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Father with Throat cancer last days of life what to expect

Father with Throat cancer last days of life what to expect

Posted by brnidgrl on Feb 14, 2019 3:38 pm

Hi my Father who lives in the US has Throat Cancer which has spread throughout much of his body. he entered Hospice care on 02/06, Was put on a Morphene pump on 02/07, on 02/08 I was told he was now "actively Dying", they stopped all fluid and food on the 8th, and as of the 9th he has been unconscious. My question is this seems to have all happened very quickly. Every day i am being told that today is the day, this is a challenging time to say the least. I am just wondering how much longer can i expect he will be here. As i mentioned he is in the US, and i had not gone down as they said today was the day but that was 6 days ago now.. how long can i realistically expect him to fight this, am not sure whether to try to get down to see him.

so basically how long does one usually last after stopping all fluid and foods? What are the signs that death is imminent?

thank you for any input i would appreciate it, i have read everything i can on the interned and it is getting more confusing.

thank you 
 

Re: Father with Throat cancer last days of life what to expect

Posted by Brighty on Feb 14, 2019 3:48 pm

brnidgrl‍  hi there.   Welcome  to cancer connection.   I'm so sorry about  your dad.      I can't tell you what to do but I would advise going soon as you can .     I don't want you to have any regrets.      I'm going to connect  you with Lacey_adminCCS‍  who was a caregiver  for her dad.      

Re: Father with Throat cancer last days of life what to expect

Posted by Brighty on Feb 14, 2019 3:50 pm

brnidgrl‍  also try and stay away from the internet.    The info on there is not always  accurate  or up to date.     

Re: Father with Throat cancer last days of life what to expect

Posted by ACH2015 on Feb 14, 2019 6:47 pm

Hi brnidgrl‍ 

I am sorry to hear of your father's being in his last days of life.

I was there with my father who died of brain cancer, and more recently a friend who died from CUP cancer. Both were in palliative care.

My father died after a week without nutrients being provided. My friend died after 12 days without nutrients. An oncologist in the Palliative Care Unit offered upward of two weeks as a general rule to follow after nutrition and hydration are stopped.

There is no way to determine exactly how long someone will survive once nutrition and hydration ends. The person's reserves of nutrient and hydration of the body will vary by individual. Factors unique to each person will determine how long they live. Rapid breathing, cold extremities, fever, discoloration of the skin, heart rate can all be indicators of imminent death. The last breath will come once the body is unable to sustain itself.

Being unconscious with medications managing pain are the best case scenarios we can ask for.

Its never easy, and I am sorry for your father's situation.

ACH2015 - Andy.

 

Re: Father with Throat cancer last days of life what to expect

Posted by Aly on Feb 14, 2019 9:52 pm

brnidgrl‍ ,

I am sorry to hear about your father. I can understand how difficult it is to be so far away from your loved one when they're ill. I was a caregiver for my mother who had lymphoma and lived in a different province.

In my own opinion, if the nurses are telling you this is the time then it may be best to visit him. He may not be conscious, but he can still hear you and sense your presence. If there is anything you need to say, you can say it during this time as well. With saying that, it will be a difficult thing to do; your father may not resemble the father you remember during his prime.

One of the typical signs that death is imminent is when a person starts terminal respiratory secretions (otherwise known as the death rattle).  Statistically, when this symptom appears it is an indication that death will be anywhere from 24 to 72 hours away.

If you want to be with him before he passes, I recommend going as soon as possible.

I'm here if you ever want to talk,
Aly