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So, What do I make of this?

Sloaner3
Posts: 22
Joined: Jun 2007

My mom has colon cancer- I posted about 3 weeks ago. She had a colostomy which 'fell apart' due to her health and nutrient level (she really hid how thin/sick she had gotten in order to care for my dad). They re-worked the colostomy. Now, they are waiting for her bloodwork to 'improve' so that they can do the required surgery to remove the 18cm tumor in her colon. In the meantime, her legs swell and un-swell and they chose not to do a lung biopsy yet although there are spots on her lungs that they are watching.... they've also mentioned her lymphs being enlarged...
Has anyone had an experience with this leg swelling? We're all trying to be really positive with her, but this stuff keeps me up at night. The docs say that they won't really know what is going on inside her until they get in there, but I get scared when I see her swelling and deflating like this.
Also, I wonder about the possible spread of the cancer. The tumor sounds huge to me- like this cancer has been really busy. I know that she had a clean lung scan in 06. Any thoughts?

peacegift2002's picture
peacegift2002
Posts: 16
Joined: Apr 2004

I don't have many words of wisdom for you, just some observations, having worked in hospice. Sounds like you might want to ask about congestive heart failure, or maybe lymphodema. See about Lasix for the swelling? Definitely ask!
Also lung biopsies are difficult. Sometimes they just like to go in and get them all out rather than put someone thru a biopsy. This is a very difficult time, and I wish good luck and blessings to you, your mom and your family and strength to deal with what comes.

robinvan's picture
robinvan
Posts: 1014
Joined: May 2007

Hi Sloaner3
I think your questions about spread can only be answered after the surgery and other tests. The tumour does sound large. There will be others here who could probably comment on that. I've heard of folks with tumours the size of grapefruits. It's hard to imagine. Your mother must be incredibly stoic.
Now does not seem like a time for "knowing", and I'm sure that makes it more difficult. Hang in there and hope for the surgery to be done soon. Then they can get on with diagnosis and staging. They will probably biopsy lymph nodes and check other sites for local or distant spread.
Rob; in Vancouver
"A Cancer Journal" www.rob-pollock.blogspot.com

jana11
Posts: 708
Joined: May 2004

I am so very sorry for all you and your family are going through right now. No one has the answers. Cancer often causes leg swelling.. possibly lymph nodes getting blocked up, possible mass blocking the way... too many options.. she sounds like she is in good hands.

Also sounds like you are being absolutely tremendous.. continue to be positive with her... try to get some sleep at night, but completely understand. Surround your mom with things she loves... pictures, cards, music, etc. And get yourself to the doctor.. something to help you sleep, or with depression - just for right now. You will both be better for it. (I am a primary care doctor, it gets out sometimes).

There are lots of thoughts.. but only one answer - we just don't know. Stay strong for your mom and tell her you love her often. Let this experience teach you how to treasure what you have.

Keep us posted, and know that you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers. Tell your mom too - knowing this helps.
jana

Sloaner3
Posts: 22
Joined: Jun 2007

You all are amazing...

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