Ovarian Cancer Community
Terminal cancer
About This Community:

This patient support community is for discussions relating to ovarian cancer, biopsy, chemotherapy, clinical trials, genetics, hysterectomy, immunotherapy, radiation therapy, screening, and staging.

Font Size:
A
A
A
Background:
Blank
Blank
Blank
Blank Blank

Terminal cancer

Hi everyone,
I am new to this forum.  I didn't really know where to ask a question like this.
I have been battling ovarian cancer for almost 7 years now and I am terminal.  I'm going to start chemo again but it's just to try and buy me some time.  Without treatment, my doctor says I have a year max to live.  I'm only 48 years old.  I've known of people who have died from ovarian cancer but I wasn't close to any of them.  Would someone be willing to share with me if you had a loved one or friend to die from this disease?  What was it like for them in the end?  It's just that with lung cancer for example, everyone I have known with end stage disease is on oxygen and struggles to breathe.  I was just wondering if there is any certain sign like that for ovarian cancer.  I'm afraid it will be painful but I don't know.  Will my organs more than likely just start to shut down and that's how it usually is?  I understand that no one can really know beforehand what it will be like but I like to know what's ahead.  Would anyone be willing to share something like this with me?  Thank you in advance.

Sincerely,
jaritanna
Related Discussions
14 Comments
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I don't know any of the answers to your questions.  But I did want to say that I am very very sorry to hear that this is is your situation.  

Don't give up though.  Doctors have been known to be wrong.  Perhaps, there is some alternative or complimentary therapy that you can look into.  You may have the opportunity to improve the quality of the time left even if you cannot extend it.  

I hope saying these things wasn't hard or offensive or anything, but I couldn't in good conscience not offer these other venues of obtaining information.  

You might ask questions at www.askwaltsollmd.com also.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
My mom died at home of ovarian cancer when she was 46 years old.  That was three years ago.  I don't know if it's appropriate to share this experience since I can't say it's one I'd like to relive again, although I do sometimes nightly.  But I'll do my best and not be entirely negative.

My mom slept a lot at first.  Then she was barely awake.  I don't believe she was in pain but when she was awake she wasn't completly consious.  She kept saying she just wanted to sleep and to leave her alone.  She was always very strong and I don't believe it ever occured to her until the very last day that she was dying.  She couldn't eat, couldn't drink.  She was bleeding very heavily from her vagina.  We changed her undergarments (big person diapers). I combed her hair and messaged her arms and legs with lotion.  Her organs shut down but she was still alive.  Her doctor said she was so strong and that she really shouldn't be alive.  She moaned from time to time and they suggested we give her morphine because they thought she was in pain. I prayed with her and talked to her about her new grandson that was 7 months old at the time. This went on for almost a month before she finally died.  The last week she was very quiet, my aunt had came over to visit her and as she walked away we heard mom my breath a heavy sigh, her last breath.  

I don't understand these things and why they happen.  Please take this to your heart as reading your post made me shut my eyes and cry.  Please, please don't give up.. if you have any children please make sure they are informed.  Like anyone should, whether or not your have a terminal condition, live like today is your last.  Yes, doctors have been known to be wrong.  Fight..

Kristin
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Again, I promise you that if there is any medical board other than this one where you will get a competent answer quickly, www.askwaltstollmd.com is the one.  He is a doctor who tries to combine both conventional, or allopathic, medicine with other holistic approaches in order to tell you what the best idea is for you in both areas and advise you of the complimentary approach that might be best for you.  

There is also an archive at this website.  You can peruse posts and other information about cancer in general and ovarian cancer in particular.  

I know what the basic idea for you will be, eating a very nutritional wholefoods diet to whatever degree is possible, exercising to whatever degree you are capable of and meditating twice a day for at least 20 minutes.  There will probably also be more detailed descriptions of nutrients, supplements or other therapies to try.  

He may even suggest attempting to become involved with Cancer Treatment Centers of America since they incorporate both conventional and holistic approaches.  
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I want to thank each one of you who responded to me.  It was a question I needed to ask.  I do have 4 children, the youngest is 19, and they are very supportive.  I also have 4 grandchildren and have a ot to live for.  I won't give up.  I am looking into complimentary therapies but it can get rather confusing, there's so much information on so many different things.  I'm sorry if I made any of you feel bad recalling the passings of loved ones.  I didn't mean to offend anyone.  Thanks for all your input and your honesty.  I know it's difficult to have cancer but it's also difficult for the caregivers.  My father and my father-in-law died with cancer.  I believe having cancer has taught me to have much more compassion toward others.  There are some positive things that can come from all of this and I'm trying to see them all.  Thank you.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Wow. What a question.

I have known three women who have died of ovarian cancer.  One lived for over nine years with the disease.  Every time the doctors told her that there was "no hope" she would find another doctor or another treatment.  Even when there was supposedly no hope left for her, she responded well to her treatments and worked to maintain a normal life.  She even worked a few hours a day at a family business until the very end.  I think that she missed the last four days of work before her death, as her death came very quick at the end of her extended 'terminal stage.' She died rather suddenly of an infection; her chemotherapy had left her immune system weak.

Odd that you would mention it, but another one died after her ovca spread into her lungs.  She developed pneumonia or pulmonary edema and the strain was too much for her lungs and heart.   Again, though, she lived a relatively normal (as normal as one can be for the terminally ill) life until the infections or fluids built up in her lungs.

The other woman did not live so well.  She alternated between depressive bouts of "there is no hope for me" and manic episodes of acting as if she was not ill at all.  Of the three, she spend the longest time in bed or otherwise ill and confined at home.  At the end, she just faded away over time.

