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no surgery or chemo for my dad

Posts: 28
Joined: Aug 2012

My dad was suppose to have his surgery on Feb 28th but Pet scan came back showing mets in LIver and lungs then was told he would do chemo (EOX) now Dr are saying that won't help so no surgery or Chemo for my dad. I can't believe they would just give up on him like this, I know some here have said qualitly or quanity but he still looks very healthy and gained weitght back because Dr. were able to stretch his throat every week now he feels like he only needs it every couple of weeks. So if other people here do chemo and i know its hard on the body, I have had chemo myself, so why wouldn't they at least give him a few and see how he does on it?? My dad's wife said we (me and my brother) are in denial but that's not the case I 'm scared because I know what the outcome might be, just wish they could do more. Plus just losing my dear sister I worry he might now fight anymore. Should I mention seeing another onco to my dad?

paul61's picture
Posts: 1250
Joined: Apr 2010

There are treatments to deal with the tumors in your Dad's liver and of course additional chemo might also affect the tumors in his lungs, but the fundamental question is "What does your Dad want to do?".

Oncologists see patients go through months of suffering with chemo only to succumb to cancer in the end. I have seen a number of people post at the end of a long struggle with cancer, and many rounds of chemo, that in the end they wish they had focused on quality of life rather than quantity. The reality is that once esophageal cancer shows up in one of more additional major organs it is very difficult to manage. It is difficult for a cancer survivor to make a decision for quality of life if their family continues to push to "not give up". 

If it were my Dad, I would ask him what he wants to do, and then support his wishes irrespective of how I felt.

I can tell you from a personal perspective, as a survivor, if I had a recurrence that involved a met in one major organ I would continue to seek treatment. If I had recurrence in two major organs I would wish to maintain the quality of the remainder of the time I had left and discontinue treatment.

Best Regards,

Paul Adams

McCormick, South Carolina

DX 10/2009 T2N1M0  Stage IIB - Ivor Lewis Surgery  12/3/2009 - Post Surgery Chemotherapy 2/2009 – 6/2009

Cisplatin, Epirubicin, 5 FU - Three Year Survivor



Posts: 28
Joined: Aug 2012

Hi paul. It is hard to find my post here so just saw your question. My dad since then had to be hsopitlized with dehydrytion after starting his chemo, he did 3 of them this time around, was very hard on him and his blood counts dropped dramatically. Ended up having 3 transfusions and spent 10 days in the hsoptial  he has been home for just a couple of days now, he is very weak and is not going to be able to do any more chemo. He can't eat due to either the cancer spread more in his esophogus or the scar tissue, becaue of his state of health he can not do any more throat stretches. Im just devasted. He told my brother he thinks he will not last but maybe 90 days if that. I just want him to be comofortable. wouldn't the Dr. of talked to him about hospice at this point> According to my dads wife there has been no mention o fthis. So maybe he has more time? I jsut don't want him to be in pain. With all of my prayers I had hope he would pull through this some how. Now all my hopes are faded. I feel so helpless.

Posts: 757
Joined: Apr 2012

First off I am sorry to hear about your dad.  When my husband elected no more treatment and told all his doctors this, they did talk about hospice but he wasn't and still isn't ready for hospice.  Ask the doctor because they are the ones that have to put the order in, even your father's primary care doctor can do it.  We saw our primary care doctor to keep him informed of what was going on.  Even he said that my husband wasn't ready yet and understood him not wanting to call hospice yet while our oncologist was pushing it.  It was in late January that we were told, after a PET/CT scan that his cancer has moved into his right lung and reoccurred at the cervical of his esophagus and was quite a large tumor.  Surgery was ruled out due to spread to lung plus he had already been thru 70 rounds of radiation and 10 rounds of chemo.   He has been fighting cancer for 3 years now and in that time has been on a feeding tube 2 plus years out of the 3 years he has been fighting.  The feeding tube has been a god sent and without it I don't think he would have survived.  His first cancer was cancer of the larynx for which he had a laryngectomy.  Hospice is great for both the patient and the family.  I had hospice for my mother when she lived with us and it was in-home.  We had great caring nurses.

None of our doctors would tell us, because they said they couldn't, how much time he has.  Right now he is doing fair well.  Low energy, pain but controlled with medication, using his feeding tube for everything even though he can swallow and eat soft foods and when the time comes we will call hospice in.  Talk with your father about it and if he agrees call and tell the doctor you want to call in hospice. 

Wishing the best to you and your family -- Sharon

Posts: 28
Joined: Aug 2012

Hi Sharon. Just yesterday my dad was put on hospice. i called to say hi to my dad and his wife said call back there is a home nurse here. When i hung up I knew that meant one thing. When I called back I was told he had to have a catheter put in and, yes he was on hospice. Even though I knew it was coming, just hearing those words crushed me. My dad is so loving and worries about his kids he didn't want us to know, he never complains about pain although his wife tells me he is in pain. But I know hospice has a great support system and will get excellent care. I feel so helpless. Thanks for your support even with all you are dealing with.


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