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Thread: Papa

  1. #1

    Papa

    Hi,

    I've been reading the posts on this forum since May just trying to glean any information I can and I have to say it is excellent.

    My grandfather, who will be 88 in Oct, was diagnosed with Lung Cancer about a year and a half ago. He had a small mass in his right lung that showed up on a chest x-ray. Because of his health, (congestive heart failure, blood clots in this legs, and so on and so forth), it was decided take a wait and see approach. To get check x-rays periodically and see if and how fast the mass grew. That it may have been there for a long time and wasn't going to be an issue especially considering his other health issues. In August of last year he was admitted into the hospital with a bowel obstruction and pretty much his primary care physician wanted to put him on morphine and let him go. His physician also issued a DNR and forgot to put an order in the system for his lasix. He went in heart failure and was moved to the cardiac critical area and assigned a cardiologist who with-in three weeks had him up and ready to be discharged. I will never forget the day my grandmother and grandfather called me as they were pulling out of the hospital parking lot calling it the great escape. Needless to say he never went back to his primary physicians and started seeing his new cardiologist regularly. The cardiologist put him on all new meds and he was doing great.

    In April of this year his cardiologist recommended that my grandfather really needed to have a primary care physician. Made some recommendations and my grandparents set up an appointment. The Saturday before his Monday appointment he started having trouble with his vision and his eyelid got extremely droopy. Almost as though he had had a stroke. My grandmother took him to his appointment and all the doctor saw was a senile old man. She tried to explain that this wasn't him. That Thursday he was running errands and driving his car. Anyway two weeks later, he went to see his opthomoligist thinking his eye and vision might have something to do with his contacts and was rushed to the neurologist. His lung cancer had grown to the point of that it filled his right lung and had matastisized to his brain. He has at least two tumors in his brain, one of which was bleeding into his pituitary gland. I went to see him that night in the hospital and at 2AM he woke up and said he wanted to go home and wait out his time. They put him on a short dose of steroids and let us take him home. This was the week before Memorial Day. The whole family (his sister, brother in law, son and daughter in law and all the grand children and great grandchildren) came to see him thinking he really didn't have long. We were told he probably had days, weeks, but not months left and because of the location of the tumor he would sleep more and more and there probably wouldn't be any pain. Needless to say it's now September. As time went on we kept saying he would hold on till Aug because it was my grandparents' 60th wedding anniversary and he knew how much it meant to her. He has good weeks and he has very bad weeks. Last week he was having one of his good weeks. My grandmother was driving him around and running errands almost everyday. They were going up every night to the ice cream shop. Just having the time of their life. This week is a bad one; he started having extremely hard time breathing. He is couching and choking a lot. The hospice nurse thought he might be getting a cold and had an antibiotic called in for him. My grandmother thinks it might be his heart cause when she gives him Adavan he calms down and his breathing resumes back to normal.

    I guess I wanted to get some advice or see if anyone else had experienced anything like this. My grandparents raised me from the time I was 5 and my grandfather is a "tough old bird" and I just hate to see him suffer. My father passed away from a pulmonary embolism and I think my grandfathers worst fear is suffocating. Any info anyone can give is greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Moderator Top User
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    Rob
    Sorry to hear of your Grand Fathers condition, I know it is hard to go through, but these are the cards you are dealt and with the respect you have for him you will do what you must because you love him.
    Is he on meds for the clots?
    God Bless
    Dan
    57 year old male, Diagnosed Nov. 9,2007 with NSCLC IV with Mets to the lymph's and brain and now my pancreas (9/1/11)
    Had full brain radiation treatment in Jan 08 treatments now every 3 weeks with Alimta, stopped taking Lovenox for clots, working full time
    http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.php?t=9993

  3. #3

    Papa

    Hi Dan,

    Thank you for the response. My grandfather pretty much said the same thing when he found out about the cancer. That he was 87 years old, had lived a great life and had no regrets. He still has his sense of humor about the whole situation. Growing up I always thought my grandfather was Captain Kangaroo cause he looks exactly like him and was always so happy. No matter what has happened in his life he has always been like, okay it happened, move on.

    He no longer is on coumidin. They explained that because the one tumor was bleeding and causing pressure in his brain, the coumidin was doing more harm than good. He's still on all the rest of his meds for his heart.

    Thanks,
    Michele

  4. #4
    Moderator Top User
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    Michele

    I would have loved living with Captain Kangaroo, you are fortunate.
    Coumidin seems to be used a lot with older people and main heart patients. I was given Lovinox, which is far more expensive and is injected instead of a pill. However it is more effective with cancer patients, Lovinox seems to help arrest cancer to some degree by it's self. Anyway, taking it cleared out clots in my lungs that made life a whole lot better. I started a string a while back about the differences between Coumadin and Lovinox. I hate giving myself shots daily.
    I would be great to know your Dad, no regrets.
    God Bless
    Dan
    57 year old male, Diagnosed Nov. 9,2007 with NSCLC IV with Mets to the lymph's and brain and now my pancreas (9/1/11)
    Had full brain radiation treatment in Jan 08 treatments now every 3 weeks with Alimta, stopped taking Lovenox for clots, working full time
    http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.php?t=9993

  5. #5
    How is your grandpa doing now? I was raised by my grandparents too and when my grandpa was diagnosed last month with stage IV NSCLC that spread to the bone, he and my grandma moved in with me. My grandpa got on hospice and sadly, only lived 2 weeks after that. He passed away last Sunday at my home. He was relieved when the hospice nurse told him that hospice meant he'd never have to go to the hospital if he didn't want to. I'm not sure what you want to know, but I've been there and know how difficult it is to watch your father figure suffer. Enjoy those good days/weeks and spend lots of time talking and doing activities you both enjoy. I wish you and your grandparents the best.
    D
    My wonderful grandfather was dx with metastatic stage IV lung cancer on 8/28/08. He passed away at my home on 9/21/08.

    Rest in peace, Poppy. We love you.

 
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