In need of support

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In need of support

by Jamie_B on Mon Oct 20, 2003 12:00 AM

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Hi, This is my first post although I have read many of the post that are on here. My mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer in July. She is only 54 and was in terrific health. The doctors say they do not know the origin but know that it is estrogen based with mets to the liver. They did a biopsy of one of the tumors in the liver to find this out but have not biopsied the mass that is in her pelvis. They say in order to get to the mass in her pelvis she would have to have surgery and then heal before they could continue with the chemo. However the first chemo (Taxol and Carboplatin) didn't work. She had only received 2 treatments and before the third treatment they did her blood work and said her liver enzymes were too high. They did another CT Scan and found the two tumors in the liver (7cm and 1cm) had grown along with new spots emerging. So they started her on a new chemo, I don't know the name. I guess I am babbling because we have never had cancer in our family. My mom lives in Seattle and I live in Arizona (I am now the only child as my brother took his life 3 years ago). I spent a month up there in July and I can't get time off work to get back there until Thanksgiving. We talk everyday and we are so close but I feel like she is giving up. All the information we get is that there is no cure and that there is not much anyone can do. She has even gone to Fred Hutch and the UW and got the same information. I just don't know what I can do from here. I found this website and sent it to her. I know that she has signed up and even called and talked to someone. Does anyone have any suggestions as to what I can do? I am terribly scared. Thanks for listening to me go on and on. Jamie

RE: In need of support

by Rebecca_L_2 on Mon Oct 20, 2003 12:00 AM

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Oh Jamie...how ironic...my name is Becky and I too am from Washington but now a transplant in Arizona. My adopted mother was just diagnosed in Eastern Wash. with breast cancer last Thursday. She has not yet been seen by her Oncologist team. I immediately hoped she too would opt to go to the UW or Fred Hutchinson but she made the choice to stay with a team in Wenatchee, as it is closer for her to get back and forth to. My immediate reaction was wanting to jump on a plane as well...but realized I too have to keep my job...so am waiting till we learn when the surgery will be scheduled before making travel plans. Please know that there are others out there in the same boat, although I cannot offer any real "advice" for you, we can at least visit and support one another. Becky

RE: RE: In need of support

by Jamie_B on Tue Oct 21, 2003 12:00 AM

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Hi Becky, Where do you live in Arizona? I live in North Scottsdale. I am so sorry to hear about your mom. I know how hard it is to have that information delivered to you. I would love to keep in touch with someone that has a similar situation. Keep me posted on what you hear from the Onclolgist in E. Washington. I will keep you and your mom in my prayers. God Bless. Jamie

RE: RE: RE: In need of support

by Rebecca_L_2 on Tue Oct 21, 2003 12:00 AM

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Hi Jamie ~ What a small world! I too live in Scottsdale. Thanks for the well wishes, we will know more after the 30th. When do you get to return to Seattle to see your mother? Will keep you both in my prayers as well. Becky

RE: In need of support

by theresa_d_2 on Fri Nov 14, 2003 12:00 AM

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Dear Jamie - The love of my life, Theresa, was diagnosed with sclc in April 2003. She was given 6-8 weekes to live. She went on a chemo/radiation treatment and was doing fine. The cancer has recurred and she was told once agian the same old 6-8 weeks to live. That was 8 weeks ago and she is once again on chemo cisplatin/camptosar. If you didn't know that she had disease you would never guess she has cancer. She is such a hero to all of us that watch her fight her disease each and every day. She is only 41 years old and wants to live her life to the fullest and to its full length. As your Mom's caregiver you can be the most crucial part of saving your mom. ATTITUDE, ATTITUDE, AND MORE ATTITUDE. Stay positive and live with all the hope and faith that you are capable of. The word cure just means no way of obtainig a cancer free life. It certainly does not mean the end of life. More and more survivors are living with cancer as a chronic disease like those stricken with diabetes. Go on a treasure hunt and search for the following things - knowledge about the disease (knowledge is power), hope and faith spiritually (whatever your religion ask for help from above and you will be amazed at what you will receive), love, and happiness (laughter is truly the best medicine). Your mom will have days that she will want to just give in, allow her those times, but don't you ever give in and she will be able to draw upon your strength and she will find her way to keep doing battle. Stay strong and live for the moment. Every day new reasearch and medicine comes along. I hope that I have helped. I know that caregivers have their own special needs. Feel free to contact me anytime.

