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End-Stage Liver Cancer
My father is 78.  He was diagnosed with prostate cancer 6 years ago and treated it with radiation.  The cancer reappeared a few years later as colon cancer and he had a section of his colon and his gall bladder removed.  About a year ago the cancer surfaced again, this time as liver cancer with spots detected in his stomach and lungs as well.  We have known for some time that the cancer is terminal.  My dad has been on chemo. until recently, in hopes of extending his life.

Last week he was feeling particularly weak and went to his doctor.  His doctor detected jaundice and further tests revealed that the cancer has progressed throughout his liver and lungs.  He has begun to retain water and is sleeping more.  I understand that these are symptoms of liver failure.  The doctors told us that there is nothing more they can do and estimate he has only a few weeks left.  They have stopped all medications (except for nausea, pain, and diarretic meds).

We took my father home and immediately setup hospice care for him.  I'm trying to learn what we can expect over the next few weeks so that I can help my family prepare for it and make my father as comfortable as possible for as long as we're blessed to have him.  Can anyone help guide me on what we can expect to happen as this progresses?  I've read about the possibility of the loss of cognitive function, random hand movement, and even water seeping from body tissues.  But all that the doctors have told us is that my father will sleep more and more until he eventually falls asleep and never wakes up.  While that's a comforting thought, I suspect the reality is somewhat different (I lost someone to luekemia and lymphoma, and know what that's like).  Any help or pointers to websites would be appreciated.

Thank you.
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My father has liver cancer too and although he is not quite at your father's stage yet, rest assured your Dad should go peacefully and with relatively no pain.  The doctors are right.  I know of 2 people whose parents each died the same way. It is quite accurate about the poor appetite and sleeping more.  He will be just tired all the time and won't want to get out of bed.  Once he hits that point, making him comfortable in his surroundings and with people he loves will probably make him feel safe and ready.  That's the best gift that you can give.
If you find a website that describes this end stage, let me know too.  
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My dad took 2 weeks to die he slept more and more but had periods where he was awake and very aware of his surrounding we would talk to him and tell him how much we loved him. He was on a Morphine pump for pain and had regular visits from the hospice nurses at first when we got him home he was eating a little then stopped completely. We would wet the inside of his mouth with special sponges on a stick to moist his mouth as they get very dry sometimes he would suck on this. We also put salve on his lips to keep them most. he always felt warm to the touch but in his last few hours we noticed that his arms and body were cold when we touch him. Spent as much time with your daD TELL HIM ALL YOU WANT TO TELL HIM BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE.
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I lost my husband a year ago July 29, to lung, brain, spine, bone, and finally liver cancer. He went very quickly 12 weeks from diagnosis to death. The last few days he didn't eat, was incontinent, and the day before death he was hallucinating, and paranoid, either from the brain tumors or morphine. He finally fell into a coma around midnight, and died the next morning. His hands and feet were very cold to the touch at the end. I agree with above poster, tell him you love him, and just make him comfortable. Do not be afraid to medicate him as much as he needs to be comfortable. My husbands last few days appeared to be relativly comfortable, and not as painful as we had expected . I also cared for him at home with Hospice help, what a wonderful caring organization. Unfortunately his paranoia made him afraid of the visiting nurse, so we surrounded him with family members. My prayers are with you. If you are the one caring for him, remember to talk with him too, I was so busy doing the physical caring, that I didn't spend enough time just loving him. God Bless.
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My dad -age 66- was diagnosed with secondary liver cancer last June. Since then he has received various drug combinations (chemotherapy) but unfortunatly he is getting worse by the day. Especially this last week he feels very weak and tired, he can hardly walk and all of a sudden I see the end comming fast. I am having great difficulty dealing with the whole situation and I have so many unanswered questions of what to expect. am hopping there will be the least possible pain and that I will be strong enough for my whole family and for him. I can only wish you to be strong and may god be with us all.
