Together we will beat cancer


Probable life expectancy, stage 4 kidney cancer

27 Jun 2017 08:48

Good morning all,

I was hoping someone could give me and my family an answer to a question that the doctors seem to be unable to give.

My nan is 82 and a week ago was diagnosed with stage 4 Kidney Cancer. Main mass is left kidney with spread to the liver and lungs.

She was originally taken in because of dehydration caused by not drinking enough during the very hot weather. She vomited (containing 'coffee grinds') before paramedics attended her and this was related to them when they arrived and they decided it would be best to take her in.

The blood in her vomit and a recent history of steady weight loss (although at 4ft 11in and at 9 stone, still not underweight) caused the medical staff to start looking further into her case and a CT scan revealed her cancer.

We are now only a week in and the decision has been made to administer only palliative care.

She also, at the moment, has pneumonia which appears to be getting better, but also kidney failure, which according to the doctors is because of the contrast fluid they injected for the CT scan.

Conversation yesterday suggested that when she gets discharged, if her needs can be met with up to 4 visits a day from Ellenor nurses (a local terminal illness care charity) then she will go home. If not she will be discharged to hospice care.

We keep asking the doctors, how long do we have left together, but no one will give a time. We aren't looking for a date! Just a rough weeks, months or possibly years?

Does anyone have any thoughts they can share from similar experience?



Probable life expectancy, stage 4 kidney cancer

27 Jun 2017 16:36 in response to Mike54


I'm so sorry to hear about your poor nan. 

I can't offer real solid advice as such but I can help you in my own way with what I know. Doctors don't always like giving time scales because they are often just guesses going by overall statistics of others who have the same type of cancer etc. And if they were to give you a rough indication, they could be totally wrong. My dad who is 65 is 'terminal.' And all I know from the word terminal is that it is usually given to someone with 6 months or less to live. However this doesn't mean thats all they will have, many still go on to live many years even with a terminal diagnosis. My Dad also has Ellenor nurses in to visit him and is also allowed a nurse two nights a week which can be useful for the main carer which is my mum.