May 06, 2012 - 2:18 am
I just want to start by saying that I've sifted through these forums for the last few hours and I'm amazed at how strong you women are! I think we can beat this thing we call "cancer", we just have to keep our heads held high and stay strong!
Now for a bit of background information: My mother, Marta, is 58 and was diagnosed with advanced Uterine Cancer (MMMT) in Summer of 2011. At the end of September 2011, she had a total hysterectomy as well as had a polyp removed from her colon (they found it just before the surgery and feared it may be malignant). The procedure went well however, a week later, the stitching from the polyp removal broke open and there was leakage inside. She had a second emergency surgery in which they had to give her an ileostomy. The site of the leakage was infected and things spiraled downwards.
To keep it brief, she was practically bedridden and immobilized for a month. As well, her kidney's function plummeted and they haven't recovered since (we recently found out from a renogram that they are performing around 30%). This led to many delays including her planned chemotherapy being drastically delayed. They did a few radiation sessions in December (after my sister suggested it to my mother's doctor...) while they waited for my mother's creatinine levels in her kidneys to stabilize. At the end of January, 2012, the creatinine levels slightly stabilized and they gave my mother a treatment of Carboplatin + Taxol. A few days later, my mother fell very weak and she ended up getting a blood infection (MRSA had entered her blood). She was hospitalized for a month to fight the bug and treatment was stopped.
My mother's Oncologist after that was not too fond of chemotherapy for her as she saw that she fell ill immediately after treatment. She left the choice up to my mother to continue and after some thought, she decided to try again. This time however, they treated her with just the Taxol, and at a lower dosage. The Oncologist decided against Carboplatin because they are heavily reliant on the kidneys properly filtering it out and my mother's kidneys were not cooperating too well. Additionally, she received treatment every week rather than once every 3 weeks. She began again around March 19. Of the next 6 weeks or so, my mother received 3 of her treatments. The doctor decided against it some weeks when she saw her creatinine levels spike.
Finally, on the 24th of April, her creatinine jumped to a new high (approx 450... a healthy human should be around 70). Her Oncologist decided to stop chemotherapy and admitted my mother to Princess Margaret Hospital to try and figure out what was going on in the kidneys (about 7 months and still no concrete answer). She is still there now and yesterday we had a difficult meeting with the doctor: she said that it was not safe to continue chemotherapy, informed us that my mother's tumour had grown from approximately 3cm in February to 15cm in April (the chemotherapy did nothing even though it was barely administered), and it was time to think about whether she wanted to go home or into pallative care. It was very difficult... but then again the last 7-8 months having been nothing challenges.
My mother is very strong. She is not in any pain at the moment, thankfully.. she's been through hell and back and I've only listed the "major milestones" in this journey. We are a very strong family but it's been such an emotional roller coaster.
For those of you who read all of that, thank you. Now my questions.
What can be done at this point? I've been looking into alternative treatments and supplements and I wish to get my mother onto Essiac Tea. Does anyone know if it is ok to take with an ileostomy (the caution label advises against it if you have gastro-intestinal problems)? I also purchased Spirulina tablets which I want my mother to start on...
I may do some research on Sodium Bicarbonate through IV. Does anyone share any experience or knowledge on this?
I've tried to get my mother to drink alkaline water (adding pH drops into her water makes her a bit anxious but I believe she's loosening up a bit now). Her appetite has changed in the last 2 months especially. I've tried turmeric but she wasn't a fan of it. She has managed to cut out quite a bit of sugar from her diet but I would like her to cut more out. I made her fruit/vegetable smoothies when she was home but in the hospital it takes a bit more to convince her to drink it.
What else can ANYONE recommend to help out considering my mother's scenario: poor kidneys, ileostomy (this leaves all high-fibre foods out of the question), nephrostomy tubes (tubes that go through her kidneys to her bladder to make a clear passage for urine which would ideally lower the creatinine) and aggressive cancer.
THANK YOU truly for reading. I'm scared and can only imagine how my mother has felt through this whole ordeal.
God bless every single one of you.