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Thread: Fluid build up-Life expectancy

  1. #1

    Fluid build up-Life expectancy

    Hi Everyone,

    New here. My mom has been back in forth to nursing facility's the past year for a variety of reasons. She is currently on dialysis for her kidneys. About a month and a half ago, they took an MRI of her liver and found several lesions. They are almost positive it is liver cancer. They can't do a biopsy or any further tests because of her poor overall health condition and that she is so high risk as it is. Also the cancer cannot be managed with chemo, surgery, nothing.

    The doctor and others have told us that it is best we take her off the dialysis, because that isn't going to help her and that it is only prolonging her life. Currently there is a build up of fluid around the liver/or abdomen, I forget which one, head is not clear, and the NP at the nursing facility suggested taking her off of dialysis as well. One dr. told me that by taking a patient off of dialysis that they could die within a couple of weeks, some months, it all varies. Well the odds are against her because she has so many other health problems as well going on.

    Did anyone have any family/friendswith this fluid build up and what would be the life expectancy (say we don't take her off dialysis and just let the cancer take its course) of it? I don't want her to suffer and initially she has to make the final decision, as long as she is competent to do so.

    It breaks my heart because I am about 11 weeks away to giving birth to my 1st baby, her 1st grandchild (the one thing she has always wanted). And I want her so badly to at least meet him.

    Any information would be helpful. Thanks everyone.

  2. #2
    I am also new here (1st post) and I am so sorry to hear what you are going through.
    My mom has secondary liver cancer (just diagnosed today by biopsy) and this all started with a diagnosis of small cell lung cancer in July of 06. She was in remission from Dec 06 until a PET scan on 4-07.
    My mom also has ascitis (sp?) which is the swelling of the abdomen. The dr believes that hers is the result of the struggling liver which is not doing its normal filtering job. At this point, he is not treating that symptom although he is treating the pain with Dilaudid that she is experiencing with the liver issues. She also has a lot of itching that goes along with the liver issues and he prescribed a low does of prednisone (steriod) to help with that. Another symptom of liver failure is confusion which is due to toxic buildup in the brain, but she does not have that yet thankfully.
    My mom starts the second line of chemo this next week and we hope it will bring pain relief soon by shrinking the metastases. She also has a lot of nausea which can be related to the liver problems as well.
    I know that you very much want your mom to see her grandchild and we can hope and pray that it happens. I wish I could offer more advice or info other than what we have been through.
    I have a one year old and a five year old, and my five year old is very close to my mom. I very much want my one year old to know my mom. It is very difficult when she cannot see them because she is so sick. I hope they find a treatment that will help your mom as I hope they will for my mom.
    Laura
    Laura
    Daughter to a wonderful mom (age 66) diagnosed with SCLC 7-06. Complete remission following 4 rounds of chemo. PET in 4-07 showed mets to liver and residual disease in lung. Starting chemo again in late may.

  3. #3
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    It's hard to say what to expect, but someone on dialysis won't live very long. A biopsy would be helpful to figure out what kind of cancer she has, but it's also reasonable to not pursue this if she isn't healthy. Best wishes and keep us posted.
    RLee, MD

    Any information provided is NOT intended to provide specific medical advice to users but rather to provide users with information to help them better understand their health condition and related care. All readers are strongly encouraged to consult with a qualified physician for answers to their personal medical questions.

  4. #4
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    This post is over a month since rlee and lccakes posted but I wanted to offer my thoughts and prayers. It's especially difficult when our loved ones are preparing to say goodbye to children and grandchildren.

  5. #5
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    My Mother was treated this week for fluid on the liver, which is a complication to her liver cancer. She was treated as an outpatient at the hospital. Some blood test were taken the morning of the proceedure, and then a needle was inserted into the area to remove the fluid, ultrasound was used to help the doctor locate the correct spot to remove the fluid. About 5 1/2 liters of fluid was removed, and she was released after a couple hours of observation, to make sure the wound was not bleeding. She said the needle insertion was no worse than getting a shot. She was exhasted afterwards, and has spent most of the last few days in bed. It may need to be done again in the future if there is a fluid build up again. Currently both my Mother and her sister are both being treated for cancer. The share a Condo together, and try to watch out for each other the best the can, and some of the family members and I try to get them to all their appointments since they are both so weak.

