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Need Opinion On Stopping Chemo

Posts: 2
Joined: Nov 2011

First of all god bless all those here that have or have a loved one that has cancer.
Thank you for all of the good information.

Background -
In September this year (2011), my mother (age 69) went for a routine doctors appt because she kept having a feeling of wanting to throw up after eating, he scheduled an endoscopy and told here to take prilosec while waiting for the appt. The prilosec worked and she had no more problems at all. She is one of the healthiest 69 year olds on the planet. Never had any real health issues, blood pressure is still 120/80 without meds.

She went for the endoscopy and while there the doctor immediately scheduled biopsy surgery, dr said he saw a very large growth. The went directly to the operating room and the surgeon there biopsied the entire region. That was a Tuesday, on that Friday they called her directly to the hospital, of course we all knew what the results were going to be. It was cancerous and they did an immediate biopsy of the liver and the entire region.

Went in on the following Tuesday and was told it was Stage 4 gastric cancer, metastasized to the liver and lymph nodes, absolutely no surgery, only treatment was chemo and try have a good quality of life.

First chemo was approx 2 weeks later, handled it very well, approximately 2 days down with a little nausea and weekness. One week later went for bloodwork check and her blood count was completely back up already.

She felt good for the next 2 weeks.

Second chemo 3 weeks from the first. Handled very well, just issues with taste, cold, etc.
A little weekness.

Here's the issue: 2 weeks after her 2nd chemo she began to feel very bad, nauseaus, pain in abdomen, just felt very sick. ( Friday ) All weekend did not feel well at all.
(She was convinced the cancer was taking over)
On Monday she called the Dr., made an appt with the Nurse Practitioner on Tues. She went in and the NP did lots of pushing on her abdomen, lots of questions about bowel movements, etc. This was all very painful to Mom. The NP took all the info in to the DR and hte Dr ordered a CT Scan for the next day. She went for the CT, and like I said, we all expected the worse.

Went to the DR office the next day for results, he said that the cancer was actually alot better (yeah!), but that she had diverticulitis. That was what was causing hte pain and sick feeling. He told her what she could do about that ( no surgery of course ).

Now - here is the million dollar question -

He told her that she could take a break from the chemo for 90 days if she wanted to.
He said that it had to be her, and her only decision. Not to ask anyone for their opinion.

I kept my mouth shut because I didn't want to influence her decision.

But - why in the heck would he offer that as an option? ( I didn't want to say why did he suggest that because he made it clear that he wasn't suggesting anything either way. It had to be her decision).

Why would she stop something that is working? Why not finish the regime ( 8 chemo sessions every 3 weeks )

If the cancer looked better then lets keep doing whats working?

This was all yesterday so she hasn't made a decision.

Anyone else have this experience or have any suggestions?

Thank you all so much for reading this very long post!!!!!!


Posts: 135
Joined: Dec 2010

I'm sorry to hear about your mom not feeling well. I think it's important for her to get strong enough to take the chemo, but why wait 90 days? How about 2 weeks?

Posts: 2
Joined: Nov 2011

I kinda kicked that around in my mind. Just wait a couple of weeks and then get back to it.

The only thing that I'm not sure about is that if the doctor stated that she had the option of stopping for 90 days because of the diverticulitis or that the cancer was looking better.

I can't really talk to her about it because the doctor strongly emphasized that it had to be HER decision and HER decision only with no influence from family members or anyone.

I may try to call the dr office today and see if I can get any information.

Thank you for your reply!

- daughterfullofhope

Posts: 135
Joined: Dec 2010

Your mom also has the option to see another doctor for a second opinion. I'm 100% sure your dr would not be opposed to doing that. I also try to be as supportive as I can for my mom, empowering her to make the best decision for her. At the same time, she relies on me on the research and information from the drs, as well as clarification, etc.
What is your mom thinking she wants to do? Make sure she understands all the info...it's a lot to sort out.

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