How do lifestyle factors and exposure to environmental substances affect our cancer risk?
by sruff20000 on Sat Aug 28, 2010 01:38 PM
I need some directions because I don’t know where to turn and have no help. My mother was diagnose with stomach cancer, but before the results came back from her endoscopy test, the doctor told me that there was a mass on her colon as well. At that time the doctor asked me did I want them to send my mother through another test to see if the colon was cancerous I told them no, because my mother is 89 years old with a bad heart and it is just so much anesthesia she could go through. But with all the symptoms I suspect it in her colon as well, but I am not a doctor. I faxed three reports to her primary doctor, to see what our next steps were. He told me that the cancer is at an early stage, and that a large, 4-5 cm diameter modular mass was not that big, plus he said it’s on the lining of her stomach. Well how big is a stomach? Then he has nerve to suggest if I wanted to have her stomach remove…. I couldn’t figure that statement out since he said it wasn’t that bad, yet wanted to have her go through surgery to remove her stomach. Well, I plan to go to his office attempting to have all of my questions down on paper. And as far as all of the medical terms in the reports, I have looked on WebMD and found information on the symptoms and I find it hard to believe that my mother is in her early stages. She eats about 3 mouthful of food and says she is full. She also have a very hard time trying to release herself. When she does release herself her stool is very dark (black) tarry looking. In one of her medical reports it states they others areas were inspected; and one of the words in the report said angiodysplasia , which is in the colon, which was abnormal. Also seem in the report findings about lung bases demonstrate platelike atelectsis, which means lung cancer. I am not sure what her primary was looking at, when I faxed him three different reports it seem he was only looking at one. What I plan to do since I do have Power of Attorney over her medical to go to all of her doctors and the hospitals that her was ever admitted to obtain all of her medical history and then schedule an appointment with an oncology. Or is this something I should do?
Any information or what to do would be greatly appreciated, I do not want my mother to hurt nor suffer without attempting to find out answers and what stage oc the cancer she is in.
by Joan_l_3 on Mon Aug 30, 2010 11:06 AM
I am very sorry about your Mother's illness. You request advice but don't say what her wishes are. Does she want to have treatment? Is she mentally competent? If so, her wishes are very important in the final decision. If not, you must gather sufficient data to make the best decision for her, along with the doctors.
Angiodysplasia is not a diagnosis of cancer. It is a condition related to the aging and degeneration of blood vessels. It occurs mostly in older adults and because the vessels are enlarged and fragile, GI bleeding results.
Platelike atelectasis is also not a diagnosis of lung cancer. You need to speak with her doctors and get a better idea of exactly what is wrong with your Mother so you can make good medical decisions for her.
You also need to reassure her that you love her and will be there for her. She is no doubt terribly frightened and afraid of what is in store for her. Give her lots of hugs, hold her hand, tell her you love her and will take good care of her, then do it.
You are a good daughter and I am sorry you don't have help with all of this. But think about how much your Mother needs you and how proud she is of you for taking such good care of her. Whenit is over, you will be sad she is gone, but you will have no regrets or guilt.
Wishing you strength and courage for your journey.
by sruff20000 on Tue Aug 31, 2010 01:16 AM
Thank you for your encouragement. My mother does not know that she was diagnosis with cancer. Her primary doctor does not think it' a good idea to tell her. She's 89 with a bad heart, plus chemo and radiation therapy is out. Her heart would not last doing the first treatment. If her knew, she would worry herself to death. Do you think I am wrong for not telling her?
by Joan_l_3 on Tue Aug 31, 2010 01:48 PM
No, I do not think you are wrong for not telling your Mother she has cancer. What good will it do to tell an 89 year old woman who can't physically tolerate treatment? You and her doctor know her better than we on this board do. It isn't always always wrong not to be completely honest; sometimes it is best, such as in this situation. Whatever will keep your Mother comfortable during her last days will be what is best for her.
Just be there for her, doing what you can for her, love her, say any thing that you need to, let her know she has been a good Mother and a good person.
Sending you strength and courage for your journey.
by rosaflor on Tue Mar 27, 2012 05:45 AM
Telling or not telling is a very personal and individual matter. Some people want to know---there might be things they want to say or ask to be done or they might feel a religious obligation. Others don't want to know. Try to pick up cues from the patient. If she asks "Do I have cancer?" or "Am I dying?" rather than an outright denial you might explore a bit with "What do you think about that?...How do you feel about that?". We know that even dying children often figure things out and sometimes feel it's not OK to talk about it if nobody else does. Hospice staff can help you with this.
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