Stage 4 Ovarian cancer - Scared for my mom

nicole1989 Member Posts: 1
edited September 2016 in Ovarian Cancer #1

My mother was diagnosed with stage 3 ovarian cancer at 52 years old about a year and a half ago. After surgery (hysterectomy) and chemo (taxol) she improved by almost 95% Until a couple of months ago... her oncologyst put her on Cytoxin and she complained of pains and breathing problems but nothing was done. Her leg swelled 2x normal size and the tumors were interferring with the function of one of her kidneys. She had a nephrostomy and a leg stint put in. Her doctor, regarding the growing tumors, wanted to keep her on cytoxin.


Then, earlier this week, i took her to the ER because she was in a lot of pain. A CT scan was performed and the ER doctors found a 7cm tumor on her liver as well as particules in her lungs. Now, she is at stage 4b. The ER doctor told her that she is dying and that there is nothing that can be done. Her oncologist was told the news and we went in to see him the next day. He seems to think that the ER doctors were handing us a line. "that's not true, we'll switch chemos."And schedules us an appointment a week ahead.


A couple days go by and she got worse. Took her back to the ER. A different doctor who treated her told her the same thing, "you're dying" and encouraged her to go into hospice. While i appreciate their honesty (which is all i want - an honest, blunt answer), i am angry that they are not giving us any hope at all and encouraging her to just DIE. I know that her oncologist is not telling it like it is, he's sugar coating this. It is really starting to bother me. It all is. My mother is getting scared and it seems like she is losing hope. I understand.. She is in a lot of pain.But at the same time she is still willing to fight. I asked her last night what she wanted. She still wants to try. She even talked about clinical trials.

Right now she is still in the hospital. She was having difficulties breathing so she had fluid drained from her lungs and her stomach. She constantly vomits so she can't take her pain meds orally or eat (she'ss take a few bites of something though). She is in severe back and abdominal pain... i don't know what to do. The IV pain meds only do so much. Her oncologist is on vacation until tomorrow, so we have not spoken to him since earlier this week.


A part of me wants to be selfish and make her stick it out - give it one more try with everything we've got - with a different chemo and maybe some more surgery, radiation?... but another part of me wants to let her decide what she wants to do on her own. I feel like the only reason she wants to fight is because of me. It's what i want her to do. It is hard to see her in the condition she is in, so i am torn between it all. Does anyone have any advice? I am really lost, scared, and confused. My mom is my everything... my best friend. I don't want to lose my mom and i don't want her to suffer, but i know that the cancer will win, when... i don't know. 

It is starting to get bad. I can tell that there is still some fight in her, but it looks like she is slowly giving up. Is it too late? Can we prolong her life... just a little longer while having a decent quality of life? Whatever she decides, i will be there.  I just want to know if we/she do end up deciding to give it another shot, what are the chances? Anyone going through or have gone through this? How did everything turn out? How much longer was their life prologned? What was their quality of life? I would ask her oncologist but i don't feel that he is being honest with us. I really want to hear stories about anything similar to what she is going through, whether they are good or bad. I just want to know what to possibly expect, while i know everyone is different, it is still in a sense, comforting to know what MAY happen, good or bad.


Thank you




  • Tethys41
    Tethys41 Member Posts: 1,375 Member
    edited September 2016 #2
    A Hard Place


    I hear what a hard place you and your mom are in. 

    Despite what the ER doctors are telling you, however, no one can predict what the future holds for your mom.  The oncologist certainly has more experience with cancer patients than the ER doctors and my opinion is that they were speaking out of line because they likely have little experience with ovarian cancer patients.  But even they misjudge what the future holds.

    I personally never give up on a cancer patient while she is still here. I have seen a number of them, who appear to be on their way out, and before you know it, they turn things around.  But, unfortunately, that doesn't always happen.  I know how badly you want her to fight and I uderstand why you would.  But if I was in your position, I would have an honest, open talk with her to see what it is she truly wants to do for herself.  She needs to make the choice that is best for her.   

    I wish someone had a crystal ball so they could tell you how much longer you and your mom have to spend together.  Just enjoy every minute you have with her now.  That is the best thing you can do for her and for yourself.

    Best of luck


  • pam10
    pam10 Member Posts: 11
    I know exactly what you are going through

    Hi Nicole. My mom was diagnosed with Stage 1C clear cell ovarian cancer in June of 2015 at age 52. She had surgery and got 6 cycles of carboplatin and taxol. She was in remission for about 3 months before the cancer came back in her liver that was 6cm and a few other small ones that were 1cm. Her doctor didnt restage the cancer but she was basically 4b. She started more treatment in February once the cancer came back. She failed doxil/avastin as the tumor grew in May. We were looking into getting her opdivo from Bristol Meyers and she was approved for it. However, the day she got approved we got blood test results back showing that her liver was failing. Her oncologist advised us to get hospice care for her and they told her she only had a few weeks left. We were told this on a Tuesday and my mom passed away the following Monday. We were very thankful that she was not in any pain and she was able to go peacefully in her sleep. My mom was barely eating towards the end but she was still doing everything on her own, like using the bathroom and taking a shower. She was always tired but not in pain. I was actually 33 weeks pregnant at the time with my mom's first grandchild. I went into premature labor that Friday and had my son at 34 weeks. I know your pain. My mom was my best friend too and I spent so much time worried and stressed about her. Her last wish was to have my baby shower which was planned for the Saturday before she passed and she wanted to go through with it even though my husband, my dad and I all thought we should cancel it. She had a special glow about her that day. I am so glad we went through with it. 

    Enjoy every moment you have with her. I know she must be so proud to have such a wonderful daughter. You can also private message me if you ever want to talk outside of this forum.