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6 years with stage IV metastatic, now pneumonia

Hi, I rushed my 73 year old mom to the ER for pneumonia on Sunday and they admitted her. She has had 6 years of every treatment possible and the last 2 years on navelbene and zometa. Her tumor markers have gone down but she does have bone (4 spinal tumors), liver tumors, spleen and they said they found something on her lung long ago but never could determine what it was. So she's getting 3 antibiotics for her pneumonia and within a day her cough sounds better. She was in excrutiating pain with her cough, her legs gave out where she couldn't lift them, no fever though, green/yellow sp

Research, Knowledge and Information :

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Suggested Questions And Answer :

6 years with stage IV metastatic, now pneumonia

Hello and hope you are doing well. Understand your predicament. The response to antibiotic therapy for the pneumonia cam be gauzed by the clinical symptoms and the radiological findings. Since she is not totally responding and the radiological findings are varying they may be considering alternate diagnosis like pulmonary edema or pulmonary embolism or secondaries in the lung. Only a lung CT can help differentiate. Hope this helped and do keep us posted.
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How long can a stage IV metastatic go w/out chemo?

My grandma went off her chemo treatment in July after it started making her too sick to function (3 months into her terminal prognosis). She decided she would rather spend the rest of her life living. She lived 2 months longer than their 3-6 months (estimated with treatment) without any treatment. For her going off chemo made all the difference, it didn't buy her any more time but she got to spend the rest of her time fishing, crabbing, and traveling with family. September she had to start slowing up a bit as the tumors in her liver were growing bigger and she took a nasty fall. November she couldn't be without a bathroom for more than a couple hours because of a tumor on her bladder. December and halfway through January she spent most of the time cuddling and watching movies or cat napping. The week before she passed away it was pretty bad, but she spent 90% of it sleeping. My grandma had colon cancer and chemo was nasty on her. I don't know much about your mother's health or her reaction to chemo, but my grandma would have gone faster with chemo because it made her fragile body so very ill. For her I can tell you she would definitely have needed a break from chemo to get better from pneumonia even if it hit before her terminal time line.  However, like I said, different cancer and different treatment- but if your mother reacts to chemo even a little like my grandma, and her oncologist thinks that this will help her get over the pneumonia it might be worth trying. Her tumors might grow a bit during the period off chemo, but hopefully they'll stabilize again. Also you never know in a month she might be strong enough to start chemo again.
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Mom with Stage IV metastatic, liver, spleen, spinal tumors things getting worse and I'm just so mad about options

Do you think the doctor was trying to save her life with the use of chemo? Why do you think the doctor was pushing chemo?  DO you think there was some other reason for pushing chemo therapy other than the patients welfare?
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Breast cancer and pneumonia?

Hi there! In stage IV metastases the cancer has spread to other organs of the body. The most common signs of lung metastases are: shortness of breath and dry cough. A part of the lung may be surgically removed if the cancer is confined to one area. However, in most cases, the cancer has spread itself throughout the lung and is more effectively treated by chemotherapy or other anticancer drugs. A decreased immunity can make a person susceptible to infections. It is essential to differentiate whether it is pneumonia or pulmonary edema or pulmonary embolism or secondaries in the lung. It can be differentiated based on the clinical symptoms, response to antibiotics and radiological findings. A lung CT can help differentiate. It is best to discuss your concerns with the treating physician. Hope it helps. Do keep us posted. Take care and regards!
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In your circumstance I believe I would get a 2nd opinion .. you wouldn't need to go to another facility but only have your records sent to another Oncologist for review. Most Dr.s would not object and most will even encourage a second opinion. Evidently you aren't 100% convinced that the Chemo recommended is absolutely necessary. You are talking about only a 5 to 10% difference in risk of recurrance with the Chemo. Any time you have even the slightest doubt you should seek another opinion. Regards......
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Stage IV Breast Cancer

Sad. The disease is not curable and will proove fatal. Have the pathologist check the tumor for hormone receptors. If positive there are many oral pills (not chemotherapy) available which work very well and have few side effects. Hopefully your mom will agree to take them.
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oopherectomy vs. luperon

May I suggest that you post your question on the "Expert Forum" dealing with breast cancer .... Physicians answer posts on that forum and you would be more likely to get a satisfactory answer there.  Thank you .......
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Mom going from arimidex to tamoxifen-running out of options

Can't much comment on tamoxifen vs arimidex...but I can comment on Tamoxifen. Yes, it *could* cause gyn cancers.  She needs to be seen by her OB regularly and he should be informed of this change in her medication.  Her OB, if he's worth his salt, will keep an eye on this possibility.  I'm scheduled for an ultrasound and biopsy in July which will be the 2 year mark of my tamoxifen journey.  According to my OB, this is to check the lining and make sure nothing funny is going on.  It should be routine, but necessary. It *could* cause a lot of things.  However, if the doc thinks this is a good avenue, then the risks are probably worth the end result.  Monitoring her for the *could*s is what her docs are supposed to do.  And she is supposed to be upfront with things that have changed within her own body to her docs. I've seen threads from other women that tamoxifen aggravates joint and arthritis issues.  I had hot flashes and mood swings, but none of the other.  It does have a host of side-effects and potential issues.  It's still an effective drug for some people. Now, having said all that...does your mom want to get a second opinion?  That is a viable option...have someone else look at her situation and give their opinion.  I had a friend that didn't like the opinion of her doc for stage IV, so she went to another hospital who is doing more.  Not all situations are the same, though. Good luck to your mom and to you.  I know this is very hard.  My dad was stage IV with prostate cancer and it was a tough time.
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AC/T or CEF chemotheraphy

When on consultation you receive two opposing views you are entitled to a third opinion and I think that would be valuable in your case. We here aren't able to advise in such matters. You might also post on the Expert Forum where Cleveland Clinic Physicians answer posts. You won't get a "choice" but perhaps an explanation of the difference. I'd seriously think about that 3rd opinion.    Regards .....
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