Dec 08, 2003 - 10:35 am
I am taking care of my 72 year old husband and we found out in late October that the rectal cancer has metastasized to his lungs. He was on CPT-11 for three treatments and had two weeks rest. He was supposed to start a second treatment of CPT-11 last Friday, but they didn't give it to him because his white count was too low. He's supposed to go back again this Friday. My dilemma is that he is getting increasingly confused to where he doesn't recognize me or our home. He is very lucid on other things, though - knows what day it is, knows his pet dog, etc. He gets angry at me because he doesn't recognize me as his wife and he thinks his wife has abandoned him - he gets mad when I try to reason with him. He's very clear on wanting to have more chemo to try to slow down the cancer. He understands that there is no cure and he also said he realizes he is living his last days. The CPT-11 makes him really sick and this next round will probably increase his confusion due to dehydration and the compazine and lomotil I have to give him for the nausea and diarrhea. My dilemma is that in all likelihood, if he keeps getting worse, I'll have to place him in a nursing home so I can continue to work - I can't quit my job to take care of him. I think his mind could become better without the chemo, but he wants to continue taking it. I have discussed with him the possibility that he will require adult day care or a nursing home if he continues and he says he'll do what he has to. Does anyone have any advice? I want his wishes to be carried out, but I know he doesn't want to live anywhere else but our home. He was in adult day care briefly after his cancer surgery and he hated it.