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Stage 4 Liver Cancer Just Dx

Liver Cancer research, treatment and diagnosis discussion

Stage 4 Liver Cancer Just Dx

Postby Ormemund » Fri Apr 01, 2016 4:38 pm

Hi Margot,

My wonderful mother is 71 and was diagnosed with Stage 4 HCC 2 weeks ago that has spread to her lungs. Her gastro. specialist commented she was the "healthest, sickest person" he knows.  Up until 4 days ago she was fatigued and jaundiced but nothing else.  The oncologist prescribed "Nexavar" for chemo treatment.  She's decided not to take it at this time.  

I'm writing because we don't know what to expect. She's never drank alcohol or smoked. The only medical condition she had up until this point was high blood pressure. She is negative for hep. but has cirrhosis of the liver.  I've noticed a shortness of breath and she is having difficulty bending over.  She is sleeping a lot lately.  But, she is eating VERY well!  Last night she experienced awful pains in her abdomen and nothing we could do made her comfortable.  She finally accepted a pain pill.  

Would the HCC take hold that quickly?  Being the primary caregiver, she's informed me that she does not want hospice - I'm trying to encourage her to at least consider and accept palliative care.  I just don't know what to expect or what leads up to end stage.  Your assistance and willingness to assist those of us who need help is greatly appreciated.  

Sincerely,

Janet
Ormemund
 
Posts: 46
Joined: Mon Feb 24, 2014 11:02 pm

Stage 4 Liver Cancer Just Dx

Postby Eyvindur » Sat Apr 02, 2016 12:03 am

Hi Margot,

My wonderful mother is 71 and was diagnosed with Stage 4 HCC 2 weeks ago that has spread to her lungs. Her gastro. specialist commented she was the "healthest, sickest person" he knows.  Up until 4 days ago she was fatigued and jaundiced but nothing else.  The oncologist prescribed "Nexavar" for chemo treatment.  She's decided not to take it at this time.  

I'm writing because we don't know what to expect. She's never drank alcohol or smoked. The only medical condition she had up until this point was high blood pressure. She is negative for hep. but has cirrhosis of the liver.  I've noticed a shortness of breath and she is having difficulty bending over.  She is sleeping a lot lately.  But, she is eating VERY well!  Last night she experienced awful pains in her abdomen and nothing we could do made her comfortable.  She finally accepted a pain pill.  

Would the HCC take hold that quickly?  Being the primary caregiver, she's informed me that she does not want hospice - I'm trying to encourage her to at least consider and accept palliative care.  I just don't know what to expect or what leads up to end stage.  Your assistance and willingness to assist those of us who need help is greatly appreciated.  

Sincerely,

Janet
Eyvindur
 
Posts: 61
Joined: Tue Dec 31, 2013 8:26 am

Stage 4 Liver Cancer Just Dx

Postby brennen » Sat Apr 02, 2016 10:30 am

Hello Janet and thank you for writing,

I'm sorry to hear about your Mother's prognosis.  As I’m sure people have tod you, each person’s experience with cancer is individual and different, but there are some common routes most people follow, some faster and others a little slower.  People can certainly have some stronger days mixed with some weaker days, so don’t get discouraged as the decline is normally not a straight line but consists of dips and peaks.  You Mother may be alert and hungry one day, sleepy the next 2-3 days and then brighter again – this is very common.  HCC is a rapid cancer with a shorter life expectancy so it’s not unusual to hear about the disease spreading quickly as you describe.

I will try to share some brief details about what to expect as your Mother's condition weakens.  She will gradually grow weaker, have less energy to do things, eat and drink less and sleep more and more. The priority with all terminal patients is always to keep them comfortable so be sure to discuss pain treatment plans with the doctor and have medications on hand so you don’t get caught alone at home in uncontrolled pain on a weekend.    Her abdomen will continue to grow as the ascites expands, and you must be educated about and watch for esophageal varices. Other common symptoms include: Altered mood and behaviour , Drowsiness , Delirium , Confusion , Restlessness, Incoherent speech , Fits , Coma , Yawning, Tremors of hands , Difficulty with fine movements of hands , Sweet smelling breath , Jaundice , Itchy skin, Enlarged liver , Abdominal pain , Nausea , Malaise , Vomiting , Diarrhoea, Vomiting or coughing up blood , Hyperventilation , Breathing difficulties & Breathlessness. I hope this helps and my thoughts are with you both during this very difficult time.

Margot
brennen
 
Posts: 366
Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2012 5:05 am


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