Tuesday, February 03, 2015

A Medical Update

After seeing our unwell Brother friend improve each time we saw him, he is now on a downward path and it makes me feel that he may not be around for a long time. He attended a dinner among friends last Saturday night and an Australia Day barbeque, but he was visibly unwell and struggling and clearly going out was a huge effort for him.

After we left the Australia Day barbeque, he received a call from an older Swiss female friend in Thailand and he struggled with the conversation. Someone primed with a glass or two of drink became untactful with his medical opinions and the unwell Brother Friend broke down in tears in front of the remaining guests.

I've experienced the death of people I have cared about many times, but usually of people who were quite old or had lingered for a long time. I set aside from that the people I knew who died of Aids at a youngish age. Although Brother Friend is 65, and used to look mid 50s, he is now a weak old man clinging to what he was such a short time ago.

Tomorrow I will make a telephone call, mainly to press that he needs some professional mental health care.

A week later:

Well, that wasn't published in a timely manner. I did call later in the week and spoke to the unwell Brother. He has come off chemo in preparation for another treatment,  has regained his taste buds and appetite and I don't know what they have given him, but he sounded very cheerful and was so chatty, rather like his old self. 

He called the next night and spoke to R to tell us about a tv show involving a train trip from Budapest into Austria. I had seen it on YT, but it was good to see it on the bigger screen in better quality. Anyway, he spoke to R for ages, which is not like him at all.

Drugs are good!

32 comments:

  1. Been here with my brother who had motor neurone disease....
    Not easy........not easy

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    1. Well John, we hope for a better outcome than you brother had, but I find the situation difficult to read.

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  2. Looks like he is looking up lets hope he improves further .
    Merle...........

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  3. Chemo can have some truly dreadful effects. Perhaps his bad patch was related to it, rather than his illness. Fingers crossed. It is so hard to watch isn't it?

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    1. EC, I really don't know, but for the first time since he became sick, he has an appetite.

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  4. Andrew, it is a very sad story about his friend. I believe it will be better shortly.. Wonders sometimes happen and we should believe...

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    1. Gosia, maybe another month of treatment will tell us.

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  5. Apparently there is a new wonder drug they are using on terminally ill cancer patients. My brother became to ill recently to trial it and sadly passed on.

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    1. Sorry to hear that Allan. Brother Friend is going to have some stem cell treatment soon.

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  6. The head of nursing at my parents' care home has meetings with all the residents' children to talk about End of Life Care. I KNOW it is sensible to plan ahead for the loss of one's parents, aunts and uncles etc, but Brother Friend is only 65 *sigh*.

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    1. Hels, and he is receiving palliative care although it is not what I initially understood it to be. Ah well, many sadly go at a younger age than that.

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  7. My father had an amazing improvement following a hospital blood transfusion only to pass away a few weeks later. I'd remain cautious if I were you but I do hope for the best.

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    1. Victor, I remember my grandmother having a blood transfusion not long before she died, and she too looked great.

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  8. I had a customer friend in a similar situation, (it's Tuesday! Why am I here?)
    He went slowly downhill for so long, then disappeared altogether for a while only to walk in one day looking the picture of health. He'd been in hospital getting care and proper feeding, but that didn't last. a few weeks later I saw him come shambling in so thin and weak I thought he would fall over with each step, and that was the last time any of us checkout persons saw him.

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    1. River, so interesting and relevant. It seems to be how our friend is alternating.

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  9. Keep in touch with him. Drugs can do wonders, I hope he's doing okay and I hope you are too. It's hard to watch people go through illnesses like this.

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    1. Fen, among our very close group of friends rather than our bigger group, he is so the last person who we thought would suffer like this. He was so boringly healthy.

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  10. Oh, that's so hard, but good to hear he's a bit better. Fingers crossed for you all. My father is like this now. He was always big and healthy, full of life, and since becoming sick a few years ago that's all changed. Thanks to drugs and doctors he has stayed with us years longer than they gave him, but it hasn't been good and he's had more down times than up. So hard.I hope your friend does well.

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    1. Jackie, sorry to hear that. There aren't really good words to say in such a situation.

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  11. Let's hope he will be ok. I expect all the strain of what has happened to him catches up at some stage, then leaves.

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    1. WA, he has been very stoic, but I suspect he should be a little more emotional.

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  12. Oh, I hope he gets better.

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  13. That can happen I think Andrew.. As they say 'good days and bad days' . It's true for all kof us but especially those in ill health.
    P.s. a post for you tomorrow :)

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    1. Yes Grace. We hear that often enough. I have my good days and bad ones.

      Thanks for the link in your post. Most interesting.

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  14. Oh actually that's today :)

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  15. I can't imagine what it would be like to know you are going to die. A close friend - younger than I - died about 18 months ago having made the choice to stop all treatment rather than suffer for longer. I don't think I could be that brave.

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    1. Red, as per your friend, I guess it is about how bad you are feeling. Only up until recently, and it still happens, doctors don't tell their patients who long they may live. Firstly, it is an accurate science and secondly, people do better with some hope.

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    2. That should be inaccurate science.

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  16. I sincerely hope he gets better, Andrew. He'll be in my thoughts.

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