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Mom has ovarian cancer-need information please Mom has ovarian cancer-need information please

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Unread 08-06-2001, 04:41 AM
Mom has ovarian cancer-need information please

Hi all, I have never had to post on this board before, but now my mom has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She is 74 and had colon cancer last year and went thru 6 months of weekly chemo for that. Her hysterectomy was on July 5.....
Here is what her pathology report says......High grade endometroid ovarian carcinoma....Two lymph nodes showing mestastatic carcinoma. It goes on to say her right ovary had 'poorly differentiated endometroid ovarian adenocarcinoma' and the 2 lymph nodes 'completely replaced by poorly differentiated endometroid ovarian adenocarcinoma'.....also says that her cervix has the same thing and her myometium, which i don't know what that is...says it has 'deeply invaded the myometium'.......
I am really scared for her....she came thru the colon cancer chemo fine, but i know this will be much harder on her.....
she starts chemo today.....carboplatin and taxol.....can someone give me their experience with this and anything else that will be helpful.....she has already bought a wig, says that doesn't bother her.....but i'm worried about the sickness and have also read about bone pain.........
She lives alone (my dad is in a nursing home right now, broke his hip and had surgery on July 3, been a long summer) I live 1 1/2 hours away, my sister and brother live close to her...should they stay with her? I am taking her to her chemo today, i understand it is a 6 hour infusion, she will do this 28 days apart, for 6 treatments.
So much that i have been reading about ovarian cancer does not sound good.....actually i read all of this last year (not on here because i didn't find this site until after my hysterectomy) because i was first diagnosed with a 'suspicious mass on my right ovary'....actually my CA 125 was higher than my mom's and mine turned out to be severe stage IV endometriosis with 'chocolate cysts' all over ovaries that had attached to everything else...
I have often thought that i wish it were me going thru all of this instead of her........she is very thin, 97 lbs and i hope she is strong enough to fight this....
I am sorry this is so long, but thanks to all of you and any information you can send my way about your experiences with this type of cancer and chemo would be greatly appreciated.
Hugs and prayers to all of you
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Unread 08-06-2001, 05:38 AM
Mom has ovarian cancer-need information please

Rose there is nothing worse than when our mum is sick. I havent any experience with ovarian cancer or chemo. But I would just like to let you know that we are here for you and your mum, through this ordeal. I hope she is OK. Much love to you both x x
Unread 08-06-2001, 05:38 AM
Mom has ovarian cancer-need information please

Hi Rose

I am very sorry to hear that your mom is going through this. She sounds like a very strong lady to have endured colon cancer, and chemo last year. Sounds like she is a fighter for sure!

My chemo for my strain of ovarian was different than your moms but I do know several of the ladies here did have the carbo/taxol chemo and I am sure they will be along shortly to share their experiences with you, so please be sure to check back often.

Good for her for buying a wig early, I did this as well, as since we are told early on whether we will lose our hair, its easier to be prepared ahead of time.

Wow..your family has had their share of hardship with your mom's surgery and your dads both within days of each other in July. I can only imagine how hard that must have been on your family.

Rose I will keep you and your parents in my thoughts and prayers. Your mom is already a cancer survivor, and so she has the fight in her. Going through cancer treatment seems to give us strength we never realized we had.

Big hugs Rose,
God Bless,
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Unread 08-06-2001, 05:46 AM
Mom has ovarian cancer-need information please

Hi WV Rose,
So sorry to hear about your Mom. I cant really be too much help with the chemo part of this right now, I have stage 1 ovarian cancer, but mine was contained, so right now there will be no chemo. There are several ladies on this board who have had chemo and I am sure they will answer any questions they can. My Mom almost three years ago was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. She had surgery, she is 62, and opted for no chemo or radiation. Mom has never weighed over 120 lbs. She was 87 lbs when she left the hospital, and is now a little over 103 lbs. Her tumor had spread to several lymph nodes, and so far she is doing fine. I guess it all depends on which road you want to travel down. If you could use some moral support, please feel free to email me. Hope all goes well for you and your Mom. She will be in my prayers.
Unread 08-06-2001, 06:05 AM
Mom has ovarian cancer-need information please

I didn't have to experience the chemo, so I am of no help there, but I wanted to tell you that I will be keeping you and your mom in my thoughts and prayers.
Unread 08-06-2001, 08:15 AM
Mom has ovarian cancer-need information please

Hi Rose,

First off, let me say I'm so sorry to hear about your mom. Especially on the heals of her battle with colon cancer this must indeed be hard for all of you.

A couple of things I wanted to share with you. I did have the carboplatin/taxol combination for my first round of chemo. A couple of things I might be able to put you at ease on.

First, the weight loss - from what I was told its very common to "gain" weight with this combination. I know I sure did, although it wasn't as much as can be common (thank goodness for that I was running out of money buying new clothes to fit). With this combination, they normally give a variety of anti-nausea medications that helped tremendously with keeping the nausea at bay. The flip side of these meds is that they can cause constipation.

The other thing I was given was a type of steroid med that certainly made sure I ate sufficiently. I can tell you I never lost my appetite during the entire treatment course, ate constantly actually. Although, things I normally enjoyed did not taste good to me and for some reason I craved fish all the time!

