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Where do we go from here?

Forums General Melanoma Community Where do we go from here?

  • Post
    susanbue
    Participant

      My 76 yo father was diagnosed last October  with a 6mm melanoma on his scalp. After initial removal and biopsy, he had flap surgery at the Va in Long Beach in November to remove any tumor residue and widen the margins. We went to the VA in Long Beach because Dr. Jakowatz heads up the melanoma program there and we wanted to see a melanoma specialist. No treatment was recommended after the surgery due to my father's age and the likely hood that he could not withstand it.

      My 76 yo father was diagnosed last October  with a 6mm melanoma on his scalp. After initial removal and biopsy, he had flap surgery at the Va in Long Beach in November to remove any tumor residue and widen the margins. We went to the VA in Long Beach because Dr. Jakowatz heads up the melanoma program there and we wanted to see a melanoma specialist. No treatment was recommended after the surgery due to my father's age and the likely hood that he could not withstand it.

      A second follow up in June revealed mets to the lymph nodes in the neck. At that time a neck dissection was recommended to remove the nodes. My father went for a second opinion and it was revealed that mets to the lungs existed, so a neck dissection was NOT recommended. He was started on Temodar 5 days per month. He withstood the treatment well, with nothing more than being tired. However, he did develop difficulty walking and Bell's Palsy. The last lung scan revealed that the Temodar is not working and the tumors are growing. Last week he began to have pain in his clavicle area and problems with moving his right arm.

      Today we brought him to the emergency room, because he was in such pain and it was discovered that his clavicle has a pathological break. 

      At this time he may need more care than the family can give him and I'm getting the feeling that he is a candidate for Hospice, but we are unsure how to proceed. In some ways it is difficult to give up hope, but we know the seriousness of the situation and the course of the disease when diagnosed late. My father doesn't want to burden his family with his care and frankly I'm not sure that family care would be in his best interest at this point. Of course we want to support him and be there for him. 

      Can anyone give me some direction on how to proceed. I would appreciate it greatly. 

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        DonW
        Participant

          It sounds like your father could benefit from hospice. I wouldn't think of hospice as 'giving up' — some have entered hospice only to improve and go off it. Have the docs offered any further options as far as treatment goes?

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          King
          Participant

            I agree that Hospice sounds like the best choice for your father and your family.  I don't know what the protocol is in your area.  In some areas, you can do a self-referral and in others, you need a referral from your doctor.  Either way, it sure makes sense to talk to Hospice.  Most people regret that they didn't get Hospice involved earlier in the care of their loved one.

            Keep us posted.

             

            Stay Strong
            King

            Stage IV 7/05 Liver mets

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