I just love your posts. I miss my mom so much. It's been almost 6 months since she passed away and reading your posts.. very comforting. Thank you!
I am truly sorry that your brother is going through this. My mother had plastic stents. We were given option for metal vs plastic. We were told that the metal stents had decreased chance of clogging only because they were larger in diameter. But the bad thing about the metal stents we were told were that once they placed them, it would be very difficult to remove because of the tissue that grows over them and the stents become imbedded. MD stated that if the metal stents become occluded, they could either try to clean it out or place a plastic stent within the metal stent. But because the occlusions were too narrow, metal stents were too large and was not an option for my mom. So, she ended up with 2 plastic stents and one external/internal stent. The problem is the infection that occurs. I truly believe, it was the multiple infections that followed the stent placements that caused my mother's condition to worsen so quickly. She was admitted with sepsis, spent several days in the ICU and after that her condition quickly worsened. We were told that infection following stent placement was a given. That it would be very difficult to prevent infection. She was on numerous IV antibiotics at home.
The external/internal stent we flushed twice a day, so it decreased the potential for occlusions, but my mom went through much pain with each change.
First, Cipro was the choice for treating the infections, but later stopped working. She was on zosyn and another IV antibiotic at home.
Her stents were changed every 6 to 8 weeks due to blockage and infection.
I hope they can find a solution for your brother.
My mother had 2 internal stents and one external stent. She also had numerous infections and was in the ICU one time with sepsis. After the sepsis, that's when her condition worsened. The infections took a toll on her. increased weakness, loss of appetite, muscle mass,etc... I think the infections ultimately lead to her passing rather than the cancer itself. She could not have the metal stents because of the narrow passage. The internal plastic stents continued to clot off due to sludge, resulting in infections. It was awful. She too was on IV ATB at home. We were torn because without the stents, the bili levels, ammonia levels would increase, but with the stents, infection... it's a tough situation.
My mom left us almost 4 months ago. I miss her everyday. I still have the sweat shirt she wore the last. I have it hanging on my stairwell. I keep it covered so I don't lose her scent. Work keeps me busy. My dad is trying hard to keep it together, but he has his moments. He dreams about her a lot. He says in his latest dreams, my mom keeps leaving and he chases after her. He says she is probably trying to give him a message to let her go and live his life. He is now living by himself and everything in the house reminds him of mom. It is hard, but take it day by day.
So very sorry your loved one is going through this. My mom had 2 internal plastic stents and one external/internal stent. She suffered so much from the stents. They caused infections after infections, pain, hospitalizations, sepsis. The external stents are very uncomfortable/painful. The internal stents, unless they are metal, they clot off, get infected and cause so much suffering. Abdominal pain was chronic after the stents were placed.
I truly hope your loved one can get some relieve.
I visit my dear mother's grave at least 2 times a week. ( it is very close to my home) I feel peaceful when I'm there. I know her spirit is not there, but I still go.
Thank you Carrie. My heart goes out to everyone diagnosed with this terrible cancer and their loved ones.
I've been reading the updates on FB that Lisa C. has been posting on Lauren's surgery. Been praying for her recovery. With you by her side, I'm sure she will be fine.
I totally respect your dad's decision not to accept treatment. If I can be honest, in my mom's case, the treatments that she received (chemo/radiation/stents) caused more problems, hospitalizations and suffering that I feel she could have avoided if she did not receive treatments. Although reality is that if one does not receive treatment, the cancer may progress faster, but at least I feel my mom's quality of life would have been better. She was completely asymptomatic when she was diagnosed. Actually she was diagnosed by accident. She was eating well, active and feeling fine. She did started having complications once chemo/radiation started. At the time that your physician tells you that you have cancer, you are in a daze, in denial. Then you get to the stage where you want to try anything that may help. But in my mom's case, those treatments made her feel so ill, so many complications. Each treatment she received, cause a complication. She could not get a break. We were actually told that after her chemo and radiation, the PET scan came back clean, but then ONE MONTH later, she became jaundice, then all hell broke loose.
So, respect your father's choice, I now realize that QUALITY OF LIFE IS FAR MORE IMPORTANT THAN QUANTITY OF LIFE. We learned it the hard way.
Very sorry what you and your family is going through.... at times I wanted to scream because I was at my wits end seeing my mom suffering so much. She endured radiation, chemotherapy, one external stent, 2 internal stents, infections, IV antibiotics, sepsis, numerous ER visits, hospitalizations. To be honest I don't know how she endured all of this for 1 and 1/2 years, because I certainly could not have. My mom left us 12 days ago, although I know she is no longer suffering, we miss her terribly.
It is ok to feel frustrated, overwhelmed, angry. This cancer robs us of our loved ones. If you feel like talking, feel free to contact me.
