Elderly on CarboTaxol

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Hi, I used to be an RN in an oncology and hospice unit. I know what chemo Can do. I’m scared as I am faced with helping my young 87 year old mother (she’s super active). We are trying to decide if we should not get any chemo at all and just let her live out her life in peace and happy or if we should go with the port and carboTaxol for 6 cycles in 3 months then immunotherapy. The dr says it’s not a cure. The diagnosis is squamous cell carcinoma in the vaginal wall that has spread to the inguinal and pelvic lymph nodes. The chemo would just be to help it from spreading and they would follow up with immunotherapy. I am also afraid at how the cancer will progress and the speed and possible discomforts if we also chose not to do anything. She just doesn’t want to become bed bound and die in a hospital room bed.

can anyone please share their experience with CarboTaxol and their senior family members or selves. I would really appreciate it. My heart is aching as I just don’t want her to suffer.

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  • NoTimeForCancer
    NoTimeForCancer Member Posts: 3,444 Member
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    hello dorisTuesday.

    I can't share carbo/taxol with an elderly family but will share with you a story of my mom. She was dx with breast cancer at 85. She did not want us to know, but we did, and she chose not to do anything. As she said to me, "no chemicals, no stiches, no anything." I respect that and told her that. She lived 7 years and was living on her own expect for the last 8 weeks or so, and with four sisters, I don't think we could have asked for it better.

    I am also going to speak straight here, as a nurse you know there is no perfect way to die. Also, most hospitals do not want anyone to die in there facility because it would count against them. I remember fighting with a hospital when I father was dying because they wanted him out - he was gone within 24 hours and I got there just in time. His last hours would have been made miserable in moving him.

    There is good hospice and bad hospice. Hospice is a business and the good is about making our loved ones comfortable. It doesn't have to be absolute end of life, it is something you can continually renew while making her comfortable. I know you know this because of what you do - and I suspect you are probably pretty good at your job.

    I am not saying she should or should not do treatment. She has to decide and I hope someone comes along to give you the details on treatment at that age.

    You have much to teach US here as well. I hope I didn't offend you, that was not my intention, but I am also aware no one makes this journey alone. None of us could do it without people who love us, and clearly you love your mom and she did a wonderful job to have such a daughter.