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Advice & help for my father w/colon cancer stage 4 liver cancer
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bugspost posted:
I don't know if i am in the right place...my 79 yr old father was diagnosed w/stage 4 liver cancer which actually is colon cancer that has gone to his liver. He has a 6 inch mass on this liver. We don't know what is going on in colon as he won't have a colonoscopy. He had one 6 years ago & they tore a polyp in half which ended him up in VA hospital for a week while they removed section of colon & sewed it back together. At that time, he swore no more colonoscopys. We have seen cancer dr which offered traditonal chemo, pill chemo, or nothing at all The dr wanted to do lung ct but dad said no..........OH, and my dad is in heart failure as his heart is only at 35%. He is going next week to do stress test to check for blocked arteries..........don't know what they will suggest there...........so he has primary doctor which knows all these issues....a cancer dr.......he doesn't seem to want to go see & a heart dr.......he is hoping going to perform magic to give him more energy. [br>Problem is now,,,,,,,,,,3 weeks later....he is in pain...yes, in his intestinal area(probably colon & liver) He talked to primary dr but she won't prescribe anything for his pain. simply told him to contact hospice............he is not open to doing that & my mother is also saying no to hospice. I have call into the cancer dr to see if there is anything he could prescribe to help him w/pain. My dad is able to get around but it gets uncomfortable later in the day...and he has to sit down. [br>My question is............what is effective to give him some relief from the pain? Any advice is appreciated....and should the cancer dr prescribe if something??? If not, is it possible the heart dr will??? THA NK YOU........for any and all help!! this is driving the family apart............I totally respect my dad's wishes to not seek treatment but it breaks my heart that noone is helping him deal w/the pain.
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bugspost responded:
Please someone...........help me here...........I need advice...
 
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brunosbud responded:
Just my opinion, but one of the "problems" about giving advice to people who ask questions on this board?

1. They only want to hear what they want to hear, and
2. They almost never say "thank you".

Against my better judgment, though, here goes...



What is effective to give him some relief from the pain?

Simple: He won't see the doctor, so have the doctor come to him.

If he is covered by Medicare, in-home hospice care is one of the least understood and most powerful options available to seniors with cancer. It is the secret weapon and nobody uses it!

I read, recently, the average stay in hospice in the US is less than a couple weeks. Idiotic! Cancer patients need to go into hospice care far sooner so they can access pain, nausea & constipation medications (and other interventions), free of charge! Your father can see a doctor, can have a registered nurse come visit twice a week, can have home health aids come and bath him and treat bed sores, at no cost to him. He needs a hospital power bed, he needs incontinence equipment that will allow him to sleep through the night, he needs pain meds to manage his pain while the family "circles the wagons", so to speak. You need allies.

The one stipulation with hospice care? You can't go to emergency.

Big deal! By what you say, he won't go, anyway!

Procedures like Thoracentesis (fluid drain from lungs) and Abdominal Centesis (fluid drain from abdominal cavity) can all be performed at an out-patient clinic; not emergency. In other words, its not against hospice "rules". Fluid retention from advanced liver failure is very often the source of all the pain in the first place!

What is effective to give him some relief from the pain?

Morphine, Fentanyl, Percoset
...

I suppose you could get this stuff from a junkie but at what cost? Why not get it free through in-home hospice care? Your father gets to watch his favorite TV shows, in his favorite chair surrounded by the people who love him while a registered nurse prescribes, administers and has all medications delivered to your home, free.

The strategy behind in-home hospice care is to utilize this free service, in unison, with chemo/radiation or alternative care. Get into hospice, early, while you and the family battle the cancer, together.

Choosing in-home hospice care is not waving the white flag. For people who are smart, it is exactly the opposite. It is preparing for battle, the true fight for life.


In closing, I'm sorry you and your father must face these tough choices.

I was very lucky. My father trusted me. He gave me complete authority. In the end, he thanked me and told me "I love you". That's when I knew I made the right call...

Hope its the same for you, buddy...Good luck and God's speed!


Note: To arrange in-home hospice care, consult your doctor. Medicare can arrange for local service to visit within 2-3 days.


 
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bugspost replied to brunosbud's response:
First of all, I really appreciate all the time & effort in your reply & thank you for that.
My mother is the stumbling block for getting inhome care/hospice not my Dad & he doesn't want to upset her. If it wasn't for that...the inhome care would be in place. She doesn't want anyone in her home. She can barely walk around (uses a walker) so she feasibly can't take care of my dad. I did call the cancer center & they prescribed 15mg morphine pills for my dad & they are helping. My brother has convinced them both to go to the doctor & have some counseling about pain mgmt & other issues. I only hope they go. At the cancer center, they have pallative care for patients & family which include many areas.......it is on an outpatient basis. For now, it may work for my dad but as his condition worsens........he will need in home care. Thanks again for the advice.
 
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brunosbud responded:
I'm glad someone in your family is addressing pain relief, now, because I think your dad's in great need of it. At the same time, I really don't think "driving the family apart" is on your father's bucket list, either. I urge you to give your dad and mom some credit. They've been around the block a few times. They know the score. Honor them with respect and they will tell you, truthfully, what their needs are. Now is the time to be calm and listen. Less is more.

Good luck and thank you!


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