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Carcinoid Tumor

Neck of Steel CindyNNeck of Steel Cindy Posts: 1,064
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:21 AM in Matters of the Heart
It's been a rough few days here for me.

My mother, who is 66 had surgery on Friday for what we thought was abdominal adhesions kinking her bowels. she had been dealing with intermittent "attacks" of this for a couple of years. The doctors have told her it was scar tissue, she would either ride it out, or be admitted until she had a bowel movement and felt better. Well, she had an attack about 10 days ago and was in the hospital again for 3 days, and she asked if they would do surgery to remove the scar tissue so that she could stop being sick.

So the big surgery day was Friday. When they got in, they immediately found the source of the problem. She had a growth in her small intestines. They did a resection, removed about 5 inches of her intestines and then sewed her back up again.

They are thinking it is a carcinoid tumor (cancer). This is a slow growing type of cancer that originates in the stomach, with the cells being formed by some type of a reaction to the digestive juices of the stomach. I am not real clear on it all yet, but little "seeds" will begin growing throughout the gastrointestinal tract as time goes on. So IF this is a cancer, it is going to be a hard deal for my mom. She recently had elevated pancreatic enzymes and also abnormal liver function tests. Has it spread to those organs? I sure hope not. I am trying hard to stay calm and not worry until we get the pathology reports back. But I don't know how my mother will handle having cancer. My father died from colon cancer. My mother-in-law died from ovarian cancer that had spread to her intestines. She ended up with a colostomy (bag) because they had to remove so much of her intestines. She lived for a year. I watched her get weaker and weaker day by day. I just can't imagine my mother having to go through this.

We'll have the lab tests back on Tuesday or Wednesday. Please pray for her. She and I are not real close, but I am the one who will be taking care of her. Her husband (my step-father) is absolutely useless when it comes to stuff like this. In fact, he wasn't at the hospital with her during the surgery even. He was angry that I stayed with her throughout the first 24 hours because he said she needs her rest and to quit bothering her. yeah right, leave my mother all by herself when she was so out of it to even know how to push the call button for help! I don't think so! I spent all day yesterday helping her, part of the night, back today for several hours, and I need to go back in later. I can't believe I am going to have to deal with Glen (step-dad) and his anti-medicine attitudes. He is a little senile and can be quite mean. He and my brother had a shouting match yesterday. We have not told him it could be cancer. mom doesn't want to worry him. I wish he would just stay away and let her move in with me for a while. But I'm sure he will be there fighting us on everything we need to do through this. What scares me the most is that he will try to manipulate her into not getting the treatment she needs. He says when it is your time to die, just let it happen. He rants and raves about how much money people waste on doctors, and has always said that if he gets cancer, just let him die. No treatments. I know that is what he will say about her.

Okay, enough of a rant. I am just worried, a little angry with my step-dad and also that the doctors let this go on for so long. She did have a colonoscopy a couple of years ago that came back clean, but this is in her small intestines, so she should have had an upper GI series. Oh well, can't change that now. I just need to be strong for her and help her get through it. maybe it won't even be cancerous.

Thanks for listening. Please pray for my mom.

Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!


  • I will say a prayer for your mother....
  • Thank you big cat.

    It has been difficult because I am the one who has to let the rest of my family know everything. One brother is in Syngapore, and my sister is in Florida. I have another brother who lives close by me, and he will be there to help, but the bulk of it will fall on my. I don't like being the one in charge!

    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
  • Your mother is lucky to have such a faithful, caring daughter. It sounds like you have already been thru so much! Heck, 66 is still young. I hope it's not cancer. Try hard to ignore your step-dad --maybe pretend to listen to him? While I know you will be a great help to your mother, be sure not to neglect yourself. Didn't you just have revision surgery in May? So many count on you! We will be thinking of you, and keep us posted. God Bless--Mazy
  • I haven't been a great daughter. We have a lot of "history" that has been difficult to get past. But I do love her and I know I need to be the one there for her. About 2.5 years ago I couldn't even talk to her, the emotional pain was so bad. But we have worked through it. I just would like an I'm sorry, but I know I have to forgive and move on, which is what I have tried to do. I know that there are reasons why people do the things they do, and I haev tried really hard to understand her. But bottom line, she is my mother, and while she has never been there for me, I need to get over it and be there for her. Maybe this is what will help us to move on. So I don't deserve the compliments of being a loving and caring daughter; sometimes I look at the caller ID and won't answer it when she calls. But hopefully those days are over now.

