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Poor DM has cancer and is facing so many difficult decisions what shall we do?

(10 Posts)
CobOnTheCorn Wed 25-Jan-17 18:21:45

My poor DM was diagnosed with cancer of the womb in November and of course we were all devastated but there seemed to be so many positives we all ended up having a brilliant Xmas.

The cancer was stage 1 and DM had her womb removed ASAP and the surgeon was happy with how the procedure went. She felt dreadful post operation but has recovered well and she felt brilliant.

However last week she had a follow up appointment with a consultant who told her that the cancer that was removed was 80% regular and 20% aggressive so he recommended chemo and radiotherapy. DM was told that the chances of the cancer returning is 15% without any treatment and between 2% and 4% if she does have treatment. She asked what he would do and he said he would have the treatments.

She is so confused now and feels frightened of the risks associated with both chemo and radiotherapy when she thought she was in the clear. She can't sleep and is worried about what she should do.

I'd really like to hear some stories from any of you who have made such a tough decision and what, if anything, helped you.

CobOnTheCorn Thu 26-Jan-17 09:35:00

Bump

TheTantrumCometh Thu 26-Jan-17 09:42:02

My gut would be to go with the chemo and radiotherapy. But then I only have the experience of my DF who had chemo as palliative care so ''tis not really the same.

There are risk factors with the treatment, and obviously going through it isn't the most pleasant experience (though my DF was never sick, just very, very tired for a week or two). The thing I keep coming back to when writing this is that if the cancer comes back she will have to have this treatment anyway and it's obviously a more risky situation then.

If she's otherwise relatively healthy then having it now and having that drop in chance of it returning would be a worthwhile payoff, for me at least.

Sorry you're going through such a tough time.

LIZS Thu 26-Jan-17 09:43:17

Dm had bowel cancer 5 years ago. Was quite unwell had op but decided against chemo and radio as stats in favour felt minimal and fear of side effects. 18 months later it had come back so had had another more radical op plus chemo and radio therapies simultaneously. Fingers crossed she is still here. Her chemo was in tablet form, fortunately with few side effects, the radio was more wearing as it was so frequent and a longer travel time. She in between had breast cancer with lumpectomy and radio therapy.

ActuallyThatsSUPREMECommander Thu 26-Jan-17 14:17:31

I'd look at this a bit brutally in terms of her current age and state of health. The right decision for a marathon running 55 year old will not be the same as the right decision for a frail eighty year old.

My much loved great aunt was diagnosed with breast cancer and the oncologist was initially very gung ho about mastectomy followed up with a full package of aggressive chemo. She looked at him and said "No, I'm ninety." He hadn't realised, (she was always very young looking). He looked back at his notes, checked her DOB and reworked her care plan to cut out all the chemo. It's not about valuing older lives less, but you do need to consider what people have to gain vs what they have to lose.

Best of luck to your MIL and the rest of the family OP.

MrsEricBana Thu 26-Jan-17 14:20:06

2-4% is much lower than 15% in this scenario so that would decide me. Best wishes to you both.

catsandbooks Fri 27-Jan-17 03:43:11

Sorry to hear you're in this situation. It all depends on what is right for the individual but from personal experience I would go for the full treatment, if your dm is fully aware of possible side effects etc.

Sadly, a close relative of mine was diagnosed with womb cancer last year. She had a hysterectomy in June and was told she was stage two as it had gone into the cervix.
It was found to be mixed type with both aggressive and less aggressive forms. She was offered both radiotherapy and chemotherapy but she chose not to have treatment. She was afraid of the side effects and she'd also been told that it would only decrease likelihood of recurrence by 15-20% as it was so aggressive. My DM and I both tried to suggest having some treatment as "insurance" but she was adamant.
Unfortunately, by November she had begun to feel weak suddenly and she was suffering bloating. In December she was told it was now stage four and in her liver sad
The doctors are astonished at how fast it is progressing and her nurse is trying to get her into a hospice.
If she could go back in time, she'd have tried the treatment but she was scared by the long list of side effects.
I wish in my heart of hearts that she'd had the treatment offered when she had a chance at recovering.
This is only my perspective and of course every case is different but my family is in bits and at least if she'd had the treatment we'd know all options had been tried.

Your dm's cancer is less aggressive and stage one is very hopeful, if she feels strong enough for treatment then I'd go for it just to be extra safe. Sending good wishes for your dm, you and family.

Out2pasture Fri 27-Jan-17 03:47:23

Go for the full treatment but know that you can change your mind at any time.

triplets Sun 29-Jan-17 23:03:52

Hi I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer last July, stage 1c. Had a full hysterectomy in Aug. Was told there was no evidence of disease anywhere else, all biopsies from surgery apart from the tumour were all clear. I was told by my oncologist that there was an 18-20% chance of recurrence and therefore advised to have 6 cycles of chemo which I have just completed last week. It was not too bad, 3 weeks apart, 4/5 days of feeling pretty washed out but that was all. I have a ct on the 6th Feb and am praying I will get an all clear. It does I think depend on your mums age and otherwise general fitness. I hope she will be ok, its a scary thing to deal with. x

iremembericod Sun 29-Jan-17 23:08:16

My DM had the exact same (womb stage 1- full hysterectomy) a couple of years ago. She opted for the radiotherapy.

It did have some pretty hard after effects but she is ok. I think if she is fit, it's a no-brainer.

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