Do I recall your post correctly, that your doctor gives you one year to live without treatment?  Does that mean  if you respond well to treatment, or perhaps  get into a clinical trial and respond well to that treatment, that you will have two, or three, or five years?  This reminds me of a friend of friends who was diagnosed with liver cancer and told he had six months to live.  He managed to get himself into some clinical trial or  drug test or something, controlled the growth of his cancer, and then lived nine years.  He died of injuries he sustained in an automobile accident.  

I can sum it all up by saying that most of the human race has  no idea when that last moment will be, so make any arrangements that are important to you, and then forget it about.  Live while you can.  It is all that any of us can do, whether ill or not.

Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I will look at the website you mentioned.  Thanks for that information.  I have already looked into Cancer Treatment Centers of America for the very reason that they combine the treatments.  My insurance won't pay for me to go there.

Again, I want to thank everyone that shared their stories.  I'm sorry about your mom, Kristin.  She was so young.  It was a very sad story and I'm sure it is with you everyday.

Mickey, you asked about my prognosis with treatment.  It's interesting but I asked my doctor that question.  She was willing to give me a certain time without treatment but when I asked about it with treatment she said she just couldn't say.  I know they can't know for sure but she didn't even speculate so I will just do the best I can and not give up.

I am so glad I found this forum.  People are very giving and supportive.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Would you mind me asking how you were diagnosed and what were your first symptoms?
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Hello, My wife turns 61 this Sunday, has been battling ovarian CA for 2 years now. Was debulked, went through 2 rounds of chemo, had a small bowel resection in January '05, started another round of chemo last month. She has vomited since January 5 anywhere from 4 times a day to over 30 times a day except when she had a nasal / gastric tube. She is home now on TPN (IV nutrician) 24 hrs a day. Very weak, only has bowel movements when she gets emimas, she takes 5 sinacot-s at a time with no cramps. I'm fairly sure that solving her BM problems would give what she intakes somewhere to go. Today she is vomiting everything almost immediately, sometimes projectile like.
Has anyone experienced similar symptoms? Do you have any remedies? If not, what do I expect next?
Thank you, WD4NNG
Blank
765463_tn?1261803296
Hi,
I was diagoised with stage three ovarian cancer June 26 2008. I just completed 7 months of chemo. they gave me chemo through a port that went directly to the adominal (abdominal) area and chemo through an upper port that went into my veins after the hysterrectomy. I just had another cat scan and my doctor told me the only thing they could do fo me now is to try to controll the cancer, by more and a different type of chemo. I am a fighter and a Christain and believe nothing is impossible for those who believe in Christ Jesus. If there are other Christains out there reading this will you please stop what your doing and pray for all of us fighting this battle. Thanks
                                                                 Karen
Blank
176401_tn?1339372907
Your question is a good one and very appropriate for this forum.  

You may want to register at www.acor.org for the ovarian cancer forum.  There are discussions on that site regarding end of life issues.  You can also find a lot of messages in the archives there.  I have found that site to be extremely informative and supportive.  Several women there have also blogged about their experiences at the end.  Search for Ellen Esser...she was one that did this.

I have known several women that were at the end stage.  All of their experiences were very different. I have been told by them and family members that hospice was incredibly helpful and that pain was controlled by them. Hospice can also serve you if you are receiving care for palliative maintenance, just not active treatment.

God be with you.
Blank
415684_tn?1257332918
Karen ... seize the day.  I was diagnosed 6/06 and just this January 2009, I am being treated for the 2nd time.  Some women seem to be luckier with an even longer remission.  Unfortunately, some women have been on continuous chemo since their diagnosis.

Is there something showing on your CT scan .. or is your MD referring to long term.  There is no cure of Ovarian Cancer but there can be remission.  If nothing is showing, go smell the fresh air and praise God.

I have so many people praying for me.  Without my faith, I couldn't cope.   May God bless you.   Judy C
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
Do NOT give up hope - there is always hope!  I have a close friend who's been battling ovarian cancer for several years and chemo keeps it at bay; she's responding very well to treatment.  And please bear in mind that doctors and researchers are constantly trying to develop new ways to combat this disease.  You just need to stay on top of it.  I wish you the best - continual treatment can work!  God bless.
Blank
523728_tn?1264625121
Jaritanna has not posted since 2005.  Just and FYI.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
Dear Jaritana, I am so sorry to hear about your diagnosis and I appreciate the honesty in your question, as I have wondered about this myself from time to time.  When I was first diagnosed in 2003, I was told that I would be lucky if I lived another 4 years and have been also told by other doctors that I would never see my son graduate: he graduates next year.  It is hard to have hope when we hear statistics, negativity from our medical team, and go through these treatments and surgeries.  But there is hope, there is proof everywhere and all over this site: the key is not to give up and to keep searching for answers.  Take the reins of your medical diagnosis, get specific information about it, and look for answers your current doctors may not be aware of.  You have choices.

I want to thank you Kristin, I am so moved by your answer and what you went through.  Thank you for sharing something that was so difficult.  Your honesty has
answered questions I know I was afraid to ask.  I am so sorry for your loss, your
mother was so lucky to have a daughter like you there for her.  Sending love to you both, Angie
Blank
Continue discussion Blank
Blank
Weight Tracker
Weight Tracker
Start Tracking Now
Ovarian Cancer Community Resources
RSS Expert Activity
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Emotional Eaters: How to Silence Yo...
Mar 26 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
1344197_tn?1392822771
Blank
Vaginal vs. Laparoscopic Hysterecto...
Feb 19 by J. Kyle Mathews, MD, DVMBlank
1684282_tn?1350782543
Blank
The Death by Heroin
Feb 03 by Julia M Aharonov, DOBlank
Top Ovarian Cancer Answerers
667078_tn?1316004535
Blank
HVAC
Durham, NC