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Stage 4 - how long have people survived
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Stage 4 - how long have people survived

My mother was just diagnosed with Stage 4 Ovarian Cancer.  We don't have the full pathology report yet, but I'd like to know how long people have survived at this stage.  She is 75, it is inoperable, she doesn't want chemo due to her current poor health (CHF, diabetes, kidney issues).  I know nobody knows for sure but God - but I need a better understanding of whether we're talking weeks, months or a year (although the surgeon who found the cancer did say she didn't have a year). I just need to know what others have experienced.  Thank you.

This seems surreal.
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20 Comments
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155056_tn?1333642288
I am so sorry that your mother and family have to go thru this.  I do not believe that anyone can predict how much time she has left.  Have any of her organs been effected?

My best advise to  you is to spend as much time as you can together and enjoy eachothers company.  It is going to be very hard for her and for you.  Try to be open and hear what she says...try to help her work thru her fears.  

Have the doctors discussed hospice care?

You and your mom will be in my thoughts.
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Avatar_n_tn
She went in on Friday for what we thought was going to be a hernia operation. An hour late the surgeon told us there was no hernia - she was "full" of advanced ovarian cancer, inoperable. The omentum is full of cancer.  They say she needs tests with contrast, but her kidney function is not good and they can't give them to her now (I'm not sure this is going to ever be possible).  She has a pacemaker and ICD, so MRI's are out of the question (don't know if they're even useful here).  Therefore we don't know if major organs are affected.  Her problems now are all gastro-intestinal. Tomorrow the full pathology report should be back and we hope to get a consultation with the oncologist.  I took care of my mother-in-law for several years. She passed away in 04 at our home with hospice care and I'm having flashbacks of that final week now - I do not think I have the strength to go through it with my own mother, whom I love even more dearly. She has a bad heart and I am praying that God will be merciful, let her make her peace with him and everyone else and then take her quickly before she suffers more.  

Thanks for responding, NYC Lady.
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Avatar_f_tn
i was diagnosed stage 4 12/2002 - at age 50 - still fighting, had a 2 year remission - everyone reacts differently. good luck
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Avatar_n_tn
I feel bad for you and your mom. Your mom having those multiple complications makes it difficult. My mother has diabetes and yes the kidneys and the heart are so delicate. Chemo would not be good and my mother would refuse it too.

What I would suggest is what NYC lady said is that enjoy what we have of life. If she is able, go out and enjoy her favorite people and places. We don't know how long she will live and we don't know how long any of us will live. Also since she can't have surgery or chemo, see an alternative doctor. They can boost her up with what she is deficient in. The naturopath or alternative doctor will do B12, D, etc. tests that a regular doctor will not do. I just saw one today and she did a thorough nutritional blood test. I hope she is not in pain and you can maybe go on a cruise or take nice drives and family outings. About the cat scan--maybe she can have one without the contrast. Is that possible? They still can see but with the contrast, more details are seen.

Best of luck and keep us up to date. My prayers are with you and your mom as they are with everyone else on this forum.
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Avatar_m_tn
Statistically?  Low...but then again so is most of all ovarian cancer patients 'cuase they are stage 3 or 4 when diagnosed.  So looking at 10 or 15% five year.  But that's just a number...everyone reacts differently, even those told they have a year or less.  My friends mom was told she had 6 months...survived 3 years.

Oh I know how you feel!  The most difficult thing is to do the simple, spend time...quality time.  Yet, you want to do something...it's tough!  It's going to be up to her but she will set the course.  You can try the alternative route...especially if they are not going to do anything due to her condition.  There is plenty of things she can take to help 'fight' the cancer...most natural.

For example DIM and Genistein are both natural and are proven in the lab to prevent or slow the grow of ovca.

Maitake D-Fraction is great for boosting the immune system and many studies show anti tumor activity.

One thing you both should do, is sit down and plan end of life things.  Sounds grim, but plan now what hospice she'd like to go to (or have hospice at home), whom she wants there and not, living will, power of attorney, etc, etc.  (Start here:  http://www.alanpeto.com/ovarian_cancer/articles/5/1/What-To-Do-If-You-Are-Diagnosed-With-Ovarian-Cancer/Page1.html )

Good luck and let us know what she plans!  Can she fight it?  Yes!  Will she win?  Maybe or maybe not; her goals are the important one.  

