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Doctor says weeks - 3 months

Posts: 40
Joined: May 2010

Hi Everyone,  My dad has been treating for squamos cell cancer that has met to lung now.  He went through 6 rounds of chemo and 33 treatments of radiation.  This is after doing almost the exact same treatment for a squamos cell tumor that was removed under his arm pit.  My dad doesn't ask any questions about his cancer when he sees the doctor and he doesn't want to go anywhere else for a 2nd opinion.  He has congestive heart failure and kidney issues besides the cancer issue.  He has had several thorosyntesis and the fluid seems to build up faster after each treatment.  I finally talked with his doctor because my dad never wants to discuss it and he had signed papers so I could contact the doctor if I had questions.  The doctor said weeks - 3 months is about all he has left.  Because my dad doesn't want to talk about anything to do with his health I am struggling with the thought of bringing up hospice to him.  2 years ago I lost my mom to cancer and she was only on hospice for 1 day when she passed away.  She didn't want to talk about her cancer either.  I don't want to upset my father but it sure would be great if he gave some thought as to hospice when the time comes.  Who does talk to the cancer patients about hospice and that type of stuff?  I don't see the oncologist or family doctor doing it.  

Thanks for taking time to read this.  Losing 2 parents to cancer is a lot to handle.  They were divorced so and since I'm the only one that lives close I am the one that tries to help out when it's allowed.  I know it's out of love that they don't want me to worry but it's out of love that I care enough to worry.

Posts: 773
Joined: Apr 2012

So sorry to hear about your father.  When my husband went on in-home hospice, it was his oncologist who suggested it and put in the necessary paperwork.  He is still on in-home hospice after 18 months but is losing his battle now.  No one thought he would last this long, just goes to show you that no one knows but the man upstairs.  His cancer is squamous cell which started in his larynx and then after treatment (radiation, chemo and surgery) a second primary occurred at the cervical of his esphogus and after more radiation and chemo came back and spread to his lungs.  

Hospice has been great and there have been times I thought of taking him off but now is a different story.  Now I know that if you are in-patient hospice you can only be there for 6 months but in-home is different.  The nurse comes once a week and if needed more often, provides all medication necessary to make him comfortable, a home healthcare aide (which we haven't asked for) to help the patient bathe.  They also have a social worker and a chaplain to come in and talk with the patient.  If your father is on Medicare you don't pay for anything.  Other types of insurance also cover hospice.  Hospice has even changed out my husband's PEG tube.    

Wishing you peace and comfort -- Sharon

Posts: 40
Joined: May 2010

Thanks for taking the time to respond to my post.  I know that no one really knows what time anyone has left and that the doctors are just giving me their best estimate.  The problem is I see that my dad is failing more and more and yet we can't discuss it.  My hope for my father is that he passes away peacefully and isn't scared or in a lot of pain.  I will be there to support him however I can and that has to be good enough.  I would love to tell him how hospice could help him but he's not ready to hear it so I will just do what I can and hope one of his doctors discusses hospice with him.

Posts: 5
Joined: Oct 2014

My mom passed away a few months ago (April) and we had put her in a hospice a week before she passed.  We were lucky that she wanted to talk about her journey and her wishes during that time.  She wanted to pass in a hospice and not at home or in a sterile hospital.  She also signed a living will givine her children power or attorney for medical treatments. My mothers medical team included her oncologist, her radiation oncologist and her palliative phyisician.  For us it was her palliative physician that did all the necessary work for her to go to the hospice.  We went for her regular appointment with the palliative doctor and it was decided taht she needed to be in a hospice right away and they had a bed for her by that afternoon.  My understanding is that any of the cancer doctors can get a bed in the hospice.  I wish your father the best and I hope that you will be able to communicate about his wishes for his journey, but I understand how difficult this must be for him (and for you).  Take care!

a careing friend
Posts: 1
Joined: Aug 2015

my friend was dx with stage 4 lung cancer a couple of months ago also with tumor that is pushing on spine. then they found he had liver and kidney cancer at stage 4. he went through radiation with no success he is on cemo pills morphine and xnax  he has no mussal mass and ony weighs 100  pounds.he dont eat much and drinks insure. he had one round of cemo made him so sick..getting ready for second round he is such a fighter  doc gave hime less than a year..but is this true what we see dont look good just was wondering ho much time we got left and what we might need to be prepairing for  thanks 

Posts: 844
Joined: Mar 2011

The best advice I can give you is prepare for the worst plan for the best.  

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