  6. #6
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    Fluid build up-Life expectancy

    Hi there

    Such a tough set of choices to make, there's never a right choice and you always question if you made the right one afterwards. Whilst your mom is competent enough all you can do is support her in whichever choice she makes. As her health worsens, she may feel differently about it.

    Before my mum passed away, she was in extreme pain but not competent enough to make any choices. I was grateful when the suffering ended. But if someone has alot of spirit and longs to see their 1st grandchild they can find the strength to carry on. Try to find this spirit in your mom and be guided by this...and whatever choice is made. it will be the right one for you, perhaps not others but what's important is what's right for your mom because every mom is unique.

    Good luck.

  7. #7
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    Fluid build up-Life expectancy

    Hello,

    My Dad is also suffering with ascites. The first time the fluid was drained, it really helped to make him comfortable. The second time was two weeks later and he had to stay in hospital for four days (came out on Monday). Yesterday when I spoke to him, Dad said he will need to go in again at the beginning of next week.

    It seems that Dad's symptoms are escalating, and we feel that it is only a matter of weeks now. Dad was diagnosed with liver cancer at the end of August and had chemo up to mid October. Now the doctors are just trying to make him comfortable with diruretics and the drainage visits.

    I know this hasn't directly answered your question as our circumstance is different.

    This period will be difficult, I know, I've already lost Mum to liver cancer. Each day gets a little easier. I only cry for Mum sometimes now (its been thirteen years) and she died without seeing any of her daughters get married, or any of her grand children. She died whilst we were in our teens and early twenties.
    Although I cry a lot for Dad right now (not that he sees it)

    Try and remain positive for your Mum.

    Queensland Girl

  8. #8
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    Fluid and life expectencey

    Queensland girl,

    It appears we both have family members going thru they same thing. This week Mom got an ultrasound, and it showed fluid building up again. It was just drained two weeks ago, and the pain never really went away. I think the did the ultrasound as a method to locate the most likely place to take the biopsy from the liver. Mom has had two Chemoembolization treatments since the liver cancer was diagnosed a little over a year ago. It was too massive for surgery or a transplant, but the treatments seemed to have extended her life. the original prognosis was three to five months at best. Her mind had been very sharp, until these last few weeks. She seems to be somewhat confused of late. Her hearing is going as well, but there seems to be more complications showing now. We are waiting for the doctors to review the ultrasound and let us know what they plan to do next. She now spends most of her time in bed, and is not eating as well anymore. Currently she is living with her sister who is also being treated for multiple cancers, and is also declining in health.
    y cousin who has gone thru breast cancer, and is also in poor health has been staying with them and trying to help them as much as possible. These brave ladies have always been the "glue" that has held our families together. Keep us posted on your family members treatments, and I will try to do the same.

    Thanks,
    Slantnose

  9. #9
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    Fluid in the abdomen - ascites

    Chad,

    Thanks for the information link on the TIPS proceedure. I was a little shocked when you said you had 10 liters of fluid being removed each week. Mom had 5.5 liters two weeks ago, and they removed 4.5 liters this morning. I am going to ask around to see if there is anywhere in Southeast Florida where this proceedure is being done. She is not on the waiting list for a new liver at this time. She is 77years old, and was in fairly good general health, prior to the cancer which was diagnoised a little over a year ago. The cancer was a very large mass, that could not be sectioned. They also said due to her age, etc. a transplant was not an option. When she had the Chemoeboliztion theraphy done, there is an additive to the chemicals, that helps keep the chemicals in the liver by blociing off part of one of the arteries. It sounds as though this could possibly cause the additional pressure build up of fluids, or it may just be a common occurance because the liver is not functioning 100%. Did you ever get a liver transplant since you had this proceedure done in 05? Did you have any complications after the TIPS proceedure? Thanks for your response, and the link.

    Slantnose

  10. #10
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    Chad,

    It sounded as though you were in worse shape than my Mom, but things turned around for you. I am going to talk with her and the doctors about this proceedure. You have made an amazing recovery. Going from using the scooter, to running marathons. Again thank you for the information, I think your story may encourage her not to give up.

    Slantnose

  11. #11
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    Fliud build up

    Hi Slantnose,

    Just to let you know that this is the procedure my dad had last week. Unfortunately it doesn't seem to have helped as much as the other man's post. I guess there are lots of factors that influence individual outcomes. Nonetheless, if your Mum has it, I hope it is successful.

