Symptoms of End of Life?

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Symptoms of End of Life?

by ia_Girl on Mon Dec 05, 2005 12:00 AM

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Hello - I've read several of the message strings & it's not clear to me if there are any consistent sypmptoms that help one recognize the end is near with pc patients? My dad, age 63, was diagnosed on 11/2/04. He went through several months of Gemcitobin, but developed an "allergy" to the chemo. About the same time, they installed stints in his bile ducts. A few days after coming home from the hospital, he was looking jaundiced again. A return to the hospital showed the stint had a kink in it & it had to be replaced. He took a 2 week low dose of Xeloda in the beginning of November. The cancer markers are the same as before. He expressed a desire to start a second dose of the Xeloda, but his appetite declined in the past couple weeks. He was finally admitted to the hospital with extreme confusion, nausea & vomiting and constipation. He was impacted and had a severe electrolyte imbalance. After a few days in the hospital and a potassium drip, he was walking again & making sense. Now after 3 days at home, he's confused again and not eating. He says it hurts his stomach to drink. How do you know when it's time to bring hospice in? We've had so many close calls in the past year, stroke, pneumonia, falls on ice & in the bathtub. The Drs. were pushing hospice in August after his stints were installed and the Gemcitobin "allergy" developed. After an interview with Hospice nurses, they decided it wasn't time yet. Dad's managed to bounce back so many times, but he's down to 150 lbs now. Like so many of you who've written, I live 10 hours away from my folks. I feel so helpless. We've been blessed with so many good times this year, despite Dad's diagnosis. It's so hard to know if I need to go or not. I'd appreciate any perspective on what the end looks like. Thanks, Lois

Symptons of End of Life?

by Tambar on Mon Dec 05, 2005 12:00 AM

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I've tried to get info on this too. My husband is stage IV pancreatic cancer and he's loosing more and more weight. Getting weaker & having more trouble with everything. I feel that his time is near but I don't know. I asked the doctor what to look for and he told me that 'now isn't the time to worry. I'll tell you when it's time.' My daughter's friends' mom was walking, talking, eating (a little) and was gone the next day. Good luck in finding out what the symptons are - I've struck out.

Near The End

by Willie on Wed Dec 07, 2005 12:00 AM

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One can never say when is the end. My husband lost weight did not have and appetite. His electrolytes and potassium was off just to name a few. Your loved one will not pass from the cancer, but more of a respiratory problem like pnemonia. I only had two days with hospice, but they continued to check on me after my husband passed. If I was you I would contact another hospital. If you feel you don't need them you cancel. They have alot of information that can help you prepare for the end of life. I don't know if you are spiritual, but God giveth life and he takes it away. No matter how bad things may look in a second, minute or hour it can change. There was days, I was scared to go to sleeps thinking my husband would not make it through the night. When the time came I knew. I was able to tell him I loved him and everything was going to be all right. When I look up he shut his eyes. That was a special moment for both of us. He knew I would be okay and he was taken away from all the pain. Cydney --- Message edited by CancerCompass staff: for personal protection, phone number removed. Please review CancerCompass Member Guidelines at http://www.cancercompass.com/common/guidelines.html --- if you need to talk. I lost my mother in law from cancer the month before my husband. My mother also has it and I took care of her and my husband together.

Hospice

by Heart on Thu Dec 08, 2005 12:00 AM

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I had our grandmother put in hospice asap. it is a wonderful service and provides an extra free eye on the patient. If your doctors say its nearing the end (6mths) or less than Id take the serice up on thier offer. In my granmothers case being in a nursing home it was a plesure for her to have a caring nurse looking after her. Im sorry that you must be in this aweful position! All my Best, Deb

End of Life

by Ann_F_1 on Thu Dec 08, 2005 12:00 AM

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Hi, My husband of age 48 just passed away Oct. 13 of pancreas cancer. He was giving 5 months to live and he lived 2 1/2 years. I always worried about losing him. Well, we had a good 2 years. He fought the cancer with a great attitude and trust in God. My husband would tell me God wasn't ready for him yet. Well, about 2 weeks before he passed away he told me that God was ready for him and that he was worried about me. He said he was ready to go but he wanted to make sure I was going to be alright. About a week before he passed away he quit eating, slept alot, had a hard time taking medicines, The last few days he constantly was vomiting, lost control of his bowels and for the first time ever he turned real yellow. The Oncologists let us know it was time for hospice. They were great! I let my husband know it was alright to let go and I would be alright. He kissed me twice and said thank you. Within hours he was gone. I miss him dearly but I know he is in a better place. If you need to know anything else please feel free to email me. God Bless, Ann

