18 answers

How to Deal with Mom Cancer

I had always heard of others with cancer but never imagined it would happen in our own family....My mom was diagnosed with Colon Cancer THIS MORNING...we dont know the stages or anything yet...even so, I really dont know how to deal with it? I"ve been crying all day....If anyone has any exprience in this matter, on how to show/or not show my feelings...I REALLY DONT KNOW .....I have two younger sisters and we haven't even been able to tell the youngest :(

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So What Happened?™

I can't thank you enough....We took the first advice in telling my youngest sister this morning...it was hard on all of us but at least now we can all talk about it even when she's around. We are now waiting till we know what "stage" she is in. praying is all we can do at this point.

More Answers

S. -

Unfortunately, I have had too much experience with cancer so I truly sympathize with you and your family!!! I lost my mom 6 1/2 years ago & recently helped my mother-in-law through her bout, not to mention plenty of other close friends and family before my mom. There is no real right way or wrong way to deal...you have to feel the way you feel - especially with the shock being so recent. Crying is OK right now, but remember, there has been nothing definitive & so things could be better than you think. The diagnosis isn't necessarily a death sentence. As time goes on, the best thing to do is stay informed about everything that is going on & remain as positive as possible no matter what. Despair will only bring defeat. Now is the time for your family to really rely on & support each other. If you &/or your sisters live in the same town as your mom, help her by going to dr. appointments and such with her. I was at college when my mom went through her bout & missed a lot of things, partly because I didn't want to admit that there was anything wrong. I think that hurt her a lot in the long run. However, I was by my mother-in-law's side as much as she needed me. Don't be afraid to show your emotion whether it is with your family or a close friend & don't be afraid to seek counseling either.
I am praying for you & your family

1 mom found this helpful

So sorry to hear your mom has CANCER... I survived CANCER my self and I am sure she will beat it too!!!

Love, G.. :0)

Hi S.,
I am sorry your are going through this. I don't know if I am going to be any help but thought that I NEEDED to reply to your request. I have been in a similar situation (my mom was also diagnosed with cancer when she was 65 and died the same year). My mom's cancer was not curable. On a positive note, colon cancer is sometimes treatable, my grandmother had it many years ago and she is now 99 years old, cancer free and doing well. Whatever you do, PLEASE, PLEASE don't delay any more in telling your younger sister. Just put yourself in her shoes, you would want to know, no matter what. I have personally been "sheltered" by family members not wanting to tell me bad news and once I learned the news I felt resentful for not having known the truth earlier. If you can't tell her face to face or over the phone without completely breaking down, you might find it easier to write it or email the info and explain to your sister why you are writing it. Here is an example of wording you could use: "I hope you don’t find it cold to correspond in writing/e-mail but I could not get the courage to tell you by phone or face to face without completely breaking down." Do it ASAP!
Back to how you deal with your feelings...I don't know if you are married or have a close friend, but I used to share my feelings about my fear of losing my mom with my husband. It helped a lot having someone to talk to and a shoulder to cry on. It is hard to do, but try to be strong for your mom. I am sure she would not want to see you so upset and it will help her if you try to keep your composure around her. Something that helped me is trying to view her illness as a process where you have to take just one step at a time. Don't look ahead too much. If you will be involved with her treatment and will be speaking to her doctors, listen to what they have to say and ask questions. Doctors sometimes tend to give false hope so make sure you ask, ask, ask. Find out as much information as you can (the internet can be a great source of information as well). It helps to know what to expect, but try to deal with each situation as it comes. It really doesn't make things any better to "worry"...better said that done, I know...
Lastly, I recently read a book that has completely changed my perspecive in life. You may have heard of it (from Oprah). It is called "A New Earth". This book has helped me live in the "now" instead of worrying about what the future holds. It has also helped me immensly in dealing with my mother's loss.
I pray that God will guide you and your family in this new journey.

I suspect if you check with the hospital they have the names and numbers of support groups to help you guys deal with the scary info. My Mom had breast cancer while I was in college and not near her, then 13 years later has a return of the same thing, for which she is on medications for the rest of her life. What helped me was information on what was going on and prognosis for the disease and what things there are available out there to put it in remisssion. It also helps that my Mom is amazing and has this phenominal "we will get through this" attitude. Also her Oncologist and his assistant were very calming and talked me through the steps and what to expect mext. the best thing though was information on the disease and where were we going to go from there. Also, support your Mom and, even if you cry, try to be as positive that together you can beat this thing as you can!!! Good luck!!!

Dear S.,
My dad had cancer and it was very difficult to deal with. I just learned to take one day at a time. Be patient there are so many great books that helped me too. Please make sure someone is always with your mom with drs appts. My prayers are with you and your family and my heart goes out to you.
Take care of yourself, if you dont you cant help mom. Walking helped me, still does.
N. H.

my grandmother had it. she was diagnosed in her 60's and chose to do nothing about it. her husband (my grandfather had passed of a heart attack when my mom was still a teenager. He had been gone many years. 20 i think. however.. when it finally started to bother her she went thru what most people go thru with cancer. she had series of radiation treatments and chemotherapy. it shrunk the tumor just enough so that the docs could remove it by surgery. it was basically in her anus. they could not help her with that she had to get a colostomy. that is when they attach a tube to your colon, thru your abdomin and attach a bag to it so she "poops" in the bag. Her anus was sewed up. When she finally wanted to do something about it, she was in her 70's. she passes away at 75, but of unrelated issues.
I am assuming your mom is in her 50's ( I am guessing this because you and I are about the same age) If she is a healthy
woman and its in early stages she can totally beat this.

you have to give yourself time to grieve. this is a normal process. and its good to be sad, because it shows how much you really love your mom. and as much as its going to suck to tell your younger sister, you are going to have to.

after all that.. just focus on your mom. since my grandmother was older I took her to doc appointments, usually once or twice a week. and just make more of an effort to be with her during this time. however, make sure she is handling it ok, and give her her space when she needs it.

My heart goes out to you S....

My Mom had breast cancer twice...just love her...support her in the decisions she makes...help her with research...and finding people who have the same thing to talk to...Don't forget she is still a woman with a woman's needs...touch and sharing space is very vital to who we are...allow her to work through her own feelings...be the brave soldier...cry on your own time...This is a path of huge growth for all involved...T.

I'm so sorry and I wish I could give you a big hug. My mom died when I was just 5 years old, not from cancer, but I don't think it really matters how the parents were taken, just that they were taken.
I think your feelings, no matter how they are expressed are completely legitimate. I would suspect that you need to be strong with your mother, but certainly allow yourself to express your true feelings with your sisters. You WILL need some sort of outlet. The youngest needs to be told.
I have studied a little bit about natural cancer treatments...email me if you are open to the idea or would like some sources to read. If not, I wish you the best and allow yourself to grieve should your mother pass. Use this time to spend with her the most and in the best way you can.

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