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Cancer: Pancreatic & Liver Message Board
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Old 02-15-2011, 06:53 AM   #1
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Question Terminal Liver cancer- what are the signs it's nearly over?

Can anyone tell me what the signs are that the liver is shutting down?
My father has stage IV cancer

 
Old 02-15-2011, 10:11 AM   #2
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Re: Terminal Liver cancer- what are the signs it's nearly over?

i'm sorry to hear about your father (my mom recently passed away from pancreatic cancer that had spread to her liver).

when the liver shuts down, many patients experience jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyeballs) and associated pruritis (itching). other symptoms include ascites (swollen abdomen), edema (swelling) of the legs and scrotum, loss of appetite, possible nausea/vomiting, weight loss, pain in the upper right abdomen, bleeding from gums and bruising of the skin (related to blood clotting disorders), changes in stool (light, clay colored stools or tarry sticky stools if there is intestinal bleeding) and mental confusion (from build up of ammonia levels in the blood).

is he undergoing active treatment for the cancer, or just comfort measures? has his doctor given a timeframe for him? is he eligible for hospice care, either at home or in a hospice facility? my mom had hospice care at home and the nurses were great in helping us understand what to expect and in helping to proactively provide medications for nausea, anxiety and pain control (in my mom's case, thank heavens she had very little pain, but she did experience quite a bit of anxiety in the last two days).

 
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Old 02-15-2011, 11:03 AM   #3
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Re: Terminal Liver cancer- what are the signs it's nearly over?

He was diagnosed 5 years ago this April with Stage IV cancer, they removed the mass from his colon, but then it spread to his liver. He was doing chemo tretments up to about a month ago. He said he didn't think his body could handle another treatment. All it did was slow it down. He had a few embolizations, but not successful. Once he decided that we brought hospice in, just a few weeks ago he wasput on liquid morephine because he couldn't swallow his pills. And they have him on liquid Lorazapan (msp) for anxiety and his to keep his heart rate down. He rambles when he talks, makes no sense most of the time, he hallucinates and thinks that people are messing with him, meaning we are up to something and not telling him. He occassionally can't determine if he needs to swallow or bite something when he's eating or drinking. He sleeps alot and his urine is very dark... He is so pale in the face and puffy around the cheeks. His appetite comes and goes.

A month or so ago the doctor told him that he gave him till maybe June. My step mom said that after they paid his cremation off 2 weeks ago, he turned to her and said that he thinks he has everything covered for her, and from that point she said he went downhill. Hopsice says 1 to 3 weeks at the rate he's going now, but that could change....

I hate seeing him like this, it's SO heart wrenching

 
Old 02-15-2011, 02:21 PM   #4
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Re: Terminal Liver cancer- what are the signs it's nearly over?

::hugs::: to you and your family.
as hard as it is to watch physical deterioration, it must be just as hard to see mental changes...that's one thing my mom never experienced (suspiciousness, paranoia, confusion).

she went very quickly after she felt like she had everything "settled". she just quit eating or drinking anything, experienced a night or two of anxiety (which was helped immensely by the anti-anxiety medication), then lapsed into unresponsiveness and passed away in her sleep the next night.

 
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Old 02-16-2011, 03:49 AM   #5
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Re: Terminal Liver cancer- what are the signs it's nearly over?

I can only hope and pray that when his time is up that he goes in his sleep. That's how he said he wanted to go...My stepmom is just totally beside herself right now. She's a very strong woman. Thank you for your kind words

I'm sorry to hear about your mom. It saddens me to think of life without my father. I grew up without my mother, so he is all I've ever known

 
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