Alan

------------
Ovarian Cancer Research Website (In BETA Testing)
http://cancer.alanpeto.com/
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167426_tn?1254089835
I am 77 now and I do not have cancer, not saying it might not attack me later, so  I gave this alot of thought. What would I want done?  I helped my husband live for 11 additional years after they gave up on him.  At the end he asked me to let him go, he was ready.  There are many different roads we all follow in life, that last one we take by ourselves, although I firmly believe that God will be walking alongside of me.  I would not like to be a burden to any of my children, but I would not like to leave this life before I am ready. So as long as I have my facilties intact, I would accept  what treatment was available to me to live a little longer and  give me time to settle up my affairs.  It is a blessing that none of us knows our time of death,  because then we would just sit there and wait for it. I've always said I would live to be 100, maybe I will and maybe I won't.  I am sure I will know when I am ready, and then, as always the choice will be mine. As some of you know, I got very angry at my daughters primary doctor when she told her she had 2 years.  It is not Leslee's time yet and  she is  going to live and be fine.  She likes that saying, "I have cancer but cancer does not have me".
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Avatar_f_tn
I am sorry about your mom.

www.thesurvivormovie.com

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Avatar_f_tn
Hello... I was originally dx Stage 3C but this was elevated to Stage 4 because of bowel involvement, however, if your Mum's vital organs are clear, that is a plus for her. I have a friend who was dx Stage 4 and the Doctors told her that it was inoperable, but she nagged at them to give her some chemo, and so she had a course of Taxol/Carbo and that shrunk the cancer so they did operate. She went into remission for just over a year, but unfortunately the cancer recurred  about 3 weeks ago, so she is going through chemo again now. I only had about 9 months 'free' after dx and chemo, and have been on  chemo 'off and on' since, although I stay healthy throughout it, so I can't complain. I've been going for over 3 years now, and lead a good quality life considering. My Oncol. introduced me to a patient of his last year, who has been going for 16 years...without any treatments. She told me that she wasn't expected to live beyond 3 months after her operation, but she looked really well, and doesn't eat, or do anything other than a normal diet. Meeting her was like a good dose of..mmmm. medicine..or should I say chemo :-)... as I feel that I can go on for more years too, even though I'm still doing chemo, but it's being treated like a chronic disease. Perhaps you could talk with your Mum's Oncol. and see if she could do some chemo that's not too harsh on her, as she has other health problems. It's one awful disease to try and deal with even if one has good health, but for your Mum... well, it would be very difficult I would imagine, to try and comat it when there are other health issues.
I guess you will need to rely on the wisdom of your Mum's Doctors, and also how she feels, and what she wants to do about it. I think that's the most important thing... how your Mum feels, and what her wishes are.
Thinking of you, and hoping for the best outcome for both you and your Mum.
Warm hugs...Helmar...
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Avatar_n_tn
This has been a nightmare.  The surgeon said mom would have to be completely healed before she could have chemo or the chemo would breakdown her incision.  She had her surgery May 18th and the ascities is keeping the incision from healing.  Even before they knew that the oncologist gave my mom a great chemo "sell" and mom bought into it.  NO talk about side effects, her multiple health problems (has had a stroke, CHF, diabetes, breast cancer, kidney issues, 4-way bypass, has pacemaker/ICD, etc. etc.)  She is NOT recouperating well from the surgery she had on May 18th!! The doctor laid out the treatment plan and NOTHING ELSE.  Told mom this gives her a 50% chance of living another 5 years.  Yes - as God is my witness that is what she was told.  We were appalled.  My own doctor told me that what they did was throw clinical stats at her.  

Her oncologist told her that she would have no excuse to have weeds in her garden (her passion).  My mom bought it lock, stock and barrel and we cannot get her to go for a second opinion.  False hope is not the right kind of hope.  I am so angry.  We were supposed to take her tomorrow to see if any of her staples can come out now.  But I had her to the ER yesterday (at the advice of a visiting nurse) and that doctor said it was unlikely mom would be able to undergo chemo with the open wound she has.  So, I called the surgeon today to get her in so a decision could be made on the chemo and he said he was going to turn her over to the oncologist - she does NOT need to see him any more.  I asked him about the statement he made on her wound needing to be healed or chemo would break it down and he (through his nurse, of course) just referred us to the oncologist.  So - in my opinion - he is washing his hands of her because we are questioning the fact that he and the oncologist have different views on whether the wound needs to be healed before chemo starts or not.

Also, their protocol is to NOT give time lines.  However today, over the phone and with great persistance on my out-of-state sister's part, they said without chemo she has 6 months and that they would consider the chemo successful if she gets two years.  I am sick at heart.    

