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Jolly tales of bowel cancer over here, please

(52 Posts)
MinkyBorage Fri 19-Sep-08 23:11:30

Found out my Mum has bowel cancer this evening, wrote a post about it earlier, but dd2 deleted it just before I pressed the magic button.
She doesn't know I know as my Dad told me. Apparently the doctor thinks it will be easily removed, but she's having a scan on Monday to check for secondary cancers. Her biggest worry is that the bowel cancer is a secondary cancer. I have no idea why she thinks that, hopefully it's founded in nothing and just a worry.
Feel like everything's falling apart, but feel very self indulgent for allowing myself to think that, if that makes any sense whatsoever.
To compound issues, she has 'episodes' every so often where she goes off the rails emotionally, and that appears to have happened today. I expect that this recent worry has exacerbated that (she's know for ten days about the cancer) I suspect that if she was ever diagnosed, it would be with some sort of mild bi-polar or depressive condition, but no idea.
Anyway, that's all I can think of right now, so would really appreciate your experiences, either jolly or not so jolly, but real anyway.
tia

ggglimpopo Fri 19-Sep-08 23:17:40

There is a massive bowel cancer detection campaign here in France at the moment - kits are being sent out at the moment to all over fifties. The tv advert stresses that bowel cancer is relatively easy to treat and very curable if caught in the early stages.

I hope this helps.

MinkyBorage Fri 19-Sep-08 23:20:48

Thank you

FanjolinaJolly Fri 19-Sep-08 23:24:41

Minky,a reputable site for information on all kinds of cancer is Cancerbackup.They also have a freephone number for people affected by cancer and their families.

If your mum is struggling with the emotional side of things it might be worth contacting the ward she is on or via Gp to see if there is a specialist nurse or any psychological support available for her (Many hospitals have such support).

Sending you and your mum positive thoughts x

misselizabethbennett Fri 19-Sep-08 23:32:11

Sorry you're going through this Minky.

MrsBates Sat 20-Sep-08 00:06:00

My Mum had bowel cancer not caught at earliest stage but was operated on successfully with no chemo or radio. Some years later found secondaries in liver and lungs but not growing fast enough to affect her health (they were found in scan for something else). Essentially she was cured and not even that ill. She is dead now, but of something else.

A friend's Dad with bowel cancer had a temporary colostomy which has now been reversed so he is back to normal, feels great and is cured (although not officially cured until 5 years of clear check ups). Anyway - the chances of successful treatment are very good and the earlier the better. Hope all goes well for you all - there is good support to be found but sometimes you have to fight for it. Cancer Research website also has good info and if there is a Maggie's cancer centre at her hospital (quite new so not many yet) they emphasise the individual not the disease -very supportive and kind.

Incidentally, having a relative with bowel cancer increases your risk by about 50% so read up on good diet and have check ups once you're over 40. It is very curable if caught early so don't worry, just get informed about symptoms etc and how to protect yourself. I've had a colonoscopy and they are OK so don;t worry about that either! I hope your mum is alright and let us know if not. Can offer more if helpful. x

SuperBunny Sat 20-Sep-08 00:13:49

There was a thread about this the other night so, although it doesn't really help you, you are not alone.

My Dad had Lymphoma and related bowel surgery a couple of years ago and is ok now. There are lots of positive stories about this. I know it's horrible to go through though, sorry

CaptainStellaMaris Sat 20-Sep-08 00:14:19

I don't think a bowel tumour can be a secondary tumour Minky. And it sounds like they have caught the primary tumour in time, so honestly your mum has a very good chance of being absolutely fine.
My brother was diagnosed with very advanced bowel cancer five years ago - he had several secondaries in his liver. Luckily, being in the US, he was able to have excellent treatment, which included chemo drugs that are still not allowed here by NICE (on cost grounds). He finished treatment almost three years ago and has been completely cancer free since.
There are quite a few of us on here who know what it feels like to have a family member going through this, so keep us posted and we will do what we can to help.

TarkaLiotta Sat 20-Sep-08 00:32:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FuriousGeorge Sat 20-Sep-08 08:53:50

Hi,sorry to hear your news about your mum.My neighbour was diagnosed with bowel cancer 2 years ago.She had been going to the GP with tummy aches ect for months & they kept fobbing her off.Eventually she saw a locum,who was horrified that she hadn't been checked out & sent her for tests.It was bowel cancer,but she had an op & a bit of follow up treatment & is fine now.Hers could have been a nasty case,as she had been undiagnosed for so long,but was still cured without too much chemo.

Best wishes to your mum.

MinkyBorage Sun 21-Sep-08 15:34:39

Thank you for all replies, very reassuring. I'm feeling a bit more positive about the whole thing at the moment, but can't wait until Tuesday for the test results.
Tarka, I've just read your thread, really sorry your Dad has been diagnosed, it's dreadful, I hope he's OK, and I'll keep an eye on your thread and consequent posts.
CaptainStellaMaris, thank you for your post, it's really useful to know about the US treatment, and also that it can't be a secondary tumour. Glad and reassured that your Brother's OK now.
Thank you for all other positve and very helpful posts. It really is very much appreciated.

RubyRioja Sun 21-Sep-08 15:36:34

An acquanance discovered bowel cancer after tests were iffy after giving blood.

Quick op, a dust rhtough of chemo and is right as rain.

5 years ago now

purpleflower Sun 21-Sep-08 15:40:14

My Nan had an op to remove a tumour from her bowel on tuesday. After saying it would be a major op they managed to remove it with keyhole surgery. She is doing really well.

