To be really very worried about my mum (and my dad)

(25 Posts)
sallysparrow157 Sun 24-Aug-14 23:49:10

Well, officially she is my stepmum, my mum died of cancer when I was very small. My dad's mum also died of cancer when he was in his early teens.
She has symptoms of ovarian cancer. She has abdominal bloating, feelings of fullness and indigestion, has needed to sleep propped up with 3 pillows for several months and now has unilateral leg swelling, initially just her ankle but now whole leg.
She has seen her gp, is having some bloods done and a scan in the very near future.
My dad, in his head, already has her dead and buried, he's been through this twice already and understandably is anticipating the worst. She knows what is being looked for but is distracting herself by distracting him. I live 200 miles away and am a doctor in a very different field but know enough to know that symptomatic ovarian cancer has a shit prognosis.
Say some nice things, guys. I'm drinking lots of wine after a very busy weekend at work and a 'saying the right things' phone call with my dad.
It's not fecking fair. On either of them.

Salmotrutta Sun 24-Aug-14 23:59:07

I don't have any words of wisdom but I hope the news from the tests etc. turns out to be good.

I suppose that at times likes this being a medic SI "worse" in a way because you probably play out all sorts of scenarios in your head?

Try to get a decent sleep tonight if you can.

thanks

ComradePlexiglass Mon 25-Aug-14 00:00:46

Oh god. No, not fair. Really hope it will be false alarm. Drink that wine, baby.

EmpressOfBedlam Mon 25-Aug-14 00:03:50

Oh man, YY to hoping it isn't. And YY to having some decent sleep.

Could she buck the trend if it turns out to be ovarian cancer?

Fingers crossed.

Do you have a family?

GaryShitpeas Mon 25-Aug-14 00:04:47

Aw op fingers crossed for best possible outcome for her x thanks

sallysparrow157 Mon 25-Aug-14 00:06:44

Salmo - is worse and better. Worse cos I know exactly what her doctors are thinking and what tests they're doing and why but better cos I know exactly what shit to kick up if things that need done aren't done and also, if things are not good i am pretty good at translating doctor speak into normal people speak so at least my parents will definitely understand what's going on.

I had a half hour phone conversation with my dad entirely based around cancer without even approaching using the word cancer. He and I don't communicate that well at the best of times but by god today we knew exactly what each other was saying without saying it out loud

Salmotrutta Mon 25-Aug-14 00:11:57

I understand exactly the type of conversation you mean - skirting round words as if saying it out loud will make it come true.

Sending good wishes your way. X

sallysparrow157 Mon 25-Aug-14 00:13:03

Empress, they're all the family I have really. I'm an only child, I have 3 out of a possible 6 grandparents alive and only 1 I'm in contact with, a few cousins I've not seen in20 yrs and a lovely aunt who's husband has severe mobility probs so they are limited as to how much they can get about.
My best and loveliest friend lives 10 mins from my parents so I have support when I visit. She doesn't know any of this yet though.

sallysparrow157 Mon 25-Aug-14 00:13:52

Thank you thank you thank you for all your wishes xxx

expatinscotland Mon 25-Aug-14 00:16:21

I would tell your friend, too.

Here, have some cyber wine, I can't drink it as I gave myself ad acid reflux from eating chow mein a couple of hours ago.

Isabeller Mon 25-Aug-14 00:25:39

Can't read and run as I had an OC scare myself a few years ago. Difficult though it is I hope you can make your knowledge and your family's personal experience an asset in facing whatever is to come. Will be thinking of you xx

sallysparrow157 Mon 25-Aug-14 00:35:42

Expat, is my friends 2nd anniversary today, her birthday in a few days and her son's christening (I'm godmother smile ) in a few weeks, as and when there's something to tell I will tell her but she has too many happy things at the minute and I want them to stay happy things. Thanks for the cyber wine though, I may keep the real wine to myself and give the cyber wine to the bloke who is cyber hitting people with a magical mace on the Xbox! He surely only needs cyber wine! (He is lovely and understanding and all that and has listened to me rant all night, no avoidance Xbox malarkey going on)

ScarlettOHorror Mon 25-Aug-14 00:40:28

I really hope that it isn't - or if it is that it's treatable. I had a hysterectomy in May and they found afterwards that I had OC - the ovary burst coming out so I will be having chemo. But my scan was clear. If you do need extra support at any time PM me and I can link you to a fantastic OC FB support group. Everything crossed.

