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Shell shocked. Mum's just been diagnosed.


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Hi. Not really sure what I'm hoping to get out of posting here but desperatley need to vent and after reading some of the posts seems this is as good a place as any.

Mum, 65, strong as an ox until 3 weeks ago has just been diagnosed with widespread cancer, started in lungs, also in kidneys, liver. "Months at most", shes just had bronchoscopy so may get better idea next week. Untreatable in any case.

Unreal, utterly, utterly unreal. I didnt know it was possible to hurt this much. I'm 29 and feel I should react more maturely but shes my mum, my best friend and I dont have a clue what to do. Shes not eating well, is tired/lethargic and theres nothing they can do to make her better.

How on earth do I cope with this without feeling such a selfish git as I do right now, how will I cope, what will I do etc etc. I want to help her but I dont want her to ever be in pain though I know she will.

I cant imagine how this plays out, will I know when shes about to go or will she just nto be there one day.

I'm sorry, ranting all over but I'm just so far off the scale of understanding right now.

If anyone has an idiots guide to this please give me some ideas.

Best wishes to you all.

Sarah, UK.

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Sarah, Iam so sorry for the distressing news about you mum. I can see how scared you are in knowing that she may not be with you long.

First I want to say that there is no such thing as giving up she must try and fight this. What are they going to do as far as treaments? There are many treatments out there that could help her. If she wants treatment and who she is seeing is not offering any, they go to another doctor who will.

I can't tell you how many people on here were given months and are stage 4, which you mom most likely is. They seeked out treatment and are still here years later. There is always hope as long as she wants it. Attitude is half of the battle as you have to fight this and not give up. If anything it could add months or years to her initial diagnosis.

Please let us know what they are telling you besides doom and gloom stasticts. We don't believe in stasticts here have beaten the odds. There is always hope.

I know how scared you must be, but please if she wants help get it for her.

We are always here for you, for questions you may have, for support and prayers.

I am so sorry for your pain.

Hang strong!


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Hi Sarah,

I'm sorry you had to find us, but glad that you did.

First off, take some big, deep breaths....It's VERY, VERY scary at first, for everyone.

When you say that your Mom's cancer is "untreatable", what exactly did the doctor say?

Did he mean that they can't operate on it? If so, that's okay. They don't usually operate on small cell cancer. There ARE treatments besides surgery though. (My husband wasn't a candidate for surgery either, but it's been almost 11 months since he was diagnosed).There's all sorts of chemo medications they can try (if your Mom wants that), and there's radiation, etc.

Try not to give up quite yet. You just never know. You may surprised at what can be done to help your Mom.

Thinking of you,


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we can help and support and offer prayers and all kinds of things. Thats what I am bringing to the table. Gonna give you a link for a member in UK who also is a member here and has also got a great support system in place to help you some more wiht our help. I know that the British med system is much different than ours and she may have some additional info to help you out.

Do not listen to the doctor that tells you how much time someone has, listen to the one that says we can fight this thing and beat it. Mom can do this. Remeber our prayers go up and his blessings come down upon us..

THis is our friends link for their site in the UK. click on it to be redirected. I am also a member so welcome on both sides of the pond..


This can be beaten and we can all help do it!!!!

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I feel compelled to respond as I feel we are in similar situations. I am also 29 and my mom is 60 and recently diagnosed with NSCLC. She is going through chemo right now. At first I felt as if my whole world had been snatched away from me. She is my closest confidant! How could this be right? Mom never even smoked!

I am so sorry that you have been going through this, but you are not alone. There are others like you going through very similar situations and will stand beside you (via the internet). Have hope...and I will pray for you and your mom.

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I'm sorry Sarah,

I was a 31 y/o child when mom was diagnosed, and felt there was no way I could handle this...and in the same breath realized, I can and WILL.

You too will hate being in the position you have found yourself in, but at the same time you will be amazed at the fact that you will care and do right by your mom.

Yes it is scary and it sucks, but she won't neccesarily be in pain...my mother wasn't. Have her talk with her docs...tell them her wishes. There are people whose jobs it is to ensure comfort...and the sooner they are on board, that is one less thing for you and mom to worry about.

I really am so sorry.

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Hi Sarah.

The emotions you are feeling right now are normal and once you are over the enormous shock of the bad news you will feel better believe me.

Sorry to hear about your poor mum.

I am also in the UK (hertfordshire) and am going through the same with my dad.

You have joined a great site and will get fantastic help/support from all members.

