Mom has cancer, now a hip fracture...

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My 68 year old mother has Squamous cell carcinoma. Inoperable. Supposed to start radiation next week. Hip fracture discovered today in hospital. She refused treatment and insisted on going back to care facility...anyone else face this combo?


Yes, hip fractures can be fairly common when someone has cancer. I have seen it happen frequently in my 35+ years as a nurse. It is usually a pathological fracture meaning it didn't happen necessarily from falling. Sometimes it is the hip fracturing that causes the fall. If this is the case for your mother then it is usually because the cancer has spread to the bone and caused it to become really porous, fragile and brittle. Your mother being post menopausal when bones become less dense would compound the issue. Did she refuse treatment or was she told that fixing the hip may not be completely possible or would not heal well because the cancer has metastasized? Perhaps this might be the issue and she is not sharing. Can you check with the physician on this? Did your mom give a reason for not taking treatment? Perhaps your mother knows something that you don't? Maybe if you could have a chat with her and try to give her the opportunity to tell you what she knows, what she is afraid of while holding a safe space for her to share this. Hopefully the opening is what she needs and with that it will help you too. My heart goes out to you in this time of uncertainty, frustration and grief.
Thank you for replying. I spoke with a good friend who is a Thoracic Oncologist and he said exact same thing. Most likely Pathological. Mom isn't hiding anything from me. She is terrified of surgery and as my friend said most likely she would not survive the surgery. Better to leave it be. It either heals or not.
I am coming to terms with all this and about to lose my paternal grandmother as well.

Thanks for your input.
Alexandrakl - you are welcome. I am so glad that at least the reason for the fracture is now explained. It is the not knowing or understanding why that can be so difficult. Many times the surgery is not done because the risks outweigh the benefits. I didn't actually mean that your mom was hiding something but rather that she was trying to protect you from knowing that the cancer is progressing; I apologize for my wording that didn't come across quite right.
It sounds as though you have a lot on your plate right now; your mother and your grandmother. I hope you have a good support network and are taking care of yourself.

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