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Old 06-28-2012, 06:14 AM   #1
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Old Age Leukemia

Hi my mother who is 97 has been diagnosed with "old age leukemia"
Her red blood count was 23,000 and her white was 143,000.
We took her for a blood transfusion the other day. Now the doctor wants to start chemo with a drip. She has been extremely healthy up until now and is only on blood pressure meds and a fluid pill.
She does not like hospitals and has never been sick.
Would like to know what to expect if we start treatment.
She is very tired.
Thanks for any and all thoughts on her care.

 
Old 06-28-2012, 07:14 AM   #2
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Re: Old Age Leukemia

If I was that old and felt OK, I wouldn't want to go on chemo, and spend the rest of my days feeling sick. We all have to die and I would rather go out with a fairly peaceful old age leukemia, than throwing up, getting sores and other side effects of chemo. That's just me though. Cancer or heart failure in the very old is often slow and painless. Sera

 
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Old 06-28-2012, 07:31 AM   #3
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Re: Old Age Leukemia

If she goes thru chemo, she is likely to get side effects of nausea, vomiting, hair loss, possibly all of it, severe fatigue. It depends on the chemo proposed. I would get more information from her Dr. on the specifics. One method of treating things like this is in the elderly is called palliative care, and just means you treat the symptoms to help patient feel better, but do nothing too aggressive that is going to make them sick. The blood transfusion will help her fatigue for awhile. Some of the leukemias in the elderly are chronic and less aggressive than the acute forms that occur in the younger. I would have a long discussion with your Mom and Dr. and find out more about her prognosis, her type of leukemia and expected course if you do nothing, treat palliatively, or treat aggressively. This should ultimately be her decision.

 
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Old 06-28-2012, 08:11 AM   #4
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Re: Old Age Leukemia

Can your Mom speak for her own wishes?
If that were me, I would definitely not have any treatment.

 
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Old 06-28-2012, 11:46 AM   #5
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Re: Old Age Leukemia

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seraph View Post
If I was that old and felt OK, I wouldn't want to go on chemo, and spend the rest of my days feeling sick. We all have to die and I would rather go out with a fairly peaceful old age leukemia, than throwing up, getting sores and other side effects of chemo. That's just me though. Cancer or heart failure in the very old is often slow and painless. Sera
Thanks for your reply. I feel the same way but my sister does not. Don't want my mom to suffer with treatment at this point. Didn't think that there was a quick fix that
would not do her harm. I need to discuss further with my sister but thanks so much for your comments.

 
Old 06-28-2012, 11:51 AM   #6
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Re: Old Age Leukemia

Yes my Mom can speak for what she wants. Just think she isn't ready to die.
Got to love her for wanting to move forward. Know how fortunate we have been to have her all these years. Don't want her to suffer with treatment. Thanks so much for your response.

 
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