UpUpAndAway123 Mon 25-Aug-14 00:43:37

Hi op,

It's hard to know what to say and don't think I can be the most positive person but I still wanted to post to say I know how you must be feeling. My mum has just been diagnosed with stage 4 colorectal cancer and our lives have been turned upside down. My mum and I are both nurses and like yourself we know the full implications (it's difficult accepting the anecdotes of well wishers and their experiences of positive cancer stories when the word 'palliative chemotherapy' is running through your mind).
Life is so unfair. Maternal gran died 11 months ago from brain mets, maternal gramps died when mum was 14 from cancer of the oesophagus.
I hope your mum gets some positive results, I sincerely do. Drink some wine for me (I'm currently pregnant so can't induldge!). x

Thumbwitch Mon 25-Aug-14 00:51:01

Haven' got much useful to say but I'm here if you need to talk - being in the Antipodes means I'm here through your night, so if you're awake at 3am I can chat.
thankswine and (((hugs)))

antimatter Mon 25-Aug-14 00:52:39

my SIL's re both medical doctors and that helped them a lot when talking to doctors during various PIL's illnesses

I guess distance is the biggest obstacle but for your step-mum I guess is important to give her support (maybe direct her towards Macmillan's website and their services?) and talk her through what awaits her - it is going to help her not to feel totally out of control.

What bloody awful news sad
I really hope it turns out well wine wine wine

sallysparrow157 Mon 25-Aug-14 01:03:49

Scarlett, thanks, if I do need the FB support group I will be in touch. So glad your scan was clear as at least everything was localised to the ovary, hope your chemo goes smoothly xxx
Up, it's fucking shit, isn't it? I'm so sorry about your mum. If it is any reassurance re the palliative chemo, my grandfather had colorectal ca and shitty lungs and peripheral vasculature, he had about 10 yrs entirely symptom free on palliative rx and then died of an mi so nothing whatsoever to do with the cancer or the chemo

SallyMcgally Mon 25-Aug-14 02:22:37

Another one thinking of you and hoping news is better than you fear xxx

nocoolnamesleft Mon 25-Aug-14 02:36:10

Oh bugger. Sometimes it bloody sucks to know every worst case scenario. I guess all I can think of to suggest is two things...try not to totally assume the worst until the scan's back. And if it is what you fear, to try to find a way to be daughter, not doctor (apart from when arse-kicking is required, of course).

Big squishy cyberhugs.

Staywithme Mon 25-Aug-14 03:08:53

Scream in the car with the radio turned up and follow that with some ranting and raving. That's what I do and it's very therapeutic, plus you don't have to apologise for loosing it. grin

I'm so sorry your family is going through this Sally. I don't know if it's possible, but if you can be with your parents when the news is given to make sure they are told in simple terms, that would probably help. When my husband and I were given his diagnoses it was all "metastatic spread to the sternum, spinal column,...." My poor husband still thought he was curable as he didn't understand what they meant. Don't get me wrong, he's very smart but has never had the need to understand anatomy and physiology. Sometimes medical people forget that not everyone understands the language.

I truely hope you're wrong OP and if not, then make sure your parents get every bit of help available. thanks

Grokette Mon 25-Aug-14 04:14:48

Oh OP, I'm sorry to read this flowers

It's such a difficult situtation you're in. Not quite the same thing, but my DH is a doctor (surgeon) and he had a very tough time when my mum was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Like you said in your OP, he knew exactly what the doctors were thinking, and what the prognosis really was (and by extension so did I) when my mum and her partner were very much in denial about it all. It was a very difficult position for him to be in.

You need support, and time to yourself, and probably to remind yourself occasionally that all the knowledge you have doesn't equate to your having to bear it all on your shoulders alone. Take it easy, and try not to think two steps ahead if you can help it smile

Andrewofgg Mon 25-Aug-14 04:42:55

Diagnosed with cancer in 1993 and still here. All the best to you and all yours flowers

FrancesNiadova Mon 25-Aug-14 09:38:39

Hi Sally, hope you're OK. I had BC & one of the worst times was waiting for the diagnosis.
Once you know what your Step-Mum is facing, you will be able to deal with it & use all of your expertise to ensure that she gets the most effective treatment.
For now, this is just a period of time that you all have to get through. Being, "in the waiting room," is a rotten place to be.
You say that you live 200 miles away. I know that you are yourself a DR, but do you think that you might need time to be with your family at the moment? The stresses of the job + your family worries + wine = not a great prognosis for you.
My advice is to take the time that you & your family need & be together now.
You care for everyone else, (I wouldn't be here if it weren't for my wonderful DR's), please remember to take care of yourself.thanksflowers

SallyMcgally Thu 28-Aug-14 17:23:56

Hope things are going OK for you sally xx

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