Re: [MOL] New to this forum/WELCOME REPLY ! [01183] Medicine On Line

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Re: [MOL] New to this forum/WELCOME REPLY !

In a message dated 5/27/00 8:45:51 PM Eastern Daylight Time, 
    Thank you so much for the quick reply!!  To answer your questions:  

>  Radiation normally will reduce the size of the tumor; so I
>  am questioning why no more radiation.  Do you know?  
    Our understanding is that nothing more will help her.  She did  radiation 
treatment again when the lung cancer returned and we'd hoped for enough 
shrinkage to make her life comfortable.  Her doctor and a "2nd opinion" 
doctor believe that the cancer won't benefit (i.e, shrink) from more 
radiation or chemotherapy.  After the radiation finished, she "vacationed" 
with my sister near Atlanta.  When she returned and we met with her doctor, I 
asked about doing a cat scan to see what the radiation accomplished and got 
what my sister here near Gainesville calls the "look".  He said we would be 
treating the symptoms now.  I swear you can't get a straight answer out of 
them!  Even when we call, we have to go through the nurse who acts like we're 
trying to circumvent my mom in some way.  We ask for test results (my mom's 
told her to let us know) and she calls my mom first with the info and this 
upsets my mom greatly (if the news is bad).  She wants us to handle 
everything and let her know what's going on.  We don't hold information from 
mom, we know she wants to know but hearing it from us is easier.  AAGGGHH!!  
I realize that no one can tell us how long she will live, but for heaven's 
sake, help us!  Sorry.... it gets so frustrating.

Also there is a
>  morphine pump that works really well at delivering just the right dosage of
>  morphine and lends to a better quality of life, than sleeping all the time
>  and wasting.

No one has mentioned this.  I'll ask about it.  A question for you:  even 
though we know her quality of life is diminishing because of the effects of 
morphine and how she wants to sleep all the time, how do we convince her 
doctor to use the morphine pump?

>  You did not mention what the intent of your mother is?  Does she want life
>  support or does she want to go peacefully?  These are hard questions; but
>  render  different answers.  We have a few who are experiencing this that I
>  know will help you and we have a couple who have recently gone through it
>  that will be of great benefit to you.

My mom wants to go peacefully, but of course no one has talked to us about 
these options.  We do discuss wills, etc. with mom  Although she hasn't done 
her will (or redone), she is aware it needs to be completed soon.  As I said, 
nothing is kept from her.  I can't hug her enough.  She's had a tough life in 
the last 17 years and in just the last year she's been able to finally live 
her life as she wants and then this.....but I treasure every moment I have 
with her.  My sisters feel the same way.  We all believe she has a year or 
more left.  How many hugs can I get in ;)  or how many trips to thrift shops 
for the perfect bargain?  

How do we know what will happen next?  There is no guide to dealing with 
cancer and "the end" - whenever that may be.  Everyone just tells you to go 
to Hospice or some such organization. 
Thank you so much, Lillian!  I would love to hear from others who are going 
through this.  

Susan C.
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