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Why are they mentioning hospice?

hope0310's picture
hope0310
Posts: 324
Joined: May 2010

So, a week or so ago the doc said mom was in remission. She has been in the hospital 34 days now, basically looking for the reason of her weakness in her legs. She is unable to walk.

Figured with 12 rad to brain, 12 rad to spine and her chemo, it has wiped her out, as they have found no other indications for the weakness and have talked about moving her to a rehab facility to get physical therapy.

But this morning, the doc told my stepdad we might want to get hospice involved.....???
I do not understand this, since they are saying she is cancer free....

cabbott
Posts: 1046
Joined: Aug 2006

It sounds like you need to sit down and talk face to face with the doctor individually or as a group to understand what is really happening with your mom in terms of cancer. The doctors usually will not call in hospice until they have gotten to where aggressive treatment is no longer effective. Hospice doesn't mean they are ready to abandon medical care. It's just that if chemo is not going to eliminate the cancer, it may be time to switch to palitive care to increase the quality of every day of a person's life rather than fight for every day of a person's life. Quality verses quantity type of thing. Your mom could still have rehab treatment with hospice, and pain meds, and even radiation if a met is pressing on her bones or nerves. That all improves the quality of life. But the chemo to "cure" the cancer would not be ordered if you decide to switch to hospice care. It is a difficult decision to make and one you should have all the facts before you before you decide (or your mom decides actually, since it's her life we're talking about). Sometimes the chemo can make a huge difference in life span. Some of the stage 4 folks on this board are testimony to that. But sometime that aggressive treatment only adds a month or so of life and sometimes the side effects make both the treatment time and that extra month difficult. So if you can, meet with the doctor to get his perspective on the costs and benefits of various treatment plans. Get a second opinion from an expert in the field (the best you can drive to), speak freely about your concerns with someone from hospice, and then you will be in a position to understand. Good luck!

C. Abbott

hope0310's picture
hope0310
Posts: 324
Joined: May 2010

Thanks for your response, I am there every step of the way...try to always see doc, ask questions etc..

Rest assured I will be @ hospital at the crack of dawn to meet with him!

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