Topic: New/questions

My grandfather was diagnosed with this vicious disease yesterday.  He is 96 years old and has chosen not to receive any treatment, other than palliative,  which is understandable.  He has been weak for a long time anyway....some mild congestive heart failure, etc.  In his own words, he's "ready to go home and be with the Lord." 

My question is this: how long do we have realistically?  No one will tell me straight. Some say "could be 3-6 months", but that seems like a lot.  He is barely eating, so jaundiced he's a dark orange color, his breathing seems labored already.....he doesn't seem to be in pain yet, but honestly, he's the type of man who wouldn't tell you if he was.  He is itching alot, because I see him scratching almost constantly....he MAY have eaten about 4 bites of dinner last night.

Given all this, can anyone give me a better timeline?  I know each case is different, but I have a lot of family out of state, and I need to be able to give them some sort of information so they can make the decision to fly out now or wait- they'd like to see him while he's still lucid.  3 months just seems sooooo long given how he currently seems to me.

Thanks for anything you can tell me.

Re: New/questions

Kelly....welcome to our site. I much understand your grandpa's decision of letting this disease take its course however; I am wondering whether a stent procedure had been suggested to him.  If successful and possible it may very well eliminate some of his problems caused with his bilirubin build-up which, in turn is causing his severe itching and his yellow glow. Palliative care stands for comfort care and biliary drainage falls in to this category. 
By supporting your grandpa's decision you are doing everything a loved one can ask for.  I applaud you for that. 
Best wishes,


Re: New/questions

Dear Kelly, we are so sorry to hear about your Grandpa. Have you had a consultation with Hospice? They can help him to be more comfortable what ev er the decisions. When Teddy itched we found a cream at Walgreen's caalled Sarna. Works like a charm. The other thing that helped was ice packs where ever it was itching. Teddy is in Home Hospice now and for breakfast he has a Carnation Milk Shake as it takes the place of a full meal, having everything he needs in the shake. Sometimes I add a banana or strawberries to the blender.
As for a time limit, it's so hard to say. I personally feel family should come while he can still visit. We never thought Teddy would be here after October 1st and here he is to celebrate his 78th next Wednesday. Grandfathers are so very special as are Granddaughters like you!

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: New/questions

Time is a very precious thing.  We had one Dr give us 3 months and another gave us a year IF we were lucky.  We haven't won a lottery of money, but we still have life.  My Mom had stents for jaundice relief, but no other surgery and is going on with life and NOT dwelling on her death.  Right now she has lived 2 and 1/2 months past the year marker and she is still doing "fair" by her personal assessment.  We do have confusion at times, we have pain at times, but we have laughed and talked about so many things.  Enjoy the good times and do the best you can during the bad ones.  That is life.