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yankeetooter's avatar

How do you deal with finding out your mother has cancer? How is one to come to terms with this?

Asked by yankeetooter (9651points) October 11th, 2012

…my mother, who has always been such a strong woman…who went back and got her master’s degree at the age of 70. It just doesn’t seem possible…

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22 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

Cancer is no longer a death sentence. What kind does she have? Don’t panic. You want to be loving and calm for her sake.

I am a 16-year survivor of breast cancer. Half of my friends have had breast, ovarian,or prostate cancer.

I soldiered through two lumpectomies, chemo and radiation and five years of meds. It is doable.

Cancer does not discriminate for or against strength, gender and educational goals.

yankeetooter's avatar

Colon cancer…and we have to wait for a cat scan to see how far it has spread.

gailcalled's avatar

Loving and calm…remember. Keep us posted.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@yankeetooter I’m so sorry you and your family are dealing with this. Trust your Dr’s. This stuff is a lot more advanced. Love her and make sure she knows that. And try to make sure the family supports her.

nofurbelowsbatgirl's avatar

First of all I want to say im so sorry and give you a big hug.
My father at the age of 72 was diagnosed with cancer he only lived for a year. All I can say is it is not something you ever come to terms with. The only thing that made any sense to me was that I got to spend the most amazing last year with my father, we connected on so many levels. I am really sorry.

nofurbelowsbatgirl's avatar

@yankeetooter No problem honey. Stay strong for your mother she will need it.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

When my mother was diagnosed with cancer 17 years ago, I was in shock for a few days or maybe even weeks. My reaction after that was to spend as much time with her as possible and to allow her as much time as possible with her grandchildren. I wanted to do things to make her happy.

I kept my thoughts about her and her well-being. I turned my thoughts away from myself and my potential loss.

She’s still alive, by the way.

There are many medical therapies available today that are brand new. Don’t lose hope.

I like @gailcalled‘s suggestion to be loving and calm, and keep us posted.

Bellatrix's avatar

My husband’s mother was diagnosed with colon cancer and she survived and lived for many, many more years. She has since died, but cancer didn’t cause her death. So, as @gailcalled suggested stay positive. Wait and see what your mum’s doctors have to say. There have been so many advancements since my partner’s mother was diagnosed. If your mum is a strong woman, I am sure she has passed on at least a little of that quality to you, you can be her strength when she needs it now.

Sunny2's avatar

Don’t grieve in front of her. She may be more at peace with this than you are. Share your memories of her with her. Share your time. If it’s what will end her life, make her ending as pleasant as possible. Ask questions and record her, if she’s willing, for you to remember (and the grandkids, if there are any.) Play her favorite music. Think of her, not yourself. You have my deepest condolences. Death is part of life and we must accept it. And, as others here have said, her time may not be up yet. So be strong and loving. Make her proud of you.

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augustlan's avatar

Both of my husband’s parents are dealing with cancer right now. It’s hard, I know. Try to stay calm and be there for her.

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yankeetooter's avatar

Hard to believe someone would post spam on this question…sigh!

Latest update…She won’t get her cat scan until Wednesday, so until then we have to sit and wait.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@yankeetooter Here’s a big hug for you and your family. Hang in there and I hope your family is supporting each other. Pulling together helps so so much.

lightsourcetrickster's avatar

It’s never thus far happened to any parent of mine, but I would be prepared for it because an ex-girlfriend of mine had cancer, so I know that it can be so very difficult to deal with – not just for the person who has cancer, but it can also be tough with the person who cares about them. If my Mother got cancer, I’d be mortified, but I’d then also remember that being positive, supportive and being attentive and encouraging is a big help for people who have cancer. I was lucky with my ex because she was very quickly really very determined in that she already had her mind up that she was going to beat it – and she did (for the record, we parted on good terms). In the time between her diagnosis and her beating it, there were plenty of challenging times. She would occasionally become either very angry or very upset at the slightest of things, and not because of the time of month, but because there were times when she wanted everything to be done and dusted and to be back to normal and doing things she used to do before she had cancer. That was just my ex, but I can imagine it being much tougher to handle if it were my Mom who had it instead.
I hope all goes well and that your Mother’s recovery is as swift as possible.

yankeetooter's avatar

Thanks @lightsourcetrickster…it is very strange. She seems very at peace about things, very strong…but I don’t know how much of that might not just be her being strong for the rest of us. She has very strong faith, and I am sure she is not afraid of death, but I know she worries about my father. When I went over to see her the other day, I didn’t know if I would be able to talk to her without breaking down and crying…and yet, when I went in the house, she was so matter of fact about everything, so strong, that I could not help but keep my composure.

gailcalled's avatar

@lightsourcetrickster: If my Mother got cancer, I’d be mortified

Are you sure that you mean “mortified”...meaning embarrassed, ashamed or humiliated?

@yankeetooter: Please, for the time being, do not assume that she is going to die from this. You need lots of information; keep your fear and worry for moments when you are not with your mother.

lightsourcetrickster's avatar

@gailcalled My Mother has never smoked, doesn’t drink heavily and never has done in her entirely life – not even got a little tipsy, lives a pretty clean, relatively healthy life. Having done excessive amounts of both smoking and drinking in fifteen years, I would be probably mortified, so yes – in terms of ashamed in some weird way that I would think that I should be the one getting that kind of thing and not my Mother. If you get where I’m coming from with that?

gailcalled's avatar

^^Not really, without a long and somewhat prolix expiaination.

lightsourcetrickster's avatar

^^ She’s never smoked, she’s never drunk excessively, I smoked, and I was an alcoholic for fifteen years. I’d be ashamed because I would think that it would be weird she’d get that kind of thing being of healthy body and mind – whereas I am not.

Less than “prolix” response for you. I hope that ‘explanation’ was plain and simple enough this time.

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