    Yes, I'll be sure to take care of myself. I am staying home tonight because she seems to be resting good and being kept somewhat comfortable. Earlier in the day she needed me there, and she will let me know if she does again. So I am actually just chilling all alone at home. My family is all gone to various activities, and I am enjoying the solace.

    Yes, I had a posterior AND anterior revision in May. I get a pretty quick reminder of this if I try to do too much! I can't believe how long it takes to recover from it!

    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
  • I'm sure your mother would say you have been a fine daughter. And, you deserve much credit for making the effort to put the past behing ya'll now. If you have daughters (and I think you do if my memory is correct) you know how complicated mother/daughter relationship is. I argued with my mother the night she died. I was yelling at her on the phone, she was in the hospital. (She was smoking with an oxygen tank next to her.) Fortunately, my hubby made me call back and make amends. She passed away later that night. So, I'm proud of you. And, you are a fine daughter. Keep us posted.---Mazy
  • and thats what counts,when she needs you the most ur there for her,the past is the past although it can still be painful,make the best of the future
  • :) hi Cindy! you have alot on you plate and your mother is so lucky to have you to look after her. i want to thank you for that. sometimes our parents never say it and you are really taking on someone else's life. tht's alot to take on. well, stay as strong as you can. you are still a pain patient yourself!! you need to take care of you as well. have a good week! Jenny :)
  • Cindy,
    Sometimes it is harder to turn the other check but I'm sure you know it is easier to do that than carry the anger. I'm glad you and your mom made amends with each other and that you are there for her now. I will say a pray for your mom and family and i do hope things get better.
  • I am feeling a little sad today, and I need to write, so please help me to sort out my feelings.

    We don't have the results yet. Maybe tomorrow. But in the meantime I have been thinking about my relationship with my mother.

    I grew up in a really bad environment. My father was a violent alcoholic, and without going into a lot of detail about him, let's just say that abuse was a common thing in our house, whether it was beating my mom or beating the kids.

    There were many, many times during my parents' marriage that they separated, but they would always get back together. It was a very rocky childhood for me because not only did they separate, but we children were always left with my dad. I have never understood how a mother could leave her kids in that environment. There was one time she was gone for 2 years, another 6 months, various others were just weeks at a time.

    Now as an adult I have tried to have a relationship with mom. I know that there are things in her life that have made her act the way she has, but it is still difficult to look past it all and pretend that all is well. Mom has never been a "mother". Many of you know the horrific experience my first surgery was. Not once did she offer to take care of my children during that recovery period. She did pick up a bucket of chicken and bring it one night, and I do appreciate that. Through my entire life, it has seemed like the focus of attention has had to be on her, and that if something is going on in my life, she has to make up an even bigger deal so that she can get sympathy and attention. She went 20 plus years without seeing my oldest brother. How can a mother do that? And then when he died 2.5 years ago, she played the grieving mother part really well, and made his death about how hard it was for her, and how much she was going to miss him, etc. Up to that point I had continued being the dutiful daughter to her (big role reversal my whole life), but her reaction to my brother's death was the breaking point for me. I had to distance myself from her for a few months.

    I love my mom and I hope that this is not cancer. I don't want to lose another family member. I don't want to see her go through all the treatments and the sickness that comes with it. And while our relationship isn't great, I still have the hope that one day it will be better.

    I know that it is my "duty" to be there for her to take care of her. I just hope that I can have the patience necessary to do it. She has never been here for me. I had pancreatitis several years ago. I was in critical condition and they didn't know if I would live. She lived 30 minutes from the hospital. My children were small at the time. Not once during my 5 week stay in the hospital did she take my children. The only time she visited me in the hospital was the day before they released me to come home. That is just one example of how it has been with us. How can I get past all of this and be there for her? I know I have to, and I want to, I just have a lot of hurt still inside.

