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brother wont get help

nana3161
Posts: 1
Joined: Jun 2009

my brother is 45 years old and about 4 weeks ago he was dignosed with stage 4 lung cancer. he will not take any treatments what so ever . it has already moved to his brain . now he stays in the bed all the time wont talk just grunts . he has lost between 40-50 lbs in these 4 weeks. we were there yesterday and he didn;t even act like he knew who we were . he won;t eat or drink anything now . his wife is doing most of care herself because he has refused treatment so she doesn;t know where to turn for help. they live right outside of marshall texas. breaks my heart to see him like this but what is even worse is her dealing with it all by herself. they don't have insurance . he doesn;t really believe in doctors to much . i don;t know what we can do to help her . if anybody knows of any help she can get please let me know . i have everybody i know praying for them .

MadelynJoe's picture
MadelynJoe
Posts: 96
Joined: Sep 2003

Dearest Nana...

I am praying for your brother ... Hopefully you can speak with him and encourage him to get some further treatment. Stage IV cancer is NOT a DEATH SENTENCE! I know so many people on this sight and in my personal acquaintance who have been through this. Keep the faith! YOU CAN DO THIS!!! Love yourself and love your family member5s; all good things happen to those weho believe in GOD!

Love you,

Madelyn

Glenna M's picture
Glenna M
Posts: 1580
Joined: May 2009

I am so sorry to hear about your brother and his refusing treatment. As MadelynJoe said - this is not a death sentence even though it may sound like one. I have not received the numbers for what stage my cancers are at yet, haven't asked yet, as they are only numbers to me. I have been told that both my cancers - squamous cell larynx carcinoma and NSCLC adenocarcinoma in my left lung are in the "advanced" stage. I've also been told that both are inoperable and incurable but they are both treatable and that's what keeps me going. I don't think my doctors would have chosen such a rigorous treatment plan for me if they didn't have any hope of helping me.

As for your brother not having any insurance, neither do I. I lost my job in December of '08 when the company I was working for laid off many of its employees. I couldn't afford the COBRA and never dreamed I would have such a hard time finding another job, finally had to go to work for a temp service without benefits just to have a paycheck coming in. This all happened around the time I started getting my "symptoms" so I put off going to the doctors in hopes of getting a job with health insurance benefits. When I finally couldn't ignore the way I was feeling and went to the doctors and was informed that I had 2 different types of cancers I panicked and wondered - What does someone with cancer do if they don't have insurance? My question was soon answered by the cancer care center where I am being treated, the hospital has a Medicaid/Financial Assistance program that will help me through all of this. My husband and I have had to liquidate what few assets we had but my husband keeps telling me that it doesn't matter, the only thing that matters to him is getting me help and keeping me around as long as possible. So if your brothers concern is the financial hardship this disease causes PLEASE tell him and his wife that there is help out there and he shouldn't be afraid or embarrassed to ask. I was embarrassed at first as I have worked for over 38 years and always been able to take care of myself without any type of assistance, I have never even had to collect unemployment until last December and then it was only for 10 weeks.

I'm sure your brother is a proud, stubborn man but he has to think of his wife and family also as they are going through this with him and don't want to lose him.

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Glenna

cabbott
Posts: 1046
Joined: Aug 2006

Dear Nana,

Call Hospice and see what help they can offer. If he refuses treatment, the stage 4 cancer has moved to his brain, he has stopped eating, and he has lost all that weight, then he no doubt qualifies for hospice care. Yes, stage 4 cancer, even at the advanced stage, can be treated. But the patient has the right to refuse treatment. If that is the case, he still should be treated for pain and given whatever assistance he needs to live with dignity right up to the end. Hospice can provide medical assistance to do that. That's what they are designed to do. Even if he refuses their assistance (things like pain meds, oxygen, nursing care at home or in residential care and such), hospice can provide emotional support to the family members living with him. Around my neck of the woods (Delaware), the emotional support is free. They even have a special camp for kids to attend and lots of ideas of where to find assistance as needed. Good luck!

laurenr
Posts: 12
Joined: Apr 2009

One thing you might look into is getting him declared as "totally disabled" which will get him his social security benefits and that might include Medicare. (I'm not a lawyer so this is just friendly advice).

My dad is 69 and was already getting his SS and Medicare benefits, but the onco told us that we should look into disability. He has his own business so does not have "work disability" insurance so it did not apply to us. But had dad not already had SS, Medicare, etc., we would have applied for total disability for him b/c Stage 4 cancer is a qualifying event under the requirements that SS has for approving disability payments.

Then, at least, you might have some options. Each person has his own idea of how to handle this type of diagnosis, but having an income and some insurance might be a bit of a relief.

My dad wants to do everything possible to try and beat this, but, for instance, my 43 year old brother said if he himself were diagnosed with the same thing, he wouldn't want to go through the chemo -- he just doesn't see the benefit of going through all the treatments, the tiredness, the fogginess, etc.

Whatever he decides, just be there for him, but also take care of yourselves, gather all the information you can, and take it one day at a time.

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