End of Life

by Susan_i on Fri Dec 09, 2005 12:00 AM

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My husband passed away last week. We didn't get to use hospice as he was in the hospital when he died. However, we talked to the doctors about hospice. From what they told me hospice will come in at any point as long as you have agreed to stop treating the cancer and are only doing palliative measures (to make the patient's days comfortable). I was told they won't even give TPN which is a nutrition bag because it only prolongs the inevitable. As long as you are at that point where there are no other treatments you are trying you can bring in Hospice. Also, my understanding is that it doesn't mean you will get a nurse to help take care of your Dad. They are just there for support for the caregiver and will come check on you and him several times a day or once a week depending on how sick your Dad is. I would definitely call Hospice as soon as possible so they can give you some of this information. I wish you and your Dad the best.

Final Days

by Lizzie on Tue Dec 27, 2005 12:00 AM

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I like you am looking for the signs. My father(age 79) had emergency surgery on 11/15/05 and it was discovered that he was in the final stages of pancreatic cancer.Treatment is really not an option at this point. We have him home and we are making him as comfortable as possible. We are just watching him get thinner and thinner. The cancer is absolutely everywhere.... Dad wants to die at home and we will see how much we can handle. Our doctor says that if it get to be too much we will do hospice. Luckily I am 8 minutes from my parents house. I know this is really hard on my mother. Would like to stay in touch and hear from anybody. My only sister died from melanoma 6 1/2 years ago...so this is a terrible shock for all of us. Looking back Dad had all the symptoms since last April. He said he thought that he would just get better until the tumor blocked his stomach and he now has a stoma. Any advice or thoughts? LIZ

Pancreatic Cancer

by Buhla on Thu Dec 29, 2005 12:00 AM

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Liz; Get hospice as soon as possible. Your father is dying and they will make things easier for everyone. I promise. My husband died at age 56 of esophageal cancer in October. He went on hospice in late August and sat on the chair and answered all their questions. Would not know he was about 6 weeks from death. Looked good and except for fatigue and some loss of appetite, felt good. So, please hurry. You won't regret it. Good luck. Linda

Pancreatic Cancer

by Carrieg on Sun Sep 03, 2006 12:00 AM

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Hello. My grandfather was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer recently. The first found Cancer in his liver, but they knew it was not actually Liver Cancer but a secondary source of another cancer. They just found out that he has Pancreatic Cancer and was given about 2 months to live. He has been throwing up and is on Reglan to prevent this. I don't believe he is losing weight yet, but he's in a lot of chest, back and side pain. He urinates a lot more frequently than he should. I've always been close to my grandfather - I don't want him to be in constant pain. I know this cancer is painful. I just wanted to know what I should look for at the very end? I'm kind of the patient/understanding one in the family and I'll need to break the news lightly to the rest. I'm pretty sure it's near the end now, but I'm not sure how close. My grandfather doesn't know how long he has left, but he does knwo that the cancer is terminal and inoperable. He said that he didn't know what to do with the news... any advise? Thank you so much for all of your help!

RE: Pancreatic Cancer

by paknplay on Sat Mar 21, 2009 12:00 AM

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My Mom is currently in hospice with cancer in her lung, liver and bones.  She is 81 and was diagnosed 4 months ago.  They tried chemo, radiation, and Tarceva (for a month).  We now wish we had never tried the drug route on her as it had the usual horrible effects.  We started hospice 10 days ago and it is excellent.  They manage her pain, which is the most important thing to my Dad and me.  They also provide a booklet with information on what the body goes through during the last 90 days of life (typically).  They prepare you for your loved ones death and they are available to you 24/7.  I'm staying with my Dad now until Mom passes and we both thank hospice every day for the service they provide to us.

Good luck and God bless you.

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