87 year old mother diagnosed Stage IV Colon Cancer

Posted by Haveaniceday @haveaniceday, Oct 2, 2012

My sweet 87 year old mother was just diagnosed with Stage IV colorectal cancer that has spread to her liver. She also has congestive heart failure with significant mitral valve damage. Due to her age and health, they are not going to put her through the pain and discomfort of treating the cancer. I am so sad, I just can’t stop crying, but have done well so far in front of her.

They have given her less than six months. She doesn’t know quite how bad it is, but realizes it is serious and that there is no treatment for her.

She has not been in pain until this morning when she compained of pain in her back and stomach. She has also had diarrhea frequently.

Can someone tell me what symptoms she can expect, so I can be prepared to deal with that. I am assuming the cancer will progess to other organs. I’m not sure how soon that will happen and how long she will have a decent quality of life. I just really need truthful answers.

God bless all of you who are having significant health problems. This is so hard.

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Colorectal Cancer group.

I am sorry to hear about your mother. As hard as it may seem to accept, due to her age and advanced disease process, I would strongly encourage you to look into your local hospice for advice and care. They are experts on just exactly this situation and will help both you and your mother through your individual journies. Quality of life at this time is much more important than quantity of life and hospice will help you navigate through this. Hospice is a benefit required by medicare and will hopefully ease both you and your mother. They are experienced with this, and contrary to what some people believe, hospice is not about drugging until you pass. It is about making the most of what time you have left, controlling symptoms, and providing for your mothers care. God Bless you both on your journey

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I have just read about your mom. I have just registered here. My mom is 87 years old and she was diagnosed too with colon cancer stage four. A lot of American doctors do not want to touch elderly patients. They get scared, plus we live in a society where everyone suits each other it makes it difficult to get proper care. My mother eventually had the surgery and it went all right, no need for a bad or a blood transfusion. Her doctor was from India and he was an angel. We trusted him and he did fine. He put staples in her colon. He removed the affected area and joined in with staples the two good areas of the intestine. It was a sigmoid resection. In 7 months or so she got a tumor in her liver though which they treated with a Y90 chemoembolization. It used a catheter to inject a radioactive chemical directed only at the tumor. The procedure went perfect. It destroyed it completely. Her doctor told me that it has been around for about 10 years. She is doing all right, every 4 months or so she has to go for a CT scan to see how things are going. If you read this message I hope it gives you hope because there are treatments out there. I hope your mom is okay. My mother got the treatment and the follow up care at the New York Hospital Cornell in New York City, the best in the field. I have also been taking her to Sloan Kettering Cancer Center which is across the stress just for a second opinion and to talk more about it. God bless your mom.

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@mosito

I have just read about your mom. I have just registered here. My mom is 87 years old and she was diagnosed too with colon cancer stage four. A lot of American doctors do not want to touch elderly patients. They get scared, plus we live in a society where everyone suits each other it makes it difficult to get proper care. My mother eventually had the surgery and it went all right, no need for a bad or a blood transfusion. Her doctor was from India and he was an angel. We trusted him and he did fine. He put staples in her colon. He removed the affected area and joined in with staples the two good areas of the intestine. It was a sigmoid resection. In 7 months or so she got a tumor in her liver though which they treated with a Y90 chemoembolization. It used a catheter to inject a radioactive chemical directed only at the tumor. The procedure went perfect. It destroyed it completely. Her doctor told me that it has been around for about 10 years. She is doing all right, every 4 months or so she has to go for a CT scan to see how things are going. If you read this message I hope it gives you hope because there are treatments out there. I hope your mom is okay. My mother got the treatment and the follow up care at the New York Hospital Cornell in New York City, the best in the field. I have also been taking her to Sloan Kettering Cancer Center which is across the stress just for a second opinion and to talk more about it. God bless your mom.

