Turn for the worse

Haven't been here for awhile. Sorry to say we've been on a downward trajectory with my husband, Dave, and any shared experiences or advice very welcome. His 2 lung mets after an RCP in 2009 and rounds of Cisplatin/Gemzar and Carboplatin/Gemzar chemo were growing slowly, but a new tumor between his lungs suddenly became aggressive and was blocking his esophagus, so he started wide-area radiation treatments on his thorax. After 3 or 4 sessions starting in Jan, he was completely unable to swallow anything, even a teaspoon of water, so we ended up in the emergency room and after a week-end of stabilizing the situation, they inserted a stent, which solved the immediate problem, but was followed by a precipitous decline. Dave did finish the series of radiation treatments, but now we are set up with home nursing and hospice care. Not sure what we are facing when, but the combination of the 'disease progressing', the pain and anti-nausea meds he needs to take, complications from both the stent and the cataclysmic hiccups it seemed to cause, and several compression fractures in his spine plus involvement in his pelvis, probably cancer related, looks pretty hopeless. Totally exhausted. Can't begin to describe the sleepless nights and suffering. On sick leave from my job at the moment to care for Dave at home as long as I can. Please, please, let's do anything and everything to make some progress in the treatment of this awful disease.

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23 replies. Join the discussion

Oh My Kim.....I am so very sorry this disease has taken you both on such a devastating and exhausting path.
You sound so tired and my heart just goes out to you. It is dreadful to watch those we love have to suffer.
I pray that hospice is instrumental in making Dave comfortable from all of his complications.
May you find the strength to carry you through this time.
Thoughts and prayers for you both dear lady,
Cheryl

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I am so sorry to hear this. Peace be with you both.

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Kim, you and Dave will be in my thoughts and prayers. Hopefully, hospice care will help relieve some of his worst symptoms. I also pray for you to find the inner strength to help you both through the coming days.

Kathleen

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I am very sorry to read of Dave's progression. I hope that hospice will prove to be of some relief to you both. Our hopes and prayers go with you both.

jj

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Oh, I'm so sorry. Hope that he will get some relief and you will get some peace of mind. We have a lot of gloomy news recently. It is amazing how helpless medicine is in front of this monster.
Prayers for both of you Kim.
Maria

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So sorry to hear this.My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family...
Arlene

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Kim,

Sorry to hear that the cancer is progressing. There is a time when hospice can be the greatest help to both him & yourself even though we don't really want to be there. My wife had to be in the in-patient hospice unit to manage her pain & symptoms for her last 6 weeks and they did a great job for her. Praying for peace for both of you, I know how very difficult it is to be facing the loss of a spouse, the love of your life because I have faced it myself and IT IS LOUSY!!!!!!

Jamie

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So sorry to hear about the progression of Dave's cancer. I hope Hospice provides the care, comfort and relief they are so skilled at offering and that Dave can get some relief from his pain. I hope you also have the love of family and friends to help you through this difficult time.

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Thinking of you and Dave and sending you good wishes for strength and comfort. Know that you are not alone!
Nancy in VA

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Thanks very much to all of you. Had some tears as I read your kind comments. It is so easy to feel alone in this struggle. I wonder if any of you have had any experience with hypercalcemia and if you did, how was it treated. I am suspecting that some of Dave's confusion, nausea, fatigue and irregular pulse may be caused by too much calcium in the blood as well as the progression of the disease. Have talked to our hospice doctor and nurses, but so far no decisions to test or treat. Will talk more to his oncologist tomorrow. Just want to be sure I am doing everything I can to make him comfortable. Hospice care is a blessing -- would not be managing without it.

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Kim
OMG This awful disease. I pray for strength for both of you.
Carol

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Kim,
I am so sorry to hear that you and Dave are at this point. It is good to hear that you are now taking medical leave; you won't regret that at all. I hope that Hospice care will be as good to Dave and you as it was for John and me. Enjoy your time together.
Janet

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Kim,
You are doing all you can do and then some. Dave and you are in my prayers...I'm so sorry you are going through this, keep up the strength that is carrying you from the love for Dave.
Big hugs
Vangie

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Damn this disease --- I wish there were some wisdom I could share --- I have none but, love can and will make the difference.

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Kim, I just cannot believe another one our group has entered a new phase in this journey. My heart just aches for you and Dave but I do hope they can get the pain managed. It is good to hear hospice is providing so much support to you both. These days with Dave are precious so make the best of each and every one of them. Work will always be there - thank goodness for FMLA.

please know my thoughts and prayers are with you both.
Sharon

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Kim, I am so sorry to hear of the problems Dave and you are dealing with. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

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Hi Kim. Thanks for sharing your story. I'm so sorry to hear about Dave and hope he pulls through quickly. Just in case you hadn't seen it, here is what Mayo says about hypercalcemia:
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/hypercalcemia/DS00976/DSECTION=treatments- and-drugs

You can click on all the tabs on left that show definition, symptoms, causes, etc.

More good information, cancer specific is here:
http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/supportivecare/hypercalcemia/Patient /page7

Prayers are with you.

Dave

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Kim, I just cannot imagine how devastating this must be for you and Dave. My prayers are with you both, for comfort and some end to this God awful suffering. Perhaps our love and our own individual understandings of suffering through our lives can be some sort of solace. In essence you know that NONE of us are immune from the pain being caused by this illness. Sorry to hear such difficult news. Ed

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Thanks again for the wonderful messages, prayers and understanding. You are all a lifeline for me. Dauch, I appreciate the links about hypercalcemia. Dave's team seems to agree that it may be a factor now, and he will have a bloodtest on Monday, but I'm not sure if there is a road back. Dave's so weak now, unable to sit up, stand or even shift his position in bed without my help. It has all happened to fast that I am having a hard time accepting and even believing what I see. At the moment, we seem to have a combination of medication that is more or less working for the pain (patches and under the tongue fentadyl), but still struggling with nausea. Reading as much as I can and looking for answers. This article helped and at least answered some questions for me: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2216421/
So grateful that you're all out there. Warmest thanks and strength&courage to you, too.

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I'm holding you & Dave
in my heart

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