I am so sad because California Doctors seem more concerned about protecting their own then helping the patient

My husband who is 77 yo was spitting up blood in March of this year and they just now are going to give him CHEMO, but they said it "may or may not work." What I've read online is that this is treatable and that up to 60% can live up to 5 years.

We've been married since 1986 and he's already had 2011 Cancer of the Esophagus and 2015 Bladder Cancer. Each time, he's gone into remission but this time, they aren't giving us any answers unless I go and play
BAD COP and only then do I get results after reading them the riot act. Needless to say, I developed GAD with the first cancer and we have a 23 yo daughter with mental illness, so my plate is full. If I did not have Social Security Disability we'd really be in hard shape. I am 61, but I feel 80, and if it wasn't for walks with my dogs, life would be unbearable.

So my question .....Should we throw in the towel, or go thru ROUND 3-CANCER with more chemo only this time, he's been in and out of the hospital with congestive heart failure, something he did not have before, but they say the radiation treatment may have caused it. Not the Doctors said that mind you, but I told them, other oncologists said that Esophageal Cancer is known to cause lung cancer down the road because he quit smoking in late 80's.

Thank you everyone.

PS: I just can't tell you how much finding this site has meant to me. It's been a god send, and I am so grateful for the candidness, but please be gentle because it's been a heartbreaking day, and we have KAISER PERMANENTE (are we allowed to say this??) and the shortage of good Doctors in Los Angeles is really bad. Some of them have medical school degrees from Grenada, the island that Reagan invaded, not kidding. lol

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MACInCT.He was in CCU for 6 weeks, they discharged him with pneumonia, because and in California we have a severe shortage of Doctors, before I retired I was Pres. of a Medical Staffing firm here in Southern CA. an our provider

His symptoms did not appear until February of this year. He was back to
work as in March of 2017 until Feb. 2019 so renewal was fine. Because of his history supplemental insurance costs were calculated based on his age as well, and I was the breadwinner before and now I am disabled at 61.
But you may be right about shooting the messenger, but it should not take a $321,000. hospital bill on and off from March 12 to May 31 to diagnose cancer. They kept discharging him with the wrong diagnosis and having been with this insurer since 1998, the experience of the doctors outside of the network for where we reside has Doctors that have newly graduated from Med. School that were not even Board Certified and they aren't MD's all of a sudden, they're OD's which is holistic approached, and I am surprised that this top notch medicare provider would hire OD's all of which are not Board Certified. and the turnover of the board certified doctors has been unbelievable. He's lost 3-4 Doctors in 18 months who received better opportunities (I was a CEO of a large Medical Staffing Firm in the Mid 90's to 2008 before I got ill.) And this was rated 5 stars as the best but we have so many undocumented citizens using Medicaid (Medicale in CA) that we are waiting for treatment due to more patients than Physicians.

But when you show them your coughing up blood in February it should not take until May 31 to tell him he has Cancer.

I just need to know if anyone has experience with Adenocarcinoma since it is the most common lung cancer at 85%.

Its not 9 years constant, he has had three different cancers. The two were in remission Stage 3 Esophagus started 2011 and Chemo and Radiation until March, 2012 and remission until June, 2015 when tumor was found in the bladder that was malignant then surgery to remove tumor, no chemo, and remission again in early 2017, his symptoms didn't come back until after he reenrolled, we thought he was in the clear, because how many people get 3 cancers. Now because the radiation was used in 2012 that has made him vulnerable to lung disease which caused the CHF because the heart muscle was damaged trying to breathe with fluid in the lungs. Also California supplemental policies of PPO can only be enrolled in at the age of 65 or else they look at health history and age. Appreciate your time MACinCT.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to susiencalif

I think the question you need to ask the doctors is "Is hospice an option at this point?". Also "what would you do if this was YOUR father?".

I'm glad that you're getting a second opinion. Keep us posted! ((((Hugs))))).
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to BarbBrooklyn
susiencalif Jun 20, 2019
Love you Barb.
No one really knows their time. Hospice nurses may be able to give a better timetable. Once the person stops drinking, it is about a week.
Cancer treatment should only be left to the patients decision. Others who just want him to live longer should not factor in. These patients need to choose how much suffering they are willing to take.
I am sorry but stage 4 cancer treatment for tumor shrinkage takes months. Once pain sets in, it becomes unrelenting. My brother only lived 7 weeks from diagnosis of stage 4 bladder cancer with mets.. your husband now has CHF which will limit any more chemo. Stage 4 cancer means it has metastised. You mention that 60% have a 5 year survival rate. But wait, he has already survived 9 years.
For your second part, be careful of what you say about degrees from other countries. If the doctors immigrated, the US takes in only the best and brightest. They still passed the rigorous boards. For cancer specialists, they have board certifications as well. I think you need to ask yourself if you are so overwhelmed with bad news that you are trying to shoot the messenger. You can ask for outside opinion. If you are locked within an HMO, you mention that his cancer has been around for 9 years, yet your husband chose this Medicare insurance plan.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to MACinCT

I’m so sorry, my heart breaks for you. First and foremost, what does your husband want? He has had several bouts with cancer so he is no stranger to chemo and radiation. Sometimes it’s the treatment that kills the patient, not the cancer. Some treatments are worse than cancer! My uncle is being treated for skin can and my gosh the radiation is worse than the cancer itself! It’s really terrible what it’s done to his arm and side of his body! Is your husband prepared for another fight? That really is the main question. What does he want?

I think you have to also consider, what is his life going to be like? What will life on chemo going to be like? Will he be sick and in and out of the hospital? Will he be too weak to function? Is he strong enough to survive infection? may want to consider a palliative approach & keep him comfortable for the remainder of his life and be able to enjoy the time you have left together. Again I am so sorry. We just lost my FIL to cancer and the doctors in his home state did not treat it. He moved out here with a slew of problems and when the doctors figured out that it was the result of his cancer, they started him on chemo. Had he been treated from the get go, he would still be here.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to worriedinCali
susiencalif Jun 20, 2019
Oh, I love all your posts worriedinCali and..thank you for your kind words. I did convince him to postpone the chemo on Monday because we needed more information and a second opinion, so we are rescheduled July 5 but we have been through hell for so long, and I did get very angry with his PCP yesterday at his Advantage HMO in Woodland Hills and said how is someone who came with the symptoms months and months ago and had two previous cancers is now Stage IV. Doctors protect there own, so all I got was, alot of nonsense and smoke and mirrors. So sorry about your FIL. hugs..
I will ask you a very important question.
What does your husband want to do?
Chemo can be debilitating as you and he both know.
With all he has gone through in the past is he wanting to do this again?
At some point the Quality of life is more important than the Quantity of life. I know easy for me to say he is not my husband and it is not me that is having to make this choice.

side note about the doctors..a doctor no matter where they have graduated from must pass licensing here before they can get a license in the USA and hospitals will not grant privileges to doctors that are not licensed.
As for other options...Is your Husband a Veteran? If so the VA may be a place to look for care. And depending on where and when he served it is possible that the cancers he has could be related to his time in the service. If that is the case he would get more help as would you with his care.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to Grandma1954
susiencalif Jun 20, 2019
Yes mam exactly. My husband and I are gently discussing this now, quality vs quantity the family of course wants to give him false hope, but I am told this is treatable from research but its based on health condition of the patient and age, etc. Thank you Grandma1954
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