    Wow, I can't believe I have opened up with all of this stuff. I just know that I have to get over my own emotions and be there to take care of my mom.
    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
  • I'm so impressed that you are as open to loving your mother as you are, I think a lot of people may have said good bye and good luck! It is a very admirable thing you are doing, trying to work through it all one way or another.
    Have you talked to her about how all of that has affected you? That it hurts you that she hasn't been supportive or there for you/your family when you've needed it? I realize some people are harder to communicate with than others, and I don't know if your mom would hear you if you tried. Sounds like a really tough situation you're in, but like I said, I admire you for your efforts!!
    Good luck to you and your mom. Let us know how the tests come out!
  • Cindy,

    You are such a strong vibrant soul! I read the emotion, love and forgiveness in your words. Please remember you are not alone and don't ever think that you are being selfish when you need to put yourself first.

    Love can be in all forms of relationships. I have a mother that has never been a nurturer either, different circumstances. I hope that you can be aware of when she becomes toxic to stay away, for your own health! I'm glad you are at the point where you can communicate with her but even though she is your mother, she is not your responsibility.

    Keep us updated, I hope your mom comes through this okay and you can continue a relationship with her on your terms.

    Best wishes and blessings to you.
  • And my heart goes out to you, so much...I will most definitely add her and you and your family to my list of prayers!

    My mom can definitely be toxic, and unfortunately I'm living with her...My dad left when I was 7-8, came back when I was 19 and those few years I was stuck with him were no picnic, but I don't want to talk about it here...If you ever want to talk feel free to PM me. I guess I feel kind of the same way about my dad as you do your mom, I love him, but I don't always like him...But if something were to happen, I'd be there for him.

    Take care of yourself hon, and your mom as best you can...Know that we're here if you need us and I'm sending tons of love to you! :X

  • Whew! We dodged that bullet. The lab results came back saying that it is not cancer. Now I just have to get her through the next few weeks of recovery from such a major surgery. She went home from the hospital yesterday. My plan is to spend 1 hour every day doing what she needs. It takes me about a half an hour to get to her house, so I will donate 2 hours a day to her when you count driving time. Laundry, dishes, meals, helping her bathe, whatever she needs. And I am very willing to do that.

    Thanks for your kind words. I am so relieved that it isn't cancer because I honestly don't know if I could have taken care of her through chemo. I know I need to let the past go, but she is still much the same now as then, and I don't think she will ever change. I have talked to her about my feelings, and then she turns it into a "poor me, I'm a bad mother, nobody loves me" kind of attitude and she knows how to manipulate me. I am getting stronger about not letting her push my buttons though. I had to go with her to California a few months ago because she can't drive in traffic. She about drove me crazy, but we had some good moments too. I will just continue trying to be the dutiful daughter and I learned a long time ago not to expect anything in return.

    thanks again for the support. I needed the encouragement.
    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
  • I'm really pleased to hear that it wasn't cancer. One good thing may have come out of all this though, it has made you sit up and deal with all those emotional issues that have surfaced this week. Many people in your position would just wash their hands of her, but you're not doing that. You are not the same person that she is - you are a stronger person. It's a testimony to your strength of character that you are able to put these issues aside and be there for you Mum when she needs you most. Hopefully this time you are going to spend with her may just bring you both closer together again. I don't know her and I don't know much about your background other than what I've just read, but there is a good chance that she is carrying around a lot of guilt for the past. That makes people behave in strange ways.

    I'm pleased that you got all these issues off your chest though, it's always better to talk about things. I wish your Mum a good recovery, and that you both find a way of dealing with each other during the time you spend together. Take care honey, Spicey
  • that its not cancer as cancer is an awful thing for everyone in the family to deal with.
    Best Wishes,
    Christina :)
  • i'm so glad it wasn't cancer! Oh, I'm happy for you and your family!
  • Spicey, I know my mother has guilt over her mothering skills, or lack thereof. She has told me that she hates Mother's Day, and she regrets being gone from our lives so many different times. I know there were reasons for her behavior, and that is why I have tried to continue a relationship with her.

    Thanks for reminding me of this. and thanks for your kind words. I appreciate the support.
    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
  • thanks to all who have posted their support here. It is nice to have people who care. Mom is doing well, and I am finding that she is not being too demanding at this point. She is being tough, which is a huge surprise to me. this is good, and you're all right, maybe I will get to know her a little better. B)
    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
  • Cindy,

    I'm happy to hear your mom is on the mend with your support. You are such a strong unique person to be able give her the support she needs with the proper limitations for your own health.

