Topic: Introduction

My mother is 77 years old.  In June 2005 she developed two large masses in her liver and after a biopsy was diagnosed with liver cancer.  She was not a candidate for a transplant due to her age, general health and advanced cirohosis of the liver.  They did  surgery and Chemoembolization, but during the procedures they discovered the cancer  was really Cholangiocarcinoma.  She was given 2 to 6 months at that time. After six months another CAT Scan revealed that the cancer was  once again growing, so they inserted  radioactive pellets in the tumors.  Three months after that she began experiencing some pretty severe heartburn and after a scoping procedure was diagnosed with a  stomach ulcer which they treated with antibiotics and I think a steroid.  The heartburn has not really improved, and she is now hugely, and uncomfortably bloated.  She is scheduled for another CAT Scan this week.

Right now we do not know what to expect.  There are no other treatment options available to her, and the surgeon has as much as said that the next step will be palliative care.  Part of me thinks that to have another CAT Scan is pointless. What good will it do to know anymore than we do?  The other part of me wants to know as much as possible, but I'm afraid that is selfish.  My mother really doesn't want to know -----especially if it's bad news, plus, I think her positive attitude has helped her get this far, so I hate the thought of her losing it now. The good news is that we had, she had, much more time than we were led to believe she would have and it was pain free. In fact she is planning to on a trip to Ireland with her twin sister at the end of October!