Topic: Abdominal Fliud Retention positive for Cancer Cells

I've received great information on this site from so many regarding meds and other means of keeping my mom's recurrent symptoms at bay.  She is 77 yeas old  w/ unresectable tumor.  She had chemo Gemzar) since May.  About 3 weeks ago symptoms worsened keeping her from further chemo. At her last hospitalization, about 1 week ago, she had a liter of fluid removed from her abdomen.  Today at her oncology visit she was told that her cancer has worsened, as they found cancer cells in the fluid taken.  Mom's under 100 lbs and weakening.  Doctor told her that unless she was able to go back on to chemo soon, she would probably not last until Christmas.  I have not seen any post regarding cancer in the abdominal fluid.  Does this indicate the end?  Is it worth having her go through chemo and all the side effects when she's so weak?  Just hearing the news has put mom back in bed.  Actually yesterday I had mom out  for an hour shopping.  My mom is very indecisive, and listens to what I suggest.  Any help out there?


Re: Abdominal Fliud Retention positive for Cancer Cells

Hi Karen,
So sorry that you and your mother have to go through this. I don't want to give advice, just my experience: my mother had bad abdominal fluid retention, though they never mentioned if there were cancer cells in there. They DID tell me that my mother had to get back on chemo or within 2 weeks her liver levels would be too high for them to do chemo. I took this as a sign that we should get hospice and discontinue chemo, since she was so weak and the side effects for her were terrible. Well, she died about 2 weeks later.

This is just my experience, whatever you choose to do is a valid decision - it depends on you and your mother and how well she tolerates chemo.

My heart goes out to you, and I hope for the best-

Re: Abdominal Fliud Retention positive for Cancer Cells

I spoke woth my mom's doctor today. Her pain is increasing and sleeping more.  Her doctor suggested to me that it was probably time for hospice.  Mom is not aware of what her told me tonight and I am bearing a great burden knowing that her condition worsens each time difficult information is given to her.  My mom is not a decisive person since my dad's passing away (about a year ago also from cancer).  Her doctor said that he would talk to her tomorrow regarding his opinion of us getting hospice, while I am with her.  I do believe that hospice is probably the best option for her, but it's just so hard, since I know she's going to give in as soon as she's heard the news.  Chemo has kept her going for about 6 months (it's been about 11 month since her diagnosis).  The time just never seems long enough.  I not sure why I am writing, not looking for answers, as I have received so much information on this site, much more than any doctors have given us.  It's just comforting to know that others are going through this.   The reality of my mom's death I guess are more real than ever and I'm not sure that I'm prepared for what is coming.  Would  you keep me and my mom Shirley in your prayers, especially over the next day or two.  I'm thankful for my faith.  God is my rock.


4 (edited by marions Fri, 09 Nov 2007 22:22:04)

Re: Abdominal Fliud Retention positive for Cancer Cells

My heart goes out to you in this difficult time.  Losing your parents so close together is especially painful.   You can be assured of prayers coming your way, as so many of us had to walk this road already.
You will be in my thoughts when you are meeting with the doctor.


Re: Abdominal Fliud Retention positive for Cancer Cells


I remember when Marianne told me that they had decided to put Mark (my brother) on hospice.  I felt like I'd been punched in the stomach.  We couldn't possibly stop fighting... but then I realized that while I still had more fight in me, Mark was done fighting. 

It will be hard for a few days after you and your mom make that decision, but those last few weeks with Mark are ones I will never forget.  I wanted to move in and spend every second with him.  I spent several nights with him so Marianne and the kids could sleep and I count those nights as cherished memories. 

We'll be thinking about you.


Re: Abdominal Fliud Retention positive for Cancer Cells

Karen -

Hospice is a difficult decision, but when the time comes, it is the right decision.  Your Mom may have more fight left in her than you think she does...but she may be ready to let the Lord take her home.  These last few days or weeks will be very special to all of you, and the memories made will sustain you forever.  We went through this with my husband Mike in April, and while it was so very difficult to accept that his time on earth was very limited after only 57 years, I was determined that that last act of love I showed him was to help him to have a peaceful crossing over to Heaven.  He died with a smile on his face, so I know we accomplished that...and I know where he is and that he will be waiting for me at the gate for all eternity.  My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.  Please know that all of us on this website are thinking of you.


Re: Abdominal Fliud Retention positive for Cancer Cells

Thank you for your support and prayers.  I'm praying for direction as I speak to mom tomorrow,  You are all a blessing.


Re: Abdominal Fliud Retention positive for Cancer Cells

I know exactly what you are going through.  I just got home fro another 14 hour day with her at the Hospice center.  Each day is different - some good - some bad.  Her goal is to get to go home and we are working on it.  She is bedridden after falling twice in a few days from her legs just not able to hold her.  Her stomach is huge along with her legs fro the fluid retention.  (40 lbs. total)  They did try and relieve the pressure on her stomach, but there was not any fluid, her liver had nearly trippled.  Not to mention the three hernias that she had developed since going off chemo.   We have to use a lift to move her from her bed to a recliner or wheelchair.  She has to use a bedpan (which I believe is just as much of a side effect of this horrid disease - of the humility and shame she endurs) .  Fortunately, she does not have much pain (other than from all of the scrapes and brusing from falling).
My thoughts and prayers are with you - but know there are others that share your pain and helplessness.

Re: Abdominal Fliud Retention positive for Cancer Cells


You & your Mom will be in my thoughts & prayers also.


"One Day At A Time"

All of my comments and suggestions are just my opinions and are not a substitute for professional medical advice.   You should always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care providers.

Re: Abdominal Fliud Retention positive for Cancer Cells

Karen, God be with you in these tough times. Your Mom has fought a good fight. Be proud of her.  Perhaps she is struggling so valiantly for you...she doesn't want you to be left alone, or to suffer  more hurt. Mothers are like that- yeah, they are! Reassuring Mom that she raised a strong independent soul such as yourself may be good for both of you. You both can and will make it through. Sandy

Re: Abdominal Fliud Retention positive for Cancer Cells

Dear Karen,

I can imagine the emotional pain you must be in.  That's why your writing Karen.  You need to let a little of that pain out.  Please continue to do so as we are here to listen and support you to the best of our abilities.  You have had a tough ride these last couple of years; Please take care of yourself as well.  Share your feelings with others as much as you can.  Three years ago I had to arrange for both of my parents to go in to long term nursing care.  Not hospice by name, but it sure felt like it.  It just happened they both had medical problems at the same time and were no longer able to live at home alone.  Dad passed on within 6 months from congested heart failure.  Mom is still alive with end stage parkinsons and dementia.  It is sad how end of life works.  our parents bring us in to the world with happy hearts and then the role changes and we have to help them leave this world as happy as possible, while having a sad heavy heart.  It's a natural cycle that we will never get use to.  I pray that your Mom and you get through this trying time with the least amount of pain possible, if there is such a thing.

God Bless You Both,
Jeff G.

Take it to the Limit,One More Time! (Eagles)