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My mom is 76years old and I don't want her to go yet

thankfuld
Posts: 9
Joined: Nov 2002

My mom just got out of surgery and got 3/4 of her stomach removed. What we initially thought was an early detection was found to have spread throughout her abdomen area. The doctors are saying radiation won't help because it has spread so widely in her lower abdomen. Chemo is an option, but it has been suggested that foregoing chemo so she has a better quality of life is also an option; which means it's too late. I'm sad, can't sleep, and love my mother very much. I'm hoping for a miracle or some kind of treatment which has worked for others. If anyone has anything that they can share, I know the reality of it all, but don't want to give up.

karver
Posts: 12
Joined: Dec 2002

I know exactly what you mean. My mom is only 68 years old was just diagnost with Stomach cancer not even 2 weeks ago. Tomorrow she goes in for a surgery too. They are saying that they may remove her stomache, but the doctor thinks it has spread too much, so he might not even do that!! Just 2 weeks ago we were happy, getting ready for christmas and now this! We are all just devistated, uninformed, scared. I don't have anything good to share with you except that your not alone and I pray your mom has many more years with you.

thankfuld
Posts: 9
Joined: Nov 2002

Thanks Karver. I will pray for your mom and her surgery tomorrow. Stay positive for your mom in front of her so she remembers what she lives for. A good friend of mine told me yesterday; I know you're sad because you'll miss her, but think of all the good things you can be thankful for. Think of the good things that you have had, and not what you'll miss. I'm looking at Asian sites for herbal cures, because stomach cancer is prevalent in that region. If you find anything, please let me know.

heatherfig
Posts: 6
Joined: Dec 2002

You are in my prayers. My mother is going through the same thing right now. We are also devastated and I know how you are feeling. IT is a tough road but these are the times that we are needed by our families. I will be sure to pass on any helpful info. I know my mother is having luck with oatmeal, pasta and fish. If your mother is having trouble eating you may want to try these. Milk shakes seems to be great too. I am sorry I ahve no answers. Maybe knowing there are others in your position will help. Never give up! There will be plenty of time to mourn if your mother passes away. Now is the time to be there for her. That is how I see it anyway.

thankfuld
Posts: 9
Joined: Nov 2002

Thanks heatherfig. You're right. The only thing that gets me back to reality and out of sadness is that I don't take life as an entitlement and instead bless each day that we have together. Death is easy. It's living that is a miracle. My mom actually got readmitted back into the hospital the other day, 4 days after she got released because her stomach seemed distended and bloated outside the normal surgical area. The doctor took an X-Ray and an upper GI and found that there is an obstruction to her intestines. They suspect that her stomach is swollen from the surgery and have pumped her stomach and are feeding her intravenously so that her stomach can rest from doing any kind of digestive work and heal. When they pumped her stomach, a lot of the food she had been eating came out. I felt so bad for her because we kept telling her to eat so she could build her strength up for chemo. And here she felt like puking it all up. The doctor said it could be a couple of other things too, but the best case is that it is just some swelling and that it will get better in a couple of days. The other thing that didn't help is that the dietician in the hospital the first visit gave us a Roux en Y diet instead of an anti-dumping, gastric surgery diet. Even though that's the procedure my mom had, the Roux en Y diet is mostly for people that get the procedure to lose weight! Ugghhhh. She had a great sleep last night though, so I hope things are getting more comfortable for her. Thanks for your prayers, as I pray for you and your family and for miracles.

heatherfig
Posts: 6
Joined: Dec 2002

My mother went back into the hospital too. She was feeling very nautious and was in pain. She wasn't really eating at all. The surgeon kept telling her it was anxiety. The oncologist gave her all types of medication, pain, nautia, etc... They seemed to work for a few days and now she is nautious again. I feel so sorry for her and my father. We all feel powerless. I wonder if this nautia is normal 5 weeks after surgery? The doctor prescribed anti-anxiety medication but she won't take it. She insists that it is not anxiety. Any ideas? You and I are in the same boat. My mother also needs to get strong to start the chemo. They won't start until she gains some weight and shows that she is on a regular eating schedule. Has anyone given you any helpful advise in this regard?
You and your family continue to be in my prayers.
-Heatherfig

thankfuld
Posts: 9
Joined: Nov 2002

Hi Heatherfig,

Is your mom out of the hospital now? Well, my mom unfortunately is still in the hospital with a nasal gastric tube pumping her stomach to measure how much her stomach is accumulating. The pumping is necessary so she doesn't feel nauseous because of the buildup in her stomach. So far she's been in the hospital since 12/19 - 10 days, and with no indication of when she'll be discharged until her gastric pump output decreases and we see signs that the swelling has decreased and the obstruction is clear. The doctors tell us that it sometimes takes longer for cancer patients with gastric surgery to heal because the cancer cells are taking away from the immune system. I hope he's right. Her output has shown signs of decreasing so I'm crossing my fingers that she's finally recovering from the surgery.

If your mom is OK with this, take an active role in her treatment and care. Find out what tests have been done and what the results were. For instance, my mom got readmitted after she got an X-Ray and I think an upper GI test where she had to swallow barium. Little barium was seen passing through her stomach which is how they figured she had an obstruction(the barium was very thick and has taken long to pump out - now the doctors are suggesting that the next time she takes a test it is with a thinner liquid that can still show if food is passing through her stomach.) No harm asking the doctors what tests have and will be performed and if they've checked to see if there was an obstruction.

