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This is a first for me.. so it would make me more comfortable to introduce myself. wave
My name is Mary. I'm 23 years old, and I have a 4 year old son named Zachary. I am originally from Memphis, TN. but my husband (Patrick) is in the army, and we are currently stationed at Ft. Lewis, Washington.

A little over a month ago, my father (Jimmy-58yrs old) was admitted to the hospital with what we thought was a perforated bowel. It turned out that he has a mass in his colon. (which turned out to be benign) but when performing the CAT scan, they found several masses on his liver (so many that they are unable to count) and 2 masses in his right lung. They are malignant. We were told that the cancer started in his lung, and that it is small cell. The doctors scanned him from head to toe, and said it has not spread beyond those 2 organs. In the past month, he has gone from being a loud, vibrant, spirited man, to a zombie.
He has lost a lot of weight.. He was usually around 250lbs, and he is now at 190. He doesn't eat solid food, he only drinks Boost shakes, when he is forced. He has to wear diapers, because he has lost control of his bodily functions. He sleeps all the time. He doesn't talk much, and what he does say doesn't make sense. He gets confused about who people are by name.. (didn't remember my step-brother who has been in our lives for 10 yrs. and didn't remember my husband who has been around for 2 years) He is starting to jaundice now, and is being combative with my step-mom when she tries to give him his medicine. He just went through 3 days of chemo, on the 12th, 13th, and 14th, and is now at home.
His doctors have not given us many answers, and they seem to be dragging their feet on trying to help him. I last saw him a month ago and as I said earlier, I live in Washington, so traveling to him is difficult.. I would like to know how long we have with him, and at what time should I go to be with him. Also, are there are any recommendations on how we can get him to eat. I am a realist, and I know what is coming. I would just like to be able to understand what is going on, and what the body's process is, in a situation such as this.
Thank you for any advice you can offer.
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replied December 21st, 2007
Extremely eHealthy
Liver cancer is sometimes called a "silent disease" because in an early stage it often does not cause symptoms. But, as the cancer grows, symptoms may include: weight loss, loss of appetite and feelings of fullness, weakness, nausea and vomiting, jaundice, fever.

Does he have pain in the upper abdomen on the right side, that may extend to the back and shoulder?
Does he have swollen abdomen (bloating) and swollen legs?
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replied December 22nd, 2007
Yes, His belly has been swollen for as long as I can remember (even through childhood.
His legs have been swollen for about 3 weeks now, My step mom has stockings on his legs to keep blood from clotting.
As of today, The hospice nurse came by to check on him, and she called an ambulance. He was put in the hospital to be put on antibiotics, to get hydrated, and to get pain meds to keep him comfortable.
She also was very honest with us.. She told us that he is in the first stage of death, and that it will not be much longer. Crying or Very sad His wish was to not be put on any type of life support.. and that he wants to die in the comfort of his own home, and the nurse told us that in his current state; While they are trying to stabilize him enough to go home.. he still may not make it back home.
Thank you for your help.. Merry Christmas!
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replied December 31st, 2007
Bittersweet News
My father lost his battle with cancer on December 26th, 2007 at 9:42 am. Of course we are sad that he is no longer with us, but we are relieved that he isnt in pain anymore.
His temperature kept going up to 104 F, from 12/23 - 12/25.. and when given tylenol, it would drop to 101f. On the morning of the 26th, his temperature went up to 107.2 F, and his blood pressure started dropping. He went into a coma, and passed away shortly after. He never made it back home. Crying or Very sad He was supposed to be released into our care that morning.
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replied January 13th, 2008
I am very sorry you lost your father. That is a lovely photo of him and I am sure you will have many treasured memories of him. Thank you for posting again and telling us about him. As you said, it is a blessing that he is no longer suffering but it all seems much too quick for those left behind to have to come to terms with.

I have lost several family members and friends through liver cancer - all, like your father, too young. Your father's liver cancer was secondary but when it is primary, it can remain 'silent' for years until almost the last stages, when it is too late to intervene. I feel that there should be more routine screening for liver cancer, especially in families where there appears to be a tendency towards it.

I wish you all the best and hope that time will ease the pain of your loss.
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