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Old 07-13-2006, 09:18 PM   #1
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Aunt w/problems again

Well, if you all remember my elderly aunt had colon cancer surgery in January and they removed a large mass that she had for 3 years and wouldn't do anything about. She's been in the hospital twice since then. Her red blood count was low a month ago, they put her in the hospital and gave her blood. She had a blockage then and they cleared that up and she went home. Well now, she's been home 2 weeks and went back in today due to a blockage of some type. Surgeon said it could be scar tissue. Scar tissue forms that quick?? She couldnt uninate or have a BM. They put in a catheter and tube to her stomach to pump out. she will find out tomorrow if she needs surgery. They did scans and x-rays and someone told her that she had two staples left in there from surgery, but it was OK, it wouldn't hurt anything. Now, why in the world would 2 staples be left in there if they were supposed to be removed with the rest of them?? I am not happy with her care thus far, and not sure what to do. Any suggestions on this blockage? I just can't believe it's scar tissue.

Last edited by flintrock; 07-13-2006 at 09:19 PM.

 
Old 07-14-2006, 08:03 AM   #2
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Re: Aunt w/problems again

This morning the doctor said he thinks the cancer has spread to her liver and back. I didn't believe the scare tissue bit anyway. If they open her up again, I'm not sure she'll survive.....

 
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Old 07-14-2006, 07:16 PM   #3
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Re: Aunt w/problems again

Well, now after all the scans, x rays and tests, doctor says she's clear as can be...not sure why the blockage occured. Doesn't think the cancer is the problem. Says he will take all the tubes out tomorrow and let her eat and seewhat happens. She hasn't eaten a bite since Wednesday..........

 
Old 07-15-2006, 08:57 AM   #4
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Re: Aunt w/problems again

Now they say they're leaving the tubes in and will do another x ray this eveing and the doc will prob do surgery in the morning. He thinks he seems something on her liver, which is prob the cancer...........sorry to keep adding to my post, but I have gotten no responses....anyone????

 
Old 07-17-2006, 11:46 AM   #5
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Re: Aunt w/problems again

I am so sorry that your aunt is still having so many problems. Is this the same doctor that is saying one thing one day and something different the next day? I am sorry, but I don't remember, have they done a pet scan on your aunt? If so this would show the tumor in her liver and they could be pretty sure that it was cancer from that. Is he a specialist in cancer that has spread to the liver? Our doctors all told us that you needed a liver specialist to perform surgery on the liver. I would definately ask for some more test before I would let him open her up again and also for a second opinion. I will keep her in my prayers.

 
Old 07-17-2006, 12:07 PM   #6
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Re: Aunt w/problems again

Hi again:
I totally agree... you need someone with much experience operating on the liver. And they can't just go in there all haphazzard and operate on her liver. They need a plan from the PET scans and the CT scans as to WHERE the cancer is. It may be in an inoperable part of her liver right now, and she may require chemo first.

If they are going in to resect her colon to get rid of the blockage, that's another story. Then while they are in there, they can actually visualize whether they can resect her liver... but the liver specialist should be there to take a look.

It sounds as though you are speaking with residents and each time getting a different answer. ASK the nurses WHO the surgeon is and WHEN he/she rounds. That way you will be there to ACTUALLY speak with the Colorectal Surgeon, instead of fellow or worst yet resident (doctors in training who usually run the show, but can be over-ruled by the colorectal surgeon.) It wouldn't hurt-- seriously-- to warm up to the nurses with a couple dozen bagels at the nurses station. Write on the bag "compliments of "Jones Room 124" or whatever. It seems weird, but nurses feel underappreciated, but are a wealth of knowledge. You can find out who the Colorectal surgeon is and when they round, and whether they are good... who would they use if it were their relative? They will give you lots of info, bring a pen and paper!!!

