Topic: Mom diagnosed with CC
Hi - First time posting. My mother. age 71, has just been diagnosed with intrahepatic CC. She had been feeling sick with sinus trouble, tiredness and loss of appetite since right after Christmas. Her internist finally got really concerned about three weeks ago when mom began to have unexplainable fevers. She was sent for a CAT scan and there they found "spots" on her liver, a week later she was in for a biopsy and by the end of the week was told she has liver cancer. By Tues. the following week (6/19) she had a appt. with an oncologist who confirmed it to be intrahepatic CC, with no apparant metastisis to other parts of her body. The oncologist, as is typical I believe, has not been forthcoming with what is going on in my mother's body - the information provided to mom is about colon and pancreas cancers, nothing on CC. Here is the hardest part for us - mom is in Stage 4 of the cancer and we only found this out by directly talking to the doctor about why mom was not referred for a second opinion and not directed to some clinical trial. The oncologist also told us that most likely mom only has 6-12 months, with treatment maybe a little more - to my knowledge mom and dad are unaware of this fact. Today (6/26) as I write mom is starting chemo with Avastid and Gemzar (we think) which we believe is a last ditch effort for mom. Everything we have read on CC indicates to us that there is nothing short of God intervening that will heal mom at his stage - there is no standard protocol for treatment and certainly no cure at this point as she is not a candidate for transplant. *****I apologize for being a little vague about some of the details but my mother and father have always been quiet and secretive about their medical histories. Therefore I am not completely aware of the chemo agents and other drugs being administered to my mom.*****
Can anyone offer advice. Everything we see on this site so far seems to be from many who have caught the CC at an earlier stage and this therefore seems to give more options in terms of transplant and resection. If anyone has experience with this CC at this stage, I would appreciate some feedback. Also, we would like some advice from those who have gone before on how to talk to mom about the fact that, statistically speaking, her time on earth is most likely limited. As I said the oncologist is painting a more rosy scenario for mom and dad - such a rosy picture that they have told friends and family the treatment looks like it has promise. I think this is extremely unfair witholding of information. Should we try to insist that the oncologist be up front and tell mom the truth or let it play out? I would want to know the truth, but I am not mom. I know optimism is a great motivating factor but I don't want my mom igonorant about what is happening and what will happen to her as this cancer does what it will do. Already it appears this CC is moving fast, in the last week alone mom's abdomen has begun to swell and is getting uncomfortable, her ankles are swelling, she has no appetite and she is beginning to get a little jaundiced. I love my mom, I want her around for many years - my wife and I have 5 children, the only grandchildren for mom and dad - but it is hard to know what to do when it seems I have more knowledge about her cancer than she does.
Thanks for a wonderful site.
Rob and Lewanne