Swelling of limbs - end stage questions?

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Swelling of limbs - end stage questions?

by LHART on Tue Jan 08, 2008 12:00 AM

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My grandfather (87) was diagnosed in October with PC.  He seems to be in the final stages.  He sleeps 99% of the day but can still be awoken to ask him if he needs anything or if he's in pain.  He says he is not in any pain right now.  He is on oral pain meds.  He has stopped eating.  His arms and legs are now swelling.  Why is this?  He is in a nursing home and is still under Hospice care, although they don't really tell us much.  The Hospice nurse only visits once a week.  At what point will they begin morphine?

RE: Swelling of limbs - end stage questions?

by Slinky on Thu Jan 10, 2008 12:00 AM

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Hi,

 My father also seems to be in the later stage of his Pancreas Cancer.  His right leg is swelling.  my father's cancer has now progressed into his liver.  I read that when the liver grows because of cancer that it can put some pressure on the arteries and veins, which impairs circulation, which can cause legs, arms to swell.  this is maybe what is happening to your father. 

best wishes, may your father leave without pain.

Slinky

RE: Swelling of limbs - end stage questions?

by worriedforthem on Thu Jan 10, 2008 12:00 AM

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I'm sorry to hear about your grandfather's condition.  My dad just recently passed away from pancreatic cancer.  Oddly enough, he didn't have any swelling of the limbs as i was expecting.  He did however, develop acites very badly toward the end.  My dad like your grandfather began to sleep more and more often, then his appetite faded.  He said he had an appetite, but then didn't eat when it was offerred to him.  As far as pain, my dad had very little. Up until his death he was only taking dilaudid every 4hrs at first and then the last few days we were giving it every 2hrs mostly to keep him sedated as his liver/kidneys were shutting down and he became confused. I swear to you even the day before dad died he was insisting he had no pain.  But when he moved in bed he would grimace, so we thought he was uncomfortable. His pulse remained normal so the nurses said that was a good indicator he wasn't having pain.  So i guess everyone is different when it comes to pain control.  I know the nurses in hospital were shocked to hear he wasn't taking more analgesics.  Maybe your grandfather is one of those people who truely doesn't have alot of pain.  It sounds like your grandfathers body is starting to shut down. The swelling is likely from his organs failing.  As far as how much time you have..I don't know for certain.  With my dad they didn't think he would make it the night, and then he lived for another three days.  Take care of yourself, i know how difficult a time this is. 
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