Good Luck,
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Old 07-17-2006, 08:23 PM   #7
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Re: Aunt w/problems again

Yes, pet scans have been done..x rays done yesterday they said everything looked clear. Which means they don't see blockage. Her cancer doctor and her colon doctor are making the decisions. I think they're both idiots...she has no children..only an elderly husband who spends every night at the hospital...shouldn't even be driving that far. they don't want any visitors. So I can't just go up there and wait for the doctors. they are strange people. (husbands aunt) her sisters and brothers don't ask many questions, they just repeat whatever she tells them. they put a tube in her neck area to give her some nutrition. Took cath and other tubes out today and started giving her liquids, broth and toast. Doc said if she is still passing the liquids tomorrow he will send her home. I guess he thinks if liquids can pass through then the blockage is gone. I am so frustrated because I can't go up there and say, what the heck is going on???? Her stools are very black and the nurse said today, that's blood in your stools...so they haven't figured out where the blood is coming from and they're going to send her home??????????? One doctor came in yesterday and she presumed it was a student in training, said he had ordered the tubes to be taken out, and her husband spoke up and said, no, her doctor will make that order, not you.......so that was good.... I just wish they were not the kind of people who don't like intruders or I would be up there in a flash....It's a shame they are giving her the lousy care that they are. She has a lot of money and is very bossy normally...but she's just laying back not asking any questions...........or demanding answers.

 
Old 07-18-2006, 07:12 AM   #8
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Re: Aunt w/problems again

Flint:
I'm a bit confused by part of your post... does your Aunt not want you up there in the hospital, or is it the hospital?? Because if it is the hospital, then all you do is just walk by EVERYONE as though you belong there. It's all in the attitude; don't look anyone in the eye directly, but if you have to then just give a pre-occupied "hello" and move on.

Since your Aunt has money, I'm assuming she's in a private room, so all you have to do is get up there. Have you told anyone that you are a nephew. Because if not, and your Uncle (and Aunt) doesn't mind, just pass yourself off as their son and have the attitude that you have EVERY right to be there.

As for your Aunt having money, or anyone who is stronger outside of the hospital, it is common for people to turn into meek, intimidated people when they are in the atmosphere of the hospital with well-educated people. And then SHE is the patient, not the visitor. It's easier for many to be more assertive when not the patient (for example, your Uncle speaking out).

As for her condition, obviously if she is having black, tarry stools, then she is DEFINITELY having bleeding up higher and requires an upper endoscopy to determine the cause of the bleeding. They can't send her home until they figure that out... otherwise she'll be back for more transfusions????

And liquids are not going to pass through her rectally... they will be absorbed in the stomach or usually the first part of the small intestine. So this also makes NO SENSE.

I would still get myself in there under the premise of being her son and will visit her at ANY time since she has a private room. If they give you a problem, I would push the ticket to speak with people as high as the chief of staff and director of nursing, heck the president of the hospital if necessary!!! It would make it MUCH easier if you have identification with the same last name... or your uncle's last name. You could maintain that she kept her un-married name? Just thoughts for you.

Do what you need to work the system if your Aunt and Uncle want you there. They should be happy to have a nephew that cares as much as you do.

Warm Regards,
CancerDad
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Last edited by CancerDad; 07-18-2006 at 07:17 AM.

 
Old 07-18-2006, 07:49 AM   #9
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Re: Aunt w/problems again

First, I am sorry you and your family are going through this. Your aunt should feel lucky to have such a kind and caring family member. Do you think she would kick you out if you showed up? I know when my dad had his bypass surgery he wanted privacy, but I showed up anyway - short visits, brought magazines, etc...he appreciated it once I was there. I think he was more worried about putting me out (I had JUST been diagnosed) then he was with having me there. I'll bet if you showed up w/some flowers or a nice card she would be happy...and you might get a better grip on what is going on. When you are hearing info through two people it can sometimes get jumbled up. I know I was so thankful to have my husband and parents there advocating for me when I was in the hospital. I was too out of it to do so for myself.

Is she vomiting? When I had a blockage I would vomit this nasty green stuff when I tried even sipping water.

Good luck to you and your family... wishing you all well.

Take care,
Cats

 
Old 07-18-2006, 03:36 PM   #10
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Re: Aunt w/problems again

Cancer dad..thank you for replying...I am the niece (huband's aunt) Hospital doesn't care who comes to visit. Husband's aunt doesn't like visitors when she's in the hospital. She's very vain and doesn't want people to see her without her makeup and wig...go figure.....I've been married to my husband for 22 years and I've never been to her house. We live about 10 minutes away from her. She's been to my home plenty of times....but she doesn't like people coming over to hers. Very strange people. I get all my info from my mother-in-law (her sister).......I know the bleeding is there....and she will be back in hospital if they send her home. I've told mother in law to ask her to get other opinion from another doc. She said yes she would, but never did. I am as confused as you guys are with the different opnions of the doctors. I almost feel as though they know it's the cancer spreading all over...and don't want to tell her. But she has business she needs to take care of. And besides that, they owe her that.

