I'm back home with her count.

I've also spoken to my fiance's mum, she had lung cancer the Christmas before last so that helped a little. I was convinced I was going to feel a bit of resentment when I spoke to her (I know that sounds bad but...sorry can't help it lol).  She was actually the 1st of 3, her last Christmas, then my auntie the summer gone and now my mum, bad things really do come in threes eh?

She has her 1st chemo session on Monday, my dad will go with her and then I'll travel down there Monday evening to stay with her the next 2 days.  

Macmillan nurses have visited her before so I'm assuming they'll pop in after the chemo? I have questions of things I should be doing and looking out for.

Strange question, but does anybody know a good / recommended shampoo and conditioner for chemo patients?? The type of chemo she's having has a very small risk of losing your hair, just thinning, my mum has the same hair as me, very thick and curly and it's one thing she's really worried about, she thinks she'll lose her identity and just become another cancer patient. We all know different, she'll still be mum but if it makes her feel better, I'll do anything to help.

Again, thank you for taking the time to read and reply to me, although its on a website, it really means a lot to me, Nicky x x

Posted by

Hi Nicky, 

So sorry to hear about your Mum. My mum was diagonosed with stage 3 ovarian cancer a week before xmas and the past couple of months have been the toughest ever. In response to you asking about hair stuff, google 'Mega Tek'. It was orginally designed for horses.( I use it on my horse for her bald patches and thining mane from her rug rubbing her and i've never seen hair grow back so fast!) Anyway, if you look on some of the online forums, lots of cancer patients have also used it to prevent hair thining or promote hair growth after its been lost through chemo. I looked into it for my mum and they do sell a human version but from what I read the ingredients are the same but human version is more expensive! My Mum has lost all her hair with chemo so she hasnt tried Mega Tek yet but might be worth googling and see what you think! Mum has also found that her skin and nails have changed from chemo and her friend who is in remission recommended products called Dr Organic. Mum loves the products because they don't irritate her skin. You can buy them from Holland and Barret.                                                      Sending you big hugs x x x 

Nicky D
Posted by

Oh great, i'll let her know, i'm going down today instead of monday, my fiance has a cold which is getting worse so i have to avoid him. Why he couldn't just wait one more week lol.  

This website really is great, i felt so on my own with regards to my mum as the rest of the family had come to terms with it before i knew and i get the feeling that my fiance feels a bit guilty as his mum is fine now, which is daft buy hey ho. I'm just glad i have somewhere to vent and ask questions where everybody, however unfortunately, is in the same boat.

Massive hugs and thank yous to you all. Also, big apologies and warning about the massive message that will no doubt be here on monday after the first chemo lol.

Nicky D
Posted by

Quick question, just found out (text to me old phone - 2 day old text) that the doctor has been out as my mum's knee has swollen massively, she was complaining that it was a bit stiff on Monday evening before I left.  Any idea whether this is a sign the cancer has spread? As I've said above, it's in her lung, 4 lymph nodes, 1 rib and her tailbone, so it is in her bones already.  I'm possibly just reading too much into absolutely everything x x

Be Brave
Posted by

Honestly - it could be so many things.  I know it's easy to instantly think its a sign of cancer spreading but that isn't necessarily the case. It could be a reaction to some of the medication she is on.  It could be that the cold weather has gotten to it, or she twisted it in some way as she goes about her day to day activities.  I'm not a doctor but my mum has cancer in her bones.  It's been a slow spread of symptoms rather than a sudden onset of symptoms.

How are you doing?  Coping OK?