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MOL has ovarian cancer and we have just learnt it's inoperable.

(44 Posts)
Anna8888 Tue 14-Oct-08 18:38:20

We learnt that my MOL had ovarian cancer at the beginning of August. She spent 3 weeks in hospital, at the end of which she was told that she could not be operated upon at that point and would have neo-adjuvant chemotherapy and a reassessment of her illness in mid-October. We learnt today that the doctors cannot operate. She will have another two months of (a lighter) chemotherapy.

And then what? Does anyone have any idea what we can expect?

geekgirl Tue 14-Oct-08 18:45:57

Hello Anna, my mum had ovarian cancer last year. She did have surgery immediately but sadly died 10 months later. She had various different types of chemos but unfortunately OC is one of those cancers where an effective chemotherapy has not yet been found .
I'm really sorry - it's an utterly awful diagnosis & disease. If you want to know anything else, feel free to ask.

megcleary Tue 14-Oct-08 18:47:42

regular check ups and hopefully a long period of remisssion when the cancer becomes 'active' again chemotherapy often given again with same drugs as this time or different ones & the hopefully remission again some it is very individual

cancerbacup are good and does she have a specialist nurse

Anna8888 Tue 14-Oct-08 18:48:41

So sorry to read about your mother geekgirl sad.

Did she go downhill quickly? Were there "stages" to the progress of her disease that you can identify?

Sorry to ask these questions and please don't reply if it is too painful.

Anna8888 Tue 14-Oct-08 18:50:21

We are in France so the structure for cancer care is very different to the UK.

I don't think we are expecting any kind of remission.

geekgirl Tue 14-Oct-08 18:57:50

Hi Anna, she did well during the first course of chemo and was generally pretty perky, this lasted 4 months.
When the chemo finished the docs gave her the all-clear and congratulated her, and my parents drove over to England to visit us.
Tragically only 4 weeks later, when she was still feeling perfectly fine, her tumour markers went up again and an ultrasound revealed lots of little tumours on the scar. Only a week after that she was admitted to hospital with a complete intestinal blockage - she ended up needing two big surgeries and a colostomy . After that she never really recovered - she had other chemo straight away but it didn't really work. She needed heavy-duty painkillers and was virtually bedridden.
3 months after the colostomy surgery the cancer had spread so much inside her abdomen that her intenstines became blocked again and there was no way of relieving that blockage - she had a horrid 4 weeks in hospital before she died.
I know this all sounds very bleak and I'm sorry - it's a horrible disease with a very poor outlook.

Babysamrocks Tue 14-Oct-08 18:59:41

Hello Anna, Sorry to hear about your MIL. I lost my mom to ovarian cancer 10 years ago. My mom's was inoperable. I can't honestly remember there being "stages", if theres anything else you'd like to know do ask.

Anna8888 Tue 14-Oct-08 19:01:30

Thank you for telling me about your mother, geekgirl.

Anna8888 Tue 14-Oct-08 19:02:13

Babysamrocks - so was it just a sort of gradual decline?

geekgirl Tue 14-Oct-08 19:03:25

what is the palliative care system in France like?
Germany's is diabolical and it was awful to see her suffer needlessly.

Babysamrocks Tue 14-Oct-08 19:08:03

It was yes, over a period of about 4 months. I was pregnant at the time and so although i knew my Mom was ill she hid a lot from us. Even my dad expected that she'd recover and it was huge shock when she died.

Anna8888 Tue 14-Oct-08 19:08:16

I honestly don't know. What I do know is that in France they operate whenever they can and that if they aren't operating, it is really and truly because they can't, not because of NHS money-saving issues...

Everyone we know in the medical world has told us she is getting the best possible care in the best possible hospitals.

Anna8888 Tue 14-Oct-08 19:09:00

Babysamrocks - did your mother have an operation of any kind?

Anna8888 Tue 14-Oct-08 19:09:28

Sorry, just read again - it was inoperable. Did she have chemo?

barbapapa Tue 14-Oct-08 21:03:46


So sorry to see this. My Mum died of Ovarian cancer 4 years ago and from diagnosis to death it was about 2 years. She did have an op but it was a debulk - in that they removed as much of the tumour as they could after giving her extensive chemo for 6 months but had to leave some behind and it soon grew into her stomach.
It is an awful diseasesad and I hope that France has got good palliative care and that she is made as comfortable as possible.

Anna8888 Tue 14-Oct-08 21:16:34

Thank you Barbapapa.

Babysamrocks Wed 15-Oct-08 09:22:11

Sorry to have left the thread last night Anna. My mom had chemo for about 6 months.
If there's anything else you want to ask please do.

PavlovtheWitchesCat Wed 15-Oct-08 09:24:45

I am sorry to hear your news, bug hugs and support to you and your family.

My mum had ovarian cancer and passed away last year.

CAT me if you want to chat. I am happy to talk about anything you want to, if I can help.

Anna8888 Wed 15-Oct-08 09:26:06

Thank you babysamrocks.

My POLs are very bad (quite understandably, it's so distressing) at taking what the doctors say on board, and so we only get very flimsy feedback on what MOL is hearing about her disease.

Anna8888 Wed 15-Oct-08 09:27:06

Thank you Pavlov. Did your mother have an operation or just chemo?

mrsmortenharket Wed 15-Oct-08 09:28:50

hi all, my mom had oc abd it is her 10yr anniversary next year sad

is there an equivalent to macmillan nurses in france? they are lovely to the family as well, not just the patient.


PavlovtheWitchesCat Wed 15-Oct-08 09:32:40

Anna - she had chemo - they said an operation would be unsuccessful. Although I am not entirely sure as to how much of the final decision surrounding that was down to my mother. She had chemo, on 2 lots 3-week rotation, it knocked her for 6, and her platelets were mostly so low she was unable to have the second chemo, so often only had the one part of the chemo (I can't remember the names of the drugs used off hand but can check it out if it will help?)

Are you able to go along to one of the consultant meetings, to get some first hand feedback? I went along with my sister to one, my sister went to a few, so that after it, she could talk to mum about what she understood, what questions she might have from it etc, as mum went sort of blank in them and did not always take much in.

Mum was diagnosed with her illness in April, told it was terminal in may, died in the Jan.

Anna8888 Wed 15-Oct-08 09:32:43

There isn't an equivalent to MacMillan nurses that we know of, unfortunately.

Though MOL has two nurses that come to her house daily to help her with washing and to give her injections.

Anna8888 Wed 15-Oct-08 09:34:07

My POLs don't even want DP (their only surviving son) to talk to the doctors sad. MOL blew up in a massive rage when he tried to.

mrsmortenharket Wed 15-Oct-08 09:36:34

am sorry sweetheart but what does mol and pol mean? is it french? ((((())))

would your mol be trying to protect her son? i know that mom was like this and although it was upsetting at the time, i can know accept it's just what moms do so maybe his mom is like this too?

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