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Help!!

plshelpmymom
Posts: 2
Joined: Dec 2010

My mother was recently diagnosed with intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma after being misdiagnosed as having IBS for several months. She is extrememly weak and is currently hospitalized in a sub-acute unit. She has not been able to eat for a quite some time and has lost a substantial amount of weight. I am trying to help her eat and trying to encourage protein supplements in the form of ensure, enlive and yogurt, applesauce with protien supplements mixed in to them. She has several tumors throughout her liver including a 12cm lesion. Her liver function is still fairly good, however, she is extremely weak (mostly from not eating). She had a PET scan which showed that the cancer is still confined to her liver. Dr.'s tell us there is no hope and that there is no treatment option for her at this time because of her weak status. We are trying to build her up so that she can have chemo embolization or therasphere. Our hearts are breaking, is there anyone out there who can help us? We don't want to give up hope, PLEASE, PLEASE IS THERE ANYONE THAT CAN HELP??

SarahD's picture
SarahD
Posts: 140
Joined: Jun 2010

How old is your mother, what is her general health like? Yoi should seek out a second opinion ASAP for two reasons, 1. the cancer is still confined to the liver making more survivable but that is only a matter of time until is spreads. Once it spreads treatment options are limited. and second the fact that they are saying no treatment at this point seems odd to me.

plshelpmymom
Posts: 2
Joined: Dec 2010

Thanks for your reply. My mom was a very active and strong 74 year old woman up to approximately 3 mos. ago. She stopped eating and began to lose weight which has made her very weak. She is not able to eat very much now, and I have been trying to encourage her every day to eat. I think the reason that treatment options are not being offered is because of her weak status due to her poor nutrition. Bilirubin is 1.0, serum albumin is low though (maybe due to nutrition as well?) at 2.0, she has good clotting times. She doesn't look like she has any jaundice. I am desperate to make her stronger to allow some type of treatment. I believe she has cachexia? Is there anything I can make her to eat or do to make her stronger? I believe this is her only chance. She is not walking right now due to her weakness and we have talked to several Dr.'s who have advised us to call hospice and take her home and spend time together. I really was hoping for some type of ablasion with chemo, but the Dr. said the tumor is too large and worried that she is too weak for the chemo. Is there any chemo treatment that has fewer or milder side effects? What about Therasphere? We are willing to take her anywhere or do anything to help her. I read other posts and info from people who have lesions all over their bodies and are being treated? We are frustrated, heartbroken and scared that we are going to lose our beloved mom without even having had a fighting chance. Thanks in advance for any advice anyone can offer. We are praying for a miracle!

Pennymac02's picture
Pennymac02
Posts: 336
Joined: Aug 2010

First off, I am not a doctor. But this is my experiance( My husband has HCC)-Liver cancer is a horse of another color. While most cancers respond well to chemo, the liver cancers do not. They can slow the tumor growth down, give medicine to shrink the tumors, but non surgical treatments are only pallitive options; the only thing curative is resection or transplant. You've got to get your mother out of that bed and walking! If she's too weak to walk, she'll be too weak for treatment. My husband had two embolizations on a tumor that was 5 cm, and the second one sent him into liver failure. Those were the kind WITHOUT chemo. He is a 56 yr old man who was riding his Harley in October this year, and now he has spent the last 2 weeks in the hospital, with incredibly high billirubin, high ammonia, and now kidney trouble. The cancer is not what has made him this sick--it was the treatment to kill the cancer that did it. We are waiting for an air ambulance to take him to a transplant center; without it he has weeks to live. He was just diagnosed in July of this year.

Get a second opinion. Get a third opinion. Don't just take what the first doctor says as gospel. No offense to MD's, but they are human and have been known to make mistakes. Ask if your mom can go on TPN--thats I.V. nutrition. Maybe that will help make her stronger.
Post often on the Caregivers board for support. I get a lot of help there. Good luck and stay strong. Hugs,
Penny

Tina Blondek's picture
Tina Blondek
Posts: 1561
Joined: Nov 2009

Hello I totally agree, get a 2nd or 3rd opinion now, do not waste anymore time. I would also suggest she gets a feeding tube now! I am surprised the drs have not suggested that. Sounds like these drs and this hospital have given up on your mom, but don't you. Put your foot down, get her out of there, and get her to a hospital that will treat her, or do surgery. Take it slow. Let us know how she is doing.
Tina in Va

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