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Thanks. I've done ALL your suggestions. She has it all perfectly in her living will. Hospice is AWESOME and needs to be called sooner than later in the life of terminally ill patents, a WHOLE YEAR! I was just wondering if anyone had dealt with this, and what are the effects CA has on the ALZ, like making her weaker, more pain/confusion, accelerating the growth of ALZ. Basically symptom changes.
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It depends on the stage of the cancer. If the cancer is advanced, it will impede getting oxygen into the blood and to the brain, so it will accelerate the damage to the brain. If the Alz is advanced, but the cancer is in early stages, the Alz may continue as normal unless the cancer metastasizes to the brain. What Grandma wrote is right on target. The diseases may be separate, but the blood and lymph system ties them together. Sorry that you are having to go through this.
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Personal opinion here...
If a person with Late Stage Alzheimer's has been diagnosed with Lung Cancer, or any other cancer for that matter, do NOT treat the cancer.
Call Hospice.
Manage pain.
Make the person as comfortable as possible.
Treatment for cancer would involve surgery, chemo, possibly radiation. A person with Alzheimer's will not understand what is going on, the body does not heal well, a "healthy" person has a difficult time with chemo and radiation why subject someone to that if it will not enhance quality of life or extend the quality of life.
Hospice will help with medications, supplies, manage pain, order equipment necessary, provide CNA's that will help bathe and dress the patient as often as they feel will help. A Nurse will order medications and monitor vitals as well as instruct you how to watch for signs of pain. When management of pain is not possible at home most Hospice have "in patient units" that they can have the patient transferred to so that more intense medication and care can be given. When pain has been controlled the patient can return home. Often the patient will pass in the in patient unit.
But again I stress PLEASE do not treat the cancer there is no benefit in that.
Also please no feeding tube.
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