My Mom is 80 and has Alzheimer's (it's been getting worse since the cancer, but she still remembers all family members). After complaining of pain in her stomach area for about 6 months, she was finally diagnosed with CC in August this year. We live in Northern California and have Kaiser. Kaiser doesn't have any specialists in the oncology dept., and I doubt our young oncologist has had any experience with this type of cancer. Basically, she said nothing could be done, and even if it could extend my mom's life a little (2 months tops was her thought), why would you when she's got Alzheimer's? I tried to convince my Dad to go to UCSF, but he thought it would be too hard to get my Mom up to SF (we live in San Jose), plus Kaiser won't pay for it.
Last week my mom fell and hit her stomach area. Afterwards, she complained of a lot more pain in her liver area than before. About this same time she stopped wanting to swallow solid food and she's becoming jaundiced.
A second Dr. at Kaiser said that her body is shutting down and that's why she won't swallow. She is jaundiced because the liver is about to fail and she's only got a couple of weeks left.
My questions are...
1. Does not wanting to swallow really signify that the body is shutting down? Could it just be that my Mom feels so sick that she just doesn't want to eat and if she could get the bile drained (or something) she might WANT to eat? (she does still take a few bites of food at meals and drinks throughout the day)
2. Is jaundice really a sign that the liver is about to fail? I thought jaundice was a typical symptom of the disease. Could the fall have somehow contributed to the jaundice?
3. Is it worth it to try to get the medical records from Kaiser and try to get up to San Francisco for a specialist's opinion? Does it sound like it may be too late?
Thanks for the input.