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Thread: Question about final days/hours

  1. #1

    Question about final days/hours

    Hello,

    For those that have the courage and inclination, I'd like to know specific symptoms to expect for my father, realizing of course every human body is different. I want to know what to expect in the final days/hours in terms of suffering - the body's overall condition, mental awareness of the patient - etc....

    Please feel free to click on my profile and email me directly if you don't want to post this kind of information on the forum, although I suspect it could be helpful to others.

    I don't know exactly how close we are to the end. Here are some details if it helps.

    My father was diagnosed in July 2005. Initially not considered a candidate for Whipple, a talented surgeon overruled and did the surgery, including a vein resection (the tumor had impacted the vein in the head of the pancreas). My father has spent the last year and a half on various chemo regimens and radiation treatments. The tumor recurred in Spring of 2006, and multiple lesions are now on the liver. It is highly unlikely we will do any additional curative treatments such as chemo.

    My father started at 172 and is down to 117. Very weak from the cancer and the various treatments. He was admitted to the hospital several weaks ago with blood pressure issues, dehydration, and uncontrolled diarrhea - caused by infections in his blood. Antibiotics are stabilizing the infections, but he is still mostly bedridden and currently in an acute care facility with hopes to head home in a couple of weeks. He takes Vicadin and wears a strong narcotic pain patch on his abdomen (has done so since Winter of 2005).

    Currently he is on again/off again IV for nutritional fluids, however he does eat and drink small portions at every meal and is conversant when awake.

    Thanks for taking the time to read and offering difficult information. God bless,

    Pete

  2. #2

    end of life

    I am very new to this forum..I lost my husband of 26 years in sep. of 06 to this deadly disease..I can only tell you what I saw with him as the end drew near...He was put in hospice the last week of his life to help control the pain and vomiting..the meds he had been using were of no use to him any longer..He couldn't eat even though he wanted to..he threw up 2 or 3 times a day and the pain intensified. with the help of hospice we were able to control both of these and bring him home the day before he died. I was so grateful because I had made a promise to him that he wouldn't die in a hospital or any place but home with us...He also began to retreat to the bedroom and sleep more...didn't watch t.v. or converse much at the end. Just wanted to sleep a lot...I don't know if this will help as each individual is different. Best of luck to you

  3. #3
    Hello,

    You are right, each person is different when it comes to death & this is only my story of events that occured with my husband a very short time ago. My husband was a young 59 & I am 45. My husband just passed away 3 wks ago on Dec 31st from pancreatic & liver cancer. This is very hard for me to think about & discuss so soon, but I feel it just may help someone else. From the time of the 1st light flu symptoms & death was only 8 wks. He wanted to pass away at home & not in a hospital, but he missed it by 15 hrs. My story will tell you about 95% of the 2 wks before his life ended.

    16 days before my husbands death he had worked his last day at work (unbelievable I know). He knew we needed the money to pay the bills. Plus he had 3 Dr appt's & they said nothing serious was wrong & he had caught a bad bug somewhere. He had a 60 pound weight loss in only 4-5 wks & an extremely distended abdomen for 6 wks preceeding his death. He was only eating very small portions of food at a time, eating only made him hurt more. His flu like symptoms changed to severe abdo pain & back pain about 4wks before death & it became very hard for him to sleep because of the pain. Still after scopes & more Dr's they still were telling us not to worry & he would be fine. My husband was actually diagnosed just 2 wks prior to his death (Dec 15 th). He then was hospitalized emmediately. 2 days later or so the Oncologist said he would be lucky to have a few wks to live. Also said his cancer marker was 5,000 with the normal being 20.

