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Thread: Life expectancy - liver metastasis

  1. #41
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    Not alone

    Late last night I was searching the internet for information on the last stages of liver cancer. I was so happy when I ran across this forum and then was immediately filled with sorrow. Because to find what I was looking for also meant that too many people are suffering and overwhelmed with pain and grief.
    I read so many life stories filled with pain but what moved me the most was the outpouring of love that flows through your words. To those of you that have cancer, you are the bravest group of people that I know. To the loved ones that are caring for a cancer patient, you too are brave. I have the utmost respect for each of you.
    Three years ago my mother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and the tumor was removed. Over a year ago the cancer metastasized to her liver and she opted not to receive any treatment. The cancer was slow growing until about 6 months ago when we were told it had spread. Since she is not receiving chemo the doctor is not running any tests so we don't know exactly where.
    A few weeks ago, after a physical exam, he determined that the cancer is growing rapidly in her abdomen where the ovary once was. He guessed that the tumor was the size of a small basketball. This is undoubtedly the cause of all of her pain now because it is pressing on so many organs and nerves. It is making it very painful for her to stand up or walk. We are struggling to find the correct doses of medication to stop the pain. She doesn't like the way she is feeling right now and attributes all of her confusion to the medicine. She is also having terrible nightmares and ‘sees' and ‘hears' things that aren't there. She is filled with overwhelming fear and I'm sure being bedridden doesn't help.
    Last week Hospice told me that they thought that she might have 2 months left, but of course they don't know for sure. I moved in with my mother to help take care of her and we've realized this weekend that she will need someone to sit with her during the day. Tomorrow will be my first day to leave her in 5 days. I don't want to but I have to trust the sitter that we have chosen. She is the daughter of a woman that sat with my grandmother during her last months so I know that she is more than capable. I'm just feeling that I don't want to leave. I don't want to be at work. I want to be here.
    I awoke early one morning only a mere week into caring for my mother. I was feeling disjointed and alone. Wondering how I was going to do everything that needed to be done. I began to pray. ‘God this is not about me. This is not about ‘can' I do it. I will do it because it has to be done. Please give me the strength just as you are giving her the strength to make it through each day. I want to be here and there is no other place I would rather be. Help me to remember that she gave me life and then she gave up hers for me. Help me to make the most of her every waking moment. Whatever is going on in my life is insignificant compared to what is going on in hers. My needs are not first. With your grace please work through me to be all she needs me to be.'
    Dana

  2. #42
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    Dana -
    What a beautiful prayer - I am moved to tears - it is soooo sums up what it's all abougt - I know God will grant your wish - what a wonderful daughter your mother has raised.

    You're in my thoughts and prayers -
    Cindy

  3. #43
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    Cindy - Thank you for your prayers, you have mine as well. I just finished reading your posts and you certainly have had a rough time of things. I think that we all need to give ourselves a break sometimes. Not away from the situation but to give ourselves permission to not always be strong. I have what I call 'Howl at the moon moments'. I have a great friend that I sometimes can just let my hair down with and say whatever I am thinking. It is not always logical, but who cares! The situation is still there afterwards but it feels good to just howl.
    I can't imagine what you are going through and on top of that having to keep strong for your son as well. You are truly remarkable!
    How is your Dad doing this week? AND...how are YOU?
    Dana

  4. #44
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    Hi Dana -
    Thanks for your kind words - I know what you mean about "howling at the moon" - I've done my fair share in the last couple of months. My Dad is doing pretty good right now - and I'm hanging on - just started with a therapist to try to come up with some coping skills to balance everything - How is your Mom doing? How did you make out with your sitter? Are you coping ok with her there and you at work?
    Thanks but I don't feel remarkable - just doing what I have to do......
    You and your Mom are still in my thoughts and prayers
    Cindy

  5. #45
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    Post subject: Re: Life expectancy - liver metastasis

