difficult child-dad update. Not good.

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by gcvmom, Jul 25, 2010.

  1. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    He has pancreatitis which they think is due to a gallstone. CT scan revealed what looks like metastic tumors in his liver. He had bladder cancer a while back and his doctor thinks it may be back. We asked if all his neurological/mental problems could mean there are lesions in the brain, and they said it's very possible. Right now they are working to stabilize him -- postassium was good but calcium was too high. Putting a ureter stent in because it's blocked (doctor said maybe from cancer). Will get a brain MRI tomorrow most likely and other tests to figure out what's going on once they stabilize him.

    I've made peace with the eventuality of his end. I'm most worried about my mom. She's holding up fairly well, but doesn't want to tell him about the "C" word because he's talked of suicide before if it came to him being declared terminal. So for now, we all have on our poker faces and are focused on just getting him back on his feet.

    One day at a time.
  2. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I'm so sorry. What an awful lot to deal with all at one time! Please know that we will be with you all tomorrow.
  3. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Sending prayers - peace for everyone. I'm so sorry.
  4. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    I'm so sorry. Hugs to you and the family.
  5. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    I'm so sorry.

  6. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Thank you all.

    He's mildly sedated, but so very far out of it mentally. Motor control is really bad. Very confused and he's not sure where he is (mumbled something about a parking lot). He could remember the month, the president, and responds to his name. Wants to go home and keeps asking us to help him get out of bed. He's in the sub-ICU and they ended up moving him to a room directly across from the nurses station so they can keep a close watch on him. He can't even operate the help button on his own.

    He hasn't eaten much in the past week, but mom said he was drinking up to a gallon of milk a day. Plus eating lots of ice cream. We're wondering if that contributed to his elevated calcium levels which are also adding to his mental confusion. His heart rate has been hovering around 120 even with a medication they gave to help lower the rate. It was 138 when he was admitted and his O2 was in the low 80's. It improved in the ER. Up in his room after the sedation, he kept mouth breathing so his O2 dropped back to the low 90's/high 80's despite us reminding him to breathe through his nose. Finally mom put the cannula in his mouth! The numbers improved right away. The nurses said they do that sometimes -- and we think he'd fight having a mask put on at this point.

    He keeps forgetting that he's got a foley cath in and kept asking to get up to use the toilet. I guess it's good that he probably won't remember any of this, even if he does eventually come home.

    His right kidney is swollen. They plan to place a stent in his ureter and will scope him there while they're at it. He may have some stones in there (he gets them a lot). His GP thinks the bladder cancer is back. But he also acted like he'd be back on his feet and coming home soon. Maybe he thinks we're stupid... maybe he just doesn't know. But both the ER doctor and the doctor on duty for his floor were very grave about his status.

    Hopefully his lipase improves tomorrow. I think the number was a little over 3900 in the ER. WBC was 23,000. His lactic acid was also elevated, but apparently not enough to merit a trip straight to the ICU. And he has enough stuff going on that would account for it, I guess. But mom hasn't asked specifics yet. I think tomorrow she'll be in better shape to ask questions.

    Overall, it's just a mess. Most of his major organs are compromised in one way or another (he has congestive heart failure, possible recurrence of bladder cancer, the pancreatitis now and the liver tumors, his lungs have pleural thickening/scarring from damage years ago so he's got Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), his gallbladder has stones, his kidney is swollen) not to mention his altered mental status. My mom just wishes his suffering would end, and is preparing for the worst to happen in the coming days.

    I'd love to just wake up and have it all be over.
  7. ML

    ML Guest

    I'm so sorry. Prayers for you and your family.
  8. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    I'm so sorry. I'll pray for him and your family.
  9. Marcie Mac

    Marcie Mac Just Plain Ole Tired

    So sorry

  10. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Thank you again for all the kind words.

    Mom called to say doctors. are pretty confident Dad's bladder cancer came back and metastasized to his liver. The outlook is likely terminal. Heart rate has been very fast (150's) & erratic today. He gets very agitated so he's getting sedation. No idea yet on how much time he has. He's not very lucid right now, which is probably best. Please pray for a quick and painless end, and healing for our family's hearts.
  11. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I'm so sorry.

    The milk thing is weird. The fat in it is awful for gall stones and the pancreas. I remember this woman who used to come into the grocery store where I worked, she was mentally altered and had diabetes. When she would have an insulin episode, she would come to the store and put 6 gallons of milk and a few gallons of cottage cheese in her cart. She'd be barely coherent and somewhat combative but driven to get that dairy food. We'd call the paramedics and they would test her blood sugar and give her emergency insulin. Several times she went to the hospital with them. Years later we saw her in a nursing home where my great-uncle was staying. I mentioned it to the nurse and she knew exactly what I was referring to.
  12. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Oh this is such a rollercoaster.

    He's now in ICU on what I lovingly call Michael Jackson Juice (aka propofol). So he's completely out. He's temporarily on a ventilator because they needed to do another CT scan to get more info and he was too agitated and his heart rate too fast and erratic to get through that procedure without stressing him more.

    They were concerned about a pulmonary embolism or possible clot in his leg because of some other symptom he had that I'm not remembering right now. But that came back clear. No cancer in the lungs, no lung disease, just the pleural thickening and scar tissue that he's had for 50 years or so.

    More good news is that there are no lesions in his brain. There is a mass in one ureter and the related kidney looks to have a tumor as well. They still believe that this all stems from a recurrence of the bladder cancer. And the liver has lots of "mets" (metastases).

    We authorized a central line so he doesn't have to be a pin cushion anymore. :)

    They are going to try to place a stent in the ureter tomorrow since he is already out and fairly stable now (heartrate back around 100 to mid-90's, though rhythym is occasionally off). If they can do it without stressing him they'll also biopsy the mass in the ureter and try to get up to the kidney as well. They're still not sure what to say to us about the liver yet. Probably will know more after the biopsy gets back.

    More good news is that his lipase dropped a lot and is now around 1000. Still very high, but better than it was. His liver enzymes are whacked, but that's understandable given how compromised it is. Calcium is still high, but improving. All his other numbers are either normal or only slightly out of range.

    My mom and I concluded tonight that my brother's wife is a difficult child. She freaked out on us tonight when my mom suggested a DNR. Started actually LECTURING us! It was all I could do to keep from slapping her. She has only a superficial knowledge of our family history and has spent very little time with my parents or me for that matter, yet she behaves as if she knows it all. Oh, and she's 15 years my junior. I'm just thinkin', sistah, you are way outta line here and you have absolutely no clue how stupid you are right now.

    My mom and I have a very realistic grasp of my dad's situation and difficult child-bro and his difficult child-wife of 14 months are just grasping at straws and getting their hopes up I'm afraid in the face of a seriously grave situation that will more than likely not end well. And soon. Of course, mom and I bore the brunt of difficult child-dad's mental problems over the years, so we might be a little biased about what would be best for everyone. But their Pollyana outlook is just making this that much harder to deal with. The last thing you need is someone on their freakin' soapbox telling you how to deal with the tyrant you've been married to for 48 years!

  13. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    I'm sorry that the news is not better. Sending warm hugs.
  14. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    So sorry to hear this disappointing news. We will be here for you to cry, vent, yell, scream and laugh through it all. HUGS!!!!
  15. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    I'm so sorry to read all of this. It can't be easy. Even knowing something is inevitable takes a toll. I hope that he is kept very comfortable and I am certain your mother and you will do your very best for him. (((hugs)))