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New to Discussion: Mom Has Stage IV Uterine Cancer Mets to Lungs

cmisto's picture
cmisto
Posts: 4
Joined: Nov 2010

Hi ladies. I have been a lurker on this discussion group since September, and you all have been my lifeline ... just by your being here and sharing all your stories and words of encouragement has been a source of strength and comfort to me. I think it's time that I join you now. My mom (69 years old) was diagnosed with Stage IV Uterine Cancer metasticized to the lungs back in September of 2010. She is being treated at Dana Farber in Boston, and after three rounds of Carboplatin/Taxol, her CT scan showed that one of the masses in her pelvis has grown slightly and did not respond to the chemo. Her lungs are stable, however, nodules did not shrink. Her oncologist now has her on Doxil which she seems to be tolerating well, and will scan her again in May to see if the Doxil has shrunk the nodules in her lungs and the tumors in her pelvis/abdomen. My question is this. Her doctor is not even considering surgery of any kind at this time. When I asked to explain why, she said to think of my mom's cancer like a house on fire where two rooms are burning, the pelvis/abdomen and the lungs. You have to put out the fire in both rooms at the same time, not just one, she explained. And chemo in this case is the water. It does not make sense to me why she wouldn't have her masses removed first, so that the chemo doesn't have to work as hard and there aren't as many cancer cells to attack. Any insight you ladies have would be much appreciated.

Cindy Bear
Posts: 566
Joined: Jul 2009

and welcome. Sorry you have to be here for your mom but this is a great place. I am sure the ladies will be chipping in soon with lots of sage advice. I was a caretaker to my mom, she was79, 78 when diagnosed at Stage IV uterine edenocarcinoma. We were devastated. Her pelvic area was filled with cancer, and a spot in her lung . She also had a couple of spots on her liver that we were told were not cancer. Then we were told they were. They would not do surgery up front, same reason. Surgery and radiation are localized treatment, with stage IV they like to start chemo right away because it's a systemic treatment..it goes all thru you, killing as much cancer as it can, and reducing tumors . My mother was on taxol and carboplatin the "Gold standards" At the midpoint she had a cat scan and we were told it was basically good and they would to a couple more rounds of chemo and possibly look at surgery. My mother passed away before that could happen. We do not know why.. other than the chemo supposedly stopped working...But my mom was almost 80 and to be truthful she had a "glass is half empty and leaving a watermark on the table" frame of mind. Dana Farber is supposed to be one of the best. And down the road, you mom might be able to have surgery... Good luck to her and you.
Hugs,
Cindy

cmisto's picture
cmisto
Posts: 4
Joined: Nov 2010

Sorry to hear about your mom Cindy. That must have been so difficult for you to have her pass like that and not really understand why, especially when it seemed the treatment is working. As a friend of mine said, this is a marathon and not a sprint. Hopefully, my mom will make it to the finish line.

Her oncologist at Dana Farber did say that she is starting with the systemic treatment and there are several other options she is considering if the Doxil isn't effective.

In the meantime, glad you and the other ladies are here!

TiggersDoBounce's picture
TiggersDoBounce
Posts: 413
Joined: Oct 2009

Sending hugs and prayers to you and your Mom...

I am sure they want to see if the masses can be reduced in size...

I am treated at Dana Farber in Boston as well...they are a great center of care...

Who is coordinating her care there? Oncologist vs GYN Oncologist? I am seen by
Dr. Feltmate and Berlin...

Have hope!

Laurie

cmisto's picture
cmisto
Posts: 4
Joined: Nov 2010

Thanks for your words of encouragement Laurie. Dr. Susana Campos, a medical oncologist, is coordinating her care, and this Friday she will be seeing Dr. Ross Berkowitz, a GYN Oncologist because she is having some bleeding. Hopefully, the Doxil will work for her. Spoke to a woman yesterday through the Cancer Hope volunteer organization who is a 23 year survivor of Stage IV Uterine Cancer. She also had mets to the lungs. She was diagnosed at 44 and is still going strong with no recurrences at 67 years old. She is a walking miracle. Had chemo and radiation to the pelvis for nine months and was literally cured. So there is hope I know.

Christine

Songflower's picture
Songflower
Posts: 632
Joined: Apr 2009

This cancer USPC is sensitive to chemo. It is a very difficult surgery to try and take out all of the tumors she has. Often they shrink tumors and then reasses and make a new plan.

You sound like a wonderful daughter. Give your mother your time and love. I've had wonderful times with my daughter even though neither live closely. Those times I hold to my heart.

Songflower

cmisto's picture
cmisto
Posts: 4
Joined: Nov 2010

Thanks for the guidance on surgery Songflower. My mom actually has adenocarcinoma which I believe is different from USPC if I am not mistaken. We have to put our faith in trust in her physician at this point ... which is very hard to do.

The one gift that has cancer has given to me and our family is a newfound appreciation for life and each other, and appreciating the moment and the preciousness of time. If I only we could all live with that sense of appreciation when times are good!

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