Is this really happening? Yes it is. Ok then, I have cancer. It's a big one to process.
In March I celebrated my 40th in style, loving life, enjoying my little family, being the best mum to my 2 little girls.
In early April I started getting tummy aches everytime I ate, excruciating pains. Doc thought it might be a tummy bug so off for a breath test. Week later, test came back clear. Doc says might be gall stones, so off for an ultrasound. This is now 17 days in constant pain. The technician has a look around my tummy and confirms it's not gall stones but he says my liver doesn't look right and he sends me straight in for a ct scan then sends me straight to the gp. They found the tumor in the colon and the aggressive spread right through the liver (no good liver left for a resection). This was the pain I'd been experiencing, it was my liver! A later PET scan showed the small spread to the abdomen, lungs, right hip bone and left collar bone. How was all this brewing and I had no idea??? Argh!
When I got the news, it was like a punch in the guts coz there was no way I saw that coming. I immediately thought about my kids. I can't let them grow up without a mum! The choice isn't mine in the end but I can do everything in my power to stay alive. The rest is up to God.
I had a bit of a cry outside the clinic and my amazing husband (who was also in shock) hugged me tight and told me 'you can do this, you will beat this, you are not alone'. I count myself lucky to have lots of family support. It was so tough to tell my mum and dad and my sisters.
I started chemo. Yesterday was my second session. 10 more to go!
Now trying to transition our life over. Getting the kids to understand that mummy's going to be sick for a while and trying to manage their emotions. Our kids are 5 & 6 years old and it's a handful for my husband to manage everything that we used to share all while still working his full time job. He's had a few anxiety attacks with all the stress. I try to help wherever I can but I just don't have the energy most of the time.
We found a lot of helpful resources for cancer parents with little kids. Mummy's wish (mummyswish.org.au) have been amazing. They've organised 6 free fortnightly house cleans! And they've teed up a nanny for us (not for free) but it's soooo needed.
I try not to play the victim in my mind but I still get so upset that this is happening to me and my family.
Anyway, gee that was a big vent! Thanks for listening. Even though I have a lot of family support, I still feel so alone in this so hoping to connect with the beautiful people in this community.
Hi there Missy78,
Welcome to this forum as it is a good place to vent.
I hope your pain is under control now. Sometimes, for me, I think I can handle anything life throws at me as long as there is no pain. Anyway...
If I may offer a word of advice with your little ones - tell them everything that's going on with you. If you explain it to them in a way they can understand, their minds will figure out a way to cope. My sister had 5 children, but she decided to keep them sheilded from her cancer. They knew she was sick, but they didn't ever get told about what was actually happening. So when she died, that turned out to be a mistake for some of them, as they've have had alot of problems coping with the loss of their mum.
Think positive & I wish you all the best
Thanks Budgie. Your advise regarding the kids makes sense. They have both been referred to the school counsellor as they've displayed some behavioural changes. Hope that will allow them to explore their emotions.
Thanks for replying, it's great to meet someone on here.
when I read your story I could relate. First lots of positive thoughts and prayers your way.
I have just been diagnosed with stage 4 liver cancer, after dealing with bowel cancer 8 months ago. I had surgery to remove a third of my bowel and my progress was thought to be going well until 4 weeks ago a ct scan found my cancer had spread all through my liver. Anyway the oncologist has told me my cancer is terminal and can’t be cured. Of course I was shocked and like yourself my whole world was turned around.
I have gone from a full time teaching job which I loved, to focusing on fighting this stupid disease. I’m grateful to have amazing friends and family for support, which I’ve read is massively important to recovery. I’m trying lots of complementary treatments, as well as lots of Meditaton. I too am concerned for my family and friends who have also taken it hard.
Wish you well on your journey, and I am always up for a chat if you would like, Leanne
Follow your heart.
My youngest was 4, eldest 8, and the middle guy (autistic) 6 when I was diagnosed 2 years ago. (given 6 months to live).
I also chose to shield them from the disease, and I don't regret that choice. (I did have some words with the eldest boy, but softened the circumstance dramatically).
Unless it's a condition that may take you suddenly, I think it's wise to bide your time, love them to bits, and if the treatment trajectory takes a downhill turn, then you can decide to sit them down and give them a careful talk.
Personally, as your cancer treatment progresses, YOU get better at dealing with it, and come to cleaner terms with it. If you subject your children to the disease early in your treatment, you may impose on them some of your own fears, rage, grief, unprocessed emotion. If you hold off, shield them a bit, you can always decide to do it later. (if your prognosis allows for that).
I mean, it's our JOB to shield our children, isn't it ?
I'd also suggest making personal videos aimed for their next 20 birthdays, imagine in your mind who they are becoming, plus your hopes for them, and talk to that future person (via the camera). 10 years from now, after they've (hopefully) well adjusted to the loss, they might get a buzz still having that window into the past and the mother/father that loved them.
I don't think there's a right choice. It's *YOUR* choice.
Best of luck with your condition and treatment
Oh Leanne, you've had it tough on your cancer journey. Keep the faith...people keep saying that to me and it's so tough some days. It's so much easier to try and forget but someone gave me some good advice....you're not dying, you're living with cancer.
What are the other treatments you're looking at? And have you made any changes to your diet?
I had a tough week as I started writing letters to my husband, kids and other loved ones. It killed me but I needed to get it done and out of the way so I could back to positive land haha. I cried so much this last week. But I picked myself up again. Just have to keep fighting. Regardless what they say, terminal, you can turn that around! Keep fighting!
And yes, I'm always here for you when you need to vent or have a chat.
Im up to my 4th full on chemo, then having another CT scan, which although trying to be positive, I’m a bit nervous about. As well as horrible chemo I’m continuing my vegan diet, I’ve been vegetarian for 30 years. Trying lots of raw food, although it’s hard to eat at times. I also trying lots of natural supplements to try to boost my immunity and to keep my body strong and to deal with chemo.
I have also a lot of faith, and loving support which helps a lot. I agree with focusing on living with cancer, not dying.
Ive had a few big cries and meltdowns, but I guess that’s just part of it. I find talking helps a lot. I also have 2 big golden retrievers to cuddle!
Thanks for replying, good luck, keep in touch, would love to hear how you are going, Leanne
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