    Mom has had a few bad days. Not fun to talk about, but severe constipation followed by a lot of diarrhea. She is horrified at what I've had to do I honestly haven't minded. I'm trying to help her keep her dignity but there are things that just have to be done.
    She has been sleeping a lot and dozing off right in the middle of conversations. I've read so much about cancer patients slipping off into comas that I would watch her and just think 'Is this it?'.
    This afternoon when I came home she wanted to get up and sit in the sunroom. We sat and talked for over an hour and it was the most lucid conversation we have had in a while.
    We have talked all night and watched some tv. I'm afraid to get too excited but I really enjoyed having her back with me more like herself.
    The sitter has been pretty good. She comes in at 7:30 so I can get to work at 8:00 and then I relieve her at 3:30. My sister actually spent the night last night so I got to go home and see my 2 cats. It was good to sleep in the bed with them.
    I am very fortunate that my boss is allowing me to be flexible. I am staying with Mom on Mondays and Tuesdays and working from here. The rest of the week it is hard to leave her. I just have to have faith that we have chosen the right sitter.
    I hope your therapist is able to help you with your stress. It's so easy to say the words about what someone 'should do' but quite different to actually be able to follow the advice.
    I'll pray for you and your father and mother tonight. What are their names?
    Dana

  6. #46
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    Hi Dana -
    I'm so glad to hear that you've had some great times with your Mom - I understand what you mean about not getting too excited but that's true of each and every day sometimes - it's sometimes hard to be thankful for what you get and where you are but guess we have to try.

    Glad to hear that your sitter is working out ok - it's great that you have a good boss - mine is the same - I've worked from home (or where ever Dad's appointments are with the laptop) more than I ever have in my life in the last few months.
    Thanks for praying for them both - their names are Richard and Mary -
    You and your Mom are still in my thoughts and prayers.
    Hope you have a great weekend together.
    Cindy

  7. #47
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    This is happening too fast

    A month ago my Mom was doing pretty good. Three weeks ago I moved in because the hospice pharmacist told me she thought Mom had about 2 months to live. A week after I was here she was unable to get out of bed without my help. Then she began to get real confused. On Monday of this week the hospice nurse said she would tell us when Mom was "close". That to her her would mean about two weeks. From Monday to today her health has declined rapidly.
    The confusion has deepened, her shaking has gotten worse, she eats about 4 bites each meal and her skin is cold to the touch although she says she is hot. The hospice nurse today said she has about a week.
    Mom falls asleep in the middle of a conversation and is talking in her sleep. Her stomach is so hard and has grown now up towards her chest. She is coughing a lot and has pain radiating down her arm.
    I know all I can do is help keep her to be comfortable. When she is awake she is cranky because she can't think straight or say what she wants to because it always comes out wrong. I don't want to do anything to agitate her further.
    Please keep my mother, Beth, in your prayers. I so don't want her to suffer anymore.
    Dana

  8. #48
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    Hi Dana -
    I'm so sorry to hear that things are getting worse for your mom - I can't imagine what you are going through - I don't know what to say - I'm sure there is nothing that will make it better right now - you are in my thoughts and prayers - just know that you are not alone

    Cindy

  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Melanie Cadenhead
    My mother got liver cancer after having had a blood transfusion over 40 years ago. The blood supply was not screened back then and she contracted hepatitis c, "the silent killer". Initially her g.p. gave her 2 months to live. That was 2 year sand 2 chemos embolizations ago. Unfortunately, because both hep c and liver cancer are essentially incurable the tumors are now larger and in greater number than they were a year ago. So far she is experiencing no symptoms so she's lucky. The oncologist doesn't think doing chemo again will work and the stress and ill effects afterwards will not be worth it. She is being included in a drug trial for a new drug call Sorafenib at the urging of her doctor, who is backing the trial. The problem is twofold: you never know if you're getting the drug or the placebo and the constant testing and poking and prodding and possible side effects make it a very undesirable affair. Then there's the fact that this is not a cure, just a prolongment of the inevitable.

