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I dont want to give up on my dad

Posts: 21
Joined: Jan 2018

My dad has stage 4 colon cancer with mets to liver and both lungs. He recently has experiencing more frequent abdominal pain. What was recently determined is he has a tumor in his main bile duct which was causing infections. Long story short, an intervential radiologist did an ERCP procedure to put a stent around the tumor in the main bile duct so bile can drain better and the hope was to start chemo again to then shrink this bile duct tumor. However, according to this intervential radiologist, he was unable to put a stent in so now he has drains coming out of his skin which is draining bile into bags. He has 3 bags. He is still in pain, his body keeps trying to fight infections including sepsis. His oncologist says he should just go on hospice care due to all hes been through and chemo is not an option right now unless he gets better. Can I request another doctor to possibly try doing another ERCP to put a stent in so he doesnt have bags which puts him at higher risks of infection? Or do I give up? My dad wants to fight. Please help

beaumontdave's picture
Posts: 1147
Joined: Aug 2013

Welcome, I can't advise on specifics, but if he wants to fight, and you want to help, it may be about getting new opinions from the best hospitals, assuming you're not at a major center already. Those who deal with the toughest cases and the latest techniques are going to have the most experience, and better ideas of what can be done, so if you can get to a leading cancer center, that's probably his best shot. Good luck...........................................Dave

Posts: 21
Joined: Jan 2018

Hi Dave,

Thank you for responding to my post. Thank god for these discussion boards!! I have thought about second opinions as well. I just dont know where to start. The closest well known hospitals near me are either in Boston or NY. Do I just call them and ask for an appointment or is it much more complicated being that he already has an oncologist? Will his current oncologist be upset we are reaching out to another specialist? Im so overwhelmed :(

Posts: 1
Joined: Sep 2019

i would set some time aside to start calling other places and give them a brief summary about your dad in terms of the type of cancer he has and that you would like a second opinion of where he currently stands. Usually when you say “second opinion” the offices know the patients have an oncologist already. My mom has cancer and for a while, there were times I didn’t know what to do to get a second opinion and I was worried about what the oncologist would think if I reached out. If there’s anything I‘ve learned, it’s to be more confident in my decisions. If we stop and worry about doctors being upset, we’ll never do what feels right or necessary. As caregivers, it’s our right to ask as many questions as we need to in order to help our loved ones. 

Annabelle41415's picture
Posts: 6711
Joined: Feb 2009

So sorry to hear of your father and it sounds like he wants to fight so don't give up on him.  Get a second opinion.  You can call a hospital of your choosing and talk to someone in oncology and they can't point you in the right direction.  No, your current doctor should never get upset that you are seeking another opinion, and if they do, they aren't worth having.  Wishing him the best.


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