I know prognosis for cancer is never easy, but it's the perceived contradictions that seem to trip us up. We are caring for a 77 year old aunt with stage IV bladder cancer that has spread to her bones and lymph nodes. We want to have some idea as to how long we might have. We wants something better than what feels like the standard answer of 36 months to 48 months because that doesn't feel realistic. The contradictions come with the diagnosis and metastisis and the push for short term radiation (10 days) and then possible chemotherapy. The oncologist speaks as if we're beginning a fight which suggest long term. She's still eating a bit although she's lost a lot of weight and is a tremendous amount of pain. The radiation is supposed to help with the pain. We can see the emotional fight being borne in her face. It's absolutely heartbreaking.

Emotionally, we're a bit drained as we just buried her brother on the Thursday before Christmas 2011 after lung cancer. Hospice was key to making his transition, but we were not the caregivers for him and his caregivers understandably can not/will not get involved in another "transition activity".

Any insight would be most welcome.

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I was similar to your aunt in Feb '08. I even went into a hospice to die. As I had nothing to loose by this stage, I had chemo for 5 months (gemcitabine & cisplatin). It seemed to work for me - I went in to remission a month or so later. I did not have radiation treatment.

Several things helped: my wife pulled me out of the hospice (the food was tasty, but wrong for cancer) to die at home. Her care, good food, slow increase in activity and eventually proper exercise, plus good supplements all helped - both making the chemo more effective and reducing the difficult side-effects.

My first 5 expert doctors all said I had little time to live; they couldn't do anything for me; go home and die. Not me. The sixth said chemo might work - it had a 5% chance. That and a good nutritionist (who was much more positive, overly so - but he gave me hope) has given me this (so far) additional 4 years.

My mate had stage 1V bladder cancer which had spread to his lymph nodes,then it went to his lungs and brain. He was a very fit 39 when we first notice symtoms,he was 41 when it was properly diagnosed, right after the birth of our baby,he was dead before he turned 45 years old. He was young and fought it like a true warrior,he went up and down, up and down and finally crashed,mostly after it entered his brain. It was the saddest thing I have ever went through. Doctors can't put a difinite time frame on it, because they are not Gods and everyones circumstances are different. God Bless.

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