How long can he live without eating?

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How long can he live without eating?

by 1stdaughterinlaw on Sun May 04, 2008 12:00 AM

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My father-in-law is in the last stages of Stage IV gallbladder cancer with mets to the stomach and liver.  He is severely jaudiced and cannot walk without assistance.  My father-in-law has now stopped eating.    It has been five days since he ate a bite of food.   He is drinking very little and his urine looks like rust.   He says his stomach hurts but that's the only pain he has, except for his toes being very sore (I don't understand this at all).  He sleeps all the time now and my husband said he blacked out 4 times this morning while trying to go to the bathroom.    How long can he last with no food and very little liquids? 

 Somebody please help.   I am so worried.  I can't stand the thought of him starving to death.  

RE: How long can he live without eating?

by NewYorkCity on Sun May 04, 2008 12:00 AM

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Call his doctor immediately - they can give him nutrients through I.V.

 

RE: How long can he live without eating?

by Shemay on Sun May 04, 2008 12:00 AM

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My sister was in hospital when she was in the end stages of her cancer. One day I noticed they had removed her IV and then they told us to not give her anything at all to drink.... no water....nothing. We could only put a tiny piece of chipped ice in her mouth if she begged for a drink. She was unconcious most of the time but she did come to once in a while just to ask for the ice. When we asked the nurses how long she had to live we were told that without water she would die within three days and mercifully she did. There was no sign that she suffered at all.

On 5/4/2008 1stdaughterinlaw wrote:

My father-in-law is in the last stages of Stage IV gallbladder cancer with mets to the stomach and liver.  He is severely jaudiced and cannot walk without assistance.  My father-in-law has now stopped eating.    It has been five days since he ate a bite of food.   He is drinking very little and his urine looks like rust.   He says his stomach hurts but that's the only pain he has, except for his toes being very sore (I don't understand this at all).  He sleeps all the time now and my husband said he blacked out 4 times this morning while trying to go to the bathroom.    How long can he last with no food and very little liquids? 

 Somebody please help.   I am so worried.  I can't stand the thought of him starving to death.  


RE: How long can he live without eating?

by eggbert on Sun May 04, 2008 12:00 AM

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On 5/4/2008 1stdaughterinlaw wrote:

My father-in-law is in the last stages of Stage IV gallbladder cancer with mets to the stomach and liver.  He is severely jaudiced and cannot walk without assistance.  My father-in-law has now stopped eating.    It has been five days since he ate a bite of food.   He is drinking very little and his urine looks like rust.   He says his stomach hurts but that's the only pain he has, except for his toes being very sore (I don't understand this at all).  He sleeps all the time now and my husband said he blacked out 4 times this morning while trying to go to the bathroom.    How long can he last with no food and very little liquids? 

 Somebody please help.   I am so worried.  I can't stand the thought of him starving to death.  


My uncle had lung cancer and his IV's were removed and he was basically starving to death, although the cancer is what was killing him and did, but eventually the family told the doctor to put the IV back in so they did and he did die about 1 week later.  As far as suffering, my uncle wasn't able to talk in the end, but when you love someone you don't want to see them suffer.  I know as someone whose husband has peri ampullary cancer Stage IV, if he would ever get to this, I would be completely clear that he would be on IV fluids until the good Lord decided to take him. 

 

RE: How long can he live without eating?

by 1stdaughterinlaw on Thu May 08, 2008 12:00 AM

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Thanks to everyone who replied.  My father-in-law has now gone over a week with no food and is now drinking very little liquids.  He is at home with Hospice coming every other day.  He does not want to go to the hospital nor does he want an IV.   I am so worried that he is suffering, as he is now talking out of his head and cannot stand on his own.  He is so weak that it takes several people just to get him out the bed to go to the restroom.  I know God is still in control and He will take him home when it is his time.  But I can't stand to see him suffering.   He is such a proud man and for his children to have to help him to the bathroom..... well, I know he would not want this.  Please, everyone, keep our family in your prayers.  He has so many people that love him and would want him to stay here if he were getting better, but no one wants to see him suffer like this. 

RE: How long can he live without eating?

by Ausgang on Fri Sep 12, 2008 12:00 AM

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My heart goes out to you.  I watched my father go without food or water for a week to ten days--his desire was not to have his life prolonged through artificial means, if he couldn't recover from congestive heart failure.  He choked on any liquid and had to have numerous lung therapy (tube down his nose to remove the fluids from his lungs) which was very invasive.

Ativan and morphine and 24 hr. watch with one member of the family always with him was how we managed.  I know his care was better as someone was always with him.  He was comfortable and had no worries-at 88-passed quietly while I was with him.  It was hard on the family but hopefully he was comfortable each day due to meds.  

RE: How long can he live without eating?

by countryman on Wed Feb 03, 2010 07:37 PM

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On May 04, 2008 12:00 AM 1stdaughterinlaw wrote:

My father-in-law is in the last stages of Stage IV gallbladder cancer with mets to the stomach and liver.  He is severely jaudiced and cannot walk without assistance.  My father-in-law has now stopped eating.    It has been five days since he ate a bite of food.   He is drinking very little and his urine looks like rust.   He says his stomach hurts but that's the only pain he has, except for his toes being very sore (I don't understand this at all).  He sleeps all the time now and my husband said he blacked out 4 times this morning while trying to go to the bathroom.    How long can he last with no food and very little liquids? 

 Somebody please help.   I am so worried.  I can't stand the thought of him starving to death.  

A person can live without food for quite some time, usually for many weeks. The body will use its fat and protein stores (muscles) to help it survive. If a person has a lot of fat stores (is very heavy), they will live longer than a person who has very little fat (very thin), so how long a person can survive depends a lot of the person. Of course, if you go without food for a few weeks, you will be very weak since you have been using your own muscles for energy. Water is a different story. A person will die within 3-4 days without water. The size of the person really doesn't make much difference.

If you need support let me know.

Sincerely,

Brandon

RE: How long can he live without eating?

by a777chance on Tue Apr 06, 2010 07:27 PM

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Hi .. I am sure I am too late as this was posted 2 years ago .. However, for the rest of your family and friends ... I don't get anything for this but Tanya Harter Pierce wrote 'outsmart your cancer' - she has the second edition out with a cd noting case histories of person recovered or recovering. Having been in the medical field and upon entering I expected way too much .. we are not as advanced as I anticipated. Tanya wrote her first book while I had already started and had gathered too much information. I was going to write one similar but she did it so much better and I have had such poor health I still am not online with other books I wrote intially back in they 70's ...

The information in her book is accurate and most useful and I believe can help relieve a lot of suffering -- I pray this helps your familyt and others ..

RE: How long can he live without eating?

by mamasgirl_1 on Thu Jun 03, 2010 05:26 AM

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well lets be realistic.... 3 without water and 30 w/o food.... dont think of him as starving to death sweet heart...... do you have hospice or hosparus involved?

RE: How long can he live without eating?

by BusyPerson on Sat Jul 10, 2010 08:38 PM

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My relative has latter part of stage 4 ovarian cancer metastisized.  She has not eaten more than a few bites of applesause mixed with meds or cereal a day, for over a month.   She does drink a cup or so of water everyday. She cannot eat much as it makes her sick to her stomach or very full after two bites.

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