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Thread: Dad Has Liver Cancer

  1. #1
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    Dad Has Liver Cancer

    My dad was recently diagnosed with liver cancer. Unfortunately he has been having a sore back on the side for months but never thought anything of it as he works outdoors a lot he assumed if was because of all the lifting. November 5th doctors ran tests, scans etc and they found a 10cm tumour on his liver, although it has not spread to other parts. The doctors suggested that he go on chemo tablets to help shrink the tumour and possibly kill the cells. Unfortunately after a week my dad turned jaundice and got really sick the tablets were not working they were actually killing him. Doctor's told him not to take it anymore. They done more tests and then told us he has 2 days left to live.
    As he was getting more sick and weaker by the day.

    It has been now 2 weeks my dad is still fighting it, he keeps hoping that he will be ok but we see his conditon change more and more. He has so far lost a lot of weight, his voice, has fluid on his feet, unable to walk on his own and his speech is changing as well as his personality.😭

    We have pallative care nurses that come most days but they only prescribe morphine and some tablets for the fluid on his legs but they are not working. He has pain a lot but mostly on his shoulder and hips, morphine usually helps.

    I know his liver is shutting down and that he doesnt have long which is breaking my heart because i would give my own liver to save him. 😢 he is 66 years old and had 4 bypasses due to his heart condition so doctors can't operate or do anything.

    Is there anything natural that i can give him?
    How do i deal with the pain? Everytime im with him i have a knot in my throat trying not to burst into tears, i cant let him see me upset as he starts to weep. 😢 he gets so emotional seeing me upset. I keep it all in until i leave the room and just let it all out.
    We never had this happened in the family so i dont know how to deal with it.

    Judging by the signs as stated above how long has he got?

    I pray this is all a dream but i keep waking up and it's not. 😭

  2. #2
    Administrator Top User lisa1962's Avatar
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    Aron89:

    It saddens me to read your post and I can fully understand how devastating this is for you and the entire family. I have traveled the same road as you with my dear Mom who was diagnosed with Lung Cancer. I would have done anything to save her but rational, I knew the only thing I was able to do was to be there for her, love her and provide as much comfort as I could.

    At this point, palliative care should be addressing the pain issue and making sure he is comfortable. It is a balancing act and pain is difficult to manage. We only wish there was a "natural" cure or something to alleviate pain. The last thing you want to do is to give him something that may counteract the protocol palliative care is using.

    I know you do not realize it at the moment but you are stronger than you realize. Just be there for your Dad. Your love and support is a gift and one he needs right now.

    Keep strong,

    Lisa

  3. #3
    Moderator Top User BobInBonita's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aron89 View Post
    We have pallative care nurses that come most days but they only prescribe morphine and some tablets for the fluid on his legs but they are not working. He has pain a lot but mostly on his shoulder and hips, morphine usually helps.
    Please try to be there and talk honestly with the palliative care nurses. Patients many time try to minimize their symptoms and will say things like "It hurts here, but it's not so bad most times." I obviously don't know your father, but sometimes a big part of pain is anxiety associated with the pain - we tighten up and that makes the pain worse. A drug like Ativan can reduce the anxiety and make pain much more tolerable. Ask the palliative care people about it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aron89
    Is there anything natural that i can give him?
    I agree with Lisa. At this point, anything natural that you give him will have to be metabolized by his liver and could have unknown interactions with what the Drs are prescribing for pain.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aron89
    How do i deal with the pain? Everytime im with him i have a knot in my throat trying not to burst into tears, i cant let him see me upset as he starts to weep. �� he gets so emotional seeing me upset. I keep it all in until i leave the room and just let it all out.
    Acceptance is really hard, but can make the process of passing much easier, both for the patient and the family. It sounds like right now you are both hiding how you feel. In order to have acceptance, you will probably have to talk, hug, and cry about what eventually comes to all of us. If you can get to that point, you hopefully will be able to start to talk and laugh about the good moments in his life that you share.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aron89
    We never had this happened in the family so i dont know how to deal with it.
    Every family seems to come to their own way of handling the process of death. There isn't a right or wrong way, you just have to do the best you can as things unfold.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aron89
    Judging by the signs as stated above how long has he got?
    Everybody is different, but I am attaching a link to a pamphlet that was written by a nurse about the end of life process that many patients go through. It may give some insight, especially as your father moves closer to the end. My father-in-law passed of liver cancer, and he had little pain near the end. The toxins just built up in his blood and he gradually went deeper and deeper into a coma. In his case, the whole process was about two weeks and the coma at the end was two or three days.
    Crossing The Creek

    My best wishes that his pain is controlled and you both can have some really good talks and say anything that needs to be said while you are still able.

    Bob
    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
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    Quote Originally Posted by lisa1962 View Post
    Aron89:

    It saddens me to read your post and I can fully understand how devastating this is for you and the entire family. I have traveled the same road as you with my dear Mom who was diagnosed with Lung Cancer. I would have done anything to save her but rational, I knew the only thing I was able to do was to be there for her, love her and provide as much comfort as I could.

    At this point, palliative care should be addressing the pain issue and making sure he is comfortable. It is a balancing act and pain is difficult to manage. We only wish there was a "natural" cure or something to alleviate pain. The last thing you want to do is to give him something that may counteract the protocol palliative care is using.

    I know you do not realize it at the moment but you are stronger than you realize. Just be there for your Dad. Your love and support is a gift and one he needs right now.

    Keep strong,

    Lisa

    Thanks for the reply Lisa,

    It has been very hard but each day i pray that it will be painless for him. Today he seems ok has eaten well and is talking he also got his voice back which is a miracle we thought it wasn't going to come back. It is great to hear him talking. Although he looks tired and sleepy still not his usual self.

    His legs have lots of fluid still so we used some stockings, we put his legs on a pillow and the fluid goes a bit down but comes back as soon as he stands up or sits. I am not sure what else we could use. 😔

    I am so sorry about your mum, I really hope that it wasn't painful for her. I hope you are ok. I believe that there is more to life then what we see. One day we will meet our loved ones again. I guess this is what keeps me going.

    Everyday I pray that there will be a cure for these horrible cancers. 😢 i know i am not the only one who is going through this which breaks my heart. I wouldn't wish this upon my worst enemy

    Your message has brought me comfort thank you so much.

    Sending you lots of love,

    Aron x

  5. #5
    Administrator Top User lisa1962's Avatar
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    Aron:

    Very good to hear your dad had a rather good day yesterday. I know with my Mother, eating foods high in protein did seem to help the water retention somewhat but liver cancer is entirely different, one I really have no knowledge with so I would present a question to the palliative team and ask if there is anything that can be done to reduce the swelling in his legs.

    Yes, cancer is an insidious disease but small gains are being made to learn more about how to understand cancer and how to treat even the most aggressive cancers. While it is too late for my Mom, in the future, many will benefit from the current research that is being done.

    Keep moving forward Aron, you are doing a great job in just being there for your Dad.

    Lisa

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    Unfortunately my dad passed away 8/01/2017. 😢

    My heart is utterly broken.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aron89 View Post
    Unfortunately my dad passed away 8/01/2017. 😢

    My heart is utterly broken.
    I'm very sorry for your loss. It is so hard to grieve when you have so little time to get over the shock of the diagnosis. If I may say without sounding callous, your dad is fortunate he didn't suffer on and on. My husband was diagnosed with HCC in Oct and tumor was 14cm. Started on Sorefinib. He has had since then a GI bleed, pulmonary embolism and now pneumonia. He has lost 40lbs. He is very weak and doesn't eat much. It is horrible watching him slowly waste away. God Bless and comfort you.

 

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