How do i know this is the end?

i posted a comment when i signed up i guess i need to do it again? my father was diagnosed 2mths ago, stage 4 mestatsised to liver, he is doing 2x chemo and doing really bad, hes been admitted to the hospital today due to complications from blood clots and blood thinners “coumidin” his levels were like a ten they should be a 3 they said he could bleed internally, whats next? I have never seen anyone in this much pain and hes on alot of meds, he cant eat or drink hes dehydrated, and very sick throws up constantly and has diarhea, please someone tell me is this it? anyone withanything to share about yourexperience will be so appreciated thank you alot.

Comparing to my mom …it sounds to me like he has’nt got long but prayer does help ! Does he have to have his lungs drained from fluid yet and is his legs and feet swollen ? the hard thing tey did to mom was sent her from the hospital to a nursing home and they quit feeding her because they say it is only feeding the cancer…she only lasted from dec.18th to Jan. 22nd she had the back aches as well and thought she had a ulcer or gall stones because her swelling in the stomach !! Does ur dad have a g tube ?

Perhaps you, you're dad, and the doctor should discuss the benefit of continued chemotherapy.  I get the impression that his remaining time is in the range of days to weeks.  I suspect that the chemotherapy will not extend that time significantly, however, the vomiting and much of the discomfort he's experiencing may be due to the chemotherapy.  The high Coumadin levels are probably due to impaired liver function.


I think the focus needs to be how to make the best of his remaining time.

 My heart goes out to you, Aaron

The truth? “Time” is an educated guess, at best. No one knows. The docs will try and try until your dad decides otherwise. My thought is always quality of life, just as it was for my mom. Her cancer was so advanced, there wasn’t much left to do, although the docs were STILL willing!-God forbid they risk a lawsuit! She was in her 80’s, for crying out loud! There comes a time when ya gotta tell them STOP!!

Look into hospice and the palliative care at the hospital. Take care of you and your dad and the time that is left. Hospice programs are there to support the entire family, they can help with costs and are there to make sure that pain medication is kept at an adequate level. There does come a time to accept the inevitable. And if you are lucky, it can be done before it’s too late to allow for quality time with your Dad. It can also be a time for those who are willing to seek out the spiritual and/or turn to their faith, to come to terms with their life and their death, for the family or the one who is dying.

Hopefully, your family isn’t as dysfunctional as mine. My mom refused to talk about her dying (just as she did her diagnosis of Alzheimer’s), her last wishes, the arrangements, etc. All I heard her acknowledge was that she had “The Big C”. So, because my Dad couldn’t deal with it, he decided for a closed coffin and no embalming - the way he wanted his own. At the hospice, at one point, I was admonished by my sister not to cry because it would upset my mom. Huh?? Also, I should not talk about dying in front of her. HUH?? The way it worked out was a “What are the odds?” kind of thing, but my dad ended up having a quintuple bypass the same hour of her death. I was the first to be there that morning when, by her breathing, it became obvious her time was getting short. I was able to make those last moments with her all I wanted. I have very few regrets. I made sure Mass was on, held her hand and said the rosary, and then threw in a few of my own things. I had taken the opportunity in the last few days before to read them to her-prayers about death and dying. She was quite “comfortable” with morphine, but I knew she heard. I was damned that she was going to leave without the recognition of her leaving, the dignity she deserved in her passing and the having the spiritual aspect of it fully present and her being given the chance to “prepare” however she needed to. I had the right music playing (her sister in a choir singing for the Pope in Rome, no less!-and I kept telling her her sis was singing-she had a solo–this was a great comfort for my aunt who was not there) There was no way I wanted to risk her being frightened, but comforted in every way available to me that I thought would reach her. And as she drew her last breath, I told her to hurry over to my Dad, he needed her. . . His surgery went off without a hitch! Count 'em . . .5!

Well I digressed quite a bit . . . I work in health care. Older folks are less likely to want to work the spiritual angle or anything else in depth. It’s certainly not a New Age type concept, it’s just we in America just don’t want to DO dying. Period. Very unhealthy. It is and can be made into a spiritual growth/process. It is a transition to . . . whatever you believe is next. And too, too important to ignore in the medical fight to STAY HERE. And we don’t do grief here, we push it under the rug. Nowadays, not only do we not want to deal with it (usually other ppl’s most of all), we don’t have the time to feel, period! I just think it’s a shame. Yes, it HURTS, but if it’s at all possible, to take the time to go inward and process what we need to, and seek comfort and guidance from whatever Power we believe in, just strengthens and honors the ones we are losing and the ones we’ve lost. Then we can find even more value in life and in our relationships.

