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Stage 4 Bile Duct Cancer

Posts: 2
Joined: Sep 2013

Hi, my dad was recently diagnosed with stage 4 bile duct cancer in July of this year. The cancer started in his bile duct in the liver and spread to his liver, lungs and pelvis bone. He has had two cycles (4 treatements) of chemo. My dad seems to be getting worse and I am very consider, it's blood work isn't changing, but we were also told that he may not have had enough chemo yet. He has chemo on 2 weeks and off 1 week. The past two weeks he was suppose to have chemo, they said no because he was two weak. My dad is swollen in the stomach and legs since we found out he had cancer. We went to the dr yesterday and we were told that they no longer wanted to give him chemo because of how weak he is and it'll only make him weaker, the dr. said he is afraid to put him through the chemo and it will not work. Also, dr said that my dads cancer is progressing faster then they thought. He talked about putting my dad on hospice. I am just not sure what it is teh right thing to do, anyone have advice for my situation?

Posts: 223
Joined: Oct 2009

First let me say how very sorry I am to hear of your Dad's battle with cancer. Although we never give up hope, there is a time where the physicians know that chemo isn't tolerated and makes a person with cancer suffer needlessly.  Talk to your Dad's physician and ask him or her to help you understand  why he is suggesting hospice at this point.  Believe me, by the time a physician is bringing up the topic of hospice to a patient and their family they are doing a compassionate thing---helping your Dad live his remaining days with the best quality of life possible...managing pain...allowing time for conversations and spending time together talking or just sitting quietly as the person with cancer turns inward to do the hard work of disengaging in this earthly life as they prepare for their next life beyond. I went through this with my Mom who died of cancer. I am a cancer survivor myself but know that at some point I too will be in hospice-probably for cancer but it could be for any other life threatening, progressive disease that any of us could develop at any point in time. You know it is very hard for physicians to help their patients with living the best quality of life towards the end of their lives.

 It might help if you could talk with a hospice nurse to help you understand what to expect. It is hard to accept that it is time to stop  chemo and start living what time one has left with the support of hospice. Oh how I wish you weren't going through the journey of cancer with your Dad. Allow hospice to care for your Dad and you. I am not sure if you are ready to receive my experience but you will know what the right thing to do for your Dad and what ever your decision is it will be the right decision for you and your Dad.

Posts: 2
Joined: Sep 2013

Thank you for your reply. The doctors mentioned that my dad's liver is failing due to the cancer which is why I am thinking they want to put him on hospice. I feel pain for my dad to see him going threw this, he's so young, i'm young and my brother is even younger. It's just not right. I am not sure if I will ever be ready to put my dad on hospice, it's a scary thing, but at some point I may not have an opition. My dad was just diagnosed in July of this year and he is going downward fast, it's just hard and scary. I did not expect this. I did not expect for them to say the chemo is not working and there is nothing we can do. I don't like hearing that, I feel helpless. My dad has a nurse come into the house yesterday and he suggested that he be on hospice as well. My dad is so swollen and he is getting to the point where he cannot walk. We have dr.'s appointment on Monday, but I am scared that he will not be able to make it to the appointment because of how weak he is.

Posts: 3
Joined: Sep 2013

I too had cancer in the bile duct a little over a year ago and they did the Whipple procedure. Since then it has come back in the same area and in the liver as well as lymp nodes. They gave me radiation and I'm still receiving chemo but it seems to keep coming. I'm fortunate that I got this much time out of this terrible disease. Your right it just doesn't seem fair and it's scary. I don't go to church but I started praying at night and that gives some comfort. I'm sorry to hear your young and this has come on so quickly. My prayers are with you.

Posts: 1
Joined: Oct 2017

I was in your shoes 3 months ago but with my very young grandma who raised me since birth. I regret ever letting her in the care of hospice. It wasnt her wishes and as soon as she got on hospice she suffered for 4 days not being able to talk or move. She was going to the bathroom just fine before she got on hospice but hospice drugged her up so much to where she couldnt do anything but sit there and die right in my arms. My suggestion is push for treatment if you want your father to live. Once they hear theres no hope theyll give up. Keep that hope.

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