Twins' Journey with Liver Cancer

Caregiver: Liver Cancer

Patient Info: Currently in active treatment (initial surgery, receiving chemo rounds/radiation), Diagnosed: over 4 years ago, Female, Age: 76, Stage IV

  1. 1
    • Twins
    • Experience with Liver Cancer
    about 4 years ago
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    Diagnosed

    Oh No

    I live in Charleston SC and my mom lives in Ga. The doctor thought she had a gall bladder problem and ordered a cat scan. When they did the scan they caught just the corner of her liver and saw a small spot and ordered another cat scan of just the liver on August 27, 2012.

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  2. 2
    • Twins
    • Experience with Liver Cancer
    about 4 years ago
    Twins' Avatar

    Cancer has spread/Metastasized

    Oh No

    On August 27, 2012 I was called by my twin brother who was presented at the doctors appointment with my mom. The cancer was in my mom's liver from tip to tip, front to back. She was diagnosed with small cell carsinoma. The problem was the doctor said that it did not originate in the liver and additional scans were needed. I ran a law firm in Charleston and was now preparing to go home. A pet scan and brain MRI was scheduled for September 5, 2012.

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  3. 3
    • Twins
    • Experience with Liver Cancer
    about 4 years ago
    Twins' Avatar

    Cancer has spread/Metastasized

    Oh No

    On September 7, 2012 we met with the cancer doctor and the cancer had originated in my mother's left lung, chest wall. It had spread to the liver and had metastasized in the brain. She did not have any symptoms to speak of except for being extremely tired. She had worked up to August when she thought she had gall bladder problems. It was SHOCKING, especially to my brother who still lives at home with my mom and is currently still in denial.

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  4. 4
    • Twins
    • Experience with Liver Cancer
    about 4 years ago
    Twins' Avatar

    External radiation (Three dimensional)

    Radiation

    My mom had 12 radiation treatments in a row to her brain. The procedure itself was completely physically painless. My mom always dreaded these treatments. She did not want to go. The technicians allowed me to go back and experience the treatments with my mom. (of course from behind a steel wall looking at her on a monitor). A cast was made of her head out of mesh and she was placed flat of her back and it was bolted to the table and the radiation was triggered in exactly where the tumors were. The minimal side effects I mentioned was mental. My mom is clostraphobic and the mesh cast made it very hard on her. It took many days for me to get the image of that procedure out of my mind. When she completed her radiation they gave her the cast. I had my brother place it very high in the top of her closet so that I could not see it.

    Painless Experience: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
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  5. 5
    • Twins
    • Experience with Liver Cancer
    about 4 years ago
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    Nausea medicine

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    My mom's radiation treatments were from September 12, 2012 through September 25, 2012. We stated chemotherapy on September 26, 2012. I was preparing myself for the sickness that I was sure she would have due to the chemo medicine. The first thing they gave her through her IV was a bag a nausea. Then her chemo medicine. My mom never ever got sick as far as an upset stomach. I am so thankful for the nausea medicine that was given first. Please ask your doctor about it if you are not already receiving it. It is amazing.

    Easy to Do: Not Specified
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
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  6. 6
    • Twins
    • Experience with Liver Cancer
    about 4 years ago
    Twins' Avatar

    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    My mom has a very aggressive form of cancer, so the treatment has to be as aggressive. She gets chemo three days in a row. This leaves her very tired. She sleeps more than half the day away the first week. The second week, we call it her well week. She laughs and wants to get out of the house, which we certainly do. Then it's chemo week again and we start over. When we started my mom's weight was 181. This was due to fluid retention. She now weighs 129 and seems to be losing each week. Her appetite was enormous in the beginning. If it wasn't tied down she ate it, especially anything sweet. Now, I am lucky if I can get her to eat a bowl of cereal or oat meal.

    Easy to Do: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Agree
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  7. 7
    • Twins
    • Experience with Liver Cancer
    about 4 years ago
    Twins' Avatar

    Work problems

    Oh No

    I mentioned in the beginning that I ran a law firm in Charleston SC for 9 years when I received the news of my mom. My twin brother works and does not have any drivers license. My mom has for many years transported him to and from work and since the diagnoses this has been a problem. She no longer drives and hasn't since the beginning of September. I took a leave of absence from my job in order to take care of my mom. I was told by my employer on September 30, 2012 that I no longer have a job because I made a choice between my job and my mother. I did not see that I had any other choice to make. I filed for unemployment through my state and was denied. They said with me leaving it was a voluntary quit. It is sad that an employer can dismiss you without any compassion. My mind and heart are so full right now with my mom I can't even process this.

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  8. 8
    • Twins
    • Experience with Liver Cancer
    about 4 years ago
    Twins' Avatar

    Hospitalization

    Other Care

    My mom's chemo went as scheduled on November 27, 28, and 29. She was tired as always Friday through Monday. Then on Tuesday and Wednesday something just didn't seem right. At this point we are normally on the way back up hill. She was sleeping 18 to 20 hours a day. I woke her up around 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday and she was extremely confused and could not stand alone. I immediately took her to ER. She was given 3 pints of blood. By the time Thursday afternoon came she was ready to leave the hospital and go home. Of course being a cancer patient her liver panels and all blood test were very abnormal and the doctors wanted to run upper and lower GI test and she did not want to be there. BUT they did do a CT of the brain because of the confusion and discovered that the tumor in the brain has increased in size. This is so disappointing. We have our next chemo appointment scheduled for December 18, 19 and 20. We always see the doctor the first day. I am not sure how or what he will do now because of the blood loss and the tumor growth.

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