My mother is almost 84 years old and has opted to not have any treatment for her second bout with colon cancer. Her last diagnosis was about a year ago. At the time, the oncologist said she "should have a couple of good years". The last couple of weeks, she has started to experience a great deal of pain, become incontinent, and is on pain medication 4 times a day, and a patch; I'm assuming a morphine patch. The doctor has confirmed that her liver is becoming enlarged and that the cancer is "progressing nicely".
I'm over 2000 miles away from my mother and cannot afford to go home at this time.
I know I'm asking a lot, but does anyone have any idea how much longer she might have to live?
It breaks my heart to know she's suffering, and I can only pray it doesn't continue for too much longer.
My boss' mom was diagnosed with a malignant cancer tumors on her spin and skull. She refused kemo (s/p)but is taking a little of radiation. She told her daughter that she has live a long and happy life and doesn't want to go through the pain and suffering she had with previous cancer. I'm sure that it is hard being so far away. I bet your mother understands and knows that you are with her in other ways than your physical being. Good luck and God bless.
Maybe no one has replied because they don't know the answer. The best one to ask is the dr. You usually have to be forceful with the drs. to get direct answers (most nurses will tell you that you'll have to ask the dr.). When my father, who had leukemia, was put in the hospital after coming down w/pneumonia and put on a respirator, the nurse who answered the phone in the intensive care unit said there was no reason for me to worry. I said, "look, I'm calling from 1,300 miles away and from what my family is telling me, it doesn't look good, so if it was your dad would you jump on a plane and get there as fast as you can? Just give me an honest answer." She told me then I better get up there. That was a Tues. morning and when I got there Tues. night he was in a coma. He died the following day w/out ever knowing I was there. I'm glad that at least I was there to support my mom who had a very hard time dealing with him going before her as she was seriously ill and died 3 mos. later. The only point I am trying to make with my story is to be forceful with the dr. or nurses because they usually try to keep your hopes up (which is okay for those who need that). If you are concerned about her suffering, the best place she can be is in a hospice where the goal is to keep the patient (with 6 mos. or less remaining) as comfortable as possible with all the pain meds needed to accomplish that. They do not give any liquid thru an iv, or do or give any med/procedure to prolong life. I cannot express how wonderful the hospice experience is for the final days of the loved one and their family (I am not referring to hospice treatment at home which sometimes has problems since nurses only come by so often). My mother-in-law, who also had leukemia was in so much pain in the hospital that even with as much morphine and Ativan as they could administer to her, as well as a Fentynal pain patch, she did nothing but cry out to please help her because she couldn't stand the pain. I finally convinced my sister-in-law (who was her caregiver) to get her into a hospice. That was on a Sun. night. They transferred her on Mon. morning after sedating her so she would not be in any more pain while moving her. Once there, they kept her sedated and many of her immediate family were able to camp out every night in her lovely, spacious room until she passed away on Thurs. It was such a blessing to see her look so peaceful and without pain the final days of her life. It made it so much easier on all her family. The staff at the hospice are specially trained to be the most compassionate people I have ever met. For anyone reading this who's loved one may be approaching their last days and had not thought of a hospice as an option or are hesitant, I just can't say enough good things about my experience. I also know several others who put their loved ones in the hospice and feel the same way I do. If that is a future possibility, please go visit one before that decision has to be made so that you will have peace about it.