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thankyou to all with this liver cancer i can not take to much morr e of th e demands on the people they leave behind
i'am angry and left with a 9 year old son to llok after
all the best and pray's are all with you all
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My father was diagnosed with colorectal cancer last September 2007, underwent surgery to remove the 25 cm growth, and was found to have liver cancer as well.  Since my father also has endstage renal failure, chemotherapy would only have hastened his death.  Last week, the doctors did another CT scan and saw that the cancer had spread to his stomach and his lungs. (My father had recently begun complaining about stomach pain.)  My father is now on palliative care, with prescribed pain reliever patches.  He still is in some pain, but not as much as before.  He gets tired really easily.  We have him at home, and we have two private nurses to help us care for him.  Although it hurts so much to see my dear father in such pain, the only thing we can really do is keep him comfortable, minimize his pain, keep him feeling loved and worry-free.  We do not know how long he will last, although the doctors have told us to start getting ready for his demise.
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My mother in law has had cancer in her bladder 10 yrs ago. Last year had part of her stomach,bowel and gall bladder removed, so she has secondary liver cancer. She is so full of jaundice it scares me to look at her. They tried to put a stent in today but couldn't because if the tubes leading to bladder bag on her side ( forget what its called). The dr. told my hubby today he gives her 6 months. Next week they r going to try and insert a needle into the liver to remove some of the toxic buildup. They have also started her on a chemo pill. She is very tired, very very yellow almost orange and has lost alot of weight throught everything. I really don't give her 6 months to look at her maybe and maybe 6 weeks. I don't know what to expect, she is having no pain right now but is very very itchy from the Jaundice.
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my thoughts are with you.My sister commutes between America and Northern Ireland on a 6 week basis, as her husband works in america, on this visit to america she took ill, and was bleeding badly (down below) and went to the doctor who immediately sent her to the ER dept, she had lost 4 pints of blood, and had a blood transfusion, she continued to loose blood, and docs performed an emergency hysterectomy to save her life as they said she would bleed to death, They discovered she had cancer in her uterus, and several large tumors on her  liver, the largest being 12cm, they have given her no hope of surviving longer that 3-4 months.  My husband and I flew over from N Ireland to be with her the day after her surgery to take her back home. she is very tired and has no appetite, but we are not sure if this is the result of her hysterectomy recovery or if she is already showing signs  of the liver cancer accelerating.  She did not feel ill at all in fact was full of life, but  had breast cancer 8 years ago and had a double mastectomy and econstructive surgery.  This has come as a huge shock to all the family and to my sister and her husband, and we just don't know what to expect, she is a bright outgoing lady, and the thought of her being in any pain or losing her mind is tearing me apart.  What can I do for her she has not even cried and i can tell she is terrified about what lies ahead of her.
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My mum was Dx. in Jan 08" She started on chemo for secondary Liver Ca. The Drs. have told her there is nothing more they can do. The tumors have doubled sinse the last scan. Pallitive care are now involved, my mum lives with me and has done for the last 6 years, sinse dad died. Its so hard watching her, she sleeps all the time, she used to love her food but now has lost her appitite, she has said she just wants to die, I feel she has given up on life and wonders why god has done this to her. Its hard to know whether it is depression as well and do we start her on anti depressive medication.    
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To anyone who is interested:
     I found this wonderful website that describes specifically what to expect with the end stages of liver cancer:
http://en.allexperts.com/q/Life-Support-Issues-2065/Dying-Liver-Cancer.htm
     My father is 83, and terminally ill with secondary liver cancer, metastasized from colon cancer.  He has begun to sleep more and more, taking a 2-3 hr. morning nap and 3-4 hrs. in the afternoon.  He has no pain, thus far, I believe because he is diabetic.  He has had two massive heart attacks and never felt anything.  Can we finally see a positive side to diabetes??  LOL
     Hospice is very helpful, I have worked with them with other family members.  Do not hesitate to use them, if available.  I am a newly graduated RN, but have seen enough to know that you should not hesitate to give pain medications to terminal cancer patients.... sometimes it is unbearable.  But Hospice can advise you of the proper use.  Often more meds are needed than for other patients, due to the intensity of pain.
