terminal secondary liver cancer, no primary yet, what to expect?
I just got the devastating news that my mom was diagnosed with terminal secondary liver cancer. They were not able to identify the primary cancer from the CT. She lives in Toronto and I live in Boston. I have a 3 year old and works full-time so it's not easy for me to go to Toronto. I am trying to get the full CT report from her Dr. and trying to figure out what will be the best option for us as a family at this difficult time... so some questions...
1) she has been gradually losing weight as of late 2009 and feeling itchy. Lost quite a lot of weight when she visited us early 2010 but able to gain back the weight. Went from 130 lb to 115 lb since beginning of the year. What prompted her to finally go to the dr. is trouble eating, easily getting bruised, and intense itching. They found a 17cm tumor, and a few small one on her liver. Given that it's not the primary site - there might be cancer elsewhere. Given these data points, how much time does she have left??? The Dr. can't give me an estimate. She is still active and optimistic herself. Her symptoms seem to have gone away.
2) what the final days are like, I would love to have her to come live with us in Boston... But this could be a non-starter if constant expensive medical care is needed since I would guess we won't be able to get insurance for her given the pre-existing condition. But if nothing could be done anyway, why couldn't she be with her loved ones? I read that morphone and fluid draining are often required - that would require hospital visits?
3) If we can not move her to stay with us, I will have to go to Toronto a lot. I would like to take my daughter along (my mom just adores her), but it would probably be hard for me to take care of them both in the final weeks? Will she even be able to enjoy her grand-daughter's company? Is it even a good idea to expose a 3yr old to this?
Sorry about the ramble...
Last edited by sxzwang; 05-13-2011 at 08:54 PM.