    My mom is only 67 years old. I'm the oldest of 3 kids, with 2 of my own. I'm supposed to be the 'strong" one, but I'm having a really difficult time with this. I can't imagine not having my mother around. And every time I've gotten used to the idea of it, she's somehow been brought back from the brink. This time, despite the trial, it looks like there's not going to be a happy ending.

    I want to have an idea of what to expect. Liver cancer is not supposed to spread, is it? How long do patients suffer? What is my family going to have to watch her go through? We're all really scared and upset, but I think it would help us if we had an idea of how long a patient actually suffers in the end.

    I've never joined a chat room before. I've got to say it's nice to see I'm not alone in my fears and my grief.
    Hello,
    Just to let you know that my mother had HCC as well. She Had a blood transfusion in 1974. It was only in January this year [2007] that it was confirmed. Like your mother, the doctors also found HCV [hep c] in her blood, so it has been in my mothers system for over a thirty year period.

    This would have caused cirhorsis to the liver initially, perhpas 10 years ago, and in the last 4 or 5 years it would have cause Liver cancer.

    She passed away in 12th May 2007.

    Please accept my condolences.

    Regards,

    pwl

  10. #50
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    Life expectancy

    I am so sorry to hear about your Mother. This forum helped me a lot as I was with my Mom during her last months. She passed away on June 5th.
    She was also given months to live and she surprised them all by living almost 2 years. She was 70 years young.
    Her case is different from your Mom's in that she opted not to go through any treatments. It was probably the best two years she had had in a long time. She finally started living again and we did some travelling.
    The best advice I can give you is not to mourn her while she is still here. You will have plenty of time for that later.
    I am also the strong one in the family and it was overwhelming at times. One day my Mom told me that she thought I had my head in the sand about what was happening. My response to her was that I was just doing what I had to do, in order to do what I had to do. If I focused on the fact that she was dying I wouldn't have been able to care for her the way I did.
    My mother's strong faith and the knowledge that she was going to heaven was a great comfort to her and to me as well. Although I miss her greatly I truly know that she is happy and no longer in pain.
    What to expect. Wow. That is a hard one. Mom's cancer did spread but we don't exactly where since she was not receiving treatments. In the end we do believe that it spread to her brain and possibly her lungs. That doesn't mean that will happen with your Mother but I guess anything can happen. I wish I could tell you good things, but I found it was better to face what might happen head on.
    Once Mom's cancer began to grow rapidly she was with us for 2 more months. The pain gradually got worse but the hospice pharmacist did her best to keep the pain at a minimum. She gave her Methadone because that medicine attacks the type of pain Mom had better than morphine. It is also time released so it lasted longer. The last week we supplemented her pain with the quick acting morphine. That really seemed to work for her.
    Mom began to sleep a lot more and would talk in her sleep. She began seeing things and started talking about going home. She wanted me to dress her nicely so she would be ready. She also became very agitated but we believe that was in part due to the brain metastasis.
    Just work closely with hospice or your Mother's doctor to make sure her medicine is doing the job. I don't believe it can completely take away the pain, but it will make her more comfortable.
    Don't look at how long she has left, just cherish each moment and every conversation that you share.
    I will be praying for you and your Mother.
    Dana
    Dana