     Dad has been "given" 2 months to live, but one never knows.  His attitude remains positive and he spends his days doing things he likes, as much as his energy allows.  We have a long road ahead of us.  I know it will only get worse, before he leaves us.
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My dad was diagnosed on his b-day 2/14/08 and was told he had liver cancer and a nodule present in his chest. We have had a hard time dealing with this and since I am the oldest I have been left to make the harsh decisions. Since February we have been to many doctors and hospitals and he is currently in the hospital for the past week. We meet with teh social worker tomorrow as well as the doctors. I want to take him home but he lives alone and we all have work, etc. Whenever he realizes who I am he keeps telling me to take him home. I don't want to put him in a Nursing home or hospice because I think he will hate me forever. I look into his eyes and see he is so scared and doesnt understand why nobody can help him. I can't stop thinking of when he looks at me. He has been not with it all time. Sometimes he seems somewhat alert and knows everyones names and then other times he is in another world. The doctors keep telling me its the toxins but I can't understand why that can't make him better. I read all these postings and I can't believe so many people have similar stories. Why is everybody suffering? Why does it have to be this way?
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Hello Everyone. My english is not very good but I will try to explain my condition. My mother-in-law diagnosed with liver cancer this year and she took chemotheraphy 3 times. After the theraphy she was just fine doing everything also she had soo much energy. Suddenly she took some Hepatitis B pills and it just went wrong. She had a swellen abdomen and she's right now in the hospital. Doctor's told me that she has left only few weeks. It's soo difficult for me because somebody you cared a lot is dying just in front of your eyes. Sometimes she cries and telling me that I have to take care of her son in the future. It's very difficult for me and my family because we have a 3 years old twins. They will send us home after 2 days with hospice care. I will take care of her most of the time. Can anyone give me advice how I can make her happy? What can I do for her? How I can prepare my self for the end? I really want to be strong but I can't.
Thank you everyone and wish you guys happiness and health.
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Hello all. My mom has liver cancer end stage. She had all the possible treatments. She was diagnosed 2 years ago.She is now in hospice.She went to Puerto Rico 2 weeks ago for 3 weeks and she was fine. I spoke to her everyday while she was there,and everytime I spoke to her she was like my old mom, like she was never sick. It was when she got back that she stated declining. She stopped eating and started sleeping more, and would only get out of bed to use the bathroom. Now that she is in hospice I have accepted that she doesn't have long to live. She needs my family there for love and support. The crazy thing is that once she got back from Puerto Rico,she requested to be admitted to the hospice. It was like she knew she was ready to go. As soon as she got back she told me that she wanted to go.My family is willing to make her as comfortable as possible. I will miss her.I miss her now.She is my best friend.Just wanted to share this with everyone. I LOVE YOU MAMI, I can't wait to see you smiling again, You are Forever in my heart, Damari Pizarro        
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My dad just past away this wednesday the 8th.He to was diagnosed with liver cancer about four years ago.They did something they called freezing it,which lasted until this past may then he underwent radiation,experimental drugs then lastly chemo.My dad who was a very hard worker, are family never went without .He never got to enjoy retirement. Who would do anything for anyone , lost his battle with cancer two days after his 64th bday.He to went fast.He was scared and that scared me Ive never heard my father talk that way.My dad went to hospice on friday went downhill very fast ,my dad was in and out of sleep alot maybe saying a few words here and there .Stopped eating and then just slept.Wednesday morning his breathing changed I cant describe it but you no thats it.My brother and sisters and mom where with him when he past.I was glad we were there for him when he past.Like he was always there for us when we needed him.He was a great man Daniel Hunter who will never be forgotten.Just remember at least they will finally be at peace and they will be always watching over us I have to believe that.Sandy G
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I know how it feels to lose someone you love to cancer. My dad passed in 1993 with lung cancer. He was a hard working man a great husband to my mom and a great dad and papa. I miss him everyday. I am now watching my mother in law suffer with liver cancer. She started with breast cancer 3 years ago and it has spread from there. Her husband made a very hard decision on the 31st of Oct. He declined anymore treatments for her. And we put her on hospice. If anyone has the opportunity to use the hospice program, please do. It is wonderful. I see my mother in law suffer and it breaks my heart. It breaks my heart not only  for me, but for her husband of 46years, her son, her daughter and her grandchildren.She also sleeps more and they also think that it has spread to her brain.  So, please lets all just love each other while we still have the time left. Thanks for listening. My prayers are with all of you!!!
