Thank you all. Unfortunately my dad passed early this morning. The whole family was able to be there with him. I am so glad he is no longer suffering. This cancer is the worst
The post I was dreading....my wonderful daddy left us this morning at 9:55 am, 3 months after being diagnosed.The whole family was with him as he drew his last breath. He took a turn for the worst Friday evening & never regained consciousness. My sister mom & I sat with him throughout the night for fear that he would be alone when he passed. We do believe he heard all our words and was very peaceful at the end.Hospice was great, provided us with 2 different meds for the agitation as well as morphine drops & liquid drops to dry up extra secretions. As sad as we are to have this finality we are so grateful he is out of pain & misery. Please pray for my mom, she has been such a rock and I am so proud of her. Thank you all for the support you have shown on this wonderful site. God bless you all who are either suffering from this dreadful cancer or have relatives who are
Dad has been home on Hospice exactly one month. The last 2 days he has become more "out of it" just staring off, quiet. Yesterday morning he got the Rigors again then started to become agitated. The hospice nurse came over & checked him out. His blood pressure was low 90 over 56 & Heart rate up over 90. She gave him some Ativan & liquid morphine that seemed to calm him down. We gathered the whole family to the house and just stayed with him throughout the rest of the day..he seemed to be doing better late afternoon, we all watched the Angels baseball game & told stories, dad became animated & involved. It's as if he had this new spurt of energy ! He woke up from a long nap than around 9:00 pm he started to become agitated again. We gave him more Ativan & liquid morphine but it got worse. He then soiled himself & was talking gibberish & hallucinating. Hospice came over around midnight ( they are so great) and gave him more drops. They said his agitation was a sign of pain & discomfort. He had a temperature of 101 so she gave him a Tylenol suppository. Also ended up putting a diaper on him. His bp was even lower & heart rate up very high. She said she thought he would pass this weekend. We are all just so scared. He seemed to be doing fine then so suddenly turned the corner. As much as I don't want him to go, I hate seeing him suffer like this. How long will this stage last? We all gathered in his room telling him we loved him what a great father/ husband is & that its ok to go. This is all just so hard
Thank you everyone for your kind words of support, prayers & well wishes. Dad is set up at home we met with Hospice nurse yesterday who went over all his meds & needs & he seems to be in a good place both physically & mentally. I'm not fooling myself, as I know he won't be this good for long but trying to spend as much time together reliving memories etc. I think the hardest day was him having to talk with my 16 yr old son whom he has a special bond with. My son Jake knows he's terminal as does the whole family but dad insists on talking to all the grand kids separately & having his one on one time with everyone. Being a 16 yr old boy with hormones is hard enough but witnessing him breakdown was so sad. I'm now having to look forward to my daughter who is in college out of state & coming home Friday for spring break. Last she saw her "Papa" was Christmas when he was healthy with maybe a case of shingles. She has missed out on all the hospital excursions, chemo/ radiation etc so for her it's going to be difficult to come home & see a totally different person (not to mention 35 lbs lighter) She is only home for a week than must fly back to school so most likely this will be her last visit with him...My oldest son is in the process of applying to medical schools trying to follow in the footsteps of his papa & while he knows he won't be around to see him graduate his hope was that he would still be here for his "White coat ceremony".... Alas it doesn't look that will happen either Well here I go rambling on again, just so many thoughts & feelings going in a million different directions UGH!!!!!!!
