Avatar universal

Dementia and Cancer

My Father-in-Law is currently in the hospital. He was admitted after a 103 fever and they thought he had pneumonia. An x-ray showed he had a shadow in his right lung in April, which we knew about but the doctor said given his conditions, it would be too hard on him to biopsy etc. Fast forward to now, the entire right lung is opaque. A CT confirmed it was neoplasm and that it has already traveled to his ribs. We are assuming it is small cell lung cancer.

His sun-downing has moved up and he pretty much is anxious and incoherent most of the time with a few flashes of *being there*. I have been trying - almost begging - to try to get his pain management worked out but they ask him and he cannot respond "DUH" and so they had him on tylenol! until I pitched a super fit and finally got him worked up to a patch but it took days and took a toll on him. As he had previous bone pain before going to the hospital, my guess it that it is spreading faster.

I find it awful that when a patient has dementia and cannot speak for themselves and they should know they are in pain - especially as he also has a deep tissue injury as well - that they are not being more pro-active on palliative care (which I asked for on day one, never came) and more pain management, only just treating him with anxiety pills and asking him questions he clearly cannot answer.

We are going to place him back in the home where he was where I have been in touch and they are going to immediately place him on comfort care. My FIL is so lost, he cannot remember why he has a catheter (been in since last October) or where he lives. It is such a difficult time right now.
Best Answer
1530171 tn?1448129593
I'm sorry for your loss, however, it is comforting to know that he is no longer
From what I remember from previous posts, he was quite an independent person but he was also blessed to have you in his life, which I believe made a big difference, despite the inadequacies in the  health care system.

God bless!

6 Responses
Sort by: Helpful Oldest Newest
212161 tn?1599427282
I am so sorry for the loss of your love one. I to have felt the pain of that, but as we know they are in a better place now and in no more pain or suffering.

he can once again have his pride, feel good and be whole again.

God Bless you for all you did for him as I know he felt the love you gave him. I hope you have rest knowing you did all you could and he left this world knowing he was loved and cared for.

Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
He passed away on Saturday...
Helpful - 0
212161 tn?1599427282
wow sorry you had to go threw that. shame on them for not giving the meds to keep him calm and pain free.   no when my mom was here I spoke for her , we as family can tell when they are different and in pain, so glad he has you to help him out.

may GOD hold him and ya in his hands and help ya get threw this time, prayers for less pain and for you to get what you need to help him out,   take care of yourself as well. Heart
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Thank you.

We have entered him into a hospice program as of last night and started him on proper pain management.

I was just amazed though, that his treating physician in the hospital had to be pretty much begged to up the meds from tylenol to something more humane. I did not expect much, but we asked for palliative care from day 1 (after seeing the x-ray and the emergency physician gave us the news) and in 5 days, we got zilch and I was there daily, sometimes twice a day.

Sad that even with family pushing, the doctor did so little.
Helpful - 0
1711789 tn?1361308007
Hi there!

I understand the situation you must be going through. It is indeed tough having another medical condition with dementia and I would agree that such individuals would require special care including pain & palliative management. Unfortunately there is little that we can do/ suggest online regarding pain management in the situation without a detailed clinical evaluation. I would suggest discussing the situation directly with his treating oncologist/ pulmonologist and a pain management specialist for suggestion of an appropriate management plan.

Take care!
Helpful - 0
Have an Answer?

You are reading content posted in the Alzheimer's Disease Community

Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Could our telomeres hold the key to curing cancer and preventing aging? Learn more in this article from Missouri Medicine.
Think a loved one may be experiencing hearing loss? Here are five warning signs to watch for.
How to lower your heart attack risk.
Here are 12 simple – and fun! – ways to boost your brainpower.
Protect against the leading cause of blindness in older adults
Keep your bones strong and healthy for life