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Thread: Possible Cachexia? Is it the end?

  1. #1
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    Possible Cachexia? Is it the end?

    To start, my mother has been fighting colon cancer for 4 years. It wasn't until this year that the cancer, apparently, started to get worse. She was eating less and experiencing cramping. In March, she went in for 2 weeks of radio-therapy; which I assumed would help with her problems. Needless to say, following the radio-therapy, her weight loss and inability to eat increased. She eventually went to the hospital and attempted a colostomy to get a bag placed. The surgeons, however, stated that the tumor was too large to operate. They regulated her to hospice care and discharged her from the hospital. She was placed on a liquid diet, since it appears she can't pass solid food anymore.

    When she came home from the hospital, she didn't look too bad, simply weak. In the two-to-three weeks since then, she has wasted away dramatically; losing maybe 20-30 lbs. She's almost a skeleton and extremely fatigued. To make matters worse, she's stubborn about getting required/recommended nutrients. I've suggested she increase her protein uptake substantially, and she retorts unfounded non-sense about it being bad for normal kidneys and what not. It's very frustrating/demoralizing.

    I assume she hasn't much left, right? Is it possible she's experiencing side-effects from the radio-therapy; even then, what do I do about her inability to get proper nutrients? I'm at my wits end. I guess I refuse to see the writing on the wall.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Top User Baz10's Avatar
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    A very sad and difficult position for your mom and yourself.

    End stage prognosis at best is hard for the immediate family to accept.

    In my limited experience it can be easier for the sufferer to accept limited time prognosis which in itself can make it harder on the family to accept.

    There comes a time where the sufferer knows and can comes to terms with their situation, whereas the immediate family find it difficult if not impossible to accept which is I suggest a normal reaction.

    If your mom is rejecting nutritional suggestions and vociferously arguing against them at this stage it is probably well advised to accept her stance.

    End stage is never easy, yet she is indicating her preferences , rather than heighten the situation , my suggestion for what it’s worth is to accept her decisions, attempt to be calm and supportive giving her the love and peace she deserves in possibly her final period.

    Emotionally extremely difficult, having been through this situation now 3 times with immediate family members, it’s tough yet, despite our efforts in what we see as the best for them I had to accept their wishes were paramount.

    You are in a unenviable position, but keep in mind she knows in her mind what is best for her.
    Barry
    Diagnosed stage 3 March 011
    Radical resection April 011
    Restaged 2b April 011.
    12/09 Colonoscopy clear but picked up hospital infection.
    Aorta & femoral arteries occluded.
    Clot buster drugs put me in ICU with internal bleeding. 9 blood units later they got it under control.
    Aortobifemoral surgery 5th May. yughh.
    PET scan indicates clear
    DEXA bone scan clear
    13/5 CT showed "unknown" but no concern from docs.
    Inguinal lymph nodes and severe groin pain.
    Ultrasound and MRI show no nasties. Pheww
    Groin pain and enlarged lymph nodes still there.
    October -still the same pains but under semi control.
    Additional chest CT scan ordered for 11th November prior to surgery.
    Sinus surgery done and dusted.
    July 2014 PSA at 5.10. 2months of antibiotics in case of UTI, jan 2015 PSA at 7.20, 23/08 now 8.2, current 8.1
    Prostate Cancer confirmed Gleason 3+Marginal 4.
    Active surveillance continues.
    PET CT Aug 2017 indicated lung nodule changes
    CT Guided biopsy 7/09
    November 1 Vats Wedge section pathology Glomulated previous infection
    no Cancer.

    Not all's rosy in the garden, but see following.
    Stop grumbling Baz, your still alive and kicking so far.
    Age and illness doesn't define who we are, but more what we are able to do.
    Motto
    Do what I love doing, when I can until I can't.
    and dodging bullets in the meanwhile, too many bullets at moment.