    You have many friends here for support when needed. Take care of you. :)
  • Cindy:

    I told you that I really dont get on too much since coming back....I did however come accross your posting about your moms illness today. First, let me say that I am very happy for you and especially your mother that the results were good. To dodge the cancer bullett is a great relief.....especially dealing with what you are. You are truly amazing, you are dealing with all of this and yet you are sending me messages in support of my new findings about my neck. Yes,I believe that if you had to be strong for your mother you could have been because I have learned that is the type of person that you are, a nurturing and caring individulal. What concerns me is that you are so very soon after you own major surgery.....Cindy, you know that you cant do too much....then in the PM you sent me you are saying that you are concerned that you are having some new symptoms????? Ahhhhhh Ms Cindy....who is taking care of you????? That hour a day plus travel time sounds pretty good but why not set her up really good the day you go and make it every other day........to thy own self be true!!!!!!! Thank you so much for your support for me, I appreciate it and your sharing your expereience with me very much. The throat thing is wierd, I had a Ct of the neck in May when I had the infections. If the feeling does not change I will talk to the surgeon when I see him on the 2oth.

    Rest up dear Cindy.....
    Thanks for your help
  • that is a great idea. It hasn't really been too much for me yet. She is not being "needy" as much as I thought she would be. She has a doctor appointment on Tuesday and she said my step-dad will take her so I don't have to go in. I hope he is supportive and not the grump that he normally is. I didn't go see her today because I have been down all day myself. I had a huge day on Friday and I'm still paying the price! Thanks for the advice, and don't worry. I will take care of myself. I am not going to do anything that will jeopardize my recovery from this surgery. I DO NOT want to go through that again.

    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
  • Hi Cindy-
    We don't know one another yet. Came across your thread. I too grew up in an unhealthy environment. Dad was an alcoholic. Mom in denial all the time. Children neglected and not allowed own feelings. As an adult I have limits and boundaries with them. I don't expect them to be there for me and have experienced them turning situations where I was in need in to it being all about them. In fact, like you, they exploit and enjoy getting attention for something even something miserable thats happening to me. They do not hardly know me it feels sometime. They personify me. I have something going on right now that's really causing me concern but I do not care to share this with them (my parents). I'd just constantly have them calling asking if I'd heard anything new. I know its not that they want to be there for me, they are seeking news for themselves to use for themselves-- to get attention because that's how their self-esteem works. Its a waste of time to hope otherwise. Usually the maturity is not there.

    I think its a good idea to set boundaries with your time etc. Say you are going to do X and allow X amount of time. You do this knowing how much your own body can take etc. Its so very easy for people such as ourselves to delude ourselves into thinking we'll get something we've been craving from this person we've been craving it from. You hope somehow your Mom will see how it was or is for you and acknowledge your pain because she has pain too etc. Lets just say she is likely minus the empathy gene. Figure this time you are spending is for you in the sense you are volunteering. Also, you'll likely need to let it go with the step-dad business. They are so-called adults. Its easy to use the guise of being a caring daughter and your Mom in her state of affairs a bit out-to-lunch and specifically in need of you, not her husband. You don't want to get all co-dependent and crazy acting. Its easy to get pulled in to this without realizing you are doing so.
  • Bridgie, did we grow up in the same house? I could have written the same thing. My mother always has a way of twisting whatever is going on in my life to be about her.

    I'm sorry you had to go through the same kind of a childhood as I. But I am convinced that our experiences make us the people we are, and it sounds like you have fared very well. Thanks for your advice. I certainly won't do the co-dependency thing. Mom called me tonight and was telling me how my sister-in-law went to help her a bit today. She vaccumed and changed the bedding today. Those are both things that I still have a hard time with, so I am so thankful my sis-in-law stepped up and helped out. I can focus my time more on meals and cleaning the kitchen tomorrow. Thanks again for your support. I have learned through the years that I have to be very careful.
    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
  • ...and it's great that your sister in law is helping out too. I'm glad that you don't feel you have to go over if you're feeling bad yourself, it's so important to take of you :)
  • I'm glad you took my message well. We're not small children like we were in the past. You can now give yourself what that little girl that was you needed a long time ago. If your Mom is hurting you now--its probably the little girl in you having an upset. Help if you can acknowledge her sometimes while you yourself recovers from surgery etc and your Mom recovers from her surgery. Be very protective and reassuring of your little girl in your Mom's presence.
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