So what began as what we thought was shingles in December to possible pinched nerve in early january then became bile duct cancer in mid January....than 10 rounds of radiation to try & shrink the tumor on the spine causing the initial pain, 2 rounds of chemo, a couple hospital stays to this last Friday when dad was ready to give up... Long story short we took him to his GI on Friday afternoon because he was feeling as if his whole body was done. We thought maybe his stents were getting infected as it had been 7 weeks since placement & he kept getting rigors,shakes, fevers than complete body sweats. The Dr wanted to admit him to do some ct scans as well as blood transfusions as he was very anemic. Dad insisted on going home first to "take care of business, financial etc" I think he knew...anyway once hooked up to IV with fluids, blood transfusions, antibiotics & pain meds he was feeling much better. Problem was the cancer has an agenda of its own & tests revealed that the mets in his lungs had grown & his blood counts were not healthy enough to continue chemo. We then learned that the chemo itself was "palliative" not curative. It was then that dad decided he didn't want anymore false hopes or sugar coating & asked the Dr for his prognosis. She said maybe 2 months give or take so he said he was done with all the chemo meds etc & tomorrow when he gets discharged from hospital he will start Hospice. My mom, sister, husband & older son were there to discuss the process with the hospice team but we are still so frightened & shocked with it all. It just still seems like we are living a nightmare waiting to wake up. I follow this forum addictively & I now relate so much to all the feelings, thought & fears. I just don't know what to say (((
So the latest update on my dad....it's been 6 and half weeks since plastic stent was placed. He did 10 rounds of radiation for the tumor on his t-1. He had his first session of chemo Gemzar/Cisplatin - 2 weeks in a row for 4-5 hours each Wednesday. So far no nausea but VERY weak & tired. Zero appetite, has lost 35 lbs since mid January. His biggest problem seems to be the night sweats, some nights soaking through 6 t-shirts!! I believe this is making him very dehydrated adding to his weakness. His urine is VERY dark! He has passed out twice and his blood pressure dropped to 80 over 60 last Tuesday. This was his off week of chemo but dr had him go in for infusion of liquids etc. took him home but he still seemed weak tired very little food intake. Last night my mom called around 9:45 pm saying his fever had spiked again it was over 102.7 we called Dr & they said to take him to ER but he was do weak he couldn't stand without collapsing so we called 911. Long story short they took more blood labs, hooked him up to IV again for more fluids and also stronger antibiotics. He takes both cipro & flagyl by pill form but they gave him stronger dose in IV. By the time we got home it was 4 in the morning and he still is very weak, tired not much food intake. What we are trying to figure out is all this a result of the cancer? The chemo? The stent ? The medicines? Or all if the above?? I read these posts religiously and my dad seems so weak compared to many who are still able to work etc. Is his cancer just progressing that much faster? We know he has mets in his spine & lungs, his CA 19-9 tumor marker was 2346 but other than the fevers and weakness he has no jaundice itching or pain in his stomach area. he does still have pain from the tumor on the spine which he takes morphine for. is it even worth putting him through chemo? The saddest part is both he & my mom don't realize the severity of this cancer, my mom keeps referencing when the chemo cures it they will do this & that.....none of us kids have the heart to tell her differently. She wants only positive thoughts around them ugh this is just so very frustrating, I'm sorry for the long post.... Just needed to vent a bit
Re: Odd question that no doctors have an answer for (28 replies, posted in General Discussion)
Thank you for the replies. When I put in hiccups in the search it all talks about chemo being a cause. Well my dad hasn't started chemo yet. He's undergone 7 treatments of radiation and is on pain meds & antibiotics but that is all. He did have 2 stents put in a week ago Tuesday so maybe that could be contributing. Another condition since coming home from the hospital on Wednesday is that he wakes up soaking wet from night sweats. Again my search says chemo can cause this, but could it also be the morphine? So far no jaundice, thank god but he does look a bit pale. Thanks again for all the replies, this website has become my new addiction
Topic: Odd question that no doctors have an answer for (28 replies, posted in General Discussion)
My dad who was recently diagnosed with CC has been experiencing hiccups several times a day. Nobody seems to know why this is happening. Has anybody else experienced this side effect?
Re: Dad just diagnosed, feel like i'm having a nightmare (6 replies, posted in Introductions!)
So we met with oncologist GI specialist & radiologist. The best scenario for dad would have been a liver transplant but he is not a candidate for that due to the mets on his T-1 and in his lungs. The cancer in his bile ducts is also very high up & evidently hard to access . He is staged 4 at this point. They want to continue the radiation on the tumor in the t-1. He has had 5 treatments & will receive 6 more. He then will see the oncologist in about 3 weeks where they will administer a cocktail of 2 different chemosynthesis via IV then the following week administer just one of the chemo then evaluate the following week after that to see how he's reacting. The good news is that he may be able to come home from hospital now that his infection seems under control. They are waiting on doing the other stent procedure until really necessary sine his labs are looking much better....bilirubin now down to 2.6 from 3.3 yesterday & liver labs way lower than when he came into hospital on jan 23. White blood cell count lower too There's some cracks of light at the end of this tunnel!!