    I got him home 2 days later & cared for him at home with the help of hospice. This was about 11 days before death. He slept a lot, drank very little, and was eating only a few teaspoons of food a day, sat up on the edge of his bed for 15 min or so, then with help & was extremely weak. 9 days prior to death he stopped eating all together but would drink sometimes laying down. He stopped being able to sit up about 3-4 days before death. At this same time he suddenly wanted to eat about 10 bites of spagetti that was offered to him at dinner time & said he loved it. That was the last he ate or drank. about 24-36 hrs before death he became extremely distressed, was having dillusions, he no longer knew who we were, reliving his early days in his dreams, talking in his dreams, became very strong & aggressive & 2 adults had a hard time keeping him down. He needed 4x the amount of morphine that he was taking & more of other meds.

    15 hrs prior to my husbands death I had to have him transported to the hospice facility because I could no longer keep his distress controlled & keep him comfortable. He needed the drugs that would put him in a comotose state that you can only get in a facility.

    I have a lot of emotions when we should of known much sooner than we did, but we won't go into that.

    My prayers are with you both my friend & my heart goes out to you.
    take care

  4. #4
    Thanks to both of you, as well as those who replied to me privately.

    I needed a general idea of what to expect to help my mother through this process and you all have helped by sharing what I know is a painful memory.

    Our current primary care doctor indicated this weekend he thought my father had 2 weeks or less. We are hopeful to bring him home under private nurse care for the final days. My father shares some symptoms mentioned but also some other distinct things that may be the result of a "successful" whipple surgery a year and a half ago. If anyone would like to know these details please send me a private message - I'd be happy to share.

    God bless,
    Pete

  5. #5

    brilliant story and so helpful to others..I commend you.

    Quote Originally Posted by roses4evver
    Hello,

    You are right, each person is different when it comes to death & this is only my story of events that occured with my husband a very short time ago. My husband was a young 59 & I am 45. My husband just passed away 3 wks ago on Dec 31st from pancreatic & liver cancer. This is very hard for me to think about & discuss so soon, but I feel it just may help someone else. From the time of the 1st light flu symptoms & death was only 8 wks. He wanted to pass away at home & not in a hospital, but he missed it by 15 hrs. My story will tell you about 95% of the 2 wks before his life ended.

    16 days before my husbands death he had worked his last day at work (unbelievable I know). He knew we needed the money to pay the bills. Plus he had 3 Dr appt's & they said nothing serious was wrong & he had caught a bad bug somewhere. He had a 60 pound weight loss in only 4-5 wks & an extremely distended abdomen for 6 wks preceeding his death. He was only eating very small portions of food at a time, eating only made him hurt more. His flu like symptoms changed to severe abdo pain & back pain about 4wks before death & it became very hard for him to sleep because of the pain. Still after scopes & more Dr's they still were telling us not to worry & he would be fine. My husband was actually diagnosed just 2 wks prior to his death (Dec 15 th). He then was hospitalized emmediately. 2 days later or so the Oncologist said he would be lucky to have a few wks to live. Also said his cancer marker was 5,000 with the normal being 20.

    I got him home 2 days later & cared for him at home with the help of hospice. This was about 11 days before death. He slept a lot, drank very little, and was eating only a few teaspoons of food a day, sat up on the edge of his bed for 15 min or so, then with help & was extremely weak. 9 days prior to death he stopped eating all together but would drink sometimes laying down. He stopped being able to sit up about 3-4 days before death. At this same time he suddenly wanted to eat about 10 bites of spagetti that was offered to him at dinner time & said he loved it. That was the last he ate or drank. about 24-36 hrs before death he became extremely distressed, was having dillusions, he no longer knew who we were, reliving his early days in his dreams, talking in his dreams, became very strong & aggressive & 2 adults had a hard time keeping him down. He needed 4x the amount of morphine that he was taking & more of other meds.

    15 hrs prior to my husbands death I had to have him transported to the hospice facility because I could no longer keep his distress controlled & keep him comfortable. He needed the drugs that would put him in a comotose state that you can only get in a facility.

    I have a lot of emotions when we should of known much sooner than we did, but we won't go into that.

    My prayers are with you both my friend & my heart goes out to you.
    take care

 
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