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No surgery for my mom

Posts: 7
Joined: Feb 2013

Met with the surgeon last week. The tumor seems to be wrapping around my Moms aorta, and is impossible to remove. She also weighs in at only 95 lbs (at 5'6), so even if the tumor was removable, she would most likely not be a surgical canidate.

She will be having an endoscopy to see if a stent or dilation can happen, as well as a PET to get a better idea of her prognosis. 

Her quality of life is so low at this point (and has saddly been that way for many months), unless there is an improovment, I think she will simply give up. She has had the feeding tube for months now, and has had no real weight gain, and she is convinced that it makes her sick. She told me last night that if there can't be something done to allow her to eat a little (she can't eat or drink ANYTHING), she's not going to wear it anymore. She also refuses to do chemo anymore. 

I don't know what to do or say anymore. She was diagnosed in October 2012, how did we get to this point so quickly? 

jim2011's picture
Posts: 116
Joined: Sep 2011

Posts: 761
Joined: Apr 2012

We were told when my husband's 2 primary cancer returned and due to the fact that it had spread to his right lung, that surgery was out.  His second primary is at the cervical of his esophagus and quite large.  He has had a feeding tube since May 2012 this time.  First time he had one from August 2010 until May 2011.  Right now he is only able to swallow soft foods but he doesn't want to eat.  He does use his feeding tube and only complains that if he uses two cans of his nutrition at once, his stomach bothers him.  He is 6'4" and his normal weight is 140-150.  Right now he weighs 145.  He has always been underweight and that is something the doctors have been concerned about even though I have told them over and over he is at his normal weight.  He did get up to 165 before he was diagnosed with laryngeal cancer in July 2010.   The first round of radiation completely closed off his throat and when he had a laryngectomy in March 2011 they had to reconstruct his throat.

The doctor did dilate his throat when he tried to do an endoscopy in February.  As far as a stent, our specialist said he didn't like them and that the tumor can grow around the stent and cause problems.  And I have read on this site and others, that for many stents cause more problems than they are worth.  My husband has said enough is enough and is not undergoing chemo for a third time.  Radiation is out since he has had 70 rounds of radiation in the neck area and that is where the tumor is.  While my husband hasn't given up, I have noticed that his strength is nowhere as good as it was. 

All I can say is just follow your mother's wishes as hard as it will be.  The choice is hers.  Cancer is a beast and for all the research there is no cure and for many treatment is no help.  Just make sure your mother stays hydrated because if not then her energy levels and even her mind will be effected.

Wishing you and your mother the best -- Sharon

sandy1943's picture
Posts: 883
Joined: Jun 2010

The beast is relentless and moves very fast. Sorry your mom is having such a rough time. I know this is very difficult for you ,so young and a newly wed. Being a caregiver can be hard and heartbreaking.

Has the doctors said no surgery or are you waiting for test results from pet scan? I can understand why your mom is so down. Praying for her to make right decisions and for you to be able to accept, no matter what they are. When we see a loved one suffering we want to do something and feel so helpless when we can't. Just letting her know you care and love her is the most important thing you can do.

Praying for her, Sandra

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