I don't know what follow up treatment she will have but they don't think it has spread.

Chocolateteapot Sun 21-Sep-08 15:42:31

My Dad had his 2 year check up last week. His tumour was removed and he was lucky enough not to need chemo/radiotherapy. Sorry you are going through this, I remember what it feels like.

Without counting any chickens, Dad's cancer seems a long time ago and I forget he had it most of the time.

Nattynoos Sun 21-Sep-08 18:20:30

Really sorry to hear about your mum. My mum went in for a routine colonoscopy on 5th September and the doctor found a 4cm growth which he could not remove there and then so she is going in for surgery on Thursday. They took some biopsys of the growth and they have come back clear of cancer but they have told us that they do not know what is behind the growth so at the moment they are treating it as a cancer until it is sent away and comes back clear.
My mum is 63 and this was only found by chance as she did one of those bowel cancer detection kits so we are thanking our lucky stars that this has been caught in time and that it is not cancer. Purpleflower, your thread gave me hope and i hope my mums op turns out as good as your nans as they have told us that mums op is a major one but if they can they will do it by keyhole so fingers crossed.
I really wish that i could swop places with her as she hates hospitals so i hope that she is not in there too long.
Im sending you lots of love Minky and im thinking of you xx

squigglywig Sun 21-Sep-08 18:33:21

A family friend had bowel cancer, quite advanced and at the time considered to be very serious.

He had three operations in the end I think, and it took 2.5 years for him to be back on his feet. But today he's back running his farm and enjoying his life. He was over 65 at diagnosis.

fymandbean Sun 21-Sep-08 18:47:41

captainstella - bowel cancer can be a secondary to ovarian cancer....but your mum would have had a lot of symptoms if that was the case

ThingOne Sun 21-Sep-08 21:24:13

Sorry to hear about your mum.

I was diagnosed with bowel cancer just over a year ago. They reckoned I had my tumour for about five years. I had two small secondaries removed from my liver this summer. I'm still having treatment due to a complication from my initial surgery.

I was expected to be a complete cure before the liver secondaries were discovered. I haven't asked since as I'm intending to be completely cured wink. My life can be pretty shit at times but I'm hoping I'll feel a whole lot better this time next year.

I have a permanent colostomy at 41. It's not the end of the world, really. I'd be lying if I said I was delighted about it but you just deal with it and get on with things.

The whole caboodle does fuck with your mind, though, so support from specialist nurses and a counsellor can help.

uberalice Sun 21-Sep-08 21:32:06

Sorry to hear about your mum. My dad was diagnosed a few years ago. He had part of his bowel removed, required no chemo or radiotherapy and is right as rain again now.

MinkyBorage Sun 21-Sep-08 22:10:09

I love Mumsnet! Thank you so much. This is all so positive, and it's just great to know you're all there iykwim! Than you. Very emotional time, and this is really really helping.

Nattynoos, I really hope your Mum is OK, I will be thinking of her on Thursday, and send very best wishes and hope your way. Good luck.

ThingOne, Wow! You sound like a pretty tough woman, it doesn't sound like the cancer stands a chance! Huge good luck, and best wishes.

I'm off on hols for a week next week, and will be going to stay with parents next weekend. Thank you so much.

triplets Sun 21-Sep-08 22:56:32

Hi all,
I am so sorry to read all of this. I certainly know all about it. My dh was diagnosed in March, he had an 8cm malignant tumour removed in April, and had a temp ileostomy done. The scan showed secondaries on his liver, 3 lesions..Just before he was due to start chemo he was very ill, ended up back in hospital with anaemia, had 6 units of blood. Two weeks later started his 3 month course of chemo, then became ill again, back into hospital with dehydration caused by the ileostomy. Back onto chemo, then another problem, he developed a blood clot in his picc line arm! So finally we are at the stage where next Thurs is his 6th and hopefully final chemo, it has been terrible, made him so ill. He still has to self inject every day a blood thinner because of the clot, that should stop in 4 weeks time. He has a ct scan on the 2nd Oct, results on the 9th. Fingers all x`d the liver lesions will have shrunk, if not more chemo. If they have then its up to Kings for resection. That will be backed up by 3 more months of chemo, then finally ileostomy reversal..............its all a nightmare. We have 10 yr old triplets, conceived y ivf after the death of our only child in 94. I have had great support from Cancerbackup, specially the forums. Wish you all strength and hope xxxx

uberalice Mon 22-Sep-08 20:35:37

So sorry to hear that you're having such a hard time, triplets. Life just isn't fair sometimes.

triplets Mon 22-Sep-08 22:43:10

Today has been worse, he has tried so hard to make an effort, we went to Canterbury but had to come back, he just couldn`t do it. He wanted to take me for lunch as its our 30th wedding a/v tomorrow! I don`t need lunch, just want him back a he was

ThingOne Wed 24-Sep-08 09:40:39

Sorry to hear that, triplets. I thought I'd been through the mill. He will come back and be the person he was. He's still that inside.

I realise now I've read your story on cancerbackup. I can't remember what my name is though <looks for thwack head emoticon>.

CountessDracula Wed 24-Sep-08 09:43:15

Oh your poor mum

My MIL has had it twice, once in her 30s and once in her 70s. Both times she has made a full recovery (and quite fast)
The screening programme does ensure that it is picked up in the early stages which means it is treatable

On another note you should go and see your doctor and ensure you have regular colonscopies as you now have a family history. DH has them every 3 years.

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