  11. #51
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    hi all,

    i am from Turkey and my father suffers primary stomach cancer and seconday liver cancer, stage ıv. i was looking for information and i ran into this forum. i just want to take your opinions and advice about the situation. please write me if possible.
    my father 57 years old and 2 years ago diagnosed stomach cancer and his total stomach and half of esophagus were removed 18 months ago. he got chemo for 5 times and cos said there is no metastasis. 3 months ago he suddenly got jaundice and the doc get him into operation. they did nothing because inoperabable multiple metastasis. it was carsinom infiltration in his abdomen, liver. there was tumor which invades into hepatik arter, duedonum and portal ven. they placed a percutan dreange to discharge water blasts. it was 2 months ago. and now, every day almost 800 cc water comes via drenage. he feels severe pain in his back and he gets tramadol (contramal) 50 mg twice a day. i asked the docs for life expectancy and they were reluctant to say something.i think it works in this way in Turkey. i am helpless, i need to know some guests about when he will pass away since i live in istanbul which is 500 miles away from where my family lives. contramal seems work but i am suspicious about it. my father has high pain thereshold, and generally says nothing about the pain. in anyway, it seems (when i go to home rarely) he suffers and also hesitate to take contramal since he makes him sleepy. he says sleep is not normal but inquality. i tried to take an appointment but could not get from the doctor (this is Turkey). i just learn that whether i am supposed to acquire morphine for him. and most importantly, what is life expectancy for him? what i said above was medical examinations (tomography and MR based) 2 months ago. i dont know what to do. i know i have to go home and stay there much but he insists me not to come. i know he doesnt want me to see him in that situation, anyway i am not listening him and i will go this week. as i said, i need opinion about the process ahead. thanks for your help..

  12. #52

    Death when absent

    Hi there dennislee3

    I'm really sorry for your loss.

    Please don't feel bad that you weren't there at the exact time of passing.

    There are countless incidences of people waiting until their loved ones have left the room, even for a coffee, and passing. I lost somebody very close to me recently, and the palliative care staff, and many friends and relatives, warned me in advance of losses they had, where they went to get a coffee, or a snack, or they talked to the Dr, or they had to get 2 hours sleep... and almost the moment they leave the person dies.

    Some people need to be alone before they can pass. Whether they can sense their loved ones presence through the coma, or if there is some subconscious part of them that doesn't want to subject them to it, or even if it's a desire to pass privately..... it's really really really common.

    Please don't beat yourself up over this.

    Also - you have a big emotional rollercoaster coming over the next couple of years. Accept that things aren't going to be normal, and you might find yourself crying in unexpected places. Don't feel guilty if you find that you're happy. Sometimes it's the brief moments of happiness in grief that help get us through the dark times. Grief is not linear. It jumps all over the place. A good analogy is to 'ride the tiger'.

    And go easy on yourself. it's a time of momentous change.

    travelfairy.

  13. #53
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    Hi travelfairy,

    I see you are a brand new member of the site so I just want to give you a tip: Check the dates of posts before you reply to them. The thread you posted on had been still for more than a year so I'm not sure if those people are still reading it.

  14. #54
    Quote Originally Posted by gdudak
    Hi travelfairy,

    I see you are a brand new member of the site so I just want to give you a tip: Check the dates of posts before you reply to them. The thread you posted on had been still for more than a year so I'm not sure if those people are still reading it.
    I still read it.

    I will never forget.

    Thanks for the advice travel fairy. Its helped me very much.

  15. #55
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    new to site.. new diagnosis

    my father inlaw has metastatic liver and lung cancer from colon cancer diagnosed 2 years ago. he did chemo/radiation 6 weeks with colon then surgery and chemo again finishing last spring. At that point his cea went from 4.6 down to 2.6. this dec it was at 3.3 alreday . Drs say chemo just for palliable purposes and gave him (fatherinlaw pushed for timeline) 1 1/2-6 years supposedly but 0% survive 5 years with just chemo and liver cancer so I am thinking maybe dr meant months.. we get more results feb 15 (diagnosed feb 1) I have 3 kids all under 6 .. dont know what to tell them? Any idea what I should be expecting or how to handle with kids? Anger issues come with this b/c father in law still smoking through whole process which adds to the emotional rollercoaster..
    Thank you

  16. #56
    Hello all,
    My name is Lisa and I have been doing some research and stumbled across this forum and let me tell all of you how very sorry I am for your struggles and your loss.