 
Old 07-18-2006, 06:51 PM   #11
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Re: Aunt w/problems again

Quote:
Originally Posted by flintrock
Cancer dad..thank you for replying...I am the niece (huband's aunt) Hospital doesn't care who comes to visit. Husband's aunt doesn't like visitors when she's in the hospital. She's very vain and doesn't want people to see her without her makeup and wig...go figure.....I've been married to my husband for 22 years and I've never been to her house. We live about 10 minutes away from her. She's been to my home plenty of times....but she doesn't like people coming over to hers. Very strange people. I get all my info from my mother-in-law (her sister).......I know the bleeding is there....and she will be back in hospital if they send her home. I've told mother in law to ask her to get other opinion from another doc. She said yes she would, but never did. I am as confused as you guys are with the different opnions of the doctors. I almost feel as though they know it's the cancer spreading all over...and don't want to tell her. But she has business she needs to take care of. And besides that, they owe her that.
Flintrock:
I apologize for the gender mistake! Unfortunately computers don't have body parts, and I missed the part that you are of the female persuasion!!!

Maybe since she is SO vain, so much so that she doesn't even want to even see you, a niece of over 22 years, in the hospital without her wig and make up, then there is a good chance that and she has convinced her husband and others NOT to tell the truth of the PET scan results or diagnosis. I think maybe that is why you are getting different answers and the run around when you approach the doctors/residents/fellows and they won't give you a straight answer. I'm suprised though that they just don't tell you that due to HIPPA regulations, they can't tell you her results. It makes sense if she is that eccentric that you have not been to her house since you have known your husband, yet she visits with you, that she might have some pull if you are in a "small town hospital."

What does your husband think about her... has she ALWAYS been truthful with him over the years? With you??

I'm just throwing out ideas for you to consider. I hope it helps in some way.

Regards,
CancerDad
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Last edited by CancerDad; 07-18-2006 at 07:01 PM.

 
Old 07-23-2006, 12:08 PM   #12
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Re: Aunt w/problems again

thanks Cancerdad....

She went home from hospital Thursday. Doctor never found out where the blood is going. she had 2 pints while there. (2 weeks)....it's going somewhere. All scans came back "clear" he says. never figured out why she had a blockage when arrived at hospital. So. i give her another week or two and she'll be back in the hospital. She never has confided in anyone. but always give everyone else advice...but won't take theirs....I asked her sister (my motherinlaw) if the doc said she would contine chemo...she said I don't know. So, no one is asking questions, therefore there are no answers. I'll just keep checking on her by phone and see what happens........sad.....
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Old 07-27-2006, 08:10 PM   #13
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Re: Aunt w/problems again

Aunt came home from hospital Saturday, and went back in this morning (thursday). I went to see her at home Monday, and she was so sedated with meds her husband has been dishing out to her that she could hardly talk. doctor gave her adivan (i think) for anxiety, per recommendation from her nutritionist at the hospital. She didn't need this med. Her huband (84 yrs old) can't remember if he's given her the pain med or the anxiety med, so he gives her more. I was there for 2 hours and they argued the whole time I was there. She got up at noon to eat (oatmeal, toast and fruit) she did eat, but 30 minutes later she ran to sink and threw up. I told her if she took those meds on an empty stomach that was prob why she threw up. She disagreed. So I didn't mention again. I did tell her hubby that too. She went back this morning to hospital, wanted to go last night....doctor ordered more x-rays and scans....he just took those last week......I am not so sure her docs know what they're doing. Her borthers and sister don't ask questions or seem to care one way or the other. And she won't listen to anyone and neither will her hubby. So, we'll just sit back and see what happens. I am beginning to think she likes beings in the hospital, where she can get her pain meds and all the attention. I know that sounds terrible, but it seems to be true. I know she must be scared and maybe doesn't want to be at home in case something happens. that's all for now.............
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Old 07-28-2006, 08:44 PM   #14
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Re: Aunt w/problems again

Update: Aunt is having surgery Sunday. Doctor said today that she does have a blockage, small intestine....also thinks the blood she's losing is from another tumor in liver.........we'll know more tomorrow........I still don't trust this doctor...but it's not my doctor......so I don't say much........
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Old 07-28-2006, 09:25 PM   #15
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Re: Aunt w/problems again

Flintrock:
I wish your Aunt the best of luck with her surgery. Hopefully they have found the route of her illness.

Please keep us updated.

Regards,
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