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Just when things couldnt get worse they do!!


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After being in the hospitals ICU for 8 days with diarrhea and vomiting due to her first round of chemo and about 3 weeks of radation I thought she was getting better. Well today at at noon my mom had a heart attack. She is ok right now but its not looking good for future treatment.

Her Dr. feels that the heart attack was brought on by stress associated with her treatments. He said that there is nothing really that they can do for her heart except put her on blood thiners and beta blockers.

He feels that she just wont do well with future treatments and told her she would probably spend the rest of her life in the hospital with side affects and her heart would just get weaker and weaker. After crying for a long time my mother decided on no more treatments.

I am really freaking out. It seems like she just started ( one round of chemo and 3wks of radation) and already has decided to stop. I feel so selfish cause I am angry about her decision but yet I totally understand. I would feel the same way.

It started with diarrhea and vomiting. She got really dehydrated and became disoriented. We took her to the local ER and she was admitted to the hospital. After one night she got up and fell and broke her arm right at the top of her long bone..Her blood pressure and heart rate sky rocketed and they transfered her up to ICU. She had a port put in on her right side and all her hair fell out. They havent been able to get the diarrhea under control and she just keeps getting weaker and weaker. Now today she has a freaking heart attack.

I just dont know how much more she can take. I am so scared this is the begining of the end for her. I am so afraid that she is giving up.

I just dont know what to do...I am so lost

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Kimberlie,

This isn't fair! I know how frightening it can be when all of a sudden something happens that is unexpected. Your mom definitely needs to be evaluated more, don't give up, perhaps there are other less invasive options for her, it may be that they just have to start back at square one. Please know I'm praying that your mom will do better.

Grace

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Oh Kim. This is just devestating and heartbreaking. I'm sorry your Mom is having such a hard time. And I can completely understand your feelings.

Have they looked at options like Tarceva or Perifosine? The treatments that are a pill form that might be less invasive and carry fewer crippling side-effects than chemo?

Please keep us posted. Know that we care and are praying.

Val

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Kim,

Do your mother's doctors talk to each other? Seems to me a cardiologist and an oncologist have differing specialties and should discuss her treatments and side effects before one or the other calls any shots.

Her oncologist needs to get the side effects under control or try a different regimen - and she needs to be healthy to do that. Talk to her doctors - ALL of them and then present her with the options.

Good luck!

Becky

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Kimberlie, I think it maybe worth the trip to visit Swedish Cancer Institute in Seattle. Let them offer a second opinion. They have an excellent comprehensive cancer center. Ask to see Dr. Howard West. He has a national reputation as a lung cancer specialist. Make sure you let him know about the heart problems. They could have your mom set up to see a heart specialist on the same day that you see Dr West. You could probably see all the specialists you need to see in one day. You would need to gather up all your mom’s films and medical reports. Your mom’s local docs would help facilitate coordination of medical records and films being sent to Swedish if you ask them. I chose to gather up the records myself and I was the one who made sure the films were returned to my local providers. If they come up with a viable treatment plan, it could be implemented in Moses Lake. I live in Hoquiam and went to see the Swedish people for a second opinion. It is now being implemented at my local oncology clinic in Aberdeen.

It is a fairly straight shot from Moses Lake to Swedish First Hill Campus in Seattle. You could probably leave early in the morning and get back home the same day. Map quest says it is 179 miles and 2 hours and 45 minutes.

http://www.swedish.org/body.cfm?id=6&ac ... il&ref=902

It must be really disheartening for your mom to hear that the chemo may compromise her heart. I imagine it would be easy to decide on no further treatment at that point.

Maybe she could do tarceva.

You and your mom have my prayers.

Don M

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Hi Kim.

The body is the most amazing tool known. Try to stay positive for your Mum. You've both had a huge shock and 24 hours from now, things may look different.These are Tough times. Thinking of you. Rob

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Kim, I am so sorry. This must be so hard for your entire family. You definitely need to get mom healthy and build up her strength before any more treatments. And she may decide, even after she is feeling better, no more treatments. Sometimes these treatments are more than our dear parents can handle. And I do believe, that for some people, the treatment does not offer a very good quality of life.

Karen

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Kim:

I'm so sorry to read about this latest development. If your mom will consent and she's strong enough to do it, DonM gave you a super solid plan to consider: Dr. West and Swedish are top-notch. Would help tremendously to have the extensive LC experience which Dr. West has in your mom's corner.

Keep us posted.

Linda

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Kimberlie,

I wish I had answers.I think time will be a big deciding factor in what you should do.This is all new to you and your mom is in a very weakened condition. I think you first have to respect your mother's wishes, but it is my opinion that your mom's doctors should be communicating about her case. Fortunately , that is how it always was for my husband. My prayers are with you and your mom.

Love,

Sue

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Oh Kim, how frightening. I hope something will come up that will benefit your mom.

I am sorry I just don't know what to say to you. Just that I will be sending meditation prayers to her for a miracle.

Maryanne :cry:

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Kimberlie,

I'm sorry your world is turning around and around!

My Dad is in the same boat ... his heart is too weak to do chemo or the potant medications for his cancer. She's not giving up, she's accepted her circumstances way more faster than you. What else is there for her to do? She doesn't have a choice in this anymore, she's ensuring a longer time with you. If she pushs forward, she's taking a huge chance a heart attack will take her "today". Maybe when the doctors have a new plan, something that won't put her in immediate jepordy she will agree to that. My Dad's only offer was radiation ... and even that could've came with a price so soon after phemonia weakening the heart further. It seemed like a joke compared to all the other treatments. Even though it was the littlest pot of the bunch, my Dad did it as if it were is only life line.

Your Mom sounds amazing ....... follow her lead cause it sounds like she is a strong woman who can help you threw this. I know it sounds funny to say that but the Mom's and Dad's still are the examples to us. Even in this time of her life.

Tammy

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Kim,

You have received lots of good information as well as support. There is nothing left for me to offer other than my caring and concern for you AND your Mom. Stay on top of things and make sure you reread some of the suggestions offered here. And remember that we are here for you to vent and/or ask questions of as well. I'll be watching for your update.

Kasey

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