My beautiful mom and best friend went home to heaven May 13, 2013. It was the day of mom and dad's 50th wedding anniversary. She left us with a smile on her face to let us know that she is in a better place. I miss her greatly. I was blessed to call her "omma" (korean for mom) for 44 years. She was the most sweetest and selfless person I know and God is lucky to have her in heaven. I cherish everyday that I got to spend with her! I love you mom!
God bless everyone who has been diagnosed with this thief of a cancer and their loved ones.
my mom has 2 internal stents and one external/internal stent. The external stents are a pain in the butt. Make sure you flush them with normal saline at least daily. The internal stents become infected due to blockage. My mom has been hospitalized several times due to infection. All this only after one month after clear PET scan. Can't understand it.
My mom had clear PET scan one month after chemo/radiation. Then approx. one month later, she became jaundice. CT scan showed blockage of bile ducts which was treated with two internal stents. One week later, she developed fevers. After two hospitalizations, IV ATB, stent changes, was discharged home. Only to be readmitted again after another infection. During an attempt to place an additional external stent due to blockage of another part of the liver, she became septic and was in the ICU for 5 days. Was placed on zosyn and daptomycin, recovered, sent home for 4 weeks of IV ATB. She's doing better but now since the external stent placed, a lot of abdominal pain. Can't win. I hope your sister is doing better. The bacteria that grew: e coli, VRE. Since the clear PET scan, it has been a roller coaster ride.
Does your mom have metal or plastic stents? They tried to place metal stents bet the structure was so narrow it would not fit. Does she have issues with the stents getting occluded?
After getting a good scan back on September, mom is back in the hospital with 2 plastic stents and cholangitis. She is on IV antibiotics and had the plastic stents changed due to blockage. MD is placing the blame on effects of radiation therapy she received 7 months ago for the strictures, but I'm not so sure.
How can she be in this predicament in just 2 months. It certainly is frustrating. Anyone else go thru this?
Great news Lisa!!!!
Looks like God answered both of our families' prayers. We go back in 3 months for another scan. Praying that we receive good new then as well.
Too bad our appointments are several weeks apart or we could meet at Dr Estfan's office.
I hope your mom is feeling better. I totally understand what you and your mom are going thru.
My 72 year old mom was diagnosed one year ago. She too went through 6 weeks of radiation. While receiving radiation, she received Gemzar chemotherapy once a week. After radiation was completed, she continued to receive Gemzar for 5 more months. Originally it was scheduled for total of 6 months of Gemzar, but because it was so hard on her body, my mom decided to stop the chemo one month early. I guess it depends on the individual how much they can tolerate chemotherapy. But it was very tough on my mom.
But, I must tell you, there is hope. My mom was not able to receive surgery because the location of the tumor, too close to the portal vein. But, by the grace of God, her PET scan one month ago showed no activity where the tumor is, therefore, MD states she responded to the treatments well.
She goes for another scan in 3 months. We continue to pray that she remains stable, that the tumor does not return.
It's very hard to see your mom in pain, I very much know what you're going through and so do all of the wonderful people on this site.
I hope your mom responds to the treatments, keep praying. I know it sounds cliche, but prayer works.
My mom is 72 and received chemo and radiation treatments and I must say, it kicked her butt. It was not easy, but she pulled through it. I too was very concerned about quality of life. Toward the end of the chemo treatments and numerous hospitalizations due to other complications from the cancer, my mom told me that she was tired and after the scans were done, if the treatments did not work, she did not want to continue with chemo treatments anymore. But, I must say that we are so very grateful that she completed her treatments because her scans from yesterday showed that the liver was clear, no tumor. It's a rollar coaster ride definitely, but we are so glad that she got on the seat and took a chance at the treatments recommended because if she chose not to, I wouldn't know what would have resulted. The decision will be up to her.
Just simply ......BEAUTIFUL!
Sounds like the nurse did something wrong. Was it at the chemo clinic? Most of the nurses there were very good with the needle insertion, but there are few new nurses that aren't so great. Emily is the best.
I hope they figure out what it is and fix it soon.
Thanks so much everyone for your encouragement!
Hey Betsy, hope you are doing well.
My mom was diagnosed last year. We live in the Cleveland area and we chose to be treated at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. We've been with the Clinic for many years and received nothing but the best care from great physicians. If you have any questions, please e mail me.
Thank you! we are so very happy, feels like a dream after such a horrible past year.
It's official, received call from Dr Estfan from Cleveland Clinic today that the PET/CT scan show now signs of the tumor. This is a miracle. He reminded us many times that the treatments my mom was receiving was palliative and the only way to cure was surgery. Surgery was not an option for her due to the location of the tumor. He did caution us that it could come back, but she is cancer free at this time and that's is good enough for us. Thanks everyone always for your support!