I truly believe that regardless of my mother’s refusal to speak of things, she truly appreciated my being real and saying what needed to be said. No one else in my family was capable or willing to. I will be forever grateful for the path that led me to be able to do that for her. And me. It’s the greatest comfort now, and let me tell you, it WAS hard.

Aaron, may you and your father find comfort, peace and acceptance til next you meet.

With sympathy and empathy,
Phoenix, Elaine’s youngest daughter

no he doesnt have a gtube, he was just in the hospital and theyhad to cancel chemo today , he has blood clots in  his legs, now they have his blood to thin, its just a nightmare, i really hope he doent have tostay like this, if he cant get any better for a little while i would rather him go b/c hesso sick, well what were your moms symtons? i knowyou said they quit feeding her, wasnt that terrible? that doesnt soundright to me, however none ofthis has sounded right,but thats horrible, when do they decide to do that and whats the difference in that and helping them kill themselves?  sorry if that was harsh but i dont understand why they do allthe things they do and i amjust trying to understand alittle better

From:  gansmemory
Subject:  Re: [weightloss] how do i know this is the end?
Date:  Wed, 6 Jun 2007 12:20:57 -0400

I hope that you and your dad have had a good day today.

Please understand I have worked in geriatrics or as they say now, with the "senior adult’ since I have been out of HS. I’ve seen more than I care to of the end of life process for many. True, what I say is my own opinion, but a lot of experience is behind my remarks. I am going to put my two cents in here once more, primarily because you have asked for help and there are a few things to this awful business you need to know. Again, IMO.

Tubes are of little value unless it is for a limited period of time, for someone younger able to live despite some medical condition that prevents normal nutrition or unless it is the expressed wish of the patient in sound mind. In specific cases where it will extend life even tho the patient is terminal-if it adds valuable quality time, I’m all for it. Otherwise tubes are nightmarish things, IMO, used more so because a doctor can’t legally allow nature to take it’s course or because the family will not let go of their loved one. With a stroke or Alzheimer’s patient who may have years of suffering ahead? OMG!! Some ppl insist on them due to religious convictions, but again, not as many as there used to be. If God gave us doctors and medicine, it was to alleviate suffering, not extend it through artificial means. Also, once put in, there oft times can be legalities preventing it’s removal most people aren’t aware of, especially in Catholic run healthcare. Or at least it used to be. Hopefully that’s changed.

Your dad’s diagnosis means a tube wouldn’t make a lot of difference timewise, so I really can’t say if it will be beneficial or not. There are certain stages your dad will go through, and they all go against what we think we need to do for their comfort. One of them will be (usually) that hunger and thirst will dwindle. Well, our first response is Eat! Drink! My sister was shoving food in my mom till the end-and she didn’t want it. When the body is shutting down, it all goes in reverse. Hospice will have a lot of valuable info when the time comes. Listen and make it easier on your dad. Let him decide when he’s had enough and let him know that he is free to decide, no matter what.
One thing about tubes and nourishments. When in the end stage of life, studies have shown that lack of hydration and nourishment make for LESS pain. When my mom fell ill for the last round and I KNEW Hospice was the right thing, I helped my Dad to see it. The ironic thing was, my head was far more prepared than my heart. Once in the hospice house, she began to receive morphine for her pain (she had a broken pelvis on top of end stage lung cancer) and I absolutely panicked!, thinking I had rushed things, feeling like I had “killed” her! But it was denial, is all, and it didn’t last but a day, thank God. I could not stop the chain of events and I KNEW above all, she must not suffer further by lingering because of me or for me in any way. It was my job to be there to comfort her and not the reverse. And a hospices job and focus is for the patient’s comfort and dignity, period.

I say these things mostly because I’ve seen a lot of messed up scenarios with families (even my own), doctors and hospital policies through the years. And I’ve seen too many die alone or lingering and/or suffering unnecessarily because family or RP’s would not accept the obvious and do what needed to be done, difficult or not.

Again, I am so very sorry for the pain you both are going through. I hope you find many things to give you comfort now and as you walk through this time of grieving.

You are in my prayers. Phoenix

Do they have a i.v going for me, to hydrate him and feel more comfortable, also look into hospice, they help patients and family on dealing with the dying process and making the patient comfortable, any hospital staff member should know what hospice is. Make sure they are medicateing her routinely for pain, not just when it gets bad, so that a level of pain medications can get into his system. I’m a nurse at my local hospital, feel free to email me with any questions, I would be glad to help out.
Take care and I will pray for you both!

Are you replying to me? My mother passed last September. I was replying to Desflink’s post. I am also in healthcare. Thanks for the offer, though. Hugs. Phoenix