What to expect..they say nothing else they can do??

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What to expect..they say nothing else they can do??

by Snapda9 on Fri Oct 12, 2007 12:00 AM

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Hi,

My father has been fighting cancer for a little over 4 years.  Started out as rectal/colon cancer.  My question is that everything that they have tried, he has had really bad reactions to.  The doctors just told him today that they don't have anything else that they can offer him.  They checked with the Mayo and another place in Madison Wis about if they had any trails going on.  They both said that they would not reccommend this for him!  They said that his enzymes have massive activity in his liver and lungs.  We also know that the cancer had already spread to his lungs, liver and spine, besides already being in his colon/rectum.  

What should we expect for time line of time left?  The doctors were going to call Hospice and get everything set up so when we need to call them we could.  He has lost all of his taste buds, his skin color is grey, eyes are jandice color.  He's not eating alot.  The doctors have given him something to take in the morning that he mixes with a drink to take to help him with his appetite.   He does well for a couple of hours in the morning then as the day goes on, he steadly gets worse...tired, weak, sleeps on and off all afternoon into the evening hours.  Only sleeping from about 11pm-2am.  Has alot of pain in the top part of his liver..they say there is a tumor there.  He can't sleep unless his is on his back.   What do you think is going to happen next.  If anyone has any suggestions or what the next stages are, please let me know. 

Many thanks,

Laura

RE: What to expect..they say nothing else they can do??

by Njtwinmom on Fri Oct 12, 2007 12:00 AM

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Laura~

Hospice is a wonderful thing!

They will literally walk you through every step, and be there for all Dad's needs, and many of you and the rest of the families needs as well.

Take this time to gather around him, to spend time with him, and to make his time left here a quality time filled with the love only a good family can provide.

I am so sorry you have to go through this.  I did it with both of my Grandparents, and although it is tragic, none the less, it is also a time to love and be loved, by family and freinds.

 You are in my prayers.

Beth~~

RE: What to expect..they say nothing else they can do??

by Cptmac on Fri Oct 12, 2007 12:00 AM

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Hospice is a great place.  You can either have hospice come to your home, or their are some great facilities.  A friend of mine is in hospice from Colon Cancer.  It's like a nice big apartment.  He can even have his dog with him.  It's a lot nicer than the apartment I moved out of 5 years ago. 

I'll keep you in my prayers. 

RE: What to expect..they say nothing else they can do??

by Sfoxly on Fri Oct 12, 2007 12:00 AM

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My mother passed away on August 22nd (2007) at the age of 86 from colon cancer.  She had been diagnosed in February of 2006.  At that time, a section of her transverse colon was removed but it was found that the cancer had spread to her lymph nodes.

She was put on Xeloda and within two weeks, her entire blood system went haywire.  They had to stop treatment immediately and she spent the next full year going through weekly blood and platelet transfusions.  In the meantime, the cancer grew and spread.  In April of 2007, her oncologist told all of us he didn't expect her to live through June, but she did and with the help of Presbyterian Hospice of Charlotte, we were able to put on her last one-woman art show on June 10th.  The show energized her tremendously and she could walk until about the second or third week in July.  At that time, we moved her into my brother's home and Hospice as well as a full time caregiver looked after her.  She became permanently bedridden toward the end of July and she began sleeping most of the time.  She had morphine but surprisingly she didn't need much of it.  The last several days, she became weaker and weaker and on the last day of her life, she couldn't raise her head from the pillow nor speak anymore.  We were all there when she died peacefully in her sleep in the early morning hours. 

I'm truly sorry for your father.  Just let him know you love him everyday that he's still with you (I'm sure you're already doing that).  Make sure he's comfortable and out of pain and touch him to let him know you are there.

P.S.  I'm a rectal cancer survivor myself.  I went through chemotherapy, radiation and major abdominal surgery in 2005.  Thankfully, the surgeons removed all that was left of the (apparently) stage 1 rectal tumor.

RE: What to expect..they say nothing else they can do??

by millyele on Fri Oct 12, 2007 12:00 AM

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So sorry to hear about your father.  I just lost my mom 4 weeks ago to colon cancer.  Dhe had her last treatment (vectibex) in January.  She didn't tolerate it wll.  She had a horrible rash with blisters all over her body.  She had exhausted all other forms of therapy (she's been battling this for 7 years at the time).  So doctors continued with radiation up until 1 month prior to her death.  Up to then, the tumors (it was in lungs and in brain) were shrinking.  But when even radiation stopped working, she deteriorated pretty fast.  The way you describe your father reminds me of her.  She slept most of the time.  The last week was agonizing though.  She lost her ability to speak and stopped eating by then.  She didn't have pain, but was given meds to treat the anxiety.  Luckily, she went away peacefully surrounded by her entire family.

May God help you during this difficult time.

RE: What to expect..they say nothing else they can do??

by Mindybobo on Sat Oct 13, 2007 12:00 AM

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Hi first of all im sorry to hear about your dad.  I to wondered when my dad was at end of life what to expect.  I was so scared.  Like other people said.  They will get weaker and weaker as the days and weeks go on.  They will sleep alot.  They will need help walking into the bathroom.  They will eat less and less and then around the last week they usually dont at at all.  The last week my dad said very little and slept alot.  The last day of his life he was not concious and we just sat by his bed and held his hand and then he took his last breath.  All I can say is spend as much time with him. Make sure he is comfortable.  Give him all the pain meds he needs to stay comfortable.  My dad was on oxycotin, morphine.  Also we put our dad on a antianxiety pill because he was so scared and at night he could not sleep.  Hospice will be a great help to you.  Im sorry you have to go thorough this.  Mindy

RE: What to expect..they say nothing else they can do??

by Snapda9 on Sun Oct 14, 2007 12:00 AM

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Thanks everyone for all of your comments and prayers.  I really appreciate it.  Just found out on Friday when we got my Dad home that Hospice is coming on Monday.  They called us about an hour after his appointment.  that was really quick.  This also makes me wonder how much time he really has left??   He is being a little difficult over the weekend here.  He's eatting a little bit, but isn't taking any pain meds until right befor he goes to bed.  He is taking some Aleve but he says that isn't working.  I keep trying to tell him to take the stuff the doctors are giving him, but he says that he doesn't like the way it makes him feel.  He has been complaining more about the pain in his liver and when it shoots pain he lets out a pretty loud groan.  I hope when Hospice comes on Mon that they will see this and maybe they can get him to change his mind on the meds.  I just hate to see him suffer so much. 

thanks again for all of your thoughts and prayers!

laura

RE: What to expect..they say nothing else they can do??

by Snapda9 on Sun Oct 14, 2007 12:00 AM

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I forgot to ask...does anyone know more about when the doctors say"  the emyzines are showing massive activity in the liver and lungs?" 

thanks again,

laura

RE: What to expect..they say nothing else they can do??

by Mindybobo on Mon Oct 15, 2007 12:00 AM

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Hi, I hope Hospice can talk your dad into taken the pain meds.  Thats so important that he is comfortable.  Sometimes when they first get the news there reaction is anger.  Hopefully that will change and he will cooperate and take the pain meds.  Im so sorry you and your dad have to go through this.  I went through it with my dad last year and it was the hardest thing I ever had to do in life.  If you ever have any questions please feel free to ask me.  Mindy
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