Mum was due for her oncology appointment on Friday. We were expecting to learn about the chemo schedule that would follow (either in combination with radiation or, fingers crossed, with the surgery). I could tell immediately that something was wrong. She had pity in her eyes. The eyes told it all. Then she started asking Mum what she knew about her cancer. I felt myself get hot and then faint at the same time. The surgeon from a week ago didn't even have the guts to tell Mum personally that he wouldn't operate. The oncologist did that. It was devastating. Mum has gastric adenocarcinoma, stage iv, m1. This is another primary cancer and not related to Mum's primary breast cancer 2 years ago. I had to drag this description out of the oncologist. She refused to answer my Mum's question about 'how long have I got', replying that she simply didn't know but they would do all that they good (which is a load of crap because they will not give her the surgery. This has turned me into a google doctor and I honestly wish I hadn't. I am devastasted. I love my Mum so much and I feel my heart has been ripped open. I am worried about my life without her it in. I depend on her for so much. There are so many things we are meant to do together that we haven't done yet. I can't bear the thought of her not being a part of my life. I am terrified at the prospect of having children one day without her there to help me. I just don't think I can do it. Mum will have the DCF chemo regime and they will hold off doing radiation for as long as possible. This is Docetaxel, cisplatin, 5Fluorouracil. I could have those spellings wrong. I hate the thought of my Mum having cancerous floaties in her which will be doing more harm. It makes me anxious thinking about it. The chemo starts on the 22nd. I wanted to take Mum to Venice for a holiday but we all want Mum to start Chemo quickly so that's not an option. I always dreamed of taking Mum to Venice. We have a little over a week till chemo starts. My Dad, Mum and I are going to go to New Caledonia for a break. I want my Mum and Dad to have some special memories together before things get tough. I would like my Brother to come as well but he is the primary carer for a family friend of ours who also has stomach cancer. My husband is being very supportive. I wish I could stop bursting into tears all the time. It just hurts so much.
Regular Contributor
Hi Rabbit, Basically it sucks. Your Mum's chemo regime is very similar to what I had for bowel cancer after surgery (life saving). Honestly, it isn't fun but with you to support her, she will manage quite well I hope. I am so glad that you are taking her to new caledonia for a break - those moments are so important. My experience is that oncologists rarely give definite times due to the irrational and unpredictable nature of our disease.There are many here, to use Sailor's term, have lived beyond their use by date.perhaps that is something for you to hang onto at the moment. Your Mum will be delighted with her time with you and your Dad and if Venice isn't an immediate option, then perhaps it will come later. i am still hopeful for Machu Pichu! this is a really hard time for all of you, but the love that you all seem to have will certainly help your Mum and the rest of you take each day at a time. Don't forget the Cancer Council Helpline that can help you and your mum. Take lots of care, Samex
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Super Contributor
HI Rabbit That sort of news sucks big time! See how your mum goes with the chemo and maybe venice wont be out altogether. As samex has said the onco's don't often like to give time frames because everyone is different. Glad to hear your husband is being supportive ... it is great that you can write your thoughts and feelings down here also. Thinking of you all. Julie
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Hi Rabbit, My hubby had 4 rounds of chemo... 1st 2 were ok but last 2 didn't do much. He had different drugs.. quite potent dose as cancer was pretty advanced. He didn;t throw up or feel nauseous which was good cause he was losing weight and jot eating a lot. Our oncologist was good and he told us months.. not specific number as the couldn't guess? Depended on how re responded to chemo. Well 7 months as it turned out. He had the first 2 chemo's in hospital and 2nd two at day centre. He wanted to be home so last 4 months he was...with pall care nurse and district nurse weekly. I was his primary carer.. Things like holidays will be so good for your mum to look forward to... positive thinking is a powerful drug also... You just do the best you can... take care of you and your mum and husband I'm sure know what you are going through. Don't be afraid to ask for help... we are all here for you Wifeyb xo
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Hi Rabbit Yes it is tough and yes oncologists hate putting a time on things as basically they do not know. Everybody is an individual/ while you are on Google. Google "The median is not the message" It is Stephen J Gould's essay on receiving the news that he had mesothelioma of the stomach. The median life expectancy for that is eight months - he lived 20 years. Also just think of all those stories out there of "The doctors said I would live three months and her I am alive after five years since I started taking ---- juice" Everybody is an individual and reacts to cancer and treatment differently - so the oncologists are not begin hard hearted - they are trying to do their best under difficult circumstances and when they really do not know themselves. Surgeons - well their training generally includes a subject "poor communication skills" - just think of Doc Martin on TV! Plan to take your mother to Venice. Tell the oncologist that this is what you want to do as soon as she has had the chemo and things have settled down. It is a pretty potent mix that she is being given. Look on your oncologist as a partner rather than an obstructionist - try to work with them, it is important in the long run. If they are not responsive seek a second opinion it is your mothers right. Regards Sailor And when men lose confidence and trust in those who lead, order disintegrates into chaos and purposeful ships into uncontrollable derelicts. Wall Street Journal Editorial 1952
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