  3. #3
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    The truth hurts, but you're right. I definitely don't wish this experience on anybody, it's emotionally draining.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator Top User Baz10's Avatar
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    Indeed it can lead to emotional turmoil.
    There is a fine balance between keeping a cool rational head and instinctive emotions in control.
    The opposite frankly doesn’t bare thinking about and can lead to serious complications for all, not I add a route that anyone wishes.

    the most important is to realise and attempt to rationalise the needs and wishes of the sufferer which I suggest can and is extremely difficult with one so close.
    My thoughts are with you during this stressful time.
    Barry
    Diagnosed stage 3 March 011
    Radical resection April 011
    Restaged 2b April 011.
    12/09 Colonoscopy clear but picked up hospital infection.
    Aorta & femoral arteries occluded.
    Clot buster drugs put me in ICU with internal bleeding. 9 blood units later they got it under control.
    Aortobifemoral surgery 5th May. yughh.
    PET scan indicates clear
    DEXA bone scan clear
    13/5 CT showed "unknown" but no concern from docs.
    Inguinal lymph nodes and severe groin pain.
    Ultrasound and MRI show no nasties. Pheww
    Groin pain and enlarged lymph nodes still there.
    October -still the same pains but under semi control.
    Additional chest CT scan ordered for 11th November prior to surgery.
    Sinus surgery done and dusted.
    July 2014 PSA at 5.10. 2months of antibiotics in case of UTI, jan 2015 PSA at 7.20, 23/08 now 8.2, current 8.1
    Prostate Cancer confirmed Gleason 3+Marginal 4.
    Active surveillance continues.
    PET CT Aug 2017 indicated lung nodule changes
    CT Guided biopsy 7/09
    November 1 Vats Wedge section pathology Glomulated previous infection
    no Cancer.

    Not all's rosy in the garden, but see following.
    Stop grumbling Baz, your still alive and kicking so far.
    Age and illness doesn't define who we are, but more what we are able to do.
    Motto
    Do what I love doing, when I can until I can't.
    and dodging bullets in the meanwhile, too many bullets at moment.

  5. #5
    Newbie New User
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    Jun 2018
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    4
    It's finally over, she passed yesterday. Thank you again.

  6. #6
    Moderator Top User Fourlegsgood's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    972
    Quote Originally Posted by heflys20 View Post
    It's finally over, she passed yesterday. Thank you again.

    I am sorry for your loss. Cherish your memories, that is how people stay with us for ever.
    Age 1/2 way to 120 plus 1. Symptom of blood in stools May 2011. Colonoscopy June 2011 confirmed rectal cancer. CT scan June 2011 showed no spread to other organs. Anterior resection July 2011 plus 50% bowel removed due to thickening observed during operation. Biopsy confirmed stage 2 in rectum only. Completed 8 cycles of precautionary capecitabine (4600mg Xeloda). Returned to horse riding 6 weeks post op, jumping 2weeks later and first competition 2 weeks after that. July 2012 - CT scan clear. June 2014 - CT scan clear. December 2014 - Colonoscopy clear. July 2017 - 6 year CT scan clear.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator Top User Baz10's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    5,401
    I am sorry to hear this.
    As Nick said, cherish all the wonderful memories.
    Physically she may not be with you, but in your hearts she always will be.

    My sincere condolences
    Barry
    Diagnosed stage 3 March 011
    Radical resection April 011
    Restaged 2b April 011.
    12/09 Colonoscopy clear but picked up hospital infection.
    Aorta & femoral arteries occluded.
    Clot buster drugs put me in ICU with internal bleeding. 9 blood units later they got it under control.
    Aortobifemoral surgery 5th May. yughh.
    PET scan indicates clear
    DEXA bone scan clear
    13/5 CT showed "unknown" but no concern from docs.
    Inguinal lymph nodes and severe groin pain.
    Ultrasound and MRI show no nasties. Pheww
    Groin pain and enlarged lymph nodes still there.
    October -still the same pains but under semi control.
    Additional chest CT scan ordered for 11th November prior to surgery.
    Sinus surgery done and dusted.
    July 2014 PSA at 5.10. 2months of antibiotics in case of UTI, jan 2015 PSA at 7.20, 23/08 now 8.2, current 8.1
    Prostate Cancer confirmed Gleason 3+Marginal 4.
    Active surveillance continues.
    PET CT Aug 2017 indicated lung nodule changes
    CT Guided biopsy 7/09
    November 1 Vats Wedge section pathology Glomulated previous infection
    no Cancer.

    Not all's rosy in the garden, but see following.
    Stop grumbling Baz, your still alive and kicking so far.
    Age and illness doesn't define who we are, but more what we are able to do.
    Motto
    Do what I love doing, when I can until I can't.
    and dodging bullets in the meanwhile, too many bullets at moment.

  8. #8
    Newbie New User
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Posts
    4
    Thank you all again, I most come to terms with this lose. It's still surreal, but I'll manage. Bless you all.

 

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