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Anyone with experience of late cancer diagnosis?

(8 Posts)
EverySingleStar Sat 10-Oct-09 02:08:04

My grandmother has always been a very vibrant woman who is very much the central force in our family. Very content, quiet, lovely soul, has always kept with the latest fashions and kept herself lithe, trim, and eating healthy.

She's 63 and was diagnosed 2 weeks ago with stage 4 ovarian cancer which metastasized (sp) to her bowel. It resulted in a very emergency surgery which led to parts of almost all her internal organs being removed (all of her colon, some of intestines, stomach, gallblader, liver, kidneys, etc.)

She now has to wear a bag outside of her body that collects her solid waste as she can't ever go to the toilet again (except to wee) - as she's always been very independent, this is very hard for her sad

I'm here in the UK, she's in the US and I'm leaving in 9 days to go and stay for a few months and help - I don't know much about cancer and am very scared to google - but are there any common aches/pains that I should be aware of? I'll be helping out with her and driving her to treatments, etc. She is going for chemotherapy next week, so hopefully the docs see a ray of hope. sad

My grandmother raised me from age 11 and is basically my mother in all respects, so it's quite hard but it absolutely has not hit me yet - I relay all these facts about things that are going on but I haven't seen her yet, so I can't see what she's going through...I want to be prepared for some of the things before I get there, iyswim. Thanks to all who can give any reply.

Tortington Sat 10-Oct-09 02:18:26

i knopw what it is like to have a grandma who is to all purposes your mum.

i have no idea of the paiin a nd anguish you are going through.

however i wish you botht hte best of luck

EverySingleStar Sat 10-Oct-09 05:23:56

Thank you very much custy. I really appreciate your words. It's so nice to be able to come together with people who share your experiences through a forum like this. (Excuse the blubbing, I've not been to bed yet.)

whomovedmychocolate Sat 10-Oct-09 06:52:23

Don't Google that's for sure. Download this PDF guide from Macmillan (it's free)

If she has stage 4 ovarian cancer she has a very low chance of survival and sadly it's one of those that is rarely diagnosed till at least stage 3 so it's very hard to treat. But she does still have some chance and the fact that they are offering treatment rather than palliative care is encouraging.

Sorry you are going through this. Cancer bacup are very helpful and there is contact info in the PDF I linked to.

EverySingleStar Sat 10-Oct-09 16:13:12

That was an excellent link chocolate thank you so much, off to read..

LilRedWG Sat 10-Oct-09 16:31:12

ESS - Firstly, I am so sorry that you and your family are going through this.

My Dad was diagnosed a couple of days before Christmas with stage four cancer, which was unfortunately inoperable. He received radiotherapy to help receive his symptoms (he was too ill for chemotherapy) but it was only ever palliative care, so the fact that they have operated on your Grandmother and are giving her chemo is a good sign for you.

Emotionally the reaction varies greatly from person to person. My Dad seemed relieved, as though a huge weight had been lifted from his shoulders, as his health had been failing for sometime and he was becoming extremely depressed. He went from being a shell of his self prior to his diagnosis back to being my laughing happy Dad.

As you have said that your Grandmother is finding it difficult, obviously, to adjust to the lack of independence, I would take special pains to arrange things for her to aid in her independence. If you are attending appointments with her, write down any concerns/questions with her before you go, just so that you don't forget them and don't be afraid to ask anything (write down answers/weird names/anything, so that you can remember it all after.

It is very difficult to see anyone you love going through this, so please make sure that you take a little time to look after yourself, as you will need all the strength that you can muster.

I don't really know what else to say. Like WMMC says, do not Google if at all possible.

Don't forget that MN is here if you need to chat. I will happily any questions that you have as I'm sure will many more people.

Take care and safe journey!

EverySingleStar Sat 10-Oct-09 16:47:58

Thank you for your very kind and informative message Lil. smile

I'm not sure how active a caring role I'll be playing, although it will be on a day-to-day basis. I'm going to be juggling my time between my grandmother, grandfather, aunt's twin babies, cooking, cleaning, driving around, shopping, etc. etc. It's going to be really hectic for a few months, but I obviously want to help out the family as much as I can.

I will definitely keep in touch as there is a much larger wealth of knowledge on here I feel than cold, sterile "info" sites, or google.

Thanks again to all who have responded

LilRedWG Sat 10-Oct-09 18:26:54

Make sure that you fit some time in there for you!

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