    I am a certified Patient Care Technician and I have seen the ugliness of cancer with my patients as well as those who I love. I lost my grandmother in jan 09 to lung cancer that had spread to lymph nodes. She was a tough lady and had gotten dx with stage three lung cancer in apr 08. The doctors would not give my family any kind of time line. Grandma decided to do chemo and radiation to buy her more time as she put it. treatment after treament I watched her fight the inevitable loosing battle. We sent her to the hospital for a fever and dehydration in nov 08. I figured her pulse ox was just awful as the lung cancer had caused her to have a collapsed lung. She was a smoker and smoked most of her life so she was on oxygen two years before her diagnosis. I of course told her she needed to quit and how bad it was for her (im a hypocrit... I smoke). When she got to the hospital she never had another treatment and had been off cigarettes for two years and she would look at me and tell me boy what I would give for a cigarette. At that point it dawned on me who was I to tell her no she couldnt have something the damage was already done. Although it doesnt help the treatment process I have learned that quality and happiness is everything. She deminished quickly and she stopped eating and drinking all together. My mother insisted that they do everything they could while I was having a moral battle. I eventually about january 09 had a talk with my mom about what is fair to grandma may not seem fair to us.. but it isnt about us anymore. We had one more trip to the hospital and after two days of counting respirations I asked if she could go to hospice and be comfortable. Hospice was amazing and after two days with her looking the most peaceful I had seen her since her diagnosis I was able to settle my moral battle and she went to be with the lord after we were all present.

    I since went and worked at the nursing home she was in and being that I am trained for hospice care you learn the signs that the battle and suffering will soon be over. They all hold true... even the nonsense about folding sheets! I have come to my own terms about life and death and the consequences of mistakes and regrets.

    Today I found out that my other grandmother has been diagnosed with liver cancer and lymphoma. Two weeks ago she had 40% of her colon removed due to colon cancer. I am scared for her and I know the outcome and the struggle ahead. I know the prognosis and the treament will be minimal i think oral chemo. I have a 2 1/2 year old son and I just found out a week ago Im pregnant. I know I will expain to my son that grandma has to go help god do his work and it may not seem fair but she has to go for now. I figure when he is older I will be able to explain that he had two of the most courageous grandmas and the battles they went through in hopes he will understand.

    In closing I hope that all of you can find your personal peace and the best of luck to those whom you love.
    I also noticed in reading this forum a lot of questions about how to know the ending is near. Remember everyone and case is different but Medically all the signs at the end are the some. I will share a list of the most common ones:
    lack of food or water intake (really like none)
    Folding sheets and blankets
    Interruption in breathing 30 seconds in between breaths (apnea)
    Increased sleeping and confusion
    dark rusty urine with low output (avg 1 kidney puts out 30cc and hour)
    they tell you goodbye and are insistent on speaking of death
    Loose pigment
    Seems to be in a coma or unconscious for two or more days
    NOTE: Do not over think your loved ones situation on these alone! Work with your Doctor they know each individual case.

  17. #57
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    Hi All,

    I am so glad to have found this forum. My dad has been diagnozed with end stage liver cirrhosis in April 2012 and a month later doctors found a 5cm tumor in the liver which is cancerous. They removed the tumor via laser. About 2 months ago, the doctors again founf cancer growths in his kidney and they have mentioned that they cant do anything about it because his cirrhosis is really bad! My dad has been complaining of severe shoulder pain for a month and even pain killers doesnt work. Yesterday, after some tests, doctors found that the cancer has spread to his bone. I dont know what to expect and what to do. In April 2012 the doctors gave my dad about 6 months more or less and he has been fighting till then. He has his up and down days. We just dont know what to expect and the thought of losing him is devastating.

  18. #58

    lung cancer to liver

    hi , my dad has stage 4 non cel lung cancer and has had chemo for the last 11 months but now the dr said it has spead to his liver in 3 spots the biggest being 2cm... he said that my dad has only weeks left ... but i am confused as he looks no different than the last 6 months... he has no pain but gets breathless very quickly and has lost appetite and sleeps a lot more.... how much time is it when the dr says onl weeks left????? he is now on oral chemo and he is 72 and only 60 kg,,,

 
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