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Mil, cancer and stents

(9 Posts)
mummynumnum Wed 17-Aug-11 22:40:54

My dear dear mil has stage iv secondary breast cancer in her stomach. She has blocked bile duct and duodenum and is in hosp having had stents. She is in absolute agony. Is this normal? She is almost at the point she says she can't go on. I am also scared as the family think these stents will reAlly prolong her life, and seeing how she is at the mo is heartbreaking. Has anyone had experience of stents with this type of cancer and whether they made any difference and prolonged life?

Gillybean73 Thu 18-Aug-11 00:28:35

I'm really sorry to hear about your MIL.

I don't have any personal experience re the cancer side of this but I was hospitalised for 2 weeks and off work for another 3 weeks recovering having had a stent put in to relieve a blocked bile duct.

It was the most agonising thing I've ever experienced to date and my medical file is pretty thick!! I actually thought I was going to die and it took forever for them to get a proper diagnosis. I lay in agony in the hospital for 12 days while they ran various tests and just messed me about really and when they finally put in the stent, I was like a different person within 48 hours.

It still took me a few weeks to recover, but the agonising pain was gone, the jaundice was much improved within 48 hours and it just made a HUGE difference. The stent is still in place and touch wood, I have not had any further problems since and that was roughly about 6/7 years ago.

I can understand your apprehension re your family thinking this will prolong your MIL's life and I think you are right to feel this way. I think it will make her more comfortable but being realistic I think it's unlikely to prolong her life.

I've lost several friends and family to cancer over the years and I've never heard of anyone surviving for more than 6 months with a secondary cancer from when it was diagnosed. I hope I'm wrong but I think you should perhaps try and prepare your family slightly for the worst so they are not building up false hopes and try to enjoy the time you have left together as much as possible.

My thoughts are with you and your family.

nickschick Thu 18-Aug-11 00:37:19

My mil died from cancer almost 15 years ago and my mum died from it in 1986 - there is no reason at all that a terminally ill person should be in any pain - even if morphine is the only thing that relieves it she should be given it.

TBH id be kicking up a fuss she deserves to be pain free at this point.

Gilly i remember collecting her prescription from the pharmacy and being told some of the prescription could be addictive and to only be taken if needed My friend replied shes dying if she has less pain then God bless her.

mummynumnum Thu 18-Aug-11 19:59:36

Thanks for your replies. Mil bit better today. X ray shows that it is a huge stent they have put in. She was diagnosed 8mths and is fighting all the way although all care is palliative. Hope this treatment gives her longer, but this episode of extreme pain has certainly prepared them for the worst.

YellowDinosaur Sat 20-Aug-11 14:48:36

I don't know that much about stents and breast cancer (its pretty unusual for it to spread to stomach like this) but breast cancer, even if spread, is very treatable although you are right that such treatment is palliative. If her cancer tests positive for estrogen receptors or her-2 receptors then specific targeted treatment can be very successful for anything from months to years (difficult to tell in your mil case without knowing this about her cancer and also other sites of spread etc) so its certainly not the case that she doesn't have long now (although she might not sad)

I would say however that the stents themselves will only prolong life in the context thatyou can't live that long with blocked bile ducts and duodenum. Sadly the cancer will continue to progress but hopefully the stents will mean that she is more comfortable.

Does she have a macmillan nurse? They are fantastic at managing the symptoms associated with advanced cancer because, like another poster said she shouldn't be in this much pain.

Thinking of you x

mummynumnum Sat 20-Aug-11 18:34:05

Her secondary cancer is oestrogen fed and she has a hormone blocker medication I think and has stopped tumour growing. She is home now in alot of pain but oramorph helps and she is beginning to eat and digest food. She does have a Macmillan nurse and they are very goodsmile.

mummynumnum Sun 21-Aug-11 13:26:51

Not a good night for her and in pain and sick again. Stomach swollen and v constipated (tmi). Had out of hours go out to give drugs etc but she doesn't want us to phone kings where had stent done. Prob worried she will have to go back in. All so v worrying.

mummynumnum Mon 22-Aug-11 14:54:33

We have been with her all day today. Her stomach is still in pain and she is constantly on the toilet. There does not seem to be much improvement. She doesn't want us to call Kings where she has just come from. I think cos she knows they will want her back in. District nurse been today and macmillan tomorrow. I am
Really unsure

mummynumnum Mon 22-Aug-11 14:54:57

Really unsure what is best to do.

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