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Thank you for all of your posts.  I have a very dear friend who has been living with Liver Cancer for some years.  He is in the end stages now. I am the only person in his life that knows of his condition.  He has chosen not to tell any of his family members.  While I do not mind knowing & being a support for him, it is also hard - because he has created this "secret." Never a healthy thing to do.  He also only tells me bits and pieces of what is going on with him - I have to listen carefully & then do my research to understand what is really happening. From your posts, I realize he is closer to death than I previously thought. We talk a little bit about death, but not much - we just talk and are there for each other. The situation makes me so sad & I really wish I could do more.  I worry about his very last days . . .
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My mother was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2001, and had a golf-ball sized tumor removed from her colon and the colon resectioned.  Then they found that it had metastasized to her liver, and she had 80% of her liver removed, as well as all her female organs.  Since then, she's had one 2-inch tumor in her liver that was cryogenically frozen out. Plus, she now has 3 small spots in her lungs and just recently they found a spot on her adrenal gland.  Now here's the question... she has been doing well in chemotherapy (in her 7th round now), and has only had one blood transfusion - which was about a month ago.  But lately, I see her going downhill - tired all the time, and not eating as much.  She's been losing about 3-4 pounds a month for a year now.  So what's next?  It sounds from all the posts that she might not have much longer to live.
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hi,
my father in law has had hepatits c and cirrohsis of the liver for many years now.  Last week he was admitted to the hospital for jaundice. They now tell him he probably has liver cancer but cant do a biposy or fit him into an mri machine.  So they have him in the VA hospital and now say he has liver cancer most likely and there is nothing else they can do for him.  Can you give me any additional info on this? How long he may have left or if they should be trying to treat this jaundice? They also say all his levels from blood tests are off...just need some answers. thank you very much
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My husband lost his best friend to liver failure.  A week before he died he was out playing golf all day with his son.
Then he started to sleep a lot, wander around the house, had jauntice.
About three days before his death he hit his wife, tried to shot the dog, and urinated in the livingroom.
This lasted about a day.
After that he went in a deep sleep and passed away.
The toxins were in his blood and affecting his brain - thus everything.  He did not have control.

Now I have a friend's friend that is dying of lung and liver cancer - two separate illnesses.  She thinks she wil get a transplant - but she is in her 60's and very frail now.  She sleeps most of the time, is on oxygen, and is in pain.
What one must do is to be strong, realistic, and merciful to all concerned.  Many times just being there is what is important.  You don't have to say anything.  Bring a meal, give a hug, hold a hand.  Be a steady comfort to those who are in a confusing and hurtful time of their lives.  Don't forget that the death of the loved one does not end it for those who nursed, loved, and miss the one who is dead.

You must look to God for all your needs.  He will stand by you.  Everyone goes through tragic events - it is the world we live in.  But those who believe will know peace and a life after this death that can not even be imagined.
This I know to be true.  Open a Bible for your comfort and read to the patient and to yourselves.
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Hi dads helper, I see this post was made back in 2007. I'm sorry for your loss and know that it had to be rough losing someone that you loved.

I found this site because my grandfather is 78 and also has Liver Cancer. He is dark yellow & his eyes are too, he sleeps all the time, his right hand looks like it has parkinsons disease (can't spell), and when he urinates, it looks like someone poured coke all in the toliet. I am 21 and this is the first real death I've ever had to deal with. I know that 78 is a very lucky age to live to because a lot of people only make it to their 60s. I was just writing too see if he is in the last stage of Cancer & what anyone did to deal with the pain. Thank You for reading this, my screen name is ***@**** if anyone wants to write me.
~Lacey
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