January 7, 2016 at 1:43 pm #454
Hello, I am new to this website but I was looking for a few opinions and some support while dealing with my mother going through chemo, radiation and surgery. My mom has finished her chemo and she has surgery coming up on the 14th of January and she is very nervous because it is near her lymph nodes so they are removing a few and it could cause the cancer to spread all over her body, another complication is that her arm could swell up and remain that way, which only happens to about 10% of people but it’s always still a fear. Wondering if there are any tips on things I can do to help my mom and to make her feel more confident walking into the surgery. Thank youJanuary 7, 2016 at 3:31 pm #458
My dad is undergoing chemo currently so I have no experience with surgery but I know he’s very nervous about all of it. I think the best thing you can do for your mom is just be there for her. I bet just having you around is reassuring and will help take her mind off of it. It’s such a sucky situation with very real fears but unfortunately so much is out of our control. I’m thinking of both you and your mom and praying surgery goes perfectly without complications!! Keep us posted!January 7, 2016 at 3:36 pm #459
^what she said. Unfortunately so much is out of our control.
Some out of the box advice: You should make plans with your mom for a day after the surgery. Maybe a nice fun dinner or a comedy show or movie night just the two of you. That way she’ll have that to look forward to and be excited about instead of being nervous about the surgery. (She’ll still be nervous, but at least it won’t be all she’s thinking about.)January 7, 2016 at 6:20 pm #460
I dealt with a very similar situation with my Dad. He has an esophagectomy with lymph node involvement and it was a very scary surgery! I don’t believe its the removal of the lymph notes that could cause the cancer to spread, but if they fail to remove all the cancerous cells from the lymph nodes.
Let your mom know that the surgery gives the best odds for long-term survival so she should be grateful that she is a candidate! there are a lot of people out there who hope and pray that they can have these types of surgeries but the cancer is too extended. Just reassure her that she is lucky, the odds of the arm swelling are small, and this is her best treatment option–the doctors wouldn’t steer her wrong 🙂
Hang in there!January 7, 2016 at 8:32 pm #461
I also agree with jsk94 that the best (and really only) thing you can do is just be there for her. I know that sounds vague, but it really means listen to her if she wants to voice her fears, or talk and joke about lighter matters if she wants to stay distracted. My mom had Stage 4 ovarian cancer and went through several surgeries and cycles of chemotherapy, but she never wanted to talk with me or my brother about that. It depends on the person. Just let her know you love her. It never hurts to vocalize. And if you wanted a more concrete idea, one small gesture that my mom really appreciated was when I had a blanket customized with a picture of our family on it. She brought it with her to the hospital.January 7, 2016 at 8:55 pm #462
I agree with all of the above responses. Something I really struggled with when my dad was sick was that the treatment was so painful and caused so much damage. I found it really difficult to come to terms with the fact that it was going after the cancer, and that it could cure him despite how violent and merciless it was. I would never tell you to “be strong” or “stay positive” because I kinda think that that’s bullshit (pardon my language…). It sucks; there is absolutely no way to deny that. Seeing someone you love be terrified and at risk never gets easier. The only thing I think you can do is what the above responses have said: be there for her and tell her you love her. Try not to let yourself constantly worry about the worst case scenario because that’ll just waste your time. I really like the idea about making plans with your mom after the surgery because it shows that there IS a future, and that you know she will get through the surgery. You and your family, especially your mom, are in my thoughts and prayers!January 9, 2016 at 8:25 pm #475
Wanted to chime in and say that we’re all here to support you. I think what everyone said above was really great and I hope it provided you with some comfort. Let us know how things go with you mom! We’re all rooting for both of you!January 29, 2016 at 8:00 am #559
Update on the surgery:
Thank you all for the support, the surgery went just as planned and it was in and out that day. It has been about a week since my mom had the surgery and she seems to be recovering smoothly. Now on to radiation but that shouldn’t be anything compared to the chemo.January 29, 2016 at 1:14 pm #560
Hey Riccidodson – so glad to hear that your mom’s surgery went smoothly!! That is such a huge accomplishment for both of you, and hopefully you can breathe a little easier 🙂 Chemo is so brutal, my dad went through both chemo and radiation. Keep us posted on everything. Praying for a speedy recovery and good health for both of you!January 29, 2016 at 1:29 pm #563
So happy to hear the surgery went well! I’m sure that’s a huge relief. Just try to keep everything day by day, or even hour by hour, especially with long term treatments like chemo or radiation. When I would think about the future when my dad was going through treatment, I would get really overwhelmed.
As always, you and your family are in our thoughts <3 Keep us updated with how she’s doing 🙂
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