Do you understand what is going on with your gut?
Yes, the cancer has caused a blockage.
That’s right, anything that you swallow will probably come back up again. It’s a mechanical obstruction and our medications won’t be able to keep it unblocked.
There’s no other treatments?
We could try steroids to see if it could lessen the cancer swelling, to see if it would loosen up the blockage. It may not work, and even if it does work it will only work for a short time. And there can be side effects. Some people become more agitated, it would worsen your immune system so it would be easier for you to get infections.
Hmmm. I need to think about it
That’s fine, I wasn’t expecting an answer right now. We will keep checking in with you, we want to make sure we do right by you. When you are very unwell the body had difficulty keeping things in balance. For example physical balance can be affected and it mean you are at greater risk of falling. That’s why we’ve been nagging you about not walking by yourself.
I know you want to stay as independent as possible but we need to keep you safe. I don’t want you breaking a bone, you’ve got enough going on already.
The illness can also affect your mind balance too, you’ve probably had some trouble remembering things.
My memory has been bad for months.
And overnight you were a bit confused.
Yeah, I wasn’t sure where I was.
The strain and drain on your body from the cancer is causing it all. I know you’re trying your best to be yourself, but it’s becoming harder and harder. Things are becoming a struggle for you.
I don’t want you to struggle. Please let us help you with some things. To try and free up some energy for you. So you can spend time with your friends and family.
They keep encouraging me to do stuff, but I’m not sure I feel up to it.
Listen to your body, if you feel up to it, go for it. If you don’t it’s okay to have a rest.
Okay we’re going to work on your nausea today, and we’ll check in with you again tomorrow morning about the steroids. I just want you to know that no matter what happens we’ll keep on trying to make you more comfortable. There might come a point where you aren’t able to speak for yourself and I just want you to know that we will act in your best interests. We will always try to make you more comfortable.
You’re welcome. We’ll see you later. Please let us know if you need anything else.