In the meantime, I suspect our first chemo treatment will be delayed too. So we are attempting to put together a game plan and exploring nutrition supplements to build up her immune system and fight the cancer naturally until she is able to get a chemo treatment. We figured we have a short window of opportunity before the cancer gets so advanced that it starts to shut organs down. So we have discussed this with our doctors and they are fine with allowing us to get additional liquid supplements for my mom to inject into her j-tube. I don't know if your mom had one placed in her; but it goes directly into her intestines to get nutrients. I'm glad my mom has it. She's lost 12 pounds since before her surgery 2 1/2 weeks ago and the j-tube nutrition is helping to mitigate further weight loss.

We're checking shark cartilage, Co-Q10, mistletoe, 714x, and a bunch of other supplements that help the immune system. The stats aren't promising for the stage of cancer that my mom has, so we figure we don't have much to lose by trying complementary alternative medicine. We went to a vitamin shop today and got some good reference material. Good luck with your mom. Keep me posted with your progress and stay positive for your mom. It is a blessing to have this time to share together with our moms because the day will come when we won't be able to. And don't forget to take care of yourself too!

Thankfuld

karver
Posts: 12
Joined: Dec 2002

Hello again. Well my mom never had the surgery, the doctor figured it would be fatal for him to remove any of her stomache. So what they did do was put in something called a stent - it is a plastic tube (like a thick straw) that they put in from the stomche to the intestine so that food can get through - my mom has a major blockage there. She was home for Christmas and has not thrown up for 10 days now. She is still very light (92 lbs) so I've made all sorts of blended soups with whipping cream and all kinds of good stuff, trying to fatten her up for her try with Chemo. They told us that if she just lived with the stent and no chemo, she would only have about 2 months to live, with chemo, she might be able to make it for a year or a little more.
It's so hard to beleive - she is in no pain, still is spunky and active, looks good (other than too skinny). The way these things hit, unbelievable. The doctor said by the extent of it, he thinks it has been growing there for about 4 years!!!! And she never had a sign.
I'm just thankful for each good day that we are blessed with and hope that there will be plenty more to come.
Good luck to all of you and if I hear of any alternatives that work I will let you know.

thankfuld
Posts: 9
Joined: Nov 2002

Hi Karver,
That is so great to hear! What kind of cancer does she have? My mom has a stomach adenocarcinoma and peritoneal carcinomatosis which means that the cancer has metastasized throughout her abdomen area. How we found it was that she had blood loss in August 2001; doctors saw nothing wrong, and then she had more blood loss this June 2002 and November 2002. They found an ulcer that didn't heal and unfortunately recommended to operate so that the ulcer wouldn't open up and cause death by bleeding. That's when they saw the cancer all over the place....

We were in the hospital over Christmas and plan on celebrating New Year's there too. Mom has good days and bad days but when she has good days, she is on the phone non-stop!

So glad your mom is up and about. Let us know how she is and how the chemo goes! Happy New Year.

karver
Posts: 12
Joined: Dec 2002

Hello again,
I'm not exactly sure of the technical names of the stomache cancer but I do know that hers has also spread in the abdominal cavity. I only reason we knew she had it though is because the tumor blocked the stomache to intestine.
So mom is doing pretty good. She had one dose of chemo and pulled through that pretty good. She will be losing her hair though, so she is pretty upset about that. She is able to eat more solid foods now, which is making us hope that the chemo has shrunk the tumor some. She says she feels 100% better than she was a month ago. I hope she is with me for a long time.
I hope all is well with your mom and the new year is bringing you some good times.

thankfuld
Posts: 9
Joined: Nov 2002

Hi Karver,
I'm very glad that your mom is doing well. I'm sad to say my mom passed away on Jan. 19th. In retrospect, it looks like your doctors gave you good advice in not having any surgery. My mom never fully recovered from her surgery and never was able to eat again. Her inability to recover also prevented her from getting any chemo. One of the major things that we failed in knowing is the staging of my mom's cancer prior to surgery. We went under the bad assumption it was in early stage. Our surgeon did not take advantage of all the testing that could be done to make the best strategy. Instead he believed in opening her up and seeing for himself. All in all, she spent the most of the rest of her life in the hospital except for the last few days. I'm so torn between looking back and regretting our decisions and letting God's hands take its course. If anyone would like to know of what we learned from this so we can help others, I would be glad to help. Unfortunately I am pretty devastated that the most important person in my life was the casualty of our ignorance.

karver
Posts: 12
Joined: Dec 2002

Oh Thankfuld, I am so sorry to hear that. Don't regret any of your decisions. When the doctor told me he wasn't going to operate, I was mad. I beleived he didn't want to waste his time with my mom. If I would have had the choice, I would have told him to operate. I felt like I did do my research, so I beleived operating would be the best. You are not ignorant, this is just a horrible disease.
My mom is eating solids foods now and eating like a horse, but she is still barely 90lbs, I'm worried because she's not gaining weight. It's very scary to see my mom so thin. I live with the fear of losing her every day, but like you said in your previous messages, we are enjoying every day we have together.
Again, I am so very sorry to hear your news. May peace and comfort wash over you.
She will always be with you. What we love becomes a part of us.

thankfuld
Posts: 9
Joined: Nov 2002

Hi Karver,
Your kind words mean a lot to me. I pray for you and your mom and really do hope a miracle can help both of you. No one expected my mom to go so quickly, especially not her. I know she wasn't ready and kept thinking she would get better, but she never did. A lot of good memories and stories went with her. I advise anyone with a loved one to get as much as they can on tape so they can keep it with them forever. The day before my mom died, she left her all so familiar voice mail on my cell phone. My husband got it on a digital recorder and now I have it with me to remember all the times she used to call me. I just wish I would have recorded more. I am so very glad I spent the time I did with my mom during her last few months. You are lucky you have this extra time with her. Tell her I said hello, and wish her lots of love.

Thankfuld

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