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Stage IV, wasting away and painful bowel movements...HELP

lumaie
Posts: 1
Joined: Apr 2010

Hello.

My 63 year old mother was dx'ed with stage IV stomach carcinoma nearly 2 months ago. It had spread to her liver and lungs(due to lack of interest and care by her medical team)before it was properly named.

She was given one round of palliative chemo to which she had an adverse reaction. Initially, she was in the hospital where she was put in a room to die. My father balked after 10 days. He arranged transport, hospice care and brought her home. Since then, she has been bed ridden, lost all body fat and considerable muscle. However, she is at home and well beyond the doctors' expectations.

Dad helps her exercise her arms and legs a little every day. He tries to make her eat something every day (She had not eaten for 3 weeks during her 2 consecutive hospital stays.) He makes her focus on something other than cancer. We all go "hang out" instead of have "visiting hours."

But...she wants to get out of the bed "before the undertaker has to carry me out of it." I am all for her having this goal. I have agreed to talk to her hospice nurse about additional exercises to build her leg muscles. However, you cannot build what is not there.

Mom is not eating enough food to sustain her body. Her body is drawing its energy where it can and she is wasting away. When I tried to explain it to her, she said it hurts. I thought she meant her stomach, but she said she meant when she had a bowel movement later. She compared the pain to that of child birth. It is low, gripping and spreads across the entire abdomine. We have heard her moan, cry and scream with it...just like chilbirth.

The stool is not hard. She uses as stool softener and gas-x. Does anyone--patient or caregiver, have any suggestions as to what might be causing the pain as it really isn't where her cancer is, or how to ease it? Perhaps any weight gain ideas that won't send her diabetes out of wack. One diabetic coma is enough, I think! You really have to love hospitals.

Thank you to all and God bless.

Tina Blondek's picture
Tina Blondek
Posts: 1560
Joined: Nov 2009

Hello Lumaie,
I feel so sorry for you, your mom, and what you have been going through. With she being diabetic, how does that work with her not eating? Does she have to take medication or insulin for it? My mom is also diabetic. I was a caregiver for my dad, who recently passed away from esophageal cancer with mets to the liver. Regarding her painful bowel movements, I am thinking you should have that checked out by a gastro dr.Is it colon cancer? Is it hemmoroids? No one needs to suffer like that. Will she agree to having hospice come in to help? They are wonderful, and they can teach all of you what to expect in the future, and how to deal with it all. May God bless you all and keep you at this difficult time. Keep in touch.
Tina

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