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Thread: Father

  1. #1
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    Father

    Hello,
    my father who is 80 has had a very active life until recently, he has had prostate cancer for a few years and last week was diagnosed with Leukemia, he's been almost confined to his bed for a month or so and he's been wanting to die rather than have treatment until yesterday, he now thinks he should have treatment but he's not 100% sure.

    We as his children fully understand why he wants to die, our mother died of cancer 30y ago and his new partner died of cancer a few years ago, we want to respect his wishes but what do we do ? his doctor was with him when he said he didn't want treatment and now all of his tests etc have been cancelled he's thinking about changing his mind. I know if we convince him to have treatment and if it goes wrong he will be a nightmare to us (verbal abuse).

    Other members of the family say we should just rearrange the tests behind his back but he's a very strong willed man and if he disagrees there's very little chance of changing his mind, we are getting desperate as if he doesn't have treatment he has weeks to live, he can hardly walk he's not eating and drinking much, has great difficulty going to the toilet, when he tries to urinate it only come's out in drips, very pale and week, finding it hard to breathe.

    He says he's done and seen all he want's and doesn't want to be kept alive for the sake of it.

    Any advice or suggestions will be greatly received

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Top User Hope2012's Avatar
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    Hello davidpaul,

    You know your dad best. Instead of trying to "convince" him, I'd have a chat about it with him. Make him come to his own conclusion. If he says he wants more treatment, then be supportive and do all the tasks needed for him to do that (call drs on his behalf, schedule tests etc). I would perhaps call his doctor and tell him that he's backed off a bit on his no treatment stance, but he hasn't made up his mind yet. That would then open a door for his doctor to have a conversation with him about treatment plans etc.

    My dad asked me "Should I go for another round of chemo?". I said "I can't answer that dad. Selfishly I want you around as long as possible, but I can't answer that one for you." He decided against treatment and opted for quality over quantity of life.

    What isn't known with your dad is that is there a chance he can go into remission or is it too far gone? Do you know ALL the information his doctor has told him to date?
    This dark night shall end and the sun will rise again...
    Believe

    - Dad diagnosed in 1992 with primary bladder cancer
    - bladder removed and new one made from resected intestine
    - chemotherapy regimen started
    - mets to large intestines discovered in 1993...more chemo...tumors disappearing
    - complained of neck pain Dec 1994. Mets to brainstem confirmed
    - passed away Feb 24, 1995

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Top User po18guy's Avatar
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    If he is of sound mind, respect his wishes and spend as much quality time with him as you can.

  4. #4
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    Hi davidpaul,

    If your dad has a quickly progressing leukemia and now wants treatment, he will have to start treatment immediately. On the day I was diagnosed with leukemia, I was literally dying. The following day I checked into Simon Cancer Center and started chemo. I probably would have been dead within weeks without a quick acting team of doctors.

    On the other hand, your dad may decide not to go through the brutal chemo treatment. I would support his decision and not push.

  5. #5
    Senior User Dead Man Walking's Avatar
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    Dear davidpaul: I concur with the others, and it sounds like your father is "done". Although it may seem scary, like something that you don't want to do or believe, you need to step forward "through the door" of this situation and accept it for what it is. Once you do that, a lot of the fear, pain, and uncertainty drop away very quickly. I pray that you can find peace WITH your dad in this difficult situation.
    Last edited by Dead Man Walking; 07-16-2017 at 08:05 PM.
    05/6/16 pre-op physical for surgery show low WBC & RBC
    5/22/16 [Birthday] Results of BM biopsy: AML 25% blasts with inv t(3:3) mutation, HIGH risk
    5/30/16 Undergo 3+7 chemo, but it doesn't touch AML, infections nearly kill me. Blasts 65%
    7/04/16 Diagnosis now Refractory AML. [:tombstone:]Six cycles of azacitidine, 21 shots over 7 days w/ 1.5" needle into gut + below navel.
    11/05/16 Move to NOLA - Infusion center 4 minutes away. 15 shots for 5 days with 5/8" 25 ga. needle Huge increase in quality of life.
    12/28/16 BMB shows blasts 12%
    4/16/17 BMB shows CD34 16%, cycles dropped to 4 weeks
    7/20/17 Diagnosis changed to "indolent leukemia", aka MDS
    7/27/17 BMB shows CD34 17%
    8/15/17 Venclexta chemo in PILL form added Onc estimates survival time now 2 - 4 YEARS.
    10/26/17 BMB results show 17/20 metaphases with inv(3:3) mutation-low blood cell counts - transfusions ineffective
    12/4/17 Diagnosis: Uncontrolled refractory AML

  6. #6
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    I'm sooooo sorry to hear that you find yourself in such a horrible position. It's a sad thing to face and nobody can rightly say when someone's time has come. Please keep in mind that its possible to make things worse by trying to hold on. After I survived Leukemia I suffered horrible pain for over 10 years and the world forced me to live with it. I found that to be cruel because they didn't understand, or were willing to face, that my own body was torturing me. I wish you the best and the wisdom to make the right decision.

 

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