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.