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Hi @mosito, welcome to Connect and thank you for posting about your mom's successful surgery and treatment for metastatic colon cancer. I invite you join these more recent discussions where you'll meet other members talking about their experiences with colorectal cancer.
– Living with colorectal cancer – Meet others & come say hi https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/living-with-colorectal-cancer-meet-others-come-say-hi/
– Metastasized colon cancer: At a loss..what is next? https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/at-a-loss-what-is-next/

I also welcome your participation in the Caregivers group: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/caregivers/

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@mosito

I have just read about your mom. I have just registered here. My mom is 87 years old and she was diagnosed too with colon cancer stage four. A lot of American doctors do not want to touch elderly patients. They get scared, plus we live in a society where everyone suits each other it makes it difficult to get proper care. My mother eventually had the surgery and it went all right, no need for a bad or a blood transfusion. Her doctor was from India and he was an angel. We trusted him and he did fine. He put staples in her colon. He removed the affected area and joined in with staples the two good areas of the intestine. It was a sigmoid resection. In 7 months or so she got a tumor in her liver though which they treated with a Y90 chemoembolization. It used a catheter to inject a radioactive chemical directed only at the tumor. The procedure went perfect. It destroyed it completely. Her doctor told me that it has been around for about 10 years. She is doing all right, every 4 months or so she has to go for a CT scan to see how things are going. If you read this message I hope it gives you hope because there are treatments out there. I hope your mom is okay. My mother got the treatment and the follow up care at the New York Hospital Cornell in New York City, the best in the field. I have also been taking her to Sloan Kettering Cancer Center which is across the stress just for a second opinion and to talk more about it. God bless your mom.

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I pray for your mom and healing. You are a good caregiver. My husband was diagnosed 2018 dec with stage 4 colorectal cancer metastasis to liver. We had cecal mass removed from right side jan 2019 started chemo feb 2019 with 5FU with bev then tried oxiplatin but neuropathy too great went to xeloda back to 5FU until June 2021 then oncologist did nothing for 2 months finally with issues recommended Y90 which we did sept left lobe Oct right lobe and Also on lonsurf mri dec 1 and meet IR team dec 2 to see how it went
Also I scheduled meeting with GI specialist as he has lost weight and muscle mass and a meet with liver oncology surgeon
I am finding that dealing with nurse practitioners is not helpful and they don’t listen so I request appointment with oncologist from now on
Let me know how long it took for Y90 to work as it does have short life in system am I correct
Be well and hope all goes well
Yiannis

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My 87 year old mom had stage 4 pancreatic cancer last year. Since she did not want to go through chemo my mom wanted hospice at her home. This was the right decision. My dad and sister and I took care of her and it really was not difficult. Hospice provided medication so that my mom was not in any pain for three months. It was the last two weeks that she was in the hospital bed that hospice provided My mom at that point was dying but thankfully still no pain. Methadone was the drug that did truly helped her. From the onset when we found out till she passed was about 4 months. We had family coming to visit each day. We ordered out food and had coffee available. At times it was like a party. My mom wanted it like that. I have to say it was a beautiful way to die. I know it is difficult for you to understand this now be at you are so so sad to hear the news. But ask your mom what she really wants and where she wants to be during these last months. My heart goes out to you. I know it’s difficult. Hospice was amazing because it allowed my mom to stay at home. They provided everything and it was all covered by Medicare God bless you and your mom. We all love our moms so so much

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@susanpmadigan

My 87 year old mom had stage 4 pancreatic cancer last year. Since she did not want to go through chemo my mom wanted hospice at her home. This was the right decision. My dad and sister and I took care of her and it really was not difficult. Hospice provided medication so that my mom was not in any pain for three months. It was the last two weeks that she was in the hospital bed that hospice provided My mom at that point was dying but thankfully still no pain. Methadone was the drug that did truly helped her. From the onset when we found out till she passed was about 4 months. We had family coming to visit each day. We ordered out food and had coffee available. At times it was like a party. My mom wanted it like that. I have to say it was a beautiful way to die. I know it is difficult for you to understand this now be at you are so so sad to hear the news. But ask your mom what she really wants and where she wants to be during these last months. My heart goes out to you. I know it’s difficult. Hospice was amazing because it allowed my mom to stay at home. They provided everything and it was all covered by Medicare God bless you and your mom. We all love our moms so so much

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Susan, I really appreciate you sharing your mom's time in hospice and how it enabled your family to be around her joyfully. We must all go some day. This is the type of best ending I hope for my loved ones. And for me.

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Thank you Colleen for replying to my comment. It made me smile this Thanksgiving Eve. I do have a lot to be thankful for. Although my mom is not with us this Thanksgiving and Christmas season I have her lovely memories of dinners in the past. I will continue to make new memories and follow in her footsteps. God bless you and your family

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