General cancer discussions

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Not knowing what to expect - Mesothelioma the final stages

Helyn43
Posted by
Hi Michelle sorry your dad has been diagnosed with this awful disease - you will be in shock for the next few weeks you will think of nothing else and will be very very emotional as you try to understand the big question WHY and why my dad. How old is your dad? Did he work with asbestos? If so you need to get involve diwth a solicitor you may be entitled to put a claim - sounds harsh and probably sometihng u think is the last thing you want to do but as time goes on you wont feel up to it. I can send you info in a seperate messageif you want. Michelle the important thing right now is (what everyone will tell you) to love you dad and be there for him keep telling him how much heis loved and how you will all be there tosupport him. Has he offered any chemo or other treatment? Does he have much pain? Keep in touch and as angie says (she is my sister) it helps being on here big time! xx
esined
Posted by
Hi everyone

My dear dad passed away on 17 August 2009 at the hospice where he had been since 6 August.
We spent all our time with him whilst he was in there and although he was failing fast his sense of
humour and graciousness to anybody who did anything for him was inspiring.
He died beautifully and peacefully with both my sisters and myself at his bedside urging him to let go
and have peace.
Fortunately he did not have very much pain but was so very very thin and frail. What amazes me by
reading each and everyones story about their dads, husbands etc. with this vile disease is how stalwart and strong they are.

It has been an absolute pleasure and honour (although also I have at times thought how much longer
can we go on like this) to have been able to spend such time and loving moments with my dad none
of which probably would have happened if we had not spent so many hours just talking and enjoying the caring.
My dad was cremated today and I felt elated that he is now free from such tiredness, the fact that
he can now go forward and leave the disease behind him and that I have been lucky enough and had enough time to realise that I loved him and got to know him more as a person than only on a father
daughter basis.
Bless you all, be strong and take some strength from my words, I have gained so much from this
and had the honour to look after a man (88 years old) who fought all the way.

Fondest love and support to you all.
Esined
susanmw
Posted by

dear esined

so, so sorry to hear about your dear dad.

no more pain or suffering for him; he is at peace now

Sue x

Helyn43
Posted by
Hello Esined sorry about your dad your words are very touching - all our dads who are battling or have battled this should be commended for their bravery! Love kisses and hugs to you and your family rght now. x
tj62
Posted by

Hi,Michelle,I know exactly how you feel my mother was diagnosed on 26/07/16 too ,came as an absolute shock,devastated she is 82 just back from hospital earlier today she can't have surgery or chemotherapy it is not going to be easy,but am sure you will know what to say to your dad.

Chesanne9
Posted by

Hi. My husband was diagnosed last June. He had 5 cycles of chemo which made him really ill. Since chemo has stopped the cancer has been very aggressive and progressed very quickly. He is now quite dependant on oxygen and and takes 60 mg morphine twice day , naproxen, oromorph as required, steroid, paracetamol and anti sickness. 

Pete sleeps a lot of the time and wakes up very agitated. It's so hard to watch him fading week by week. We are planning on renewing our vows on 3rd June but I'm scared he won't be able to

Pandy58
Posted by

Hi Chesanne9my heart went out to you when I read your comments here. My husband and I celebrated our Ruby anniversary in November last year. He had Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma 17 years ago and recovered only to be diagnosed with Mesothelioma in December last year (just before Christmas)

He decided to take the chemo offered as palliative care treatment and after the 1st round of chemo was so ill I worry he won't agree to more.


Like Pete my hubby is sleeping a lot.....he is angry and very scared and like you I struggle to watch him disappearing each week in front of my eyes.


 I hope that Pete is well enough to renew your vows and my thoughts are with you both in the journey ahead. I cannot tell you how much I have raved about the injustice of all this as I know you probably have already done the same.


Love and thoughts are with you both



Pl

hdetect
Posted by

Just like many other types of cancers, Mesothelioma Stage 4 is the most advanced and difficult to treat. Sadly, most people do not develop any symptoms until the disease has progressed to Stage 3 and Stage 4. In fact, by the time they are diagnosed, the disease is often in the late stage.

"If you’ve been diagnosed with early–stage mesothelioma, you’re most likely eligible for traditional treatments—surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy—that can extend your life expectancy."

In Stage 4, mesothelioma usually has spread from the point of the origin throughout the patient’s chest cavity, abdomen, heart, distant lymph nodes, brain, spine, prostate as well as into the bloodstream.

