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Topic Friends and family

For anyone supporting someone else with cancer

  • 156 conversations

Mum waiting for bowel cancer result

Started by Anonymous on 26 June 2016 at 23:43
Edited on 26 June 2016 at 23:45

Hi all 

I'm relieved to find your wonderful community. I'm feeling like a I really need some support right now.

My mum is in her 70s and recently had a colonoscopy after various bowel symptoms, massive loss of weight and fatigue. The colonoscopy found a large mass just above her rectum. The day after the colonoscopy the hospital rang us to say that they were treating it as cancer but waiting for the biopsy results for confirmation. That was two weeks ago. Since then she has had an MRI and previously she had a CT scan and blood tests. The CT and routine blood tests were clear apart from a vitamin D deficiency. 

We have our first appointment with the consultant at the hospital on Thursday but this wait is agonising. My mum is terrified and can't sleep. Last night she only slept for two hours. She is convinced the results on Thursday will be that the cancer is untreatable. She is so anxious. She is managing to eat a bit but is feeling very low and is unable to leave the house. She is on her own and so lonely. I live in another town but I'm quite close by so I've been coming back to keep her company and do housework for her. I am totally determined to help her through this but it's proving very difficult to juggle work and give her the support she needs. I'm starting to struggle.

My mum and I both suffered from long-term anxiety and depression before this happened! I'm really worried about her not sleeping. The doctor gave her diazepam but she doesnt seem to be able to tolerate it. I have also had this problem in the past. He also gave her an anti-depressant but it makes her feel so awful that she gave up taking it. She couldn't get out of bed when she was taking it. Does anyone know any tips I could tell her to help her sleep? 

I just hope there is some good news on Thursday. My mum seems at the end of her tether. 

 

Comments (2)

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  • From Anonymous
    28 June 2016 at 21:22

    Hi Sue

    Thank you so much for your speedy, helpful response! I really appreciate your advice and support :) This forum is wonderful, It's so comforting to know that there are people here that me and my mum can turn to if we're feeling confused or scared. It's reassuring to know that if cancer is confirmed it is fairly likely to be slow growing.

    We have a Maggie's Centre near our local hospital so I will encourage my mum to pop along when she's feeling a bit more sociable. She has sunk into a depression but I'm determined to get her thinking positively!

    I called our CNS yesterday and left a message. She called me and my mum back this morning to explain what had happened so far and what her opinion was on my mum's condition. She said the CT scan was of her bowel, lungs and liver. The CT didn't show any spread to the liver or lungs and just identified the tumour in her bowel. The biopsy was inconclusive - it showed that the tumour was a polyp but the nurse said there could still be cancerous areas. The MRI was a rectal MRI but couldn't get a good picture of the tumour because it has folded in on itself and is in an awkward position. They want to try a TEMS procedure but think that it might not be possible. It all sounds relatively positive to me apart from the odd positioning! I just need to convince my mum that this looks pretty positive!

    We have the appointment with the consultant on Thursday so fingers crossed!

    Thank you again for your help :) 


  • Picture of SusieQ
    From SusieQ  
    27 June 2016 at 10:19
    Edited on: 27 June 2016 at 10:19

    Hello,

    It sounds like it's been an anxious time for both of you recently...understandably...

    The waiting time for test results and a treatment plan is extremely stressful - so much of what your mum and you are experiencing is a natural and normal response. Not that it feels like that though - the imagination, with no concrete information to work on - tends to veer towards the 'what if's' and worst case scenarios. (You might find my blog 'How to cope with a new cancer diagnosis' helps make sense of some of what you're feeling...).

    The CT scan sounds hopeful - with no other problems detected, so if the mass above her rectum does prove cancerous, there may be a range of treatment options available. Bowel/rectal cancer is often slow growing, so it may have taken several years to get to this point, so it shouldn't be growing rapidly whilst you wait for the results of the recent tests.

    If you and your mum live near one of our Maggie's Centres, you'd be welcome to drop in and talk about your worries...and feel supported, as you both plan how you deal with the next step.

    Your mum may be feeling so keyed up, that she can't relax enough to sleep, with her mind racing away as soon as she shuts her eyes. There's a Maggie's blog on 'Sleeplessness and bedtime' which has some useful tips...

    I hope that all helps...and I'll message you privately to introduce myself. You can message Robyn or myself any time to talk anything through...

    Warm wishes

    Sue

    Cancer Support Specialist - Maggie's Online Centre

     


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