Topic: Mom died in 24 days after diagnosis
My Mom was 73 and very active and very healthy overall. She was a competitive swimmer and trained daily most of the year. She held records in her age group and competed in triathalons. She started to get multiple health complaints in fall of 2007 and that in itself was unusual for her. First was shortness of breath which was diagnosed as asthma, then after a few months the diagnosis was changed to pulmonary fibrosis then to suspected angina! At the same time she had pains in her abdomen which got increasingly intense so her doctor scheduled an ultrasound. During this entire time she was still active and doing all her swimming competitions etc. Finally one night she was up all night long throwing up and the abdominal pain got worse. She then drove herself to the hospital where they diagnosed a bowel obstruction. We were thrilled with this diagnosis since it also explained the shortness of breath and negated the angina.
After the operation the doctor came to tell me that my Mom was full of tumours on every organ and her lungs. He did a a bowel reconstruction but said she had multiple blockages from the tumours and he did not find a good portion of colon to re-attach to. He basically did a patch job. He said it was very advanced stage cancer and she would likely just get another obstruction and die within months. He took some tissue samples and it came back as advanced cholangiocarcenoma. After the operation she did not eat any food and anything she had came back up. She did see an oncologist and they did say there was a chemo treatment that would slow down the growths and provide more comfort and maybe more weeks or months of survival but not any kind of recovery. She was not able to get the treatment however because she could not eat and therefore was not strong enough to endure chemo. At that point it was suspected that she had another bowel obstruction and the doctor told us he could not operate on her again. She died two weeks later. During the last two weeks she threw up everything and developed water around her lugs. It got increasingly harder for her to breathe and she was on oxygen and an IV and morphine patch. It took a total of 24 days from the day she entered hospital with the bowel blockage to passing.