Ovarian cancer

A support group for anyone affected by ovarian cancer to come together, share experiences, and ask questions.

The News That Changed Our World - My mum was diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer.

TheDevotedDaughter

Just over 4 weeks ago my mum, who I’m not ashamed to say is my best friend & my own rock throughout my life, was diagnosed with cancer.

Over these weeks we have discovered she has overian cancer which has spread and without treatment her time with us is limited to estimated 12 months, so when offered an operation to remove as much as possible, including spleen, gallbladder, parts of her bowel, which is estimated to extend her life for another 5 years, my brave 76 year old mum accepted & we are awaiting a operation date. We have been warned how tough recovery will be, the operation will be 10 hours long, she will be fitted with a stoma bag, after 12 days allowed to come home & I will take on the role of a full time carer. Chemo will begin while still recovering from the operation.

Life has been a rollercoaster these past few weeks, I’m keeping strong for both parents on the exterior but at times I’m crumbling inside. Caring for both & taking on the family farm business. I talk with family & friends & I try hard to keep a sense of normality within the home but it would be a lie if I say I’m not terrified. 

I would love love to talk with other carers in a similar position to myself, to share experiences, to help me discover strength when I’m feeling weak. 

I believe the best best way to deal with what life has thrown our way is to take things one day at a time. Any thoughts, advise etc will be gratefully received. Thank you for reading my post. 

I have been through so many emotions since we received the news, the panic, the tears, the anger and the fears. Family have visited, then left.. never quite staying long enough but I guess they all have their own lives to live. My cousin hugged me goodbye & whispered in my ear to look after my mum, then said something that made me instantly angry inside, she said I will miss her. I’m sorry but is this really appropriate  to say when we just received the news and trying to keep positive? That comment was beat when a family friend said she wants to be there when mum passes! I was so hurt by those words and I could no longer hold back the tears, I immediately left. 

Another thing I’ve found challenging is people complaining that I’m not keeping them updated. I myself am run off my feet, making sure mum is comfortable, medications on time, appointments attended, meals cooked for both parents, keeping the house in order, paying bills, learning the farm business, keeping family and close friends updated etc etc but there will always be someone who feels you’re doing something wrong, someone who’s not spoken to mum for years will complain that I didn’t let them know. It’s certainly been an eye opening experience. 

There is quite a family history of cancer, both my mum & dad have lost siblings over the years from varying cancers, I myself lost my sister when I was 10 & she was 16 years old from lung cancer, so this is not new to our family. Loosing my sister left me quite psychologically scarred, it was a long 2 years that she was unwell then living with my parents bereavement years after. The experience left me with a fear of loosing my parents, I would find myself listening at their bedroom doors at night to make sure I could still hear them breathing! So I guess I am now facing my biggest fear. Something we all have to face sooner or later. Knowing this makes it no less painful. 

My partner lives in italy, quite an unconventional relationship, seemed a great idea at the time but now when I need the support it seems not one of my best ideas but he gets here when he can, infact will arrive this week for 6 days then returns to work before coming back for another 6 days a week later. Thankfully he does not work from mid December until end of July so he will be with me for that time. He makes me somehow stronger than when I’m alone.

My mum is a fighter, strong and independent woman for 76, her fear shows in her eyes which breaks my heart & what’s more difficult is her pain is presently ok, it’s as though nothing is wrong, yet we know what’s happening beneath the surface & she will have to walk into this huge operation & give all she has to face the recovery & chemo soon after, all with the uncertainties of what will happen next. Life has no certainties, and as we have both said, best thing to do is to take a day at a time. I’ve seeked support from a local charity / holistic support facility which I think will be beneficial to our whole family:

 http://www.starthrowers.org.uk/

I hope this post allows me to meet people on a similar journey so I am able to make more sense of life right now. A chance to share experiences, advice, and understanding of what’s happening..

