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Old 06-08-2016, 10:09 AM
 
1,244 posts, read 739,381 times
Reputation: 5570

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Let your mother make her own decision. My mother passed away from dementia/Alzheimers and during our journey I learned how much the medical community is ill prepared to deal with elderly patients. A colonoscopy for an elderly person is traumatic. The prep and the anesthesia can take its toll. Yet doctors are so set on routine they don't weigh the "costs" with prescribing standard tests. Even if my mom was diagnosed with cancer doing chemo on an Alzheimer's patient would have been almost cruel. I say start with Cologuard and take it from there.
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Old 06-08-2016, 10:15 AM
 
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
9,253 posts, read 5,504,635 times
Reputation: 24224
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coloradomom22 View Post
Let your mother make her own decision.
Yes. It's her body and her life.

Quote:
I say start with Cologuard and take it from there.
Cologuard is a screening test to be used in asymptomatic patients only. It's of no use if the patient has symptoms, which the OP's mom does, as a negative result in that case can't be relied upon (it could be a false negative test result). Symptomatic patients need a colonoscopy to definitively rule out colon cancer.
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Old 06-08-2016, 10:17 AM
 
Location: Leaving fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada
3,989 posts, read 7,351,409 times
Reputation: 7786
I would love to have some of those, "No test for me" posters come on down and help me take care of my mom for a day, just to see if they would rather die of cancer than be subjected to a medical test. Let's pick a day that the Hospice staff doesn't come out, just to get a good glimpse of what their kids might have to deal with someday.

They can comb through the pantry and refrigerator to find something to tempt her to eat. Hopefully they come after someone has been to the store, because it's really hard to leave the house for very long.

Then they can wake her up just so they can coax her to eat just enough to take her medicine. It's hard to wake her because she's just really tired these days.

They can count out those endless pills and go back to the bedroom to get her to take the bowl of pills that she needs to survive in our tenth year of cancer.

So many pills! She was taking 22 pills a day. Pills for inflammation, pills for nutritional deficiencies, pills to ward off seizures, pills for seizures, all taken to try to stave off the advancing march of the cancer. Pills for pain; long acting pills to keep it at bay, and short acting ones for when the pain attacks her knees or ribs or back or head because the cancer settled in her bones and brain through the magic of metastases. All this is so depressing that she gets medicine for that, too. Plus those for the anxiety that comes with thinking about it.

But since she takes all those pills, she's plagued with what one commercial calls, "constipation baggage." She needs pills for that, too. Pills and powders that either don't work very well, or work really well--so well that we get extra laundry to do.

But it would be unfair to let anyone think she's still taking 22 pills every day. Now she takes 10 because the other 12 don't work any more and the cancer is marching relentlessly through her body. You can really tell now, you can see her bones, and her skin sags everywhere. And her hair never really came back after all that chemo and radiation. She barely resembles the beautiful mom who sewed my wedding dress. I'll have to show them a picture so they can see how lovely she was.

If she's having a good day, they can follow her into the bathroom to make sure she doesn't fall. If it's a bad day they can help do the laundry we already mentioned.

Then they can help her bathe. Bed bath if she's really tired; shower if she feels up to it. You would think this would be easy since she's lost about 60 pounds, just down to skin and bones. But they will be exhausted because she's dead weight due to muscle atrophy. The anxiety will cause their muscles to tense up in fear of dropping her. As I mentioned, there's a pill for that, but it's for mom, not for us.

Then she will nap and they can help me finish the laundry. Which will be great for me, because it's really hard to fold a sheet by yourself.

Then they can help me do it all over again in the evening.

I will let them take over any of my daily tasks, or just watch if they are too squeamish or sad. Maybe after spending the day with us, they will see that cancer is a family disease. It attacks one member but it hits everyone. The physical pain and suffering may be reserved for the patient, but the fear, depression, anxiety, heartbreak and sacrifice is spread out to friends, children, parents and grandchildren.

If your family is prepared for that, you can feel good about skipping that test. Don't think you'll just die. You'll want to fight for life and you will but you have a huge price to pay for not finding the cancer earlier than you did.

Last edited by photobuff42; 06-08-2016 at 10:42 AM..
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Old 06-08-2016, 10:34 AM
 
Location: Scottsdale, AZ and Redwood City, CA
11,025 posts, read 7,195,849 times
Reputation: 39976
I thought about posting the story about my friend who, when reminded to schedule her colonoscopy at age 50, said "I have three small children at home. I don't have time."

