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Thread: Mother in law refusing treatment for stage 4

  1. #1
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    Unhappy Mother in law refusing treatment for stage 4

    Hi all, I am new to this forum, trying to find some answers for the questions I have regarding stage 4 ovarian cancer. Long story short, my mother in law put off going to the doctor for months and months, knowing very well that she most likely had ovarian cancer. One of her sons finally convinced her to go back in January of this year and they told her it was stage 4 and she had 9 months. She is 48 years old and has lived a very, very destructive lifestyle for many years which has caused her overall health to deteriorate in addition to the cancer. She initially agreed to get treatment but never returned to the doctor to discuss surgery, chemo, etc. and now nearly 6 months later, has not gone back for treatment. I don't know if she is still drinking and doing prescription drugs, as we had cut ties with her in December after we finally got fed up with her destructive behavior (and lack of maturity as a grandmother), so I don't know if she still does that regularly. But I do have a big heart, and despite her behavior, I still don't want to see her suffer, so I took my daughter to see her last week to see how she was. She looked "okay", I mean she still lives at home and is up and about like nothing had changed. She seemed a litter weaker, but other than that she seemed the same. I guess one of the questions I'm really looking to have answered is, will we know when the end is imminent? Like, will she become bed ridden and need hospitalization, or will she just act the same as she does now but go to sleep one night and not be with us anymore come morning?? I'm not trying to be morbid, I just want to know what she is going to go through if she continues to leave things untreated. Although her relationships with all 3 of her children are greatly fractured, I know all of her children love her and are worried. I suppose I really am writing this for her one som who is unfortunately incarcerated. He is terrified something is going to happen to her before he is released in a month and he won't be there to see her through her last days. Please, any answer would be appreciated. I just want to know if we will know when she is getting more sick, could she possibly still have more than 3 months left if she isn't getting treatment and if there is anything she can do to make her last days easier?

  2. #2
    Administrator Top User Didee's Avatar
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    It depends on the individual and their reaction to the chemo. Some may find it very hard and others may derive great benefit. It is also up to the person whether they wish to have treatment or not. My guess is that your brother will be able to be with her as to my knowledge (I am not medically trained) the downward slope will not be that fast. There are general indications and stages, though not all have all stages, of the approach of death in articles on the net if you google for them. I don't think I have any to hand.

    edit.
    I found

    http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/p.../patient/page1

    http://www.hospicenet.org/html/preparing_for.html
    Aussie, age 61
    1987 CIN 111. Cervix lasered, no further problems.

    Years of pain, bleeding, women's plumbing problems. TV ultrasound, tests, eventual hysterectomy 2007, fibroids in lining of Uterus.

    Dx Peripheral T Cell Lymphoma stage 2B bulky, aggressive Dec/09.
    6 chop14 and Neulasta.
    Clean PET April/10, 18 rads 36gy mop up. All done May 2010
    Iffy scan Nov. 2011. Scan Feb 2012 .still in remission.Still NED Nov 2012.
    Discharged Nov 2014.

    May/2012. U/sound, thyroid scan, FNB. Benign adenoma.

    Relapse Apr 2016. AITL. Some chemos then on to allo transplant. Onc says long remission was good. Still very fixable.

    SCT Aug 2016

  3. #3
    Administrator Top User Didee's Avatar
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    There is also Palliative chemotherapy: to reduce side effects from the disease, improving the patientís comfort and quality of life. (see below, Getting care for symptoms.)

    http://www.cancer.net/cancer-types/o...atment-options
    Aussie, age 61
    1987 CIN 111. Cervix lasered, no further problems.

    Years of pain, bleeding, women's plumbing problems. TV ultrasound, tests, eventual hysterectomy 2007, fibroids in lining of Uterus.

    Dx Peripheral T Cell Lymphoma stage 2B bulky, aggressive Dec/09.
    6 chop14 and Neulasta.
    Clean PET April/10, 18 rads 36gy mop up. All done May 2010
    Iffy scan Nov. 2011. Scan Feb 2012 .still in remission.Still NED Nov 2012.
    Discharged Nov 2014.

    May/2012. U/sound, thyroid scan, FNB. Benign adenoma.

    Relapse Apr 2016. AITL. Some chemos then on to allo transplant. Onc says long remission was good. Still very fixable.

    SCT Aug 2016

  4. #4
    Patients with stage 4 ovarian cancer often go into remission after surgery and six chemo treatments. With some types of cancer, stage 4 is too late for dramatic results, but ovarian cancer is often the exception. It depends a lot on the details -- exactly what kind of tumor she has and how the growths are affecting particular organs. Most of that information is learned during surgery. At the very least, I think she needs a doctor's care to help her with symptoms. An untreated cancer isn't kind.
    Diagnosed with stage 2c papillary serous cystadenoma borderline malignancy of the ovary in 2009. Hysterectomy, omenectomy, appendectomy, debulking.
    - 2010 - laparoscopy showed inoperable recurrence, so started chemo.
    - Frontline chemo - carboplatin and cyclophosphamide, six cycles
    - Additional chemo regimens: Avastin - ten cycles; Weekly Topotecan - 4 cycles.
    - Spring 2012 developed pleural nodules. Topotecan plus Avastin - 1year.
    - April, 2014, had surgery to remove Aspergillus infection from right lung.
    - September, 2015, started on Megace because my tumors are PR positive. Stopped Megace after three months.
    - September, 2016, hospitalized for shortness of breath and back pain.
    - September, 2016, respiratory failure reversed with prednisone. Maintaining on 50 mg Prednisone per day and supplemental O2.
    - October, 2016 left hospital with no supplemental oxygen. Feeling great! Will start tapering off the prednisone Oct. 10.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by all4hendrix View Post
    I guess one of the questions I'm really looking to have answered is, will we know when the end is imminent? Like, will she become bed ridden and need hospitalization, or will she just act the same as she does now but go to sleep one night and not be with us anymore come morning?? I'm not trying to be morbid, I just want to know what she is going to go through if she continues to leave things untreated.
    Sorry to hear about your MIL's cancer diagnosis.

    There is no way that we can predict her medical future here on the internet. If she gives you permission to speak to her medical providers, her physician(s) would be the best bet at getting a decent indication of her total medical condition including what she is facing with cancer. And, of course, using links to reliable medical sources on the internet can offer basic education about ovarian cancer.

    Quote Originally Posted by all4hendrix View Post
    ... and if there is anything she can do to make her last days easier?
    She can seek out Hospice services in her area, and interview with more than one if she has a choice, to see which would be a good fit for her needs.
    Tarceva hints in this thread.

    Hospice - a support thread here .

  6. #6
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    Hi!
    If she is a USA citizen she needs to hang on in there because the new immune therapy drugs MK-3475 and Nivolumab (with Ipilumab already registered) are being licenced from June 2014 on in the USA only for some cancers. In fact, they can work in a range of cancers. Side-effects: manageable, less than most other treatments-the usual! Best possible result is a cure. Most don't respond.

 

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