Topic: My Mom Recently Diagnosed (and we can't figure out which end up)
I just joined the foundation and am grateful that I stumbled across this in all of my google searches. My mom, who is 68, was diagnosed with metastatic cholganiocarcinoma, in either late stage 3 or stage 4, and it's been a disaster. We are all trying to wrap our heads around this, manage questions from concerned family and friends while staying focused on getting her medically stable.
In short, everyone (including her internist) thought she had the stomach flu in early January. After 2 weeks, she was getting worse and by 2/9, she was jaundice, in pain and weak. We quickly checked her into a fantastic local hospital to find out that we had a cancer situation--first they thought it was liver, but then it was pancreas, then it was gallbladder. We finally found out that it was a bile duct and that it spread to the majority of her GT tract. A stent didn't provide any relief and as of 2 days ago, she received a side drainage option.
Our oncologist isn't optimistic. She feels that surgery is out of the question, radiation would put her liver and overall health in worse risk (she is bloated, barely able to talk and on morphine right now) and that once she gets out of the hospital, we can talk about chemotherapy but it would only increase her life in a small increment that may not be worth the side effects.
I'm sure that this story is not uncommon but we are scrambling. We are sending our files to Northwestern in Chicago and Johns Hopkins to get another opinion. Our rational brains are working but we are emotionally lost and while we have rally cry that we will fight this, our information is incomplete and we are lost.
I am writing for any insight...suggestions...help...anything for us to grab onto and turn this around. We have two paths underway: 1. BEATING this and 2. being realistic and focusing on my mom's happiness. These two points are in direct conflict which is why we are so lost.
Any thoughts or recommendation is a blessing. Thank you.