Now her husband has three small children he's raising alone.

Thanks for your comments.
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Old 06-08-2016, 11:31 AM
 
8,111 posts, read 4,464,357 times
Reputation: 9186
Quote:
Originally Posted by photobuff42 View Post
I would love to have some of those, "No test for me" posters come on down and help me take care of my mom for a day, just to see if they would rather die of cancer than be subjected to a medical test. Let's pick a day that the Hospice staff doesn't come out, just to get a good glimpse of what their kids might have to deal with someday.

They can comb through the pantry and refrigerator to find something to tempt her to eat. Hopefully they come after someone has been to the store, because it's really hard to leave the house for very long.

Then they can wake her up just so they can coax her to eat just enough to take her medicine. It's hard to wake her because she's just really tired these days.

They can count out those endless pills and go back to the bedroom to get her to take the bowl of pills that she needs to survive in our tenth year of cancer.

So many pills! She was taking 22 pills a day. Pills for inflammation, pills for nutritional deficiencies, pills to ward off seizures, pills for seizures, all taken to try to stave off the advancing march of the cancer. Pills for pain; long acting pills to keep it at bay, and short acting ones for when the pain attacks her knees or ribs or back or head because the cancer settled in her bones and brain through the magic of metastases. All this is so depressing that she gets medicine for that, too. Plus those for the anxiety that comes with thinking about it.

But since she takes all those pills, she's plagued with what one commercial calls, "constipation baggage." She needs pills for that, too. Pills and powders that either don't work very well, or work really well--so well that we get extra laundry to do.

But it would be unfair to let anyone think she's still taking 22 pills every day. Now she takes 10 because the other 12 don't work any more and the cancer is marching relentlessly through her body. You can really tell now, you can see her bones, and her skin sags everywhere. And her hair never really came back after all that chemo and radiation. She barely resembles the beautiful mom who sewed my wedding dress. I'll have to show them a picture so they can see how lovely she was.

If she's having a good day, they can follow her into the bathroom to make sure she doesn't fall. If it's a bad day they can help do the laundry we already mentioned.

Then they can help her bathe. Bed bath if she's really tired; shower if she feels up to it. You would think this would be easy since she's lost about 60 pounds, just down to skin and bones. But they will be exhausted because she's dead weight due to muscle atrophy. The anxiety will cause their muscles to tense up in fear of dropping her. As I mentioned, there's a pill for that, but it's for mom, not for us.

Then she will nap and they can help me finish the laundry. Which will be great for me, because it's really hard to fold a sheet by yourself.

Then they can help me do it all over again in the evening.

I will let them take over any of my daily tasks, or just watch if they are too squeamish or sad. Maybe after spending the day with us, they will see that cancer is a family disease. It attacks one member but it hits everyone. The physical pain and suffering may be reserved for the patient, but the fear, depression, anxiety, heartbreak and sacrifice is spread out to friends, children, parents and grandchildren.

If your family is prepared for that, you can feel good about skipping that test. Don't think you'll just die. You'll want to fight for life and you will but you have a huge price to pay for not finding the cancer earlier than you did.
You are not telling me anything I have not seen, and done, before. I worked in a nursing home in my younger years. All different patients, all different conditions, all different ages. A few were comatose unlike your mother, could not move, eat, get up, bathroom, etc., etc. I emptied their bags. Worse still were the YOUNG (40's) Dementia Patients who did not know their own little children or spouses. They wouldn't eat or bathroom themselves either. THAT is what is very sad.

My experience working in that environment shaped my views which are the same today in my 60's. I said then, and say today, I would not want to "live" like that. End it, as both my Mom and Uncle said. My Uncle was told that he needed surgery to save his life, but it would leave him basically an invalid. He put on his clothes and walked out of the hospital. They gave him 6 months to live. LIVE he did, doing all the things he had wanted to do while he was still healthy enough to do so. He did pass away 6 months later at the age of 69. Perhaps that surgery would have bought him more time on this earth, but what would have been the QUALITY of his life living it being bedridden unable to do anything at all for himself?

