So I'm a kiwi, born & bred in NZ until I strayed away from home at 20 years old. My mother (56), is in NZ & has just been diagnosed with Vulva Cancer yesterday. And I'm not sure how to feel. I'm an only child & my mother was a solo mum, she's my best friend, she worked her butt off for me my entire life & now, I'm thousands of miles away & can't help her through one of the toughest times in her life. I still feel like her little girl, and I really am struggling with the news.
Earlier in the year my mum had an abnormal smear (she hadn't had a smear in over 10 years), she waited four months for an appt for a colopscopy, she had a colopscopy & biopsy two weeks ago, which was only meant to be a small incision, she ended up getting a cone biopsy & had stiches, from what i gathered anyway - she attempted to hide it from me, that's a long story - results came in yesterday and she's been referred for further testing to find out the stage, etc. It's such a long process, I'm so scared for her. I feel so useless being so far away, but I can not up and leave my life here either - work, partner, etc.
I'm not sure what I wanted to get out of posting this here, maybe it was just for someone to hear me. I don't have a huge support network here. I also don't know how to deal with it all myself (I also feel so selfish, it's not me who's sick & I'm worrying about myself & how to deal with it). Does the process usually take this long? What sort of treatment options come with this sort of cancer? I have so many questions.
I'm very sorry for your mum. Your feelings & worries are all valid & normal, so don't be so hard on yourself. It's great that you've reached out to this forum. If nothing else, it's as you said, just so someone can hear you. Although I hope there's someone who can give you advice on what to expect.
Waiting for results can seem to take forever, & sometimes they can. I think it's one of the worst parts of any medical situation. Try not to worry. Things will be what they will be. Worrying will not change anything for the better. Hopefully, the news, when it comes will be the best possible.
I think you should talk to your mum about everything, if you can. I know some people don't like to talk about having cancer, especially to family members as it can be so confronting. But talking is one of the best medicines. Download to ease the mind.
Please let us know how things go.
Thank you for your response, it helps to know there is someone out there listening & your advice is much appreciated.
We're still waiting to hear from the oncologist, which was meant to be yesterday - hopefully tomorrow she will get some news. I know it's driving her crazy! As I would it expect it to.
I did try chatting to her about it, she doesn't seem to be very open just yet, most likely trying to get her head around it all. Just as I am.
I'll let ya know how we go, thank you again Budgie!
Some of the results are in.. unfortunately the tumor is too close to the Anus, and too large to operate on. She will be having Lymph node dissection on Tuesday. Then once she's healed from that, 6 weeks of radiation to hopefully shrink the tumor. On a positive note, there is no evidence of distant metastasis!
I was under the impression she'd be having surgery to remove the tumor, the fact they're unable to do that has put my mind, body & soul into shock. I'm so scared for her, for myself. I have decided to return home for Christmas & again in January for her Birthday. I know she will put up a good fight.
We're still unclear on what stage her cancer is until the lymph node op on Tuesday. Fingers crossed!
Oh, sorry for the not so good news. Hopefully it's still in the early stages & the radiation can get rid of it. I feel for your mum - having radiation in that area will be horrible. Maybe lots of salt water baths will be in good order.
All the best
Its been a while. Little update. She was diagnosed stage 3B advanced Vulvar Cancer. It had unfortunately spread to her Lymphnodes. Her cancer is inoperable. She started radiotherapy & chemotherapy on the 3rd of December 2019. Shes in her final days of treatment & I'm so proud of her. Unfortunately in beginning of Jan she had a couple of issues and has been in hospital since. Shes neutropenic, has lymphodema, anemia, etc from the treatments. She is in constant agony. The doctors and nurses have been marvellous though. It hasn't been an easy journey, but theres a light at the end of the tunnel.
She wont know if the treatment worked for another 3 months, but bugger me, she honestly did me proud - watching her in the pain shes in, I'm not sure id ever have been able to do it.
Hope all is well Budgie & you had a wonderful Christmas and New Year Celebration.
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