The info you've read on it causing joint pain can certainly happen. But, I was told to take vitamin B6 which helped tremendously with both that and the numbness in feet/hands that can sometimes happen. You and your mom might keep this in mind to check into in the future if she experiences anything like this.

One last thing, beware of what you read with regards to ovarian cancer. I found that a lot of the information was very scary indeed and a lot outdated. From what one of my Drs now says - "They now view cancer as more of a "Chronic illness" that will eventually be beat". The most important thing is to keep a positive attitude that this will be beat!

Please know we are here for you and your mom in anyway we can. Feel free to email or post if I can help with any questions you may have. I'll shall whatever information I've discovered since beginning and winning my battle.


Unread 08-06-2001, 04:01 PM
Support for Mom

Hi Rose

My Mom had ovarian cancer, too. Maybe I can offer a llittle help. It is a scary thing to hear, I know.

Mom had the carboplatin but not taxol, as is was several years ago. I do know that the effects from the chemo are cumulative, so she's likely to feel worse after a treatment or two. There may be bone pain, and loss of appetite was another issue with my Mom. I was always trying to figure out some new and wonderful something that would be yummy and healthy and appeal to her as well. That wasn't always easy! "Ensure" that you can buy at the pharmacy is a good thing if she just doesn't feel like eating. My Mom could always stomach that, and it's full of vitamins and minerals, and everything she needs, really.

I know how you feel reading all the gloomy news about OvCa. Vicki is right when she says that a lot of the information is outdated. If you catch it early and treat it aggressively, she can beat this thing! One thing I did learn with my Mom, was that a positive attitude is really, REALLY important, and can go a long way toward her recovery.

My decision to have one ovary removed 12 years ago, and to have a hyst in June, was my mother's battle with OvCa. It's a terribly insidious, sneaky disease, and I didn't want it sneaking up on me with all the cysts I was having.

I think your Mom will need some support from you and your siblings. Maybe not right after the first round, but throughout the treatment. All the love and support you give her will help her keep that positive outlook, fight it, and BEAT it.

'Sending you lots of warm, healing energy and cyber s

You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers.

Unread 08-06-2001, 06:54 PM
Mom has ovarian cancer-need information please

I was told I had ovarian cancer last year, but fortunately did not need chemo at that time. My gyn oncologist did ask me if I went on the Internet. When I said yes, he told me that the statistics on the Internet reflect large groups of women and that I should consider them as such. I am an individual and not necessarily part of one of those groups. I think you may want to ask your family to talk to your mom's chemo nurse and see what they suggest about someone staying with her. Mom may not ask, but she would probably appreciate the company. Parents never want to be a "burden" on their children, but this may be one of those times she won't complain.
Unread 08-07-2001, 11:50 AM
Mom has ovarian cancer-need information please

Thank you all so much for your encouraging words, wisdom and most of all for your prayers......i do feel better after reading your responses....
Mom did very well yesterday, although it was a long day....the taxol takes 3 hours, the carboplatin takes 2....but they fed her breakfast and lunch and brought her 2 cans of Boost, which she drinks on a regular basis. She is also taking megace to try to help her appetite. Any experience with this medication?
She has several anti nausea medicines to take, so hopefully these will help some....
I know the night before, she had to take 5 pills of decadron(?) and 5 of the same thing the morning of her chemo....then before the actual chemo, they gave her kytril, benadryl, ativan, and a couple of others i can't remember.....she has compazine and ativan at home to help with the nausea.....
Some of the things the chemo nurse told her surprised fresh fruits and vegetables, no salad bars or buffets of any kind and no fresh flowers.....guess they are worried about bacteria.....and at 2 weeks post chemo, her blood counts will be very low and she has to be very careful about infections....they don't even want her going to the nursing home to see my dad for fear of picking up something.....
You are right about my mom, she is a fighter and I feel she will be fine, but it will be a tough six months for her.....
thank you all again so much from the bottom of my heart for your responses......i'm sure i'll have more questions as we go thru this....
hugs to all of your and my prayers are with you all as you battle your own problems...
Unread 08-08-2001, 11:24 AM
Mom has ovarian cancer-need information please

Hugs Rose!!
So glad to hear your mom did well with her treatment yesterday. Its a long day for her I am sure. Mine were 4-5 hours a day as well but were Monday to Friday. Is she finished now for 3 weeks?

Its great that they give them lunch and snacks isn't it? I know I really appreciated that as well. The chemo nurses are very special people I find. I called them my chemo angels. Always in a good mood, and always words of encouragement for the patients.

Wow..that restrictions on the fruit, veggies and flowers is new to me. It must be because of bacteria as you say. Thats good that they are telling you all this so you know.

I was given decadron through my IV along with Zofran prior to my treatments. I hope your mom doesn't experience any nausea and yes she will have to be very careful not to pick up any colds or virus'. I had my chemo right smack in the middle of flu season last year, and I was terrified of getting something, so for that 3 months, my life consisted of home to chemo, home to the doctors, and that was about it. I was lucky, I didn't get a cold at all.

Rose try doing a search on Megace on the site here as I know this has been talked about in the past few months, and it may give you some information. You might also try as well.

Thanks for letting us know how she made out Rose, and please do keep us posted when you can!
Hugs for you and hugs for your mom too!!

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