Take care


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Just reading your post brings back all my initial emotions. Those emotions are so easy to bring back because they are always just below the surface. But you will exhale soon. Once you know more. And once treatment starts. You will be able to exhale, take another breath, and move forward with your mum's treatment. You start the fight. I hear again and again of people who were given months and today, 4+ years later, are still producing clear scans. Keep your mum's spirits up. Don't let her worry about anything else in her life, but her health and her comfort. Treatment isn't just in a medical form, it's also something that happens from within. My mom has become proof of that. Just since her Dx back in June of this year, I have come to see a strength in my mom that amazes me. I am learning so much from her.

Those of us who are caring for our loved ones have had our lives turned upside down. I don't have 100% perfect days anymore just because it's a sunny day. My mom's Dx always lingers over my consciousness. And there are days when I am very sad. Depressed and feeling as though nothing matters but her health. Days when I can't even imagine this world without my mom...even if I don't face that grim reality for years and years, I don't ever want to lose her.

And then there are days when I exhale and realize that every moment is precious. Every day that I can spend time with her and make her laugh, is what I now consider a perfect day. She is strong. I am becoming stronger because of her. I am soaking her up and getting to know her in ways I never have. I am getting to know the woman, not just the mom. She is my best friend and she is my world.

But my point is that once her Dx sunk in, and I was able to exhale, I was able to focus on HER. Loving her and being there for her in every way.

This is a horrible disease that I have come to hate. I knew nothing about lung cancer 6.5 months ago. I hate the fact that they don't have more preventative steps yet. That there is no screening for this cancer....like we have for prostate and breast cancer.

I've gotten a bit off track here, but I just want you to know that we all feel your same kind of pain. And we are here for YOU, to help you through it as well. Your mum is in my thoughts, as are you.


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Hi and welcome-please know that your Mom has many options.Do you know yet what type of lung cancer she has? Small Cell or Non Small? If you read my Mom's time line she was a healthy 60 year old woman who almost died within weeks but now 14 months later she is here and doing ok. You have come to the right place. You will find all kinds of support here for you and plenty of stories that you can give to your Mom to give her hope.

Please keep us posted.


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Hi Sarah,

I know how frightening it is when you first get a diagnosis. Sometimes the doctors involved make everything worse by their doom and gloom attitudes.

There are people here who have done wonderfully on treatment and have beaten the odds. True miracles. Find those stories and share them with your mom. She needs to know there is hope. Also, there is a wealth of knowledge here -- the best kind, the kind that comes from experience, so you can almost always expect an answer to any questions that come up.

Please come here for both support and information. The panic will subside and you will be a wonderful support and help for your mom. It will be difficult, but you'll do it. I can tell that because you came here to look for help.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Evening all

OK, so thanks for all the replies. I must confess I havent been on here since I first posted as I was getting myself on an even keel and couldnt face coming to the site when I knew I'd head off to the "bereavement" sections of sites and wind myself up again.

So, now I'm back with proper diagnosis. Small cell lung cancer with liver metastasis. To me that sounds like the worst possible news.

At this point must confess I'm usually a positive person and not prone to doom and gloom. This has knocked my faith in myself and outlook I have to admit.

I'm visiting mum every weekend and it seems like shes getting worse each week (has only been 4). Shes been in pain and has finally taken stronger morphine today but is in and out of it and a bit rambling in speech when shes with it. Is this normal for morphine? I cant help thinking its getting into her brain. Her doctor came out to her, took more blood and we're awaitng results tonite, he said maybe back in hospital and that it really was aggressive.

Now bear in mind I'm positive (!) I can not help but think they've caught this way too late and that mums on the way out as I type. I cant even begin to explain what I mean properly but she just seems very frail. Not eating much at all,legs swelled (water tablets doing sod all) her balance is bad to the point we went for a walk, but with mum in a wheelchair. Cant tell you how utterly wrong that is. We walked all round the town only 6 weeks ago. Just unreal.

I'm not having a good day. Am so mad, angry, frustrated, pissed off and have no vent for it, walls are a bit solid for my knuckles. I'm not mad at mum, doctors, family, anything, yet still I just want to smash something. Any tips?

Sorry for the rant, I'll leave it now or I'll be at it all night.

Oh, and we get to know this week if/what treatment they're going to give, still palliative but maybe something. Maybe then I'll feel some hope?

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Big hugs and prayers to you and the family!!

When my Mom was diagnosed I fell into a pit of emotions that changed every minute. It takes over every aspect of your life. I was selfish in that I wanted Mom to stay with us, although she was in so much pain. It's been almost 2 months since Mom passed and the emotions are still there, just not as sharp of a pain. Although I spent Mom's last 3 weeks with her, I wanted more time. Still do. Make the very most of every second. Regardless of what the doctors say, God is the deciding factor in how this all plays out. Don't lose hope and try to keep a smile on your face.



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