What is it like to die of cancer?
July 23, 2010 12:44 PM Subscribe
What are your experiences with terminal metastatic melanoma?
posted by something something to Health & Fitness (21 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
My father has been diagnosed with terminal Stage IV melanoma, metastasized extensively throughout his brain and lungs. At present, the only symptoms he has are headaches and short-term memory problems, and he is undergoing radiation and chemo; however, his doctors have been very honest with him and estimate he has somewhere between 3 months and a year left, depending on how the cancer reacts to treatment. From what I have read and heard, this type of cancer is extremely aggressive and generally does not respond well to treatment at all. He is young (60), but was not in good health prior to this diagnosis. Therefore, I'm expecting that he probably has closer to 6 months than a year, and I'm trying to prepare myself for what these next few months will be like.
I have no experience with watching someone die of cancer. I have no idea what to expect - how long he will have his wits about him, how much pain he will be in, what the end will be like. I'm halfway across the country from him and his doctors and can't ask them these questions, and to be honest I wouldn't feel comfortable asking them in front of my dad even if I were there.
My relationship with my father is very complex emotionally, but I'm not really asking for emotional guidance here. I just want someone to tell me what the next few months are going to be like on a day-to-day, practical basis. Please share with me your experiences with end-stage cancer, and melanoma in particular. Thanks.