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Family member's continuing multiple diagnosis

Posted by

Hi Everyone. I'm not really sure if it's Ok for me to be posting here, I'm just finding everything quite overwhelming at the moment.

In mid-May my Nan was sent to hospital by her GP with suspected appendicitis. She has just turned 84. On arrival and following a scan she was admitted for emergency surgery following discovery of a large mass in he large intestine. She had the mass removed, a section of intestine removed and re-sectioned without the need for a stoma.

The mass was a malignant Grade 4 tumour, potentially growing four 4+ years (she's a bugger fo not going to the GP and just putting up with things). The surgeon also removed her appendix due to the presence of low-grade appendiceal mucinous neoplasm  (LAMN?). Tissue from the omentum was also removed. Further biopsies were taken. The margin around the colon cancer was clear, however cancer was found in the removed omentum and small blood vessels (?). The plan was a PICC line and at-home chemo if she wanted it, to prevent regrowth..

Fast forward to now; A PET scan has revealed kidneys/lungs/liver and omentum are all clear, however there are 'suspicious areas' in her right clavicle, spine and neck, and she is now waiting for an MRI to investigate further. She has also been told she has an inflamed thyroid. Treatment is now on hold until that scan takes place.

In January 2013, prior to a hip replacement, she was diagnosed with myeloma, but it was classified as dormant.

We really don't know what to expect or how to feel at the moment, nor what to say to my poor nan, who looked shocked and devastated when told she was classed as having advanced cancer (this was before the PET scan and after the surgery, when we thought everything had been removed).

Is it likely that the areas in her spine/neck/clavicle are likely to be malignant? What should we be preparing ourselves for?

Thank you for any help.

Posted by


Welcome to the Macmillan Community and yes, of course it is ok for you to be posting here, this is what this site is for - providing support for those affected by cancer (either the individual or their family/friends).

I am very sorry to hear about your Nan and all that she has been through and is still going through.  

I think you know that no-one other than her team can answer your question about whether it is likely to be malignant and from that, what you should prepare for will be up in the air until you all know what you are dealing with.  

I think for you Nan, just knowing that you are there for her, offering her a shoulder to cry on if she needs it or doing jobs for her when she feels unwell will be all you can do for the time being.  Would she want to join this community? If so, then telling her about it could be another thing that could help her and she can talk through her feelings with strangers if that helps her (sometimes people don't want to 'burden' family with how they feel as they know it will upset them).

For you, there is a family and friends group which you may wish to join?  Other people finding their way through supporting a loved one with cancer could offer you the support you need to help you care for your Nan.

There is a wealth of information on this site for before the test results and after - information and support.  The main sites for use which I would recommend are: Macmillan, NHS and Cancer Research UK.  Many sites have out of date / miracle cures for cancer information which can be very misleading and distressing, so try not to Google, but use the three websites for any research you want to carry out.

I do hope the scan is positive news, but there are many people on this site who are living with cancer, including incurable cancer.  The waiting is the worst bit and once you all know where she stands, you can start taking each day as it comes and supporting her with the course of action they suggest for her.

Kindest wishes,

Lesley x

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