My mum has been diagnosed with stage 4b colorectal cancer


My mum has been diagnosed with stage 4b colorectal cancer

Honestly, I feel like I've been hit by a train, it's like a nightmare I just can't seem to wake up from. My mum's been sick for years, she's suffered from debilitating OCD and anxiety disorder since 2003, anaemia for the past 10 years and for the last 2 years or so she's had severe fatigue, bleeding, abdominal cramping/pain, a substantial loss of hair and dizziness/faintness etc.


We plead with her to go to the doctors 2 years ago when she first noticed signs of blood in her stool, but due to her tiredness and OCD/anxiety she kept delaying going to get checked until recently. She had put all her symptoms down to her anaemia and OCD/anxiety all that time, but now we know she is at an advanced stage in colorectal cancer.


It's breaks my heart knowing she's been suffering with cancer all these years and we had no clue. The doctors have told her there's not much they can do at this point (it has spread to her liver and lymph nodes) and that she would have a few months if she did nothing or a year or so if she decided to go through Chemotherapy. They've given her a really low survival rate percentage.


On top of that, now with Covid-19 going around, we can't even get supplies like toilet paper (she uses a lot due to her OCD and going to the bathroom several times per hour due to her cancer) - she has documents from her doctor but stores say there's nothing they can do. The doctors are telling us to try to make her comfortable or make the last of her months enjoyable - but we can't even take her to the beach (her favourite place) or on a bit of a holiday due to the current Covid-19 situation.


I was also supposed to have my wedding on the 17th of April but due to Covid-19 and her cancer (I don't want her to catch anything) I've had to postpone till late May - I'm praying that this whole  Covid-19 situation eases so that I can have my wedding because I need my mum on my wedding day and honestly she is the one who is most excited for my wedding (it's something really special to her, her eldest daughter getting married). I don't know how to feel (my emotions range from anger to despair to intense sadness) and I don't know what I can do to make her life better right now.


I have an 11 year old sister who I worry for, I don't know how she would go through life without my mum. My father is also badly injured (due to a workplace injury) so there's quite a lot on my plate (I also work and study full-time).  I have two brothers (21 and 23 years old) and they seem to also be going through a range of emotions. My siblings and I have been trying to pull together to help my parents, especially my mum and it is really overwhelming (I ended up in hospital due to stress overload and not eating).


Honestly, I just don't know what to do or how to cope. 

Super Contributor

Re: My mum has been diagnosed with stage 4b colorectal cancer

Hi zen1993,
I feel for you! I am sorry your mum is suffering so much. Has she decided to go ahead with any treatment?
It sounds like your whole family could do with some counselling, & some household help. Unfortunately, with the current climate, I don't know if you'd be able to get any help to do household stuff now though.
Definitely, seek someone to talk with. You have a choice of services available. The Cancer Council hotline is 131120, then there is lifeline, etc.
Re your wedding, would it be possible for you to have a pre-wedding wedding? If you could have a registry office wedding sooner rather than later, so your mother would be able to attend, as long as it's possible with the COVID-19 policies in place, then have the main wedding later, hopefully with your mum still here? It might not be the spectacular she's hoping for, but she would see you married.
No matter what, you need to take some time out for yourself. Even if it is only half an hour every couple of days. I can't stress this to you enough. You need to do it, for your own sanity. Find something you love doing, take a stroll, go to your local park (if it's still open, & you're allowed out), take a bath & soak in it for as long as you want, just do something for yourself. Every member of your family should do this.
Don't be a stranger here, this community is a wonderful place as there's bound to be someone who can give you some advice, or even just a chat, or an ear to listen.
Take care, all the best.



Re: My mum has been diagnosed with stage 4b colorectal cancer

Only reading your story breaks my heart! It is really sad that your whole family is in this situation and coping up with the pain and anxiety due to your mother's cancer and your dad's injury. I hope the current situation due to OVID-19 will be over soon. 

I hope your mother could see your wedding as well, so stay calm and be positive. 

Try to make yourself busy and give your mother a lot of happiness by doing little things that make her happy. For your anxiety you can do meditation, I think it will help you to deal with the stress and anxiety.

Best wishes!

0 Kudos
Frequent Contributor

Re: My mum has been diagnosed with stage 4b colorectal cancer

Hi Zen1993,


WOW, I really am at a bit of a loss. I take it from your handle, 1993 is your birth year. If that’s so, your whole sad situation is closer to me than you can imagine. My only daughter Rebecca was born in June of that year. Her mother, my my wife, passed away in 2016 having fought cancer for many years.


Like you Rebecca was very close to her mum. Isn’t every loving, sensitive young woman who gets through puberty unscathed, close to their mother? I think they are. My wife did everything possible to shield Rebecca from her illness. You see it was just the 3 of us, Maria and Rebecca in the end, we’re like sisters rather than mother and daughter. The had fun, spoke about private “girl” things. They were inseparable.


You have a sister, who I’m sure, if not at the moment, but down the track, will need your big hearted guidance through her adolescent years. That might be a challenge for you, but one you’ll be up for.


At the moment the challenges are here and now. There are a lot of things you need and want to achieve, finishing your education, getting married, (how is your fiancé dealing with this), assisting your mother, as best you can, and then there is dad. How is he going? Do your brothers pull their weight? As young women are with their mum, young men are the same, but different with their dad.


Importantly, all you can be is the best of who you are. Your worried, nervous, scared and overwhelmed. To get the absolute best outcomes all round, you need to be healthy, strong and positive. From a fathers viewpoint, I suggest you eat healthily, get exercise, do dumb stuff with your sister, keep your boyfriend relevant and love your parents. Your siblings will be inspired to be the same, if they aren’t already.


I won’t preach to you, but rather, offer you an anonymous shoulder to lean on. As a group here, you can say anything you want. It is a forum where you’re able to vent, cry and hopefully be happy. We want the best outcomes for you and your mum.


As Budgie said, try to stay positive and get out, breath the fresh air & try to keep a clear head.


Best wishes, keep in touch"............Lindsay

0 Kudos
Post new topic
Talk to a health professional
Cancer Council support and information 13 11 20Mon - Fri 9am - 5pm
Cancer Information and Support

Online resources and support

Access information about support services, online resources and a range of other materials.

Caring for someone with cancer?

Find out what resources and support services are available to assist you.