to be worried sick and angry?

(60 Posts)
MamasGirl Sat 30-Mar-13 14:47:00

This post is about my mum's health. Let me start by saying that I am an only child (I am 22) and my mum is a single parent. She's my best friend and basically my only family. I feel sick at the thought of something happening to her. sad

My mum smokes and this is something I have been begging her to stop doing for years now. She always brushes it off or changes the topic saying that she only smokes a couple a day and has an otherwise healthy lifestyle.

Yesterday we had the worst scare of our lives. My mum had reached menopause around 3 years back and yesterday she started bleeding unexpectedly. She had been complaining of pelvic bloating and pain for some months now as well. I was alarmed and we called her doctor immediately. The doctor said to go for a pelvic ultrasound asap. They did the ultrasound and it was normal. However, her symptoms are exactly those of uterine and cervical cancer and so they have to do a biopsy to rule it out. sad

When the bleeding stops she has to go for a D&C uterine biopsy and pap smear.

I was so upset at the idea of my mum having cancer and the thought of losing her that I just lost it. I threw away her cigarettes and told her that if she ever smoked again I would stop speaking to her. I told her she has to choose between me and the smoking. She and I had a few words and I stormed out. She hasn't asked for her cigarettes back so far and no way in hell am I returning them.

My mum has a tendency to take health issues lightly and she always brushes me off when I tell her she needs to take care of herself more. She tells me I am overcautious.

The coming few days will be the longest of my life while we wait for the bleeding to stop and for the test results to come through. I couldn't bear it if she has cancer and I'm going insane with worry. sad I suppose I am posting here as much for support as I am for reassurance.

Thanks for reading.

wonderingsoul Sat 30-Mar-13 14:52:56

oh sweety. what a horriable situation to be in.

me and my mum are like best friends to and the thought is just not worth thinking about.

have you spoken to her about how shes feeling? or is she unlikely to off load onto you, out fear of scaring you, if this is how she is choosing to cope with it, i think you need to put on a "its going to be ok "face, at least untill you know for sure what is happening, theres no point working your self up on the what ifs. ( i do know this is alot harder said then done)

im sorry, this isnt much help but i didnt want to not answer.

MamasGirl Sat 30-Mar-13 14:56:57

Mum's a really positive person. She's already convinced it isn't cancer and that it's her thyroid that's causing it. OTOH, I am totally panicked.

I haven't spoken to her because I'm just so miserable and angry with everything right now. sad I think I should speak to her and make sure she's OK.

wonderingsoul Sat 30-Mar-13 15:03:45

i think its normall to feel like that, but i do agree i think you need to go see her, and say what ever it is we'll get through it together, it could very well be her thyroid causing it, untill you know for sure you should try and stay positive.

have you got any one you can talk to in real life? some one for you to off load to and get a hug?

MamasGirl Sat 30-Mar-13 15:32:42

I do have a friend I can speak to, but when I'm upset I usually go to my mum
sad

But you're right, I shouldn't borrow trouble before it happens. I'll try to be positive.

Nirvana1999 Sat 30-Mar-13 15:40:19

Easier said than done but try not to worry just now.

Also, I know you're worried and you have the best intentions but your mum is a grown up, you can't dictate what she should do. Giving her an ultimatum between you and the fags is cutting your nose off to spite your face. It's an addiction and is really hard for some people to quit. Maybe this will be a good incentive for her to quit.

Hope the biopsy goes well for her.

LoopaDaLoopa Sat 30-Mar-13 15:43:03

And what if she can't, or doesn't want to give up? What then?

Seriously, know this is hard, but she's a grown up. You need to be supporting her now, not making things worse for her by giving her awful ultimatums.

MamasGirl Sat 30-Mar-13 15:58:37

I know the ultimatum was awfully timed. I have gone ahead and had a talk with her and tried to be as supportive as I can. I haven't mentioned the smoking again and neither has she.

I know I can't dictate what she should or shouldn't do, but it is very tough for me to wrap my head around the fact the she would continue to do something that could give her cancer and whatnot when her health is already so poor. This doesn't affect just her- it affects both of us. We have nobody else in the world and if something happens to either one of us, the other will be all alone.

I already have anxiety and I have failed the first year of my postgrad course due to it. This is just adding to it and making things massively worse.

LoopaDaLoopa Sat 30-Mar-13 16:06:22

I know it's not the time for this right now, but you do have to break free a little as an adult, and let her do the same. It's her health, her decision, her life. Yours is separate. She can't live her life for you any more, you are an adult.

Again, probably not the best time for i, but you do need to make sure you get more of a support network, and that she does too if possible. You won't always both be around for one another.

That said, well done for talking to her. I hope she gets better soon. smile

MamasGirl Sat 30-Mar-13 16:09:51

Thank you smile I really hope she gets better soon too.

Nirvana1999 Sat 30-Mar-13 16:09:57

I really do understand. I've been there myself, I had cancerous cells found after a smear, the biopsy, treatment and then the all clear. I smoked during all if this and still do. My consultant spoke to me countless times about the risks but I didn't take it seriously. I cut down but just couldn't stop. It's crazy, I can't explain why I didn't stop, I obviously wasn't scared enough. Even now I know I shouldn't smoke, I've got away with it once. When I think really really hard about what could happen it does scare me shitless but I still do it.

