Discussions By Condition: Medical Stories

How long does she have?

Posted In: Medical Stories 1 Replies
  • Posted By: Anonymous
  • November 20, 2010
  • 09:54 PM

My mother has cancer. She had colon cancer that spread to her liver, adbominal lining with a tumour now in her abdo cavity behind her belly button and also some specks have been found in her lungs. She has been admitted into the hospital with a low potassium, magnesium and sodium level and a high fever. She is now also jaundice. She is a cancer survivor for 6 yrs now but has been losing her appetite lately, feeling tired and getting a bad stitch in her right side. She says she feels better since she has her blood work back into the norm but now her liver functions are high and she is jaundice. She just completed 2 wks of radiation on her tummy tumour (pain control) and has been told the chemo and avasten are growing inaffective. There are other alternatives for treatment but for now the chemo is still doing its job.

Should I be getting worried? Is her disease going to spread quickly now? How long does she have? I love her so much I just want to know how much time we have with her and if this is as serious as it sounds. I think she is scared to ask the question.

Please, your thoughts would be appreciated.



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  • The jaundice is not a good sign. I would guess a few months. The best thing to do is to talk to somebody, a nutritionist preferably, about diet. I know it sounds silly at this point, but there are probably foods that will make it worse and you need to know what to avoid. For instance, she might not tolerate fats so well, or need foods high in potassium . She might retain water and need to cut back on salt somewhat. She might need extra vitamin K for her clotting factors if her liver is failing. None of this will prolong her life a lot, but it will make her quality of life better and it might give her a little more time. Also pain control is going to become an issue if it isn't already so I'd be sure to have a pain control specialist on board. There's absolutely no way to know how long your mom has. it could be days, weeks or months. I'm a nurse and my professional guess is somewhere int he ballpark of 6 months, but that's just based on the number of people I've seen in practice. There are extremes at both ends. I'm sorry you're going through this. I wish you peace and strength.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • November 26, 2010
    • 10:50 PM
    • 0
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