RE: In need of support

by Jamie_B on Fri Nov 21, 2003 12:00 AM

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I want to thank all of you for all of the support. I am very excited to say I will be going home for Thanksgiving to see my mom. We are both so happy we can hardly contain ourselves. I know it will be so hard to leave and return to Arizona but at least I will get to spend some precious time with her. She has been in very good spirits the past few weeks. Her CT Scan showed that the new chemo has at least stopped the growth of the old tumors and has shrunk some of the new ones. She also had open enrollment with her insurance and we were able to switch her to one that covers her in Arizona if she decides to move here. I just wanted to give a little update and again thank everyone for their supporting words and prayers. My mom and I start everyday with "The Lord's Prayer" it has really given us a lot of strength and gets us going each and every morning. I hope all of you are doing well and wish you all a happy Thanksgiving. God Bless. Jamie

RE: In need of support

by Shannon_M on Tue Nov 04, 2003 12:00 AM

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Hi Jamie, I am so sorry to hear about your mother. She is very lucky to have you to help her through this even though you are far away. I don't want to sound like and expert, but I finished chemo/radiation in September and I am Stage 2, no metastasis. However, I have gotten some very valuable information through two particular websites. They are discussion boards like this one. They are Breastcancer.org and dreamtool.com. The dreamtool site has a lot of Stage 4's like your mom, however, it is mostly for cancers that are Her2/neu positive and not estrogen/progesterone positive. But, there are some real fighters on there that can give you both encouragement and advice. I personally know of three ladies at my chemo office that are Stage 4's and they have long out-lived their expenctancy. They are trying the newest drugs out there and the drugs are extending theirs lives immensely. So, there is hope. Please have her search these sites and get the information she needs to cope with this and possibly find a some information that could save or extend her life. I hope and pray she has better days ahead. xoxo, Shannon

RE: In need of support

by Gayle_J_2 on Tue Nov 04, 2003 12:00 AM

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HI Jamie, I am Gayle and I have Multiple Myeloma which is a form of cancer. I am 56 and have two daughters and a granddaughter. I just wanted to tell you that I am sure it is very hard being so far from your Mom while she is experienceing all of this. There is no doubt that you are helping your Mom no matter what the difference in milage. It is the heartfelt love that she needs most and from the sound of your note there is an abundance of that between the two of you. Drop me an email and let me know how the two of you are doing. Gayle

RE: In need of support

by Michael_B_5 on Wed Nov 05, 2003 12:00 AM

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Hi, Jamie. I am sorry to hear about your Mothers' situation. I was diagnosed with prostate cancer, around April/May of this year. I was in the process of scheduling surgery for it, when I thought it would be prudent to check out a lump, just under my rib cage. This turned out to be a metastasized cancer from an unknown primary that has settles in my peritoneum, bad news, very bad news. The point is that cancer turns your whole life around! You get some good news, only to get some bad news behind it. Most Western medicine seems to have a narrow focus. You, and your Mother have to actively search the internet for viable alternate solutions, that may work in combination with traditional medicine. Most that I have met who are cured, or living with cancers are on a regimine of both, with a great deal of faith. Understand, these are people that I, have met through networking. Unfortunately, we tend to feel like we've been written off, and it can get depressing. I have been investigating a clinic that was brought to my attention by someone I met through a friend, who is fighting lung cancer, and has had a lung removed. They claim to have good success, using heat, generated by radio waves, to kill cancer cells. They also claim to have a good cure rate with drug resistent cancers. I am 56 years old, with six children, and would like to live to see my youngest, 8 & 11, into adulthood. I'd like to see my three grandchildren develop. The bottom line is, we want to live. Be proactive, and look for treatments. Don't let sorrow waste precious time. We can't afford to die from ignorance, which is what tends to kill a lot of us.

RE: In need of support

by Judy_F on Wed Nov 05, 2003 12:00 AM

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Hi Jamie, I know how you and your mother feel. I had breast cancer when I was 36 and after 14 years it returned and now I have mets to the bones. There is no cure for me and my way of life will be chemo for the rest of my life. There are times that I get really discouraged and want to give up but then I think about all the people I love and all the people that love me and I get the ole fight back. I have been on 4 different chemos in the past 3 years and of course everyone has different side effects. I have to go every other week and I am now on Navalbin and aridia. The adirida is to strenghten my bones and causes me to be so tired for about 3 days that it is all I can do to get up to go pee! I know it must be really hard on you being so far away from your mom. My daughter only lives about a mile away and sometimes I think that is to far. I am still working a full time job but I spend most of my off time in bed. Every now and then I get out on the weekends to do things. There are so many new treatments out there and yes some of them are hard but to me they are worth my life. I do a lot of praying and thanking God for the strength he gives me and I meet a lot of other cancer patients during chemo treatments and hear their stories. When you meet others that are worse off than you then there is something else to be thankful for. Tell your mom to hang in there. Once they get it all under control the treatments will not be so bad. Jamie, I will keep you and your mom in my prayers, as I do all cancer patients, and will pray that she will not give up and just keep on fighting. All my best.
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