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20 year old son of a stage 4 cancer patient

marcus6941's picture
marcus6941
Posts: 1
Joined: Mar 2006

Hello. My name is marcus and i am the only child of a stage 4 cancer patient. After passing out doctors discovered he had a brain tumor and removed it. The lung cancer has spread badly and they have given him less than 6 months to live and said treatment wouldnt help. I know nothing about whats in store for me over the next few months. I am so scared and it doesnt help that i have moved from florida to alabama to take care of him. i have noone to talk to who has any idea about what is going on. I dont know what to do next. or what to look for or how to know if somethings going wrong or anything. he has also starting not breathing for about 10 seconds everynow and then when he is sleeping he wakes up grabbing at his throat. im scared to go to sleep because he may stop breathing. is this normal?

Plymouthean's picture
Plymouthean
Posts: 264
Joined: Jan 2004

Hi Marcus. I'm Ernie, a lung cancer survivor. Have you received a second opinion about your dad's condition? If possible, ask to have another doctor examine him. His present doctor will not be offended. But so what if he is? If, in fact, his condition is as you describe, he may be eligible for hospice care. That involves having a knowledgeable, caring healthcare professional come to your house on a regular basis to assist you with your dad's care. These people offer many services, usually free of charge, like feeding and bathing the patient, changing bedding, etc. They are of great help to caregivers, such as you, especially since you are alone in this. Possibly, the hospice worker will stay with your dad for a short time, while you take a break, do shopping, etc. They also can answer many questions which you may have. Sometimes, local hospices have facilities where they can take in the patient, as a resident/patient, for "palliative care". Palliative care is essentially what you're doing now, - making your dad as comfortable as possible. Your dad's doctor's office shold have information about the availablity of hospice in your area. It's very much worth looking into. Your dad may have "sleep apnea", which is a condition where the person stops breathing for a few seconds, especially while sleeping. He may have had this for a long time, and it my not be related to his cancer. It is something that should be reported to his doctor, though. I'll keep your dad in my prayers.

Lyndawithay
Posts: 14
Joined: Mar 2005

Marcus, I'm using my wife's account so disregard the lyndawithay. You might not get very many other replys because what Ernie told you is RIGHT ON 100% CORRECT. Just follow what he told you. The only thing I could add is that you my need a POA for health care and for legal matters. I am POA for my father in law who is in a nursing home (89 years old). Some places won't even talk to you on the phone unless they have a POA on file. ONE DOC OFFICE WOULDN'T TELL ME THE RESULTS OF A TEST FOR MY WIFE. What Ernie told you is the best advice you are going to get. Good luck with your Dad. Remember to look after yourself also. Your health is important to your Dad's health. Phil

mcaced
Posts: 1
Joined: Apr 2006

Hi Marcus. I'm also the only child of a stage 4 cancer parent. My father's lung cancer was found in a similar manner as to what you described. I guess I feel like in some ways I can relate to your situation. Something that has helped me in keeping track of what has been going on day to day, is keeping a medical journal. I spend the majority of the day with my dad and when I come home I write about how he was feeling, any complaints he was having, things that happen, etc. That way, when we're at the doctor's office, I'm not trying to remember everything. Also, if I have concerns about ANYTHING, I call his doctor's office. I figure it's better to be safe. If it ends up being a wasted phone call, then oh well. At least I know not to worry about it. You just have to do what feels right to you. If you don't understand something ask questions until you do. I'm sorry that you're having to go through all this. Your father is very lucky to have you- hang in there!

ernrol's picture
ernrol
Posts: 91
Joined: Apr 2006

Marcus,
You have some good advice from the other post. I would get a second opinion and maybe even a third opinion. There just may be some trial or drug that could add to your dads life.
Ernie (another Ernie)

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