Topic: New to Site - My Aunt
Hello everybody. Unfortunately I have had to research this horrible cancer. I have been looking at posts here for the last couple weeks and feel overwhelmed. My aunt age 56 has had Leukemia for approximately five years. It was diagnosed at stage 0 and was being monitored. She did not need any treatment. Approximately September of 2013 blood tests indicated that it was at stage 4 and they wanted to start a chemo pill. They told her she could wait one more month before starting and they would do additional tests to see if it was maintaining. In October they did additional tests and her levels were better and they held off on chemo but she was to go in for blood tests once a month. In November the blood tests indicated that her liver levels (not sure of the term) were high but nothing to be concerned about. She had been complaining about abdomen paid and was able to feel a lump in her stomach. The doctors at first could not feel it when she came in to report the pain. A few weeks later she went in the doctor and they were able to feel the lump. Shortly after Christmas they did a biopsy and determined it was Cholangiocarcinoma Cancer. They said the cancer is in stage 4+. She was initially in a lot of pain but they have been able to manage that since. She is still very nauseous and so far no medicine has been able to help with this. She eats very little and sleeps all the time. Doctors say not to worry about not eating…I guess I think you have to eat to keep your energy up and maybe if she ate more she wouldn‘t feel so sick. The doctors have not once mentioned that surgery is an option. She just had her second dose of chemo last week. And has to go in and get fluids often.
The posts I have read encourage me that there is hope. The doctors have given her 3-6 months (she does not know this part, she just knows she has terminal cancer stage 4+). Of course the doctors say she could certainly be here longer then 6 moths. Can it really go that fast? It breaks my heart to see her. I really think she gave up the fight to live before she was even diagnosed due to the pain and feeling so sick all the time. The last week she tells us she hopes she will be hospitalized. I think she feels they will be able to make her more comfortable. I have no idea what to do for her and when I went to one of her appointments with her, it just seems like they are trying to keep her comfortable and are not fighting for her. I am not saying the doctors are mean, they want the best for her but I just don’t see creative thinking and game plans like I expected. Our family has not seen a scan of the cancer as of yet…the doctor she has is new to the clinic and her access was not working at the time. I figured they could have figured out a way for the family to see what they see. One worry is that she will become too sick from the chemo and they will then have to stop…if this happens then they said it is all about comfort until the end. I just don’t understand that they can’t be anything after chemo….so sad! I feel like our family is not asking the right questions and the doctors aren’t providing a lot of information. I hear about surgery from the site but it has never been mentioned. I look at her and feel so helpless. I have mentioned getting a second opinion but they started her on chemo so fast and I guess we just accepted what the doctors have said. The other day I remember seeing one of the cancer doctors and he mentioned gull bladder cancer…my aunt and I looked at each other as this was the first we had heard of this. It seems like we are very uneducated about this cancer as when we asked more questions we were told it was in the gull bladder, liver, bile duct and lymph nodes around that area. They also found a spot of cancer on her cheek and a couple spots on her liver but said they would not worry about that as the chemo would help it all.
I will cherish every moment I have with her while she is here. I have two children age 7 and 10 and it is so hard to tell them what to expect and why it is so important to visit her often. I am just glad we live so close! Today we made her a message board and had the entire family sign it with a little personal messages. She really liked this and I will continue to have my kids make her personal gifts! I feel like I am kind of everywhere in this post and I apologize. I just needed to write and it all just came out…in no particular order.
My questions are…could it really happen so fast? Should we just accept that there is nothing that can be done? Anybody have suggestions about the nausea, she has had this even before chemo? Any suggestions on what questions our family could ask the doctors?
Thank you to everybody who posts information on this website. There is a lot to go through and I am sure my concerns/answers are in here...but it may take me a while to find them.
God Bless and prayers to all that are suffering!