As my Mom said, in her Living Will, "I do not wish to become a Vegetable in a Science Experiment so Medicine can see how long they can keep me alive." "Let me die". I am an Only Child. She spelled out everything she wanted before she appointed me her Health Proxy. I promised her I would abide by her wishes for HER death. To do otherwise would be extremely selfish and cruel of a child toward their parent.
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Old 06-08-2016, 12:11 PM
 
Location: Georgia, USA
30,493 posts, read 32,896,111 times
Reputation: 37726
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jo48 View Post
You are not telling me anything I have not seen, and done, before. I worked in a nursing home in my younger years. All different patients, all different conditions, all different ages. A few were comatose unlike your mother, could not move, eat, get up, bathroom, etc., etc. I emptied their bags. Worse still were the YOUNG (40's) Dementia Patients who did not know their own little children or spouses. They wouldn't eat or bathroom themselves either. THAT is what is very sad.

My experience working in that environment shaped my views which are the same today in my 60's. I said then, and say today, I would not want to "live" like that. End it, as both my Mom and Uncle said. My Uncle was told that he needed surgery to save his life, but it would leave him basically an invalid. He put on his clothes and walked out of the hospital. They gave him 6 months to live. LIVE he did, doing all the things he had wanted to do while he was still healthy enough to do so. He did pass away 6 months later at the age of 69. Perhaps that surgery would have bought him more time on this earth, but what would have been the QUALITY of his life living it being bedridden unable to do anything at all for himself?

As my Mom said, in her Living Will, "I do not wish to become a Vegetable in a Science Experiment so Medicine can see how long they can keep me alive." "Let me die". I am an Only Child. She spelled out everything she wanted before she appointed me her Health Proxy. I promised her I would abide by her wishes for HER death. To do otherwise would be extremely selfish and cruel of a child toward their parent.
"Live" like what?

People who have pre-cancerous polyps removed never get the cancer. They just live normal lives. Those with cancers caught early enough get treated and go on to live normal lives.

Go back and read photobuff's post again. It is about dying from cancer - what you say you would want to do.
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Old 06-08-2016, 12:12 PM
 
Location: Southern California
28,796 posts, read 11,587,641 times
Reputation: 18462
People do what they do and end up the way they end up. Some plan things out better and maybe some are luckier. My dad was the lucky one as he passed at 96 and took hardly any pills all his life. Mom too, hardly any pills but a few and she got into supplements in her 60's and I got her on grape seed extract when she was 85 as that's how old she was when I got on this antioxidant at 57...she passed at 91...

Now me, I've been taking supplements for over 25 yrs and hope I don't end up with a lot of PILLS to keep me going later...I'm 78 soon and in spite of a mess hip replacement and advancing OA I do pretty good and not sick.

I'm one of those out there who don't do the tests pushed by AMA. I continue to look at supplements that can perhaps add better health to me. Grape seed ex has given me almost 21 yrs of such improved health. I'm a great fan of daily iodine since I've done so much research on the need for it in our bodies.

As I said everyone chooses their journey. There are many who are in the 90's and doing well and even a lady I know who is 101 soon and still goes to play bridge.

Last edited by jaminhealth; 06-08-2016 at 12:29 PM..
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Old 06-08-2016, 12:16 PM
 
Location: Georgia, USA
30,493 posts, read 32,896,111 times
Reputation: 37726
Supplements don't come as pills? Who knew? What form do they come in?
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Old 06-08-2016, 12:27 PM
 
Location: Southern California
28,796 posts, read 11,587,641 times
Reputation: 18462
I prefer to call them supplements and not pills. I use capsules, powders and liquid forms. My supplements supplement what my foods can not totally do for me and what aging is doing. I never supplemented until my early 50's...after menopause...the big pause...

My iburprofen is a pill. So are BP meds. NP thyroid support is a little pill. NP could actually be called a supplement as it's food based but it's a pharma script. Pharma works around that to get food based "pills" to script based.

Last edited by jaminhealth; 06-08-2016 at 01:00 PM..
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Old 06-08-2016, 01:02 PM
 
141 posts, read 136,186 times
Reputation: 308
I believe colonoscopies are over utilized. If she doesn't want the colonoscopy, I wouldn't force her to get it. There are less invasive alternatives for diagnosing problems. It sounds to me like she's tired of being poked and prodded. I've seen so many older folks in my family poked and prodded to the point that their quality of life suffers as a result. Lots of people live in the doctors office and are miserable. I'd rather die than have my life prolonged in such a way.
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