What comes next?


Hi everyone,

I write because my 63 year old mother in law was told last week that her PPC is back. She has a peanut size tumor in the abdominal cavity, between the main vein and the aorta.

She was initially diagnosed with this in the summer of 2010, and went through eight months of super agressive chemo, plus it took her forever to recover from that. She just got to feeling "normal" again, and feels healthy, but during the holidays, they found the new tumor.

Her doctor has had a bunch of test done, including the PET scan and told her it is definitely back and they may not even know of other smaller tumors which may be growing. My husband and his sister are having a horrible time accepting this, and as a mother i can imagine how hard it must be for her to get these news.

She will begin radiation therapy next week, but I'm wondering if that works. Everything i've read about this doesnt really seem to show that radiation works... Are they doing this so that we can have time to adjust to the news while the treatment happens? She will have 25 sessions total, 5 days a week for 5 weeks.

I sit here wondering what comes next. In the worst case, how long will she have until she starts feeling sick? and what will that mean? will she be in pain? Does the cancer take over all the organs in her body and they each start shutting down?

Also, does anyone know if stem cell transplants have worked for this type of cancer? I have my 4 year old son's stem cells saved in a bank...

Thanks for the help. In this society where we no longer see our friends and family that often, at least I think this will help.



  • PatsieD
    PatsieD Member Posts: 99
    Radiation treatment

    Hi there... I was sorry to hear that your Mum is unwell again. I haven't heard of anyone with this disease having radiation but I don't think your Mum's doctors would be using the treatment as a stalling tactic to get you all used to the news. Perhaps they are using it for one specific tumour which has been seen... and, who knows, maybe there aren't any others. That would be an incrediblly wonderful thing, wouldn't it? I think one of the reasons radiation isn't usually used is because the disease may be widespread as the peritoneum is throughout the abdominal cavity but if the radiation works on the tumour, maybe there's more hope that can be imagined. Let's very much hope so. I don't really know about stem cell procedures and their value but I've never heard it as a therapy for ppc. Maybe some other people here may be able to answer this question. Meanwhile, my thoughts are with you and your family.

  • MInurse26
    MInurse26 Member Posts: 5
    Peanut sized is still somewhat encouraging (if that word can even be properly used in this conversation) the fact that she's went two years disease free is encouraging as well. Unfortunately, this is a chronic cancer :( I was diagnosed when I was 25 (29 now) and I've been through treatments twice as well as the debulking surgery and clinical trials. Radiation therapy does work but a second opinion wouldn't hurt, especially after the extreme symptoms she experienced the first time through chemo. Having options is always best and may greatly increase her quality of life. I haven't heard of stem cells for our cancer yet. I'm so sorry your family is going through this.

    Love and Light