Topic: Please tell me I am doing the right thing....

My dad was diagnosed with Stage IV bile duct cancer last year.  Well he has taken a turn for the worse.  His urine output is only 150 mls per day, he has recurring ascites, can't eat, isn't sleeping well.  The doc says that his intestines are not working causing the intestine fluid to go into his stomach which he throws up...brown/green stuff.  He isn't eating.  His creatinine is 2.8 which the doc says his kidneys are going downhill.  He is more alert today after the parencenthesis. 

The decision was that he was going to hospice care in a nursing facility.  I feel guilty.  I have to take power of attorney he wants me to pay his bills.  This seems to be so technical and cold at this point.  Getting stuff ready for him to die.  The doc said his heartrate goes up (120) and bp goes down 70/39.  She says he doesn't have long (maybe days or weeks)...but again he perked up after the belly tap.  When I saw him last night and the nights before I thought he was on his way to heaven...

Re: Please tell me I am doing the right thing....

Crissie, you are doing everything you can, yes you are doing right! It seems cold but there comes a time we all need to get our house in order and he sounds like he has accepted his fate and what ever you do now will give you less stress later. Is he in Hospice yet? What a wonderful unselfish man your father is to guide you in what to do. Just make sure that once he is in Hospice they keep him as comfortable as they can. I do have that end of life list if you would like to see it. It lists 10 things to look for and I can email it to you through our CC site. Be very strong and try your best to get 'business' done.
If you want to email me that is just fine, I am home most every day. I think your plan is perfect. I believe we know when it's time and he is preparing you. You are not alone in this we are all here for you! You never know how strong you are until "strong" is the only choice you have!

Teddy ~In our hearts forever~ATTITUDE is EVERYTHING
Any suggestion I offer is intended as friendly advice based solely on my own experience. Please consult your doctor for professional guidance.

Re: Please tell me I am doing the right thing....

Crissie -
I agree with Lainy, it sounds like you are doing what your dad wants right now. Remember that grief comes even before some one dies so it is okay to feel whatever you are feeling be it anger, depression or anything else. It is very hard to do what you are doing. Please make sure that you have some support too. You may look and see if there is someone to talk to....a pastor or as he gets on hospice, the hospice chaplain. They can certainly help you with what you are feeling and going through.

Best wishes and Hugs,
KrisV

Any advice given is based on my experiences and should not be substituted for any medical recommendations. Please speak with your provider before making any changes.

Re: Please tell me I am doing the right thing....

Crissie...my heart goes out to you.  You've been in fighting mode and now to swtich gears, it's just got to be incredibly difficult.  You dad's gift to you is to guide you in what he wants and to arrange things for the least stress for you.  Accept his gift and spend as much time with him as you can....for him and for you.  And, as KrisV said, find someone to talk to who understands the process of grieving and dying.  You need someone trained to help you work and live through the emotions.  If you need to let go of some emotions...and don't have an outlet, you can always come here.  Hugs and prayers for you and your dad. 

Julie T.

"Just for today, I can get through anything."  Hey....I'm a cancer survivor, not a doctor.  The opinions I state are my own, based on my personal experiences or knowledge.  As always, talk to your doctor about your concerns and treatment.

Re: Please tell me I am doing the right thing....

Dear Crissie,

I am a daughter like you caring for a sick parent.  I can only imagine the bombardment of emotions you must be feeling right now.  Please don't let guilty be one of them.  You are doing everything you can.  What you're going through is really rough.  I am praying for peace for you.

Caroline

Re: Please tell me I am doing the right thing....

This may sound strange, but my veterinarian once told me that we are kinder to our animals at the end than we are to our people. Getting your dad comfortable in hospice is hard, but it's one of the kindest and most compassionate things you can do. The power of attorney isn't cold. Everyone should have some plan in place for dealing with the day yo day obligations. I think it's probably harder on you than him to realize that. I know it wasn't a conversation I wanted to have with my parents (who are in their 80's), but I did after my younger brother died unexpectedly 3 years ago. I think it gives us all peace of mind that I have it.

Thinking of you,

Lisa

Impatient patient.

Re: Please tell me I am doing the right thing....

Dear Crissie,

You are doing what your dad wants and needs but it must be so hard for you.  I can only echo what the others have said.  Dig deep - you can do this for your Dad.  In the days before my sister died there were many things she needed to do - once she had gone through the last detail with the humanist minister  it was like a calm came over her.  Much love to you x

Clare

In the stars now . . . .

Re: Please tell me I am doing the right thing....

I am in agreement with all mentioned.  Lisa's veterinarian statement is one that rings so true.  No one should have to suffer in the end stages of a disease, but we all too often witness it on this site.  Crissie, it may appear strange and uncaring when "putting" things in order, but the reality is that even the anticipated passing of our loved ones demands preparation by us.  Hospice will provide for your Dad's physical needs and his beloved daughter sees to it that his affairs are put in order. 
This is tough, dear Crissie, but your Dad must have had a pretty good idea that you are the trustworthy and conscientious daughter he wished for. Allow yourself to share this precious time with him.  It will be imprinted in your mind forever.  And, don't let down your guards, keep your eyes wide open and speak up when needed.  Not all hospice facilities or hospice personnel lives up to what is expected of them.  I hope and wish for the best and most attentive care your Dad deserves.
We are with you, dear Crissie, all the way.
Hugs,
Marion

THIS INFORMATION IS NOT INTENDED NOR IMPLIED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE. YOU SHOULD ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF YOUR PHYSICIAN OR OTHER QUALIFIED HEALTH CARE PROVIDER

9 (edited by Darla Thu, 24 Apr 2014 13:51:55)

Re: Please tell me I am doing the right thing....

Don't have much to add, but want you to know I am thinking of you.

Love & Hugs,
Darla

"One Day At A Time"

All of my comments and suggestions are just my opinions and are not a substitute for professional medical advice.   You should always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care providers.

Re: Please tell me I am doing the right thing....

Crissie, I, too, am thinking of you. As I am the patient, I can't imagine your emotions. But getting your dad comfortable with care close at hand is the best thing you can do for him. I know you must be feeling helpless, but let professionals help him.
My advice: do whatever you can to help your dad. Let him know you care for him. And be there to listen to his wants and needs.

KrisJ
"Don't just have minutes in the day; have moments in time."
Any opinions I give are based on personal experiences, and are not based on medical knowledge. I strongly suggest receiving medical care and opinions.

Re: Please tell me I am doing the right thing....

Everything has been said. Please know that you and your Dad will be in my thoughts and prayers.
Peace and hugs
Lisa

This Information Is Not Intended Nor Implied To Be A Substitute For Professional Medical Advice. You Should Always Seek The Advice Of Your Physician Or Other Qualified Health Care Provider