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mom has cancer of un none primary that has spread to lungs an liver HELP

reds1958
Posts: 8
Joined: May 2011

well we were told 2 years ago that she only had monthes to live when they found the tummer in her liver, all CT scans show that it has spreed to lungs, cant get info from doctor he just shakes his head mom wants no treatment an says every day she just wants to die. she is 77 an lives with me so i can take care of her. up untill 1 week ago she got out of bed an dressed an watched tv. now the last 3 days all she wants to do is sleep but she still eats good also she is wezzing alot an out of breath an says her back hurts. but when we go to doctor she says she is fine. my ? is is the wezzing an back hurting a sigh that the cancer is getting worse. she does not have a cold. any help would be great

cabbott
Posts: 1046
Joined: Aug 2006

As you have noticed, it is hard to look on the outside and tell if someone has cancer on the inside or to notice how advanced the cancer is. That is why doctors are quick to order all kinds of scans and tests when you walk in the door.

Lots of things can cause a person to be wheezy, out of breath, and have a back that hurts. Sometimes people have pneumonia. Cancer patients are known for having a depressed immune system which can make them suseptible to pneumonia. In fact, bronchitus/pneumonia that wouldn't clear up is how my cancer was finally discovered. I just thought they weren't giving me the right meds...fortunately they finally forced me into an x-ray, that led to a CAT scan, and an operation. Somewhere in all of those tests, they did give me a strong antibiotic and my lungs cleared up. I still had cancer though when the surgery time came around. Some times coughing causes bones to hurt and backaches. Sometimes, of course, the reason a person has an ache is because cancer is growing in the bones and pressing on nerves. The doctors can use radiation to kill a spot of cancer that is causing pain. They would need a scan first to know if cancer is causing the ache. If it is a respiratory infection, the right meds could make a world of difference.

While oncologists are the doc to go to for treatment of cancer, a pulmonologist is the doctor to go to for treatment of breathing problems. Sometimes meds can provide relief of wheezing.

Final note: if doctors really do think your mom has months to live, have they given you the number for hospice? Even though you are the primary caretaker, hospice can provide guidance on what signs signal that someone is getting near the end. They can also advise you on how you can make your mom more comfortable if things get worse. Mind you, I'm not sure exactly how near the end your mom is, especially if she is still eating well. I know you can't force anyone into treatment, but it must be hard to watch her having difficulties but not doing anything about it.

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