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Cancer in the spinal fluid...looking for answers or words of advice

Posts: 1
Joined: Mar 2012

My mom was diagnosed as stage 4 breast cancer/bone cancer in July '11. After aggressive chemo, the tunor in her breast had pretty much disappeared making a mastectomy possible (her other breast had been removed 3 years ago). She seemed to be recovering well when she began to complain of horrible back pain...so bad that she couldn't sleep and almost stopped eating. Scans showed the breast cancer was clear and the bone cancer SEEMED to be arrested too. But once the pain started, she has gone from walking to barely being able to get around with a walker. My sis and I talked to her oncologist and he said the cancer was now in her spinal fluid and gave us a time table of 3 months...and hospice would be required at the end.

I do understand that treatment for this type of cancer is not well developed, as well as nearly impossible. I am not looking for miracles...seeing how quickly she has gone from able bodied independent woman to needing assistance to even get out of bed I realize how quickly this cancer works. What I am hoping for is some advice on how to help in whatever way possible to prevent loss of dignity. I am not expressing this well, but I hope someone knows what I mean. Please...any thoughts or advice on how to make her comfortable, etc and get through this would be very helpful. Both my sis and I need it badly, and so will my father.

Posts: 20
Joined: Aug 2011

My Mom was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer (non-smoker) back in July 2011 as well at age of 67. The chemo had knocked out all cancer except the one in her lung but it was reduced to .125% of original size. She began to have "fainting" spells which included not being able to walk. This went on for months and got worse. Finally they did spinal tap and it was in her fluid. She is now taking Tarceva. This is a daily chemo pill, basically. It has shown to be able to penetrate the blood barrier of the brain and slow the cancer down or hopefully, kill it. Have you asked you doctor if she can take Tarceva?

Good luck. I completely understand your comment.


Posts: 4
Joined: Mar 2012


I'm sorry to hear about you mom. I too had been in a similar situation where my mom was suffering from stage IV metastatic cancer, where it had spread to many parts of her body.

I am not a doctor or anything, but just a University student. I just want to share some of my knowledge in which I have learned from my past experience.

You can try juicing, where you simply make vegetable/ fruit juice from a juicing machine. This is a very safe way to help your mom get the essential nutrients she needs. By doing this, your mom will be stronger to fight the cancer.

For pain, I've heard of many good uses of medical marijuana. It can help with your mom's pain. I don't know where you are from, but it may or may not be a viable option.

Good luck and Keep us updated! =p

Love and Blessing

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