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my mom is at her last please help

Posts: 1
Joined: Mar 2007

my mom update. The diagnosis was lung cancer that metastasized to her lung and brain. Last tues, we saw an radiation oncologist. She said that the tumors were moving into her spinal cord and that it was a medical emergency to treat her with radiation. Her sister and neice, who was with her were overtaken with the emergency, and adamently agreed. We got her off the antioxidents she was taking, and she took three days of radiation. Two days after the last day of radiation, which was friday april 27th, she began feeling more pain in her back than before. On tues, she fell and her right leg no longer functioned. We moved all her stuff up stairs because she couldn't get down stairs anymore. A day after, wed, she couldn't even get up to go to the bathroom. Now it's friday, and she's bed ridden. She has trouble moving her legs and arms. something is pressing into her brain or spinal cord. It's so sad to watch. I had just got it to a respectible alternative treamtent level before she went on radiation, and now with the loss of functioning, she's giving up on the diet i've been feeding her. I feel like she should be taking it as it could offer her some chance, but at the same time this could be her last days to live, and i can understand she wants to spend them in the most plesant that she can. I just wanted to know if there's anything, a clinical trial, a drug, anything that might offer her some chance, something i don't know about. Thanks.

Posts: 1048
Joined: Aug 2006

It sounds like you are in a really rough situation right now. The diet stuff is not useless against cancer in general, but it tends to work better at prevention and it works slowly over time. Time is something you don't have a lot of right now. Also, cancer is vulnerable to different things at different stages and right now it may take a lot more than diet to get rid of the cancer. Remember that this cancer is NOT YOUR FAULT. You didn't cause it and if there was a sure cure around we'd all know it. A balanced diet of foods including plenty of protein she can eat and enjoy will give her sufficient calories to fight the cancer infecting her body the longest. Many small meals or snacks might be easier than the standard 3 a day. Different textures like custards or milkshakes might go down better. Many patients near the end lose weight because they can't eat and because the growing cancer is using so many calories to grow. Weightloss in itself causes problems for the patient. Get in touch with your doctors and do everything you can as quickly as you can to get her stable and as painfree as possible. Don't worry about her getting addicted to the painkillers. That doesn't happen at the end and suffering is not something the patient should have to needlessly put up with. Don't hesitate to discuss hospice assistance with the doctors. They will tell you if it is too early or if it is time. Hospice can give you counseling on what to do to make her more comfortable and what to expect, but it can only start pallative care when treatment is over and that's a tough decision you will have to make with her doctors. Chemo is one treatment to fight stage 4 cancer when treatment makes sense. Chemo is tough on the body but it is also tough on cancer. Radiation can stop a progression in a certain spot like the spinal cord mets that had to be stopped quickly before the cord got compressed, but it won't be enough to stop all the mets your mom is experiencing right now from the sounds of it. You could call your oncologist or one at a teaching hospital that specializes in lung cancer to see if they recommended a particular treatment at this stage. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Posts: 156
Joined: Aug 2006

I'm very sorry to hear your mother has taken a turn for the worse. Cabbott gave excellent advice so I won't reiterate hers. I would like to echo her point that diet is slow-acting, which your mother may not have the time. I've read many good things about raw, minced garlic and broccoli in fighting cancer, but there is no definitive consensus such that the FDA would allow any producer to advertise they are effective cancer cures. Diet must be complementary to conventional medicine, though there are some who choose strictly alternative treatments.

Your mother sounds in a debilitated condition to tolerate chemo. I don't know. She can still be transported by wheelchair for therapy and she can take any infusion from a bed.

The clinical trials I'm familiar with are the combinations of Tarceva, Avastin and the approved chemo drugs. The radiation which is less damaging to healthy cells is proton therapy that targets more precisely cancerous cells. Whether your mom is a good candidate is for her oncologist's say. Another advanced treatment is radiofrequency ablation where cancerous cells/tumors are killed with heat or freeze. Again, your family should discuss all those options with her oncologist.

I don't know if at this point, you have to resign to palliative care. For me, I'm not sure if I would give up the fight. But in your heart, you would know when that time may be. So, if that is the case, help her live last days in the most comfort surrounded by the love of her family and friends.

My mother's oncologist at the start advised for us to take care of all of my mom's legal business just in case. This may be something your family will have to prepare for.

I will still hope for the best for your mom and there is still chance for a full recovery.

Posts: 156
Joined: Aug 2006

One more thing, if you are still intently interested in cutting edge treatments, check with the closest research cancer center, which could be a hospital or dedicated cancer institute. I'll post up a list of the institutions that the National Cancer Institute funds research.

Posts: 156
Joined: Aug 2006

As promised, here are a few informative links in your quest:

This link reports all the clinical trial results. Of note, radiation is helpful for palliative care.

If you're seriously interested in getting your mother in a clinical trial, you can search for one on this page. I don't have a full understanding of clinical trials but I seem to have this idea that clinical subjects aren't guaranteed in receiving the tested drugs, depending on whether are in the control group or not. You can check with them to be certain about that.

On this webpage, go to the 2005 link. It will open up a pdf file. From there, jump to page 65 for a list of cancer research centers funded by NCI. You can be assured those centers will be tapped into the latest developments in treatments or knowledge about cancer.

At this stage, I don't know if it's too little and too late for your mom, but my latest faith has been placed on MD-fraction of Maitake mushroom. I cannot assure you it's a panacea or it's even effective, but there have been promising results for subjects in a Japanese study. In this aggressive fight against a formidable disease, I'm throwing as much as what seems sound to me at it - whether it is conventional or complementary.

Again, my hope and wishes are with your mother.

Posts: 3
Joined: Jan 2008

I realize you wrote this last year and it might be too late to say anything since I just joined. I just wondered if anyone out there has heard of Essiac tea? It seems to help when nothing else will.

turtle68's picture
Posts: 7
Joined: Apr 2007

I just read your message and my heart goes out to you!I just lost my dad to lung cancer 6-06-07.Iwas going to delete out of csn,but was reading and realized people are still out there needing help and support. I cant do anything else for my dad,but maybe someone else!From my experience God is still able! You must pray for Gods will to be done,and beleive me i know how hard that is.But at the same time we dont want them to suffer for our reasons.Healing and peace will come in Gods time and place!!You now may have to prepare for His will.I really dont mean to sound like there isnt any hope for your mother because as long as there is life there is hope!! My advice is contact Hospice they are great with their patients and with family and can guide you through the rest of the journey!I pray God heals your mother and comforts you!! Be patient with her and tell her EVERY time you got a chance how much you love her and talk about the olds times growing up they love to remember those times...it will make her smile!Laughter is the best medicine!!you all are in my prayers,and i ask we to be in yours while we go through the greiving time,but i know we will see our parents again someday!!God Bless

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