Hello struggling with my mums cancer

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My mother told me she had rectal cancer on the 29th of march since then it’s spread and it’s now at stage 4. They’ve done a stoma on her and she has now done her first round of chemo she’s being positive I however am not I’m doing my best to be strong for her but I just don’t think it’s going to be okay. I knew that she was going to tell me she had it and then when it spread and she was given 6-9 months without treatment and maybe 12-18 with treatment. I feel selfish she’s the one going through this not me and I cannot even be strong for her I’m 23 I’m her only daughter and I have 4 older brothers. Mine and my mums relationship hasn’t always been great and now I feel like I haven’t any time left honestly I don’t know what to feel or who to talk too.

  • Hi  It’s often hard to put a timeline on peoples diagnosis and a good response to treatment can sometimes open up other avenues. Have you thought about giving the support desk a ring on the number below? They’re available until 8pm and will be happy to have a chat with you about how you’re feeling?

    Take care

    Karen x

    Macmillan Support Line - 0808 808 00 00, 7 days a week between 8am-8pm
  • Hi  

    I was just like you . My mum was powering through , faced it full on and was hopeful for it to work . On the other hand o was awash with fear and could not see past the prognosis. I just could not see a positive out come . 
    However there is a subgroup that despite a difficult diagnosis respond well to chemo . They rescan and if other options like liver surgery or radio frequency ablation are possible they will look at assessing her for it .

    Did they say how much disease was in her liver ?

    My mum had five tumours the first year and five the second .

    She has since then had two liver resections , a bowel resection and a lung resection. She has been a stage 4 patient for 15 years . She continues to get out and about .

    They do generally track her tumour markers. In bowel cancer they are known as a CEA marker . They like to see it going down initially but it can then pop up due to chemo and not totally reliable but they do watch things like these in the background .

    You are very young to be facing this so I would speak to the helpline to get some support . 
    I was older than you but it still hit me hard .

    We are most definitely here to support you .

    You have done really well identifying your needs and that’s part of it . We are all thrown into this difficult situation but it really is not without hope . She may be a great responder .

    Take care ,


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  • Thank you so much! It’s not in her liver as far as I know it’s in her rectum, bowel lining and womb but I’m also not fully sure as I think she’s trying to protect me making out it’s not as bad as it is. I feel helpless 

  • Hi  

    This is a good link .

    They try and stabilise the disease and sometimes shrink it . The MDT meetings sits after the next scan and surgeons will be in on that meeting . If there is a surgical option they will look into it . 
    Bowel cancer is a bit more favourable than some other primaries in that it often has treatment options . You will see people on the boards who are on continuous chemotherapy for years .

    This part is hard as you are waiting to see what chemo can achieve but it sometimes does a good job .

    Have you had a chat with your own GP as they can sometimes get counsellors involved to offer you more support .

    Take care ,


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