Sadly, the prognosis for mesothelioma Stage 4 is usually very poor. Most patients at this stage usually have a year or less to live. At this stage, invasive surgical procedures and aggressive treatments are not recommended as the side effects may be severe. In other words, most treatment options are palliative rather than curative. This means that the mesothelioma patients’ medical needs are focused on end-of-life care such as pain relief management, emotional support, improving symptoms, and generally improving their quality of life. (See alternative treatments for mesothelioma patients)
Mesothelioma Stage 4 Symptoms

Since the tumors have spread widely throughout vital body organs, the symptoms of mesothelioma Stage 4 tend to be very much severe compare to other stages. These symptoms only appear after the cancer has progressed in the body. The common symptoms of Stage 4 mesothelioma include;

- Shortness of breath and difficulty breathing

- A general feeling of unwellness or intense fatigue

- Fluid accumulation in the chest and abdomen

- Abdominal pain and discomfort

- Difficulty swallowing (Dysphagia)

- Coughing up blood (Hemoptysis)

- Chest tightness and pain

- Unexplained weight loss

- Night sweats and fever

Some mesothelioma patients suffer from cachexia, a syndrome that involves weight loss, general body weakness, loss of appetite, muscle atrophy, and fatigue. Stage 4 mesothelioma may also cause blood problems such as anemia (low red blood cell count) and thrombocytosis (high platelet count).
Mesothelioma Stage 4 Treatment Options

The treatment plan for asbestos-cancer is palliative (pain relieving and comfort) than curative. The main treatment options available are intended to extend the life of the patients, alleviate the symptoms, and make them more comfortable. Here are the main treatment options for the late stage of mesothelioma.

  • Chemotherapy: It is one of the most common treatments for Stage 4 mesothelioma. Chemotherapy drugs are administered so as to stop the growth of tumors and shrink them. Chemotherapy is used to alleviate the cancer symptoms and also to extend the patient’s life.
  • Radiation Therapy: Doctors use targeted radiation to shrink the tumors and kill mesothelioma cells. Different types of radiations are used depending on the location of the tumor. In Stage 4, radiation therapy is used to help alleviate pain caused by the tumors.
  • Palliative Surgery: Curative surgery is not usually recommended as the tumor is usually too large to be removed. However, palliative surgery may be used to target problematic tumors so as to decrease pain and even help the patient breathe much more comfortably.
  • Supportive Care: Supportive care in Stage 4 is usually recommended to help alleviate symptoms and improve the patient’s quality of life. The doctor may recommend oxygen therapy, pain medication, and respiratory therapy to improve lung function, control pain, and increase comfort.

"If you’ve been diagnosed with advanced–stage mesothelioma, traditional treatments may not be an option, but you can participate in clinical trials where researchers are testing newer treatments like immunotherapy."

Source: Mesothelioma Stage 4

Glenda2
Posted by

My 81 year old mother was diagnosed earlier this year with plueral mesothelioma.  She really didn't have any symptoms.  She went in for a routine appointment and the doctor found fluid in her pluera, drained it a couple of times, tested it and was diagnosed.  Her biggest problem is the dysphagia.  It  started with a little gagging and now she can barely eat anything and has most difficulty swallowing liquids.  She has lost a lot of weight.  They tried a procedure to help her swallow better but she said that it actually made it worse.  She was originally offered chemo and declined.  Now he took chemo off the table as he is worried about her lack of nutrition and hydration.  The doctor has strongly suggested that she allow them to install a feeding tube but "she doesn't want anything sticking out of her stomach" not to mention that someone warned her against it due to the possibility of infection.  The doctor told her that those reasons were the least of her worries and that she should seriously consider it.  We are watching her slowly dwindle away.  She still gets around (quite stubborn) quite well for the most part (goes to bingo once or twice a week).  Does anyone know of anything short of the already described options for alleviating the swallowing issue?  Oh and constipation has been an issue as well however she has always had bowel issues so we aren't sure if it is related or not.  Any suggestions would be helpful.  It is so hard to sit by and watch her suffer.

Kimberly V
Posted by

My hubby was Diagnosed in May of 2015, while trials offered some stability in combination with chemo etc we now after 26 months are finished with any currative care and to our shock went from stable in may to the cancer exploding. The Pet scan took our breath away as well as that of the staff who provided care for my hubby at UCSF, California. So many details to share but for me, as a care giver I want to know what to expect so I can be prepared and offer him the best support possible. Kidney's were damaged during treatment and the Plueral mesothelioma has spread to lymphatic system and has spread to his belly and possibly his brain. Fluid is being drained from his belly each week. He has a dry cough that bothers him when he eats and struggles to keep his food down. Are these normal progressive steps of his journey? As a system is overwhelmed by progression other than pain and breathing to manage, what are other things other caregivers observed and what suggestions will help me, practically care for my beloved hubby?

hdetect
Posted by

Hi Glenda2,

Sure, I feel your pain and I hope the best for you and your family. 

Dysphagia or difficulty in swallowing, is a common disorder that may be caused by neurological disease, stroke, mesothelioma, especially pleural mesothelioma  inflammation, esophageal spasm (sudden squeezing of esophagus muscles), scleroderma (esophagus tissues become hard and narrow), dementia, and other factors.

With this condition, it usually takes more effort to transport food from the mouth to the stomach.

Some of the symptoms of dysphagia include choking when eating, recurrent heartburn, coughing or gagging when swallowing, bringing food back up, drooling, a sensation of food getting stuck in the throat or chest, including others.

Now apart from increasing the risk of choking and aspiration, this condition also increases the likelihood of malnutrition and dehydration over time.

If you suffer from dysphagia, it’s crucial to make necessary diet adjustments in order to obtain enough fluids, essential nutrient, and energy needed for proper body function.

The list is long, so you can see more about dysphagia diet here....(features of a dysphagia diet)

We expect the best