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in the dark

TWHowerton
Posts: 1
Joined: Aug 2013

Hello everyone. This is the 1st forum i've ever been in for any reason. My reason for joining this one is simple. My dad! After having congestive heart failure and being admitted into the hospital we found out that he had a mass on his right kidney. They were actually scanning his stomach to check for infection when the mass was found. They did the radiation test after that and what they found was very shocking to me. As i'm sure many of you have been in my place. They said he had a 3 inch mass in his right kidney and areas of suspision for cancer in the lymph nodes around the kidney as well as in his right lung. This is where things get hard. My dad is 83 years old and a very stubborn man. He has refused any and all forms or treatment as well as any further testing. He was scheduled for a biopsy or the kidney but after arriving for the appointment decided he just wasn't gonna do it. So basically all we know is they are pretty certain (although no verification can be done via biopsy) that he has cancer in his right kidney which they believe has spread to his right lung. My question is. Considering he has/is refused any/all treatment and testing, without any intervention what are we looking at in terms of life expectancy? We don't know what to expect to happen with him physically or mentally. So far he does not seem to be very symptomatic, Some pain but not really bad. His breathing has not gotten too bad either. He was also diagnosed at the same time with pulminary fibrosis so a double whammy to the lung. My husband and stay with him 4 days out of the week and my brother stays the other 3 so he is not left alone. Before he was hospitalized in May he was living on his own and very capable of doing for himself. After his admittance into the hospital for a week and a half followed by rehibilitation for 2 weeks in a facility he has not been able to regain his strength. We of course have no problem in taking care of him and do it gladly but we would just like to know what to expect and for how long this may last. We will be there every step of the way may it be months or years but it would help us to know what the upcoming months or years are likely to be like. any information is greatly appreciated. 

I am alive
Posts: 229
Joined: Jul 2012

TW,

  I am sorry to hear about your dad. He is a stubborn guy alright, but part of me admires that. He is blessed to have such loving and attentive children. I'm sure he knows that. Perhaps other people on this forum can illuminate his prognosis but I suggest you make an appointment with an oncologist or RCC specialist and ask him/her your crucial questions about survival timeline, and generally what to expect as the body deals with these issues without treatment. You could ask about palliative care, treatment to alleviate pain and/or symptoms. I don't think you have to bring your father along to that office visit if he doesn't want to go. But do bring all the tests you have and doctor's reports so the oncologist knows exactly what your father's situation is. I would also check out local hospice organizations. Perhaps visit them, too, to educate yourself about how hospice might help you and your father in the future. As his health deteriorates he might need in-home nursing care.  Now is the time, I suppose, to also investigate what his insurance plan covers vis a vis in-home care and the like.

  Feel free to drop in here at any time for support and encouragement in the upcoming months. We will be thinking about your dad and sending him - and you - our love.

  

Galrim's picture
Galrim
Posts: 278
Joined: Apr 2013

Hi,

Any kind of attempt to predict his life expectancy is basically futile. First of all your father has (potientally/probably) a stage IV RCC. How fast that can/will evolve is depending on so many prognostic factors that cant be known without a pathology report of the primary cancer. Put on top your dads age and overall physical condiction and any guess would be a longshot no matter how well founded.

At you dads age I respect his choice. I think the right thing here probably would be to do just that, respect his choice and move along and enjoy whatever remains of time. Whether thats 6 months or 6 years...

/G  

 

dhs1963's picture
dhs1963
Posts: 394
Joined: May 2012

At 83, I can see not wanting a nephrectomy.  It is quality of life.  He is in bad health (congestive heart failure).  And the RCC is asymtomatic.  Treatment is harsh....surgery is hard on youger people.  And the systemic treatments have a lot of side effects.  Respect his choice. 

elpasorudy's picture
elpasorudy
Posts: 81
Joined: Jan 2013

Sorry to hear about your father. I understand his decision considering his age and health issues. What are the doctors saying about his longevity? He may be appropriate for hospice care in his home. I recently retired as a hospice counselor/social worker after 12 years. Hospice will proide regular RN visits to the home along with social worker. The hospice I worked for also offered a home health aide to assist with bathing/showering, chaplain visit, massage and music therapies, volunteers to run errands. It's fully paid for by Medicare. Hospice is about giving individuals the best possible quality of life and supporting the patient and family.

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