Follow
Share

She is sharp and we gave her the option to decide if she wanted to do treatment or not. The doctors said it was curable and so she began her treatment of 5 (once a week for 5 weeks) chemo treatments and 5 (5 days a week for 5 weeks) of radiation. She has had a difficult time these past five weeks, with side effects and stated that she is doesn’t want to finish... she completed her chemo and has two radiation sessions left this week and she’ll be finished! She refuses to drink the water or the Ensures that were suggested and overall is mentally drained... her numbers are good, weight, blood, BP, etc.... but her monster attitude and stubborn streak are out of control... will she ever recover? She is 90...

Find Care & Housing
If you check the statistics for this variety of colon cancer, it's very curable. In fact, it's so curable that my mother, with her 3b staged, softball sized tumor, refused to have any chemo. Her stage had about a 57% 5 year survival rate for 3b removed and NOT treated. She refused chemo and 6 years later is trapped in a demented mind. :(

Chances are any 90 year old is not going to be around in 5 years no matter if they took the chemo or not. I'd look at quality of life and say enough! There's a great blood test called the CEA that they can look at to see if the numbers are declining to indicate a remission of the cancer. We get that blood test once a year to see if the cancer has returned - so far, it has not risen enough to indicate an active cancer. But once it does, mthr will be eligible for hospice again.

I'd guess that your mother is also eligible for hospice, which for those battling cancer means they don't continue with curative treatment, but all medical care can be done at home which is **wonderful**! Mthr obviously graduated from her (medicare covered) hospice care - she had weekly visits from a nurse practitioner or RN and twice a day visits from an aide for help showering and dressing, as well as incredible support from social workers and chaplains. It was a wonderful experience. I blame hospice for making her strong enough to graduate from their service.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to surprise
Report

Point of order: if your grandmother is mentally sharp, you didn't give her anything. She was entirely within her rights to make her own decision about treatment.

She still is. She should speak to the oncologist directing her treatment and ask what happens if she cuts short her radiotherapy at this point. It would be helpful if there any encouraging test results to show her, too. She should also ask whether it is normal for her to feel as battered as she does at this point (yes) and how long she should expect it to take before she begins to feel better.

Rather than try to push her into following orders - drinking, Ensure, completing her radiotherapy - tell her she is in charge and it is up to her to seek professional advice as an intelligent, consenting adult. Then get behind her decision!
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to Countrymouse
Report

If grandma wants to skip the last two radiation treatments she should be allowed to. She’s already endured 5 weeks of chemo and almost 5 weeks of radiation.

I would respect her wishes. It’s ultimately her life and her decision.

I hope she recovers to return to her prior level of function but she may not. Those treatments can be grueling and have bad effects on her healthy tissue.

If not then call in palliative care or hospice and allow her to be comfortable as she completes her journey here on earth.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to Shane1124
Report

I’m so sorry about your grandma. She must be one tough lady.
It sounds like she makes her own decisions.
Please pick up a copy of “Being Mortal, Medicine and what matters in the end” by Atul Gawande.
It has wonderful guidance on situations like yours.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to 97yroldmom
Report

Ask a Question

Subscribe to
Our Newsletter