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9 months now

Posts: 5
Joined: Feb 2009

Its been 9 months since my mm passed away.
Her bowel cancer spread to Liver (twice) to lungs and then back to bowel.
We were aware of these as they showed up in the regular scans she had.
She had several chemo treatments.

Near the end she started to walk with a definite stoop to the left.
A scan of her head at that stage showed several tumors in her brain.
Mm opted for Radio therapy BUT were we told she had less than 2 weeks to live and lasted 8 days.

As a Family we approached the hospital to ask why these were not found earlier,
we were told that bowel cancer doesn't normally end up in the brain, so no scans of her head were ever taken.

I know we were chasing or tail in trying to keep on top of the cancer but hey one would think that when cancer is in multiple organs a COMPLETE scan would have been done each time.


zinniemay's picture
Posts: 534
Joined: Mar 2009

I agree 100% . They do a ct scan and the a pet scan for my husband the C.T. is every two months. I wonder (maybe should not ask) what insurance did she have? Could be that the insurance only aloud for so much? Sad to say that. But I know many insurance have limits.

Pennymac02's picture
Posts: 336
Joined: Aug 2010

I was thinking the same thing; some insurance companies will only pay for certian tests.(I work at a specialty hospital and think some insurance companies are the new satan) I asked my husbands onc why the VA hadn't done a pet scan to check for mets and she said they ususally don't. They rely on the localized CT because the contrast in too many scans can stress the kidneys?

Barbara53's picture
Posts: 658
Joined: Aug 2009

I rather think that the docs were perfectly aware of the high likelihood of distal metasteses but chose not to discuss it. As more older people with cancer are surviving longer with surgeries and chemotherapies, the occurrance of brain and bone mets is rising.
Theoretically, various types of cancer survive chemo hidden away in the brain with the help of the "blood brain" barrier that keeps the brain from getting fried during chemo. After a while, the cancer cells figure out how to grow there.

A few weeks ago NY state passed a law requiring doctors to tell patients the truth about their condition. I think, why should it take a state law? If a doctor does not think it is in the patient's best interest to disclose everything, they should do so with the next of kin/health care proxy. Is this not compassionate common sense?

Best of luck to you, blue. My father passed very quickly when his cancer recurred. I had a hard time with it, and a counselor helped immensely. The best tip he gave me was to concentrate on remembering scenes of my father healthy and happy. It really works.

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