Cirrhosis - when is it End Stage

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New Member

Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 3/27/2010 3:23 AM (GMT -7)   

I think this will be a lengthy post and hope I can get some input. I’ve been reading your posts on Cirrhosis. My mom had a diagnosis of cirrhosis of the liver 30+ years ago. She had lived a fairly normal life until diagnosised with colon cancer about 10 years ago. With chemo treatments off and on about 4 or 5 times over the last 10 years, she has been good and bad. Over the last few years, her liver has been showing signs of trouble.

Problem #1, she never told her doctor that she had a cirrhosis diagnosis 30 years ago. Her oncologist and MD have given her chemo treatments as I said, 4 or 5 times over these 10 years and last year, gave an extremely strong type of chemo. As you know chemotherapy is poison and can do a job on other organs, especially the liver. With her doctors not knowing this, I see a potential problem.

Problem #2, she was supposed to start chemo again a month or so ago but her blood count/levels were too low. She’s had 3 transfusions over the last 4-6 weeks but it’s not helping. She is retaining fluid in her abdomen that they cannot drain due to a clotting problem. Nothing they do is bringing her levels to a range where they can do anything. I’m sure all of this sounds familiar to many of you.

Problem #3, She is now very weak, falls a lot and cannot get her strength. She is uncomfortable with her bloated stomach and now, this week, the nurse asked my brother to come in with her for her visit. (He lives near her, I am 1500 miles away). He went in with her and listened to the conversation. The doctor asked my mom if she drinks…..she said yes. Her husband then chimed in with “well, she doesn’t get drunk if that’s what you mean!” The doctor said that she cannot figure out why her liver is so bad off and wondered if there was something connected with the chemo. My brother said that she had cirrhosis many years ago and my mom said “No I didn’t!! It was hepatitis.” The doctor then said there was nothing they could do for her at this point. They cannot drain the fluid due to the clotting issue, they cannot give her chemo now and that the cancer won’t kill her, her liver problem will.

After their visit, my brother stayed behind and spoke with the doctor. He told her all history and the cirrhosis diagnosis years ago. The doctor said it was all making sense now.

Bottom line, they cannot do any kind of treatment at this point and have given her 3-6 months. I feel that this is if she’s lucky, doesn’t drink and tries to take care of herself. I don’t know.

I’m strong and can take any input anyone has here. I am not looking for a diagnosis or for someone to tell me should could last years. I know that’s not the case. What I am wondering is if she is at this point – fluid in the abdomen, edema in her legs (pretty much gone now), jaundice, shiny red skin, blotches – should I assume it will be less than the 3-6 months? As I said, I live so far away and need to go there. I don’t know if I should maybe wait for Mother’s Day or push it up and go as soon as possible.

Thanks for any responses.

Pink Grandma
Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 2445
   Posted 3/27/2010 10:44 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello Zoe and welcome. Sorry that your mom has this terrible disease. But you have come to the right place. We have lot's of members who currently are or have dealt with it.

As Connie said in your previous post. No one can really tell you if it will be sooner or not. This disease is crazy......... one day the person maybe feeling on top of the world and the next at death's door. As Connie says it is a very individual disease. Everyone's journey is similar but different. But I do know that some doctors sometimes tend to give an optimistic prognosis. They did in my husband's case.......When they told us husband only lasted a little over 2 months.

Take care.......thoughts and prayers........
Pink Grandma
Forum moderator-Hepatitis

When the going gets tough....the tough get going! Don't always know where I going but I get there anyways.

Elite Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 12014
   Posted 3/27/2010 12:08 PM (GMT -7)   

Zoe, thanks for starting a new thread.  You might want to check out our educational info in the folder at the top of the page entitled Hepatitis Resources.  There is a lot of info in there.  I will tell you that drinking alcohol is the very worst thing your mom could do to her liver, so hopefully she will no longer drink at all.



Forum moderator - Hepatitis
"But that was yesterday, and I was a different person then."
Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 44
   Posted 3/28/2010 10:19 AM (GMT -7)   
I am so sorry that your mom has this horrific disease, My Husband just passed from it on March 7th at the young age of 42... Our journey with the disease started last September when I rushed him to the hospital with Adema and swollen tummy.. They had told him then that if he drank again that he would die... They were right.. He stayed sober for 64 days then started drinking vodka again, on Janurary 12th I rushed him to the hospital due to vomiting blood, he spent 3 days in ICU and 4 days in the hospital, they told me then that he will not live but would never give me a time frame---they dont want to do that with this disease, I am assuming that it is becuase it is such an up and down disease.. I had hospice come in to the home, I would highly suggest that!  they help you understand things so much more---- although my husband was dieing he would sleep for 3 days, then he would be up and moving around the next three.. it is a very very confusing disease-- for the caretaker.... I guess what I am getting at is, my opinion is that you should try to go see your mom if possible.. the last month he was alive his edema and swollen belly went away, and the hospice nurse told me that sometimes this just goes away at the end for no reason...... I have heard of people living longer then the doctors say and have heard of people not-- you just never know.. In my case it took my husband at a young age, and honosty liver disease and Chirrosis is a horrible disease to have, it is a roller coaster ride and my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family through out this!
Take Care

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 31
   Posted 3/28/2010 1:48 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm sorry you and your mom are going through this. Sending positive thoughts.

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 313
   Posted 3/29/2010 6:17 AM (GMT -7)   
Zoe, welcome I am sorry that you and your mum are going through so much right now. this site will definately help you get all the supposrt and information that you will need to get through this time. As you will read from many posts that every case is different. My mum was diagnosed about three years ago, doctors gave her three months to live if she did not quit drinking. She hasn't, she is still here but in what capacity? she exists, still drinks hevily and has been in and out hospital more times than i can count. Many visits being very serious at the time. So it really is a rollercoaster ride from start to finish.

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 31
   Posted 4/1/2010 2:54 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Zoe, my 73 year old father died this past Sunday due to Cirrhosis. He was put on Hospice in December because the doctors said they could do no more for him. They gave him 6 months and he lasted a little over 3. He made the choice to continue to drink. He also was swollen, had a hard time walking and keeping his balance. My advice to you is to not wait until mothers day. If you can see her sooner then do so. Especially since the further along the disease progresses the less aware she will be. You cannot change her health but you can love her every day.

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