• Doctor said only 6 months to live

    Asked by Teachertok on Thursday, April 11, 2013

    Doctor said only 6 months to live

    My 75 y.o. mom's doctor told me today that she has about 6 months to live in his experience of treating this kind of situation. It might be longer but it's unlikely.

    He said that she can choose chemotherapy but she just had her stomach removed and is unsure if it would be worth it. (The PET scan showed only a small area but it was so much larger and had spread - surgery revealed the depth of the situation - T4N3)

    Personally I am hoping she will choose quality months without chemotherapy. I know that my dad feels the same way. Any people out there who can give me a reason why we shouldn't counsel to consider no chemo? I hope you are out there and can give a great reason to fight. I don't want her to just "give up" but I also want her to feel like she doesn't have to suffer just to have a few more months of life.

    8 Answers from the Community

    8 answers
    • SueRae1's Avatar

      What difficult time this most be for you and your family. You may want to speak to a social worker at the hospital/center where your mother is being treated to go over and understand the options better. What does you mother want, that is a big factor - I myself would say quality over quantity. I remember having to make decisions during my parents final illness (Alzheimer's and Congestive Heart Failure), based on what we knew of my parents, we choose palliative/hospice care , and not aggressive treatment.

      You may also want to get a 2nd opinion to confirm your mom's prognosis, another set of eyes and experiences can only help you make the right decision

      Good luck.

      over 7 years ago
    • ticklingcancer's Avatar

      Such a difficult situation to be in. Quality vs Quantity is discussed quite often in the cancer community. What this really comes down to is what your Mom wants. All you can do is provide her with your opinion but in the end, she will have to make the decision. As SueRae suggested, I would certainly seek out a second opinion. Maybe contact MD Anderson and see if you can get a consult. But if in the end you receive the same news, please remember to support any decision your Mom makes.

      over 7 years ago
    • CAS1's Avatar

      you know,, I have a policy I really try to live by and that is to never ever question why someone has already had the treatment that they have because looking back is never a good idea. But I find myself having a very very hard time not asking this question. Please please forgive me but if the cancer was so extensive why on earth did they continue to remove her stomach. Please don't answer if this is in any way intrusive or uncomfortable.

      I think you should without delay get a second opion.

      over 7 years ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar

      In the end, it will be her and your families decision, and it is a terribly hard one. I was in that spot 3 years ago with my mother. Exact prognosis, only lung cancer instead. They said maybe 6 months with or without treatment but no surgery possible. We explained it to Mom, she just shrugged her shoulders and said, no treatment. We made the next 10 months the best that they possibly could be. We went places, she stayed with us, we talked. I learned more about her and dad in those last 10 months than in my previous 50 years.
      We took care of Mom in our home, right up to the last minutes with help from Hospice. This may sound strange if not understood, but it was one of the most rewarding things we ever had the privilege to do. That's take care of her every last need and wish. Also the hardest thing we ever did, including having cancer 3 times.

      I wish you the best and comfort in making the decision. Both for you and Mom.
      give her an extra hug and kiss tonight.

      over 7 years ago
    • Teachertok's Avatar

      Thank you everyone for taking the time to answer. I really appreciate all your thoughtful answers. Also, to CAS1 -- just to let you know, living without her broken stomach has been a wonderful experience for her! She is still eating normally without pain (only smaller portions). I had no idea that life without a stomach was even possible! She loves being able to enjoy food again and has even gone out to eat lobster tonight. I am happy this has brought her peace of mind.

      over 7 years ago
    • CAS1's Avatar

      Teachertok, thank you for sharing this information. I have been on this cancer path for more than 10 years with my family memebers and now me and I had no idea that you would be feeling better "without" a stomach and you could enjoy eating..I am so gald for your Mother.

      Gregs words are som similar to my own with my Mom. Although at 87 she chose to take chemo and she was doing great with it. gained 15 pounds, was getting stronger and then she had a stroke and it took her life.. Not the cancer. But we had wonderful times together and I feel blessed I could take care of her. It was very hard but very rewarding.

      And many many people have outlived the prognosis by 5 times over.

      I live in faith so the transition we will all go through is not the end for me.

      you have been in my thoughts and prayers since reading your story. All the very best to you and your Mom.

      over 7 years ago
    • Iluvmymomso's Avatar

      Doe your mother have any idea what she wants to do? If possible, a 2nd opinion wouldn't hurt! My mom is also 75 years old, had a partial gastrectomy in August 2012 started chemo in late September and on feeding tube until late October. Has lost a total of 52 pounds since July 2012. Has another PET scan scheduled for April 25th. I have learned many things throughout this journey with my Mom, and the biggest lesson so far has been ATTITUDE. I have yet seen or heard her complain nor feel sorry for herself! On the days when she has plenty of energy she does the things she has always enjoyed and makes the best of each and everyday! Not everyone reacts the same to chemo/radiation either as it is different for all patients. The more information she has about her treatment options, the better informed you will all be. Your mom needs reassurance that whatever choice she makes for herself that her family can support her choice, regardless. I wish her luck and will pray for you all!!!

      over 7 years ago
    • BarbarainBham's Avatar

      I know a lady who was told 30 years ago that she had 6 months to live because of bladder cancer. She had chemo, went into remission, and lived until LAST YEAR, dying at age 90!

      Let us know how your mom is doing now, since its been 6 months.

      almost 7 years ago

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