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It is not sure which cancer is the original source. My mother had experienced pain for 2 weeks(beginning of July), We went to see her primary doctor who thought it might be diverticulitus(she already had been diagnosed with diverticulosis). She was prescribed medication but after 3 days, she was still experiencing abdominal pain so we had a cat scan done of her stomach. Her doctor called me and told me it was cancer and we should consider pallitive care/hospice. My sisters and I met with her and she explained the catscan indicated gall bladder/colon cancer. We did a blood test which indicated she had extremely high Alt/Ash levels. It did not indicate which was the original source of the cancer. She recommended us seeing a gastroentologist for a 2nd opinion. 4 days later we went to see him and he showed us the picture of the catscan. There is a huge tumor in the gallbladder which has invaded into the colon. My mother has not had a bowel movement for the past week so we are thinking there might be some blockage. She has gotten sick a few times and feels much better after but I am concerned there are no bowel movements. We have used Miralax and stool softeners but think is a sign of a bigger problem. We are going to see the onocologist that we had worked with for my father two years ago. An;y suggestions for me or questions I should ask the onocologist or other treatments I should look into? I become very frustrated when doctors look at her age and automatically assume it is a death sentence. All treatments should be presented so that is why I want to hear from anyone about their experiences or suggestions with this cancer.

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Manners29: yes-
My aunt, who was an rn (and should have known better) failed to get her routine colonoscopy. She got colon cancer and deceased early at 76.
My uncle, who was adamant that he didn't need to get a colonoscopy, even though he had 8 siblings who urged him to. He got colon cancer and he deceased when the doc failed to take his vitals b4 administering generic morphine. He deceased as he slipped into a coma.
My daughter, 38, thought she was having a heart attack b/c it runs in the family. It was a gall bladder attack and she had gall bladder surgery. Gall bladder attacks can mimic heart attacks.
Please check out your mom's pancreas! She could have pancreatic cancer, it is a small organ that hides in the body. Also check out my nephew, jack andraka site He developed the test to detect for pancreatic cancer at age 15-not a joke.
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Are you making the decisions for your mom? One thing I've done when the options seemed unclear is ask the Dr, "what would you do if it were your mom?" Sometimes what they are professionally required to tell you is not actually the best thing. It does sound like your mom is in a tough spot at this point, and treatment may be worse than doing nothing. I'm sorry.
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My husband who's 85 was diagnosed with liver cancer November 2015. He's a sturdy guy and had not been sick except for COPD which only bothers him a little. He's had 11 chemotherapy treatments, but during that, he had a heart attack. Chemo is rough, no doubt about it (I'm a retired hospital and hospice chaplain). The tumor has shrunk so that heart surgery may now be possible. He needs two stents inserted.

1. You need a report from your oncologist. Chemo, surgery or another option. Your primary care physician knows what shape your mother is in, and whether or not she'd be able to handle those options. Her PC and Oncologist will confer. Of course, she should have the final say in treatment options or hospice care, unless she's not mentally competent to make the decisions. That's where you and your sisters come in.

Hospice care is no longer a death certificate. You can get palliative care with hospice, get better and go home. You're not condemned to giving up emergency care if you need it. Hospice can call an ambulance and send you off to the hospital for treatment for, say, pneumonia. You can have home hospice care. The physician does have to say there's a good likelihood of death within 6 months, but as I said, that's not the final word.

Good luck and God's peace to you and your family.
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My mother-in-law died of gallbladder cancer at age 79. She went to the emergency room for pain in her side. They did an emergency surgery and they were going to remove her gallbladder, however, when they cut her open they saw that the cancer was entangled all around her gallbladder. They could not remove it. It had also tangled into her liver and into her colon. They also suggested hospice right away. We even had her CAT scan sent to Madison doctors who specialize in that and they said it was in operable. She tried chemo therapy twice and it made her so sick that she decided to just go on hospice. They gave her six months to live and she lived almost exactly 6 months. She did not experience any pain untill nine days before her death. She ended up being very confused and the hospice nurses said that's because the cancer had spread to her brain. About four days before she died she mostly slept on a rented bed in the living room and we put morphine in her mouth every hour. Occasionally she would wake up and talk to us but mostly she slept. It seemed that she did not experience much pain. Then one day she just looked up opened her eyes and died.
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I know of several people who have had colon cancer with varying outcomes, but I think it is the gall bladder cancer that would be the most concerning. Regardless of whether it is primary or secondary tumour the outcomes are very poor even in stage 1 cancers. I'm sorry you have to cope with this.
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My dad was in his late 70's when he had surgery for colon cancer. He is still alive & well, aside from severe cervical arthritis & a pacemaker near replacement time, and is still of sound mind.

We have an appointment Tuesday for his cardiologist & lab tech. I need to find out if the insurance company will approve the replacement at his age and, if not, what signs to watch for & what to expect.

My dad is not ready to leave this world, so anything that doesn't support his desires would be heart-breaking.

If the pacer is changed, his physician will have him put in the hospital for the procedure because of his advanced age.

I have been his sole caregiver for most of 6 years, with some aid added in the last year.

My thoughts and prayers are with you and for the decisions that lie ahead.
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A few important questions.
How old is your Mom?
What is her general health?
and the most important one of all..
What does she think of the diagnosis and the options presented?
If your Mom is 60 years YOUNG and in great health other than the diverticulitis then maybe she is a good candidate for surgery.
If your Mom is 80 years OLD and in poor health and has other medical conditions (dementia for example) she is a poor candidate for surgery.
If your Mom is not wanting surgery given the options ant the possibility or a colostomy and rehab after surgery and the follow up treatments then she is a poor candidate for the surgery.
This is if she is qualified to make the decision to have surgery in the first place. If she is not of sound mind then her POA for health care needs to step up and make the difficult decisions.
Personally unless the cancer is in the early stages and unless I could be assured of a good outcome I would opt to not have surgery. I would select Hospice care and enjoy what time I had left.
This is time to put your feelings aside and help make a decision that is best for your Mom, with her input if possible.
Make sure that she has all the documents necessary for Health Care, Finances, Will, Trust and whatever else is necessary. It might be a good time to contact a lawyer that knows Elder Law just to make sure that things are done correctly.
At some point the conversation of a DNR will come up. There is a newer form called a POLST that is more detailed than a DNR and it is worth looking into.
Tough times ahead, I feel for you and your family.
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The risks of surgery may outweigh the benefits. Your mom coukd spend whatever time she has left having surgery and trying to recover in the hospital,not be a candidate for surgery, not survive the surgery or just treating the symptoms and keeping her pain free at home with the help of hospice. So many hard decisions to make but you need to have a frank discussion of what your mom wants and not what you and your sisters want. Hoping you and your family peace and comfort 🙏. Enjoy whatever precious time you have with your mom whichever way you may go .
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Manners -- You might want to ask the oncologist whether he or she believes surgery is indicated. If so, ask whether your mother is likely to survive surgery.
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Manners, you asked this same question the other day. Has anything changed since then?
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How old is your mother? You say, "Her doctor called me and told me it was cancer and we should consider palliative care/hospice." I am 85 and have early stage kidney disease, which produces few symptoms. If it progresses to causing constant pain or inability to function I will thank the Lord for the life I have had and consider hospice care for myself. My husband died in his mid 70s under hospice care. I consider that too young, but he did have a poor quality of life. If you have siblings, talk with them. I wish you and your mother peace.
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