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Posted by jenn on October 11, 2000 at 02:23:17:

In Reply to: Mom diagnosed with Cancer.... posted by SunflowerMom on October 10, 2000 at 22:00:57:

: Hi all,
: I am just so numb right now. My mom just got her biopsy back on the tumor that was removed from her large intestine. It had perforated, and made a small whole in her intestinal wall. They said it had spread to 2 of her nearby lymph nodes. I am NOT happy to hear that! But she has stage 3 cancer, so he said it is treatable. It sounds like, with chemotherapy, she will have a 50%-65% chance of the cancer not coming back. Not a great statistic, but better than not having a chance at all. It's been a long hard day for me today. I was elected the family spokesperson, and even though her husband is there by her side, I am her main support...mostly because she feels like she can talk with me. She can tell that her DH gets uncomfortable when she is in pain or is crying. I guess my question is what can I do to help ease her mind and to continue being her support, without burning myself out. I have 2 young boys, age 6yrs and 2 yrs., so I have to be there for them too. I'm being spread sooo thin right now.....I feel like I have to be the strong one in the family for my younger sister, my stepdad, and my mom. Also, do any of you have any suggestions on some inexpensive "feel good" kind of things that we can do for her when her spirits get low, or she's feeling ugly or something?? I have never had to deal with doesn't run in our I am so clueless! Thank you for reading this long message!!! I hope to hear from someone soon!!!

hi stewart,
first of all i want to say that it is of paramount importance that you allow yourself to feel whatever it is you are feeling and own those feelings. do not let yourself feel guilty about being overwhelmed or frustrated. sometimes being appointed to the position you are in can be all consuming, please ask for help when you need it and make certain that you are up to the task.
i lost my mom to skin cancer when we were 22 and 45, that was almost 7 years ago and now i am going through it once again with my new mother-in law. my husband is in exactly the same position you are with one major exception and that is that his mom has stage 4 breast cancer and it is metastatic so we are in rough shape. the ways in which this disease can affect different members of ones family are varied and profound. from my own experience i discovered a great deal of difficulty in not putting ones own life on hold and achieving a balance between the two worlds.
it sounds as though your life is much the same as ours as we also have a little one at home[5 yr old boy] who desperately needs our full attention and also will have to begin to understand what this means to him as well. it is not easy but you have made a good decision in trying to delevlop a support system of your own, you may find it to be a lifeline of sorts.
my mom-in-law has recently started her 2nd round of chemo and this time she is on the oral kind which has caused horrible side effects, i made up a huge basket for her that i called the cancer-diva basket. in it were thing that are a little luxurious but inexpensive, satin leopard skin pjs, fluffy slippers, an aromatherapy eye mask, candles, chocolates, a journal, bath oils and foot rubs...
we need to pamper our mums and make them feel like they are beautiful because this disease can wreak havoc on one's self esteem and image.i will continue to endeavor to ensure that the quality of her life is the best that it can be under the circumstances.
the other thing is that you must always be optimistic and hopeful but avoid denial at all costs. talking about death won't make it happen but it will provide you with the tools you will need to fight. keep the communication flowing and be strong. but don't stress yourself out if you fall apart or need a break.take care of yourself.
if you ever need to talk, please contact us, i'm sure it would be beneficial to my husband as well!
sorry if this is scattered and ill thought out, your post hit me and there is so much i wanted to say but it's a challenge using this mode of communication so i apologize for the lack of eloquence.
take care,
[email protected]

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