Thank you once again if you made it to the end of my rather long post!! x 

Leolady56
Posted by

I have just seen your post and felt the strength of your emotions; the strength of your love for your mum and the strength you have deep inside you. So sad to read what you are going through and of course your mum.

You will find many people have no idea whatsoever how to cope with cancer , or indeed any other illness that can take a life. It certainly sorts out the wheat from the chaff. I guess like the patient and immediate family, their is no manual for them either. Though actually MacMillan do have booklets with advice.

I feel sure you will receive amazing advice and support on here from women living and surviving this cancer

I am putting a link for you too. CARERS only group you will find another Champ there. I've tagged her so no doubt she will be by soon to add support.

and are Champs who support here.

Until such time as others come by with support. Take care and start making good special memories

Leolady56

 What is a Community Champion? How to add to you profile Life is like a boxing match, defeat is declared not when you fall ..... But when you refuse to stand up again ....... So, I get knocked down but I get up again. x

LoobyLou49
Posted by

Hello , I'm sorry to hear about your mum's illness, your love for her comes across clearly in your words. People, friends, relatives all are capable of saying such insensitive, hurtful things. You don't have to phone everyone, especially not if you get complaints. They're quite capable of calling you occasionally and, while I know just how distressing this time is, we have to be firm with those who are persistent nuisances or cause you further distress. I can't believe that someone would say they would want to be there when she passes.

It sounds as though you are already overloaded with taking on the family farm business. Plus seeing 'the fear' in your mum's eyes is bound to have a powerful effect on you given what you went through in childhood (my mum had cancer when I was 6 so I empathise with the fear of losing a parent) . I saw that fear in my dad's eyes and I hugged him for ages. I'm sure you will find a lot of support in Carers Only, do come over and post so others know how you are feeling and can do their best to help you through this.

Love and hugs,

LoobyLou   Linda

 If you find dust in my house, write your name in it. When the signatures overlap I'll get the polish.    What is a Community Champion?

Londongirl8
Posted by

Hi and a very warm welcome to you in these very difficult circumstances.

I looked after my terminally ill mum before she passed so I've been in a very similar position to where you are. Due to the fact that my mother's condition was terminal, my local authority arranged for a care team to help support me by caring for my mum at home - she spent very little time in hospital. The carers were from a company called Bluebird care and were excellent - I think you would benefit from some practical as well as emotional help so that you're not taking on everything alone.

As for so called friends and family, my mother's friend of 40 years was absolutely no help at all when my mum was sick - to this day I'm still astonished by her behaviour. I literally put all my focus and efforts into looking after my mum and didn't waste time on those who were more interested in themselves.   

I would also add that in my mum's case she didn't experience the predicted side affects of having brain cancer (paralysis, confusion etc.), In fact right up until the very end she was very lucid and quite active so my point is that anything is possible. The fact that your mum has been given the chance of an operation is hope in itself and and pray that it goes well. 

All the best and please take advantage of the different types of support you can find on this forum

xx Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans
TheDevotedDaughter

Good morning, although at times I do question the ‘good’, then I remind myself we are all still here together and there really is good in every day, even though at times we must look just that little closer to see it.

I wanted to thank you for your kindness in your email, I too feel this community will be very beneficial over the days, months ahead. I am noticing I’m not getting time to reply as quick as I would normally intend but time has become a rare luxury. 

I will join the carers group & I did indeed hear from @LoobyLou49 with a very supportive and understanding message, it’s a reminder that we are all going through something rather difficult behind our smiles. I will reply later today. 

Im presently sitting at the N&NH with mum awaiting her anesthesia assessment, although determined to have the surgery, the fears are very prominent in her mind, in all of our minds. I’m keeping positive and supportive to her decision, one thing she will need is the strength and love from all around her to help keep her spirits high. This afternoon we are attending a nutritional talk by the Star Throwers charity which will be useful I’m sure. 

Thank you again.

love & gratitude 

Jo x