Mar 24, 2013 - 9:44 am
This is my first time posting on these boards, and I hope that someone will have some insight that can help me, because so far searching via Google has proven less than enlightening. My mom was diagnosed with colon cancer at the end of January, and two weeks later her doctors determined that it was stage IV, and that it had metastasized to her lungs and liver too, particularly the liver. They promptly started her on a regimen of chemotherapy and radiation treatments, both of which she has recently stopped. They're going to be evaluating her body's response next week to see if they should continue with either or both treatments.
I am really worried because aside from the side effects, my mom has seen no improvement from the treatments, she's in as much pain as ever, and still has the typical late stage colon cancer symptoms (pain, bleeding, diarrhea, etc.) She can barely even eat anything, maybe half a banana a day, although she's at least been good about drinking lots of water. I'm not sure what to expect anymore - when first diagnosed, the doctors gave her two years, then after she stopped radiation this week, they said probably more like one, and yesterday my dad was so freaked out by her deteriorating condition that he was afraid it could be a matter of weeks. The big problem for me is that I don't even live in the same state as my parents right now, and while I try to visit almost every week, it's hard to understand exactly what the status of everything is. Does it take a week or two following the cessation of chemo and radiation for the positive effects to really show, or should those have started to become apparent already? What signs would there indicating that my mom is close to the end? I have planned to move to be close to my parents at the end of April - might that be too late?
I apologize for the detailed, difficult nature of my questions - I realize that it's difficult to judge a case without being directly familiar with it, and I'm not expecting accurate predictions or answers. Even my mom's own doctors don't have a precise prognosis, because it's hard to predict how these things can develop until further testing and evaluation. Still, if anyone has any thoughts or insights, if anyone can tell me what critical signs to be looking out for, if anyone can tell me what symptoms are the ones to really worry about and which ones are less serious than they seem, I would be extremely grateful. Thank you all for taking the time to read this.
Very sincerely yours,
An already grief-stricken adult daughter of a cancer patient