Wondering what to do?

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Wondering what to do?

by CAM0366 on Tue Oct 30, 2007 12:00 AM

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My father-in-law was diagnosed with stage IV EC in September and has recently been given a few weeks to a few months to live.  He is currently in a nursing home, and my family is trying to decide whether to bring him home or not.  The doctor has told us that his manner of death could be very traumatic if the tumor bursts.  I don't mean to sound morbid, but I was hoping people could share their experiences of how their loved ones died and if it was very difficult at the end.  Thanks.

RE: Wondering what to do?

by Kristennyc on Tue Oct 30, 2007 12:00 AM

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I would strongly consider Hospice. He will be kept comfortable, and lucid. They are caring, and attentive individuals and keep patients comfortable and out of pain until their time comes. Watching a loved one die is horrible, but my father was in hospice, and at least I didnt have to watch him die in pain. He was sedated most of the time. I felt that him dying there, gave him his dignity, and the treatment he deserved,

RE: Wondering what to do?

by CAM0366 on Tue Oct 30, 2007 12:00 AM

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On 10/30/2007 Kristennyc wrote:

I would strongly consider Hospice. He will be kept comfortable, and lucid. They are caring, and attentive individuals and keep patients comfortable and out of pain until their time comes. Watching a loved one die is horrible, but my father was in hospice, and at least I didnt have to watch him die in pain. He was sedated most of the time. I felt that him dying there, gave him his dignity, and the treatment he deserved,

Thank you for your reply Kristen.  We are defintely going to have Hospice, whether at home in in the nursing facility.  What I am wondering is if my mother-in-law and other family are going to be able to care for him at home and are going to be able to handle his passing.  The doctor told my sister-in-law that if the tumor bursts, he will spit up blood and die very traumatically.  I am worried about the effect this will have on everyone if it happens this way.  Is this typically the way and EC patient passes?

RE: Wondering what to do?

by allpoos on Tue Oct 30, 2007 12:00 AM

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CAM,

 If possible, bring him home.  It's so much more soothing to the patient to be in familiar surroundings.  You can contact Hospice for help.  God Bless and good luck.

RE: Wondering what to do?

by Kristennyc on Tue Oct 30, 2007 12:00 AM

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We all have our different opinions on home hospice, or hospice. I myself, strongly suggest hospice. I understand the feeling of needing familiar surroundings, but I know that it was too traumatic for my mother to take care of my father at home, and home hospice only provides services for 2-3 hours a day. In hospice, he will be attended to in every way possible. Pain management, changing of his bed, bathing, all things that will be very difficult to do at home. My mother and I brought family pictures, belongings, and other personal items to my fathers room at hospice. He will sleep alot in hospice, and be out of pain, and if something happens such as his tumor exploding, they will be able to clean him quickly, and attend to him medically. I do not think you or your mother want to have to deal with that type of trauma. You will feel so completely helpless, and it's best not to be in that situation when you are dealing with so much already.

RE: Wondering what to do?

by Debbyw67 on Tue Oct 30, 2007 12:00 AM

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Is the doctor you are referring to his oncologist?  I have never heard anyone mention the idea that the tumor may burst before and I have been on this and other EC boards since March.  My father died somewhat unexpectedly in the hospital in July.  He was admitted for pain management and constipation but it turned out that his systems were shutting down and he died of cardiac arrest.  He was stage IV with mets to liver, lungs and nodes.  His tumor in his esophagus was pretty big but none of his doctors ever mentioned that it might burst.  We were about to have hospice speak with my parents but never got that far.  I have heard wonderful things about hospice but I think the decision to do in home or in a facility is definitely subjective.  How much pain is your FIL having and how much care does he need?  How strong emotionally is your MIL and what are your FIL's requests?  I think they should be honored to the best of the families ability.

Good luck and I will pray for your father-in-law.

Debby

RE: Wondering what to do?

by Worriedsick on Tue Oct 30, 2007 12:00 AM

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I totally agree with Debby - so much depends on you FIL's abilities right now, your MIL, etc.  just like Debby stated.  I also agree with Debby in the sense that the doctor's approach seems rather odd.  My Dad died from the chemo, but, he was stage IV with tumors all through his thyroid gland and esophagus and no one ever mentioned that type of scenario to us.  Also, are the doctors not willing to give your Dad any palliative chemo and maybe ward off that exploding tumor thing?  Maybe a second opinion even if just be phone might give you some help in determining your FIL's situation and options.  At any rate, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family!  karen

RE: Wondering what to do?

by CAM0366 on Thu Nov 01, 2007 12:00 AM

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Thanks so much to everyone for your replies.  I really appreciate the input.  From what I understand, the reason the doctor is saying the tumor may burst, is because it is right on a blood vessel.  My father-in-law did have a series of radiation treatments in an attempt to shrink the tumor so a stent could be inserted, but they did not shrink it enough.  The Dr.did not feel that chemo was an option because his general health is very poor.  He has emphysema and also had Guillian-Barre two years ago.  As of now, my mother-in-law is planning on bringing him home when his paid days are up at the nursing facility which is in about a week.  She is going to have someone come in to help her care for him and then hospice when necessary.  So far he isn't in any pain.  I guess we will just take it day-by-day and see what happens.

RE: Wondering what to do?

by bowlingangel99 on Thu Nov 01, 2007 12:00 AM

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Actually, it may not be that the tumor itself may burst.  My stepgrandmother was just diagnosed with very endstage breast cancer and the concern with her tumor is that it may break loose and cause her to bleed to death.  But there is no possibility to treat it due to the progression of the tumor and her age and overall health.  So with the case of your FIL, it may not be necessarily a "bursting" but a breaking or dislodging that would cause internal bleeding and potentially be fatal.

RE: Wondering what to do?

by Yousuf96 on Mon Feb 11, 2013 05:52 AM

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Cam, I am sorry about your situation. I have been through it and am going through another situation right now. My mother died of Alzheimer's back in 2011, terrible disease. Hospice folks are great. I chose Hospice caveat my house, where DR physician would visit once a week and depending on the situation they provide nurses aide Monday through Fri as well as all the medicines and oxygen . It sounds difficult but you learn and at the end you are satisfied. Me and my four sisters were by my mothers bedside 24/7and you wouldn't get that at hospice facility. They will care for your loved ones but you won't be there. As for tumor bursting, it does happen. My brother in law is battling stage IV stomach cancer and he has no options it's end of life caring. He is at home with hospice kits and nurse. He has so many rumors, just yesterday one of his neck tumor burst. Yet he is eating , which he has not done in months .. As the nurses advised us that the end is near. Plz talk to your doctor n hospice folks they explain everything. God bless
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