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Avatar_n_tn
My friend has stage 4 soft tissue sarcoma,with metastisis to spine, lungs, bones,and lymph glands.They removed the original sarcoma,she's had radiation, and surgery, and now is recieving all clinical trials available.After 2 severe chemo treatments they did a CT and found the lung spots have shrunk some, so she is having chemo #3 this week.The metastisis spread so rapidly.Are these chemo treatments worth all the side effects,and does anyone know if it's really going to work for her?They give her a very short time, but we have no idea what any of this means? Until June of 2007 she was a healthy 40yr old with 3 kids.Now just 7 months later, she's sick, and lost her hair, and has had terrible side effects.Would she be better off to spend what quality time she has left with her family,and not be sick, and sleeping and hallucinating,and losing massive amounts of weight?Does anyone know how much time she has without chemo, and with it? I need to know how to help her. thanks for listening.
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351119_tn?1201046330
you and your mom are in my prayers....Bless you
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Avatar_f_tn
I am sorry to hear about your mum it must be very distressing. I started my chemo about 10 days after my surgery. I don't think i had any problems with my wound healing but can't imagine that it would have healed that quickly. But i was only 43 at the time not 75. Have you tried posting on the doctors forum?
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146692_tn?1314335373
I too  was completely debulked on the 8th of dec 2005, port inserted ten days later, and chemo started less then a week later. Do not know about healing time of surgical wounds, as everything was done so quickly there after. I am stage 3c, 6 treatments of taxol/carbo, and did not get remission at all. cancer grew thru chemo. Stats given were less then a year (obviously stats can be wrong as I am still here).
This being said, I do not have the many complications your mother has, and I am only 47. As hard as it might sound gina? Take a deep breath, slow down, let all the emotions pass before finding your strength to be there for your mom, in whatever way is needed. TIme is to precious to miss out on, and you don't want to spend those moments, in turmoil, and fighting with docs, while mom is on the sidelines. It is obvious how much you love her, and how angry and afraid you are for her at this time.
You are in my thoughts and prayers, as in your mom. best of luck
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Avatar_n_tn
iam 35 years old with stage 3 of cancer going do six chemo it was a suprise i was going to have a sis remove but when the doc opeing me up he saw cancer it was a none expected before that i did not feel nothing diffrent so how could ovarian cancer hit me in early age lola
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229895_tn?1261605548

I am so sorry about your diagnosis, I am sure that it was a terrible shock especially when you were going in to remove a cyst and a completely new diagnosis was made.

Unfortunately ovarian cancer does not discriminate with age, we have a father on the forum whose 15 year old daughter has been treated for ovarian cancer, so you can see it can happen to women at all ages.

Ovarian cancer is called the disease that whispers its symptons, and often gets misdiagnosed for things like IBS and that is why many women do not get diagnosed till it has reached its later stages. Remeber there is no ryhme or reason to why you have cancer, there is nothing that you can do to prevent it, now you have to be strong and fight it.

Good Luck to you
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Avatar_f_tn
I'm so sorry about your Mom.

My son's teacher best friend has stage 4 ovarian cancer.  They did the surgery and she did a trial clinic.  She is still on maintance chemo and is NED!  There is always hope.  
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi, you are so strong. I have just prayed for all of you. My mom is going thru the same but she is 74. You especially are in my thoughts. Hang in there kiddo.
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438514_tn?1305737740
I just went through this as a caregiver for my mom.  In my search of looking for answers, the best that I heard was from a specialist at Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit.  I was questioning the amount of chemo that was given to my mom and whether it was an appropriate dose.  The response back was, "Your mom is getting the best combination of chemotherapy drugs.  Could she be given a higher dose?  Yes.  But, she could end up in the intensive care unit and die from too much."  I remembered that throughout the process.  Regarding the healing after surgery, my mom started a small dose of chemo 2 weeks after surgery.  Then it gradually increased as she could tolerate.  You need to be vocal with the Doctor's and let them know what you are looking for.  The Oncologist was crystal clear with my mom and advised that we were using the chemo to just buy time.  She ended up not with much time as she passed just 12 weeks after starting the chemo.  In retrospec of the process, I question whether or not we should have put my mom through the chemo and just let this take the course intended.  I still can't answer that, but I know she choose what she wanted and with that...I have to find peace.

Prayers,

Karen
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Avatar_n_tn
My wife has been diagnosed with a complex ovarian cyst.  She has just completed her annual physical and got an excellent report.  No blood in bowel or urine.  Then the cyst was found after she complained of cramps.  We are awaiting the CA-125 results.  Is there anything hopeful that you can tell me?  I am in a puddle.  She is 58 and in supposedby great shape.
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Avatar_f_tn
Please see the personal message I sent you.. thanks
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