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My 83 year old mother's cancer has come back, and we found out yesterday from a bone scan and a ct scan that it is all over her body. Mom also has Alzheimer's. I can hardly stand her being in this pain. The oncologist has prescribed her some pretty good pain pills, so they help some. I have to make all decisions because she can't. We are not going to do chermotherapy. At her age and with the Alzheimers issue, I won't put her through it. The doctors want her to take hormone therapy, which apparently has virtually no side effects. Does anyone out there know anything about hormone therapy?? I don't understand whether this is likely to help her or just extend her life? I was going to go ahead and do it, but I found out it costs $273 for the prescription. We have very little money. This would take care of a good deal of Mom's money she has to spend. My husband is laid off work and doing side jobs right now, so we are not well off, but could scrape up that much. If this is not likely to help with her pain or the quality of her life, I would rather spend what money we have on pain killers. Does anyone know if hormone therapy is likely to cure the cancer or what is likely to happen with it? Please help me ASAP, as I have to make a decision about this right away. Thank you.
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Hi, Bridget.

I'm so sorry to hear of this development in your mother's journey. Your family is in my prayers.

I did a search on "cancer hormone therapy" and found this link:

I don't know if it's any help. Seems to me that if your mother is post-menopausal, that hormone therapy to dampen hormones would have a minimal effect. But I have no personal experience with your particular situation.

Is your mother in frail health otherwise (aside from dimentia)?

You have been such a wonderful advocate for her care all this time. Say a prayer, then trust yourself to make a good decision.

We're here for you.

Hi Bridget:

I am sorry that your mother's cancer has come back. Sometimes I wonder if it ever really leaves after all. However, I would recommend that you follow the doctor's advice. I know that it can be expensive and all, but it is worth it if it can possibly work to her benefit. It is so normal to suffer with financial problems while caregiving and make decisions based on the financial aspects alone. However, following doctors orders can provide you with peace of mind in the long run...

Love and Hugs from Glenda
I am sorry to hear of your Mom's diagnosis. I do have experience with hormone therapy - with my Father who had prostate cancer. I know with his hormone therapy it was NOT a cure, but it did slow down the growth of the cancer cells, to where he lived for 8 years until the "cancer" got "smart" and became hormone refractory, then it was just pretty much downhill from there. My Mother who had breast cancer 9 years ago, took tamoxifen, for 5 years (that is typically the longest you can stay on that medicine). The tamoxfin is just used as a "preventive" to help decrease the "chances" of the cancer re-occurring, although it does have some side effects. I "personally" have not heard of hormone therapy for cancer that was everywhere, but I would find out more information from your Doctor. If it can slow the growth of the cancer cells for a period of time to keep it at bay (so to say), then it very well may be worth the expense, especially if the side effects from the treatment are minimum. Neither my Mother NOR my Father did chemo, so I do agree with your Mother's age and health issues, that is a good choice, as chemo can really take a lot out of even a healthy person with full mental capacities. If you find out the kind of hormonal therapy the Doctor is recomending I may be able to offer some more advice or at least you can "research" the specific therapy. God Bless, Janet
Dearest Bridget:
My heart certainly goes out to you, knowing what you have been through and now are going through.
I'm sorry I can't give you any information on hormone therapy for cancer. Bridget, follow your instincts. You said you would rather spend what money is left on pain meds for mom and I believe you are absolutey right. With a diagnosis of Alzheimer's and now cancer throughout, I believe the most loving thing you can do is to try to keep her comfortable and pain free. Have you contacted Hospice? Again, I don't have experience with Hospice, but from what I've read here at the posts, they can be extremely helpful and do administer pain meds. Dear Bridget, I will keep you in my prayers,

Please consider contacting hospice. We entered the hospice program in February for my mom who has end-stage COPD. I can tell you that the hospice staff are absolute angels. The primary mission of hospice is to help keep the patient as comfortable as possible during the final stages of life. They do not attempt to cure a patient, but do keep in close contact with the doctor to ensure that the proper meds are ordered and administered.

If a patient needs a hospital bed, wheelchair, walker, bed-side comode, hospice will provide those things. Hospice also provides a social worker, CNA, and chaplain.

Getting started can be rather overwhelming, but once a routine is in place, it's a God-send. They not only provide care for the patient, but the primary caregiver and family as well.

You are in my prayers, and take care.


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