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Thread: Grandpa got cancer

  1. #1
    Newbie New User
    Join Date
    Dec 2016

    Grandpa got cancer

    My nice grandfather recently have been found to have liver cancer and transferred to lung now. He is 90 and has been a very healthy man. He never went to hospital and has any drugs until this April. He got swollen feet this April but become well after treatment. Several days ago, he has difficulty to breathe and then found he got liver cancer and transferred to multiple places of lung. The doctors have no suggestion of treatment. But it is too hard for our family to do no treatment. Does anyone have some suggestions? Thank you!

  2. #2
    Administrator Top User lisa1962's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Hello bebetter and sorry to hear of your grandpa's diagnosis and understand how sad and frightened you are.

    While I do not have knowledge specific to Liver Cancer I do have thoughts and understanding concerning treatment of other types of cancer and knowledge when it pertains to someone who is elderly.

    As difficult it is to hear, it sounds as though the doctors are correct in regards to treatment options. The fact remains, your grandpa is 90 year old and most likely, treatment can be very harsh. As we get older, even if in excellent health, our bodies immune systems become weakened.

    However, with the above said, the doctors should be very well versed in managing pain or other issues that arise. The best thing you can do for your grandpa is to be there for him, love him and create more memories with him.

    Stay strong.


  3. #3
    Newbie Top User BobInBonita's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014

    Welcome to the forum and very sorry to hear about your grandfather. We are not Drs., but cancer patients and their caregivers who share our experiences with each other. That sometimes leads to questions about treatments that people can ask their Drs. about.

    I have to ask is what does your grandfather want to do. It sounds like your family is very loving and care for him deeply. You want him to be here with you forever, but that will not happen. We all have to go sometime.

    The treatment for some liver cancers and the cancer I have (pancreatic) can be similar. It is a hard treatment with many side effects. If your grandfather decides he wants to stay a little longer, he has to know that he will probably be very tired, he will probably have neuropathy in his hands and feet, he may have trouble eating and may be physically sick (nausea and vomiting). IF he is willing to accept these side effects, talk to his current Drs again. If they are unwilling to treat him, ask why. If it is because of his physical age and condition, then it is unlikely that other Drs will treat him. If it is because they do not expect him to improve, then talk to other Drs, especially at a major university or medical school.

    Always ask what the side effects will be, what benefit might there be, and again, ask your grandfather if he wants to do it. It is so easy for the family to get so lost in what they want, that they forget to ask what the patient wants.

    I hope this is not to harsh sounding, but I believe the patient has the right to decide their own direction at a difficult time.

    Best wish to you, your grandfather, and your family. Please let us know how things unfold for him.

    7/12 DX stage 3 pan can (adenocarcinoma) @ 65 - borderline resectable
    8/12 - 10/12 Chemo (GTX) & Stereotactic Radiation
    12/12 Whipple - R0 margins, 2/29 nodes pos.
    1/13 - 5/16 Vaccine clinical trial - randomized to control group - vaccine showed no benefit
    2/13 - 8/13 Gemzar for 6 months
    Quarterly scans - no evidence of disease to 10/14 - spot on lung being watched - possible infection 2 months on antibiotics
    3/15 - spot larger - probable met - surgery planned
    4/15 - PET prior to surg - recurrence & lung mets - Surgery cancelled - EUS w/ FNA showed adenocarcinoma - Stage 4
    5/15 - 9/15 Folfirinox @ reduced dosage - Stopped treatment after 11 infusions due to neuropathy
    10/15 - 8/16 maintenance 5-fu every other week
    8/16 - stable disease on both CT and PET/CT - chemo holiday while other treatments explored
    9/16 - lung biopsy confirms pan can met,
    10/16 -NanoKnife to pancreatic bed -PET after Nano showed new met in hilar lymph nodes - SBRT to both lung & lymph
    4/17 - PET/CT showed significant disease progression, multiple lung mets, pancreatic bed tumor has grown
    5/17 - Started hospice care - striving for acceptance

    Stay busy and live life to the best of your ability.

  4. #4
    Newbie New User
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Lisa and Bob, thank you very much for your nice words and suggestions!
    We did lots of diagnosis and visited several doctors. All seem have no way to treat the tumor now. We discovered it too late as the tumors are almost every where in his lung. The doctors indeed concern the side effect is to harsh for him and just make him feel more comfortable. We are all standing by with Grandpa and talking and encouraging him. So far, he feels great and tells funny stories to us.
    Bob, thanks for pointing out to ask how Grandpa wants to do. My Grandpa always care about others rather than himself. We all love him and really want to be with him forever. So we all want to find the best way to fight the cancer, but didn't ask how my Grandpa wants to do. Thanks!


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