GilmoursPillow Sat 30-Mar-13 16:14:08

It sounds like you have a wonderful relationship with your Mum and I'm sure that she knows your reaction is that of fear and concern, not spite.

Go and give your Mum a hug, and show her that you really are her best friend.

I hope that the results all come back with decent news.

MamasGirl Sat 30-Mar-13 17:42:04

Nirvana1999- thanks for sharing your feelings and I'm sorry to hear about what you've been through. It helped me understand how tough this must be for my mum.

At the moment I'm trying to stay out of her sight because I can't stop sobbing and I dont want her to see that.

I read somewhere that postmenopausal bleeding is always considered cancer unless proven otherwise and it's just freaking me out.

stressyBessy22 Sat 30-Mar-13 17:55:44

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Euphemia Sat 30-Mar-13 17:58:45

It's hard, watching a parent self-destruct.

My dad had smoked for 50+ years when he was diagnosed with lung cancer and a secondary brain tumour two years ago. He's had chemo- and radiotherapy, the brain tumour keeps on growing, and still he smokes. angry

My mum can't stand him when he's trying to stop smoking as he becomes argumentative and makes her life hell, so she would rather he smoked. My brother is a wet blanket who supports my dad in whatever he wants to do, never mind the hell it's putting my mum through. My auntie, also a smoker, is convinced my dad would gave got cancer whether he smoked or not. hmm

I can't stand being in their house. It feels such an unhealthy atmosphere, a house my dad has smoked in for 30 years, and continues to smoke in. My mum had breast cancer 15 years ago and there's a big part of me wonders if it was down to passive smoking. It makes me so angry to be there. angry

But they are adults and make their own decisions, no matter how destructive. It's our job as their children to do the best we can to support them. sad

Lottashakingoinon Sat 30-Mar-13 18:01:56

Bit harsh Stressy It's quite obvious that the OP is acting out of shit scaredness.

And Mamasgirl re your last sentence, you honestly don't want o believe everything you read! Everything crossed for you and your Mum...she's very lucky to have you.

TheFallenNinja Sat 30-Mar-13 18:04:46

Understandable position however you won't guilt or pressure or demand your mum into quitting.

During this awful scare, remember she is probably scared too. It won't help either of you to not be talking.

BalloonSlayer Sat 30-Mar-13 18:11:12

People who don't smoke get cancer too, you know.

You have just basically as good as told her that if she's got cancer, then it's her own fault. Which is really not what she needs right now. In fact it's a downright horrible thing to throw at someone who is scared and in need of support.

If it is cancer - and hopefully it isn't! - she will have plenty of health professionals advising her to give up, and your support will be needed and welcome then, I am sure.

In the meantime a massive apology is needed from you.

You have behaved really badly. Really badly.

MamasGirl Sat 30-Mar-13 18:26:55

I did not tell her she's got herself in this position. But a scare like this puts things into perspective- it may not be cancer this time, but if she continues smoking it might be next time. Also, the diagnostic tests that are required (D&C) are done under GA and are much riskier for her because she smokes.

That's basically why I asked her to quit. Of course non-smokers also get cancer and this is in no way anyone's fault. But smoking does increase your risk of getting cancer and if you've already had a scare and cancer-like symptoms it is wise to quit.

Hopasholic Sat 30-Mar-13 18:51:13

As an ex smoker, I can honestly say that at his moment in time, it will be hard for your DM to stop. She is probably very concerned about her upcoming results and is doing her best to protect you as she knows how much you worry.

I've given up with the help of an E-cig. You could get her a disposable one to try, they sell them in tesco. It has nicotine in it but none of the nasty stuff. If it works for her, there are lots of different re-usable ones available on-line.

Cherriesarelovely Sat 30-Mar-13 18:54:40

Poor you OP. It must be incredibly hard to watch your mum continue to smoke in spite of the risks. Your reaction is completely understandable. One of my friends DPs had lung cancer and continued to smoke and it was painful for my friend. I will be thinking of your mum OP and hoping that the news is good.

MamasGirl Sat 30-Mar-13 18:58:57

I was just thinking about the e-cig. I think that might be a very good idea and we will definitely look into it.

Thanks to all for the good wishes. I will keep everyone updated about whatever happens. I hope I have good news.

crashdoll Sat 30-Mar-13 19:00:17

I was in a similar situation last Summer. My mum was a long-term smoker and a bowel tumour was found. She went through a huge operation to ensure all the cancer was gone while we had an anxious wait to see if she needed chemo/radio which thankfully she didn't. It gave her the scare to give up smoking but she's had a cancer scare before - although not like this - and she just wasn't ready. This time, she was ready. I've always hated her smoking and wanted to throw her cigs away, like you did, but as the saying goes; you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink. It has to be her choice, guilt won't work. Be there for her, support her in her choices, even if you disagree with her, IMO that's the best thing you can do for her. I know you acted out of stress, fear and worry but it won't help. Take care of yourself too, it's scary for loved ones.

MamasGirl Sat 30-Mar-13 19:01:36

She's smoking right now...

LIZS Sat 30-Mar-13 19:05:21

It is a risk factor but there are many others too. She possibly won't give up now due to stress or because she has lasted this long doing so and is prepared to take the chance . Maybe when things calm down, and perhaps if she has spent a spell in hospital she will change her mind, but you cannot do it for her. Hope the tests come back more positive , the symptoms of various conditions overlap so much you should not prejudge. At least it is being taken seriously.

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