    Regards,

    Queensland Girl

  12. #12
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    Hi Slantnose,

    We've just come back from visiting Dad and his fluid buildup seems to be starting to get under control. He is tired a lot because has to go to the toilet every hour or so, so doesn't sleep well.

    I hope your Mum is okay

  13. #13
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    Fluid build up improvement

    Queesland Girl,

    I am glad to hear your Dad is starting to get the fluid build up under control. My Mom, had it done three times in November, and should have it done again now. This last time it leaked for several days before it finally closed up. She fell a couple times this last month, because he legs have gotten so weak. Her doctor's determined it was time to have hospice take over her care, and admitted her to the Hospice Center at the hospital. They told us if they can stabalize her condition, she will be able to return home, but under full time hospice care, and they also told me to be prepared, as she may not return home again. Since she has been in the hospital they have tried to convince her to allow them to drain the fluid again, but she has refused the treatment. I have talked to her about it, but she will never say OK, she just smiles at me and holds my hand. She is comfortable and relaxed, and the family goes to see her everyday. It will be hard to let her go, even though she told us she is ready.

  14. #14

    Liver cancer

    We lost my brother in law to liver cancer on Nov. 1 this year. I know there will be difference's in some of the changes that they go through but hopefully this may be of some help.
    1. Ernie had primary liver cancer.
    2. His bloating started about 3 months prior to his death.
    3. The steroids were a God send as they provided energy that he had not
    known for months.
    4. Watch the itching as it can become bad enough to create sores.
    5. The toxins in his brain started causing some confusion about 2 months
    prior to his death and of course progressed. However I found that by
    talking directly to him (holding his face and speaking his name until
    eye contact was made he seemed to beable to break through the
    haze.)
    6. Watch for the skin to become very dry and swelling in the feet and
    lower legs.
    7. Ernie was able to use a walker up to 3 days before he passed. We had
    to walk behind him as his stability became worse.
    8. He quit eating 3 days prior to passing but continued to take some fluids
    in for another 2 days.
    9. The toxins in his brain told him he was no longer in pain and had quit
    taking pain meds the last 3 days. We also found that Methadone in the
    late stages (last 2 months was extremely helpful in the pain control.
    10. Ernie watched Monday night football in the living room (Oct. 29th)
    with us, we put him to bed around 9:30 p.m. He insisted on getting up
    Tuesday morning to go to the bathroom (he was in diapers but didn't
    understand) we put him back in bed and was unable to get up again.
    Ernie was still able to communicate however the voice was very weak,
    On Oct. 31, Ernie was no longer taking fluids or able to talk, however
    eye contact was still able to be made. Ernie did not slip into a coma at
    anytime during his waking moments he did however sleep 95% of the
    time. I put Ernie to bed at 9:30 p.m. on Oct. 31 (changed his diaper
    gave him a kiss and told him I loved him and would see him in the
    morning.) Ernie left us at 1:00 A.M. the morning of Nov. 1st. 2007
    11. Ernie was diagosned Oct 28th 2006 with primary liver cancer
    I MISS HIM DEARLY

  15. #15

    Ascites and edema

    My mom has edema and ascites now since her last chemoemobilization treatment last week...these complications are new to my family since it is the first time it has happened...

    I guess we all share the same questions and concerns...
    Donate Life
    _________
    ~Evelyn

    Mom has HEP C, Cirrhosis and HCC
    Diagnosed with HCC July '07
    Successful Liver Transplant on Jan. 19, 2008
    Moms Story (Illness):
    http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.php?t=6951

    Moms Story (Transplant):
    http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.php?t=8517

  16. #16
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    Hello,

    Just to let you know my Dad passed away on January 7. He seemed frail on Christmas, but still mostly lucid. On New Years Eve I had to get him taken to hospital as he stopped being able to swallow, then he deteriorated rapidly. His suffering was intense and he fought to the end, but it was not a peaceful passing. At least he is with Mum now.

    Regards,

    Queensland Girl

  17. #17

    queensland girl

    I am so sorry for your loss. My prayers are with you and your family at this time.
    Donate Life
    _________
    ~Evelyn

    Mom has HEP C, Cirrhosis and HCC
    Diagnosed with HCC July '07
    Successful Liver Transplant on Jan. 19, 2008
    Moms Story (Illness):
    http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.php?t=6951

    Moms Story (Transplant):
    http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.php?t=8517

 
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