Question by Cowboys7880: My dad has had hepatitis c since the early 70’s.?
In 2009 he went in for knee surgery and they cancelled due to his white blood count being high. The doctors told him he had liver cancer and needed to start chemo. After taking him in for multiple test my dad told me there wasn’t cancer. He has become sick and has began to tell me that he has stage 4 cirrhosis of the liver and that he hasn’t been taking his insulin and is refusing the chemo. His skin and eye whites are yellow and he has been vomiting, not eating and really weak. I want to go with him to the doctor, but he refuses and claims he isn’t going back to the doctors again. He has been drinking again and I have found out that he has been ordering pain pills online. This really scares me as he isn’t supposed to be taking any pain meds. Can anyone please help and tell me what I can do to help him? Although he isn’t eating, he’s gaining weight which leads me to think that his heart isn’t pumping the water off properly.
I had a chance to speak with my dad in regards to my concerns and still feel uneasy about the explanations. He claims he found out about the stage 4 in December 2009 when they told him it was cancer but then not cancer. He also said that the chemo was to kill the infection to make him a good candidate for a liver transplant. He doesn’t want either treatments or the medicine. In January of this year he went to see the liver specialist and he told him to find a new doctor due to my dads lack of responsibilty on his health and not keeping his appointments. I asked about blood work and if they told him what his scores are because from what I’ve been reading they calculate scores out from 6-40 and 6 is healthiest where 40 is the worst, but again he says nothing. He has been very demanding that I get my name on everything so that if he is hospitialized I can take care of everything. Which only makes me more uneasy on his answers to my questions on his health. His newest thing is to go to Can
Answer by Baa Baa
He is a grown adult man which allows him to make his own decisions. There is nothing you can do as long as he is not willing to help himself. If there wasn’t any cancer, why does he need to take chemo? Unless you heard the doctor say he was cancer free, then your father could be lying. It sounds like his liver is getting to be close to total liver failure and drinking will only make that happen quicker. He is doing all the wrong things that will only shorten his life. I’m sorry to say that his prognosis is very poor from what you posted on him. He has all the classic signs of serious liver failure. He won’t be able to get a transplant due to his drinking and possibly cancer if he has it. The only cure for cirrhosis is a transplant.
Hep C also can lead to cirrhosis and he has had it a long time. Having both hep c and drinking is double trouble.
I hate to say this, but I don’t think I would fight with him about his behavior and decision about not getting help or doing what he should be doing. I don’t think he will be in this world much longer with the way he is going. You might just have to accept that and go on with your own life. His condition is terminal if what you say is true. The cirrhosis will take his life if the cancer doesn’t. The most common problem with cirrhosis is water retention. When the disease is in the last stage, meds will no longer work to keep the fluid off so that might be why he is gaining weight even though he is not eating well. It most likely is not happening because of his heart. Cirrhosis fluid occurs in the abdomen most of the time making it swell like he is pregnant. Heart problems will most frequently cause the lower legs and feet to swell which is called edema.
As I said before, I would not fight with him about this. You can certainly be honest with him about how you feel but do it in a nice way. He will get worse as time goes on and maybe he will change his mind. It’s going to be hard for him to go this alone without medical help from any doctor, so I do expect him to at least seek medical help eventually. They probably will not be able to do anything other than offer him comfort measures. I’m sorry I couldn’t tell you better things than this, but I think the truth is better even if we don’t want to hear it. I’m also sorry your father is so sick.
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