Pancreas Cancer Discussion Page:
An Unmoderated Forum
*
 
Support pancreas research*DISCLAIMER: This page is an unmoderated forum, and the opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. Patients are advised to consult their personal physicians before making any medical decisions.
FULL DISCLAIMER

Pancreas Cancer

home hospice vs hospital was posted 07/30/1999 01:05 pm by jodi
E-mail Address: jodi.macdonald@intel.com

Message Text
I just read Stefanie's post about her Dad wanting to be at home. My family is faced with the same difficult decision. But my Dad is already in the hospital and is much further along in the disease: he is bedridden and cannot do anything for himself. He is asking us to take him home. I thought he was asking because he wanted to die at home, but he actually told my brother today that he believes he can live longer in his own home. We need advice from people who have cared for the patient at home. We are so torn on whether to support his request. We want to do what he wants, but my mother is so scared to have him at home. He is 70 years old and was diagnosed in late April with large PC tumor and significant mets to his liver. He took Gemzar for 7 weeks which had no effect on his tumors but left him with no energy and no appetite. He went to the hosptial on 7/12 to have a stent put in to releive a blocked bile duct, but an infection delayed the procedure. By the time the stent was in, he was too weak to get out of bed. Now he has been there over 2 weeks and continues to deterioriate. The stent helped his jaundice but his overall condition is very poor. He needs oxygen to breath and he has chest pains I think from shortness of breath. He is grotesquely swollen with fluid but at the same time he is dehydrated and the doctor worries about kidney failure. She is constantly balancing whether to keep is fluid IV in or give him a diuretic. His potassium is too high and raised concerns for his heart so he was given something (lasix?) to help him eliminate the potassium. He can eat on his own, but only when encouraged and then it is only liquid supplements like Ensure a few times a day. He just lies in bed all day drifting in and out of sleep. He can barely keep his eyes open and have a conversation. He is not on morphine but he is taking Lortab round the clock for pain. When he first asked to go home, we worked with hospice to arrange everything we need: hospital bed, oxygen, bedside commode and 24 hr home heath aide (expensive,yes, but he needs it and we already have an HHA 24 hrs in his hospital room). But at the doctor's recommendation, we have not brought him home. The doctor feels that he will get better care in the hospital. She also knows that the burden of care is too much for just the HHA and my mom would have to be an active participant. In the hosptial, there are nurses always available to help the HHA. At home, a visiting nurse would come only once or twice a day to monitor him. In the hospital, the doctor sees him every day and can make decisions like giving him Lasix, stopping his fluid IV etc on a day to day basis. My brother and I have managed to trade off visits and almost always have one of us with our parents. But my parents live in NY and I am from Boston, my brother from Philly. My mom is too scared to be responsible for Dad but feels so guilty about not honoring his request. Thoughts from others on this tough choice would be appreciated. thank you.

Reply to this message | Return to Main Message List
Responses

*DISCLAIMER: This page is an unmoderated forum, and the opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. Patients are advised to consult their personal physicians before making any medical decisions.
FULL DISCLAIMER


Pancreas Home | Surgical | Medical | Basic Sci | Docs | Registry | FAQ | Appts | Chat

Feedback | Pathology Home | Oncology Center Home | Search
Copyright © 2020 The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland
Last Modified: 11/11/2002 10:50 am