Primary liver cancer stage 4

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My uncle was diagnosed with HCC liver cancer which has spread to the lymph nodes towards his heart. Diagnosis was out of the blue where we took him a&e because he seemed so weak thinking he had an infection and it was there he received his diagnosis. It will be 6 weeks tomorrow. Initial prognosis was 3-6 months then district care team came in and said it’s looking more like weeks but to then be told it could be days. He is very weak unable to hold a spoon to be able to eat so we are feeding him. He has swelling and water retention  in his tummy and feet. He is now very very sleeps with periods of semi unconsciousness. His eyelids don’t seem to close and his eyes roll back when he is asleep but then responds when you call for him. 

However he’s still being able to psychically go to the toilet although needs help but has has a few falls. I suppose it’s the dignity aspect is why he won’t use a commode. He also still able to have oral meds and eating bits of food and drinks cold drinks or. Milkshakes. He looks so so poorly but he is still being able to eat although he does also seem like he’s confused and seeing objects that aren’t there. Has anyone ever experience this in their last stages where patients are still eating although they look so so weak? Or will this cut down. I suppose we want to know how much time does he have left. Can your body shut down suddenly if you still have some physical activity ? We just don’t know if he is in the early stages of dying. Nurses say he is very weak and things can change very quickly. Does anyone have any experience of this ?  

  • Hi  

    A warm welcome to our community though so sorry to hear about your uncle. Any cancer diagnosis is a shock but when the cancer is already very advanced it can seem much worse.

    It must be really difficult hearing all these differing prognoses, of course one of the issues is that there a many contributing factors. 

    For us my dad died after a very long illness that robbed us of him bit by bit, my mum died totally our of the blue - over 10 years later I am still not sure which was worse.



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  • Hi Zara2468

    I am going through almost the same things that you described with my husband, today seems to be confused, random conversations and falls asleep. He has oesophageal cancer with liver mets. 
    Im guessing everyone is different, it’s very sad I’m living on tender hooks and very scared. 

    Take care 

  • Hello Blossom

    I understand what you’re going through and it’s the not knowing what is happening that is so difficult to understand. My uncle has a dip that usually occurs every week. Yesterday he was struggling to sit up we had to use sliding sheets to help prop him up to sit him on the edge of the bed. He is still wanting to go himself to the bathroom although the really is getting weak. 

    is your husband being able to eat or have meds orally? One thing I did notice with my uncle is that we are giving more of the fast acting morphine alongside the slow release and that has also made him very tired. He struggles to keep his eyes open. The nurse said to keep an eye on eating because of that reduces it does show his body is slowing down. The confusion is getting worse. He keeps seeing things that don’t exist so we just have to reassure him. They do think he is in the last few weeks still but also say this could change and could have a dip overnight. It is very hard to get to grips with. Just keep an eye on any cold hands and feet, swelling also can be a lot to do with lack of movement or it can also mean poor circulation and as the body starts to slow down. I suppose it’s making a judgment about his symptoms taking each day as it comes and hope for the best. Nurses can come and do assessments but you will know yourself if he is deteriorating. Please make time for yourself as well. We as a family are doing nothing but be by his side and care for him and we are human as well we need to have some fresh air and just be able to have a breather so please sure you make some time for yourself as well because it is very overwhelming so make sure you have a break as well. Xx