Topic: Dad just diagnosed, feel like i'm having a nightmare (6 replies, posted in Introductions!)
As stated above, my dad was just diagnosed this week and our family feels like we are in a nightmare that we can't wake up from. It all began about 3 months ago when my very healthy, active 74 year old father got this pain in the right shoulder blade. He went to Dr. who diagnosed Shingles. He was put on shingle meds and anti-inflamatories and sent home. We thought it odd that he didn't have tell tale rash but were told sometimes shingles is like that. He also did receive the shingles shot years ago so were surprised at this diagnoses. Anyway the pain seemed to be getting worse and earlier this month he started thinking that maybe it was a pinched nerve as the pain started radiating down his arm. He is a retired dentist and has arthritis in his neck...occupational hazzard. He went back to Dr. and they did an x-ray of the area of pain. x-ray showed weird looking mass so they decided to do an MRI to get a better look. MRI showed definite mass and decided to do bone scan. Bone scan revealed tumor and here begins our nightmare... We are fortunate to have doctor friends and radiologists who expedited all these tests as we were able to get these results all in a matter of one week. Meantime my dads pain became relentless to the point of taking him to ER Saturday before last. They hooked him up to iv game him morphine for pain and after doing more cts, and pets discovered that he has very small nodules (metasticies) in both lungs, the tumor on his T-1 which is pressing on the nerve causing all the pain and lesions around his bile ducts. He was admitted to hospital and underwent endoscopy last Tuesday where they were able to get good lab swabs as well as insert 2 plastic stents. He came home Wednesday still in pain but on lots of meds but for 2 nights had terrible shakes and would wake up freezing and shaking. Friday morning my mom called me frantic that dad could not stop shaking and his temperature was up to 102. Fortunately I live 5 mins away so I ran over to help her, we called Dr. who said to take dad back to ER as they were concerned that he may be having an infection due to the stents. We were told this is a possibility before they were put in. They readmitted in to ICU and gave him heavy duty antibiotics through IV. His kidneys were working overtime and showing distress as well as possible liver abscess. They are now trying to decide whether to go back and put a couple of metal stents in but wanted to make sure his infection is under control first. Heres the thing, to look at dad you would think he is healthy, fit etc. Color is great, no jaundice in face or eyes. No pains in stomach area, normal bowls. Only symptoms are excruciating pain in shoulder/arm and a bit dehydration from saline in IV. His liver functions are now all great and his kidneys are back to normal. They had him fast last night in prep for another endoscopy/stent placement but this morning decided to put it off since his symptoms are stabilizing and why risk infection right? His biliruben was up to 3.9 but has now dropped to 3.2, everything for now seems to be going in right direction. He has received 4 treatments of radiation for the tumor in neck and met with radiologist who suggested waiting 3 weeks to start chemo when he is done with radiation and completely infection free. We are just at such a loss now and don't know if this is all good news, or is he a waiting time bomb. He and my mom are very close, best friends have done everything together. They have 2 big trips this summer already paid and planned , one to Europe, will this still be able to happen? Are we deluding ourselves? Sorry this is so long, my husband and I have spent countless nights researching this cancer on the internet and everything we've read seems so grim. Of course my mom still hangs on to hopes and cures, but she doesn't go on line to research all this info. I have 3 kids ages 22, 20 and 16 all very close to their grandpa, he has been so involved in their lives, we take many vacations together etc. Oldest just graduated college and is applying to Med School, dads only wish is to be there for his med school graduation. Daughter is a junior in college out of state and feels so helpless being away from all this... do we fly her down now? wait till absolutely necessary? She is coming home for spring break in March, we live in CA and she goes to school in WA, so not far. I feel like i'm just rambling now, so sorry, lots of thoughts and concerns going through my head as this is all so new... we always said we are so lucky because "cancer doesn't run in our family" that is until now. How are we supposed to act and feel around dad, trying to be strong but theres this big elephant in the room now