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Ovarian Cancer Community
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Avatar universal

Intestinal obstruction w/pending colostomy bag

My SIL was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer at the end of November. It has not been staged because no surgery was done but it is most likely Stage III. When diagnosed she has a large 7cm tumor between her uterus and rectum. Tumors on each ovary. A enlarged Uterus. Nodes dotted thru her intestine and her omentum had been replaced by tumor. There was so much cancer that surgery was too risky, it was decided to do Chemo first then hopefully surgery after.
Since she did not begin Chemo until 12/27 one of the nodes in her intestine had time to grow larger and create a full obstruction. When still at home she was vomiting constantly and actually vomiting fecal matter.
She has been in the hospital for almost a month straight now and has had to have a gastric tube down her nose for most of that time to drain her stomach. She has been fed by IV only. They are waiting to see if the 2nd round of Chemo will shrink the obstructing tumor enough to let food pass if not an irreversible colostomy bag will have to be put in.
When she was diagnosed she was given a 50% chance of surviving 5 years (I think a textbook answer) but she has suffered with so many complications. I am looking for an honest opinion of what her survival chances are.
Her outlook has been really good so far. I don't think she realises how sick she is and I am glad for that it has kept her spirits up and her family's as well.
The reason I want to know someone else's opinion is because they are totally unprepared for her to die. No life insurance..no anything. Her family will need so much help if she should pass.
1 Responses
Avatar universal
I cannot answer your question about how long she has; even the doctors really will not know until very near the end.  Even then...well, when my friend died of esophageal cancer, his doctors kept telling him that he had only a few weeks to live, over and over again for several months.  They'd also told him that he had 6 months to a year to live when he was diagnosed, and he lived over 2 years.  He, like your SIL, just did not pay any attention to the seriousness of his condition, and I think that kept him alive longer.

However, EVERYONE needs to have preparations for dying.  Whatever your age and whether you are sick or not, you need to establish who will make  your decisions for you if you cannot make them for yourself, and you need to let family and friends know what you want as far as funerals, obituary information, bequests or inheritances  (who gets what),  funerary flowers or donations to favorite charity,   medical requests such as when or if to withhold treatments which will only prolong dying or whether to treat up to the point past brain death.  There are many choices to make.    EVERYONE needs a will, a general power of attorney, a living will, and a durable power of attorney for healthcare.  I cannot stress the importance of making these arrangements.
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