I was fortunate to have stumbled onto a caregiving position this summer, but it has come with some challenges ...
I'm caring for a 60+ year old female with anorectal cancer. Hemorrhage is an issue, especially when she passes a BM. She also has nausea for unspecified reason (she is not on chemotherapy). This said, she basically has cachexia at this point.
She has no family, but her friends are organizing care. I just happened to know one of them. Hospice crisis team has been involved, and the same hospice continues to check in. There are three of us that are a loosely formed team caring for her around the clock, with a couple of her friends organizing us.
Her primary is an MD who has some very alternative practices. Everyone who's met him does not have positive regard for the fellow, me included. She's wasted away over the course of weeks.
I have been told that the oncologists said she was underweight for treatment (but there have been a lot of inconsistent stories about a lot of this - it's kind of a mess) - and she's lost 20 more pounds, since then.
So the goal of care is to bring her weight up so she can receive treatment, as I understand the situation ... but she isn't able to eat ...
It is a slow growing tumor, so it is possible that it hasn't even metastasized.
She really seems to need a second opinion - and managed care!! However, I am unsure where to look for assistance with this, and I am really just a random caregiver in the scenario.
I would hate to see a life go to such waste, unnecessarily, and I certainly wouldn't want to be a part of that, by being complacent.
Does anyone out there have any suggestions?
I'm afraid that we're not going to be able to get enough calories in her to bring her back 20+ pounds, here at the house. Upon the suggestion of another alternative friend, she is eating small bits of coconut oil. This seems to be helping with keeping the gastric juices in check, but she needs nutrition! Aside from this, she is taking in ice water, herbal teas, green drinks, some kefir with probiotics - basically all fluids. There has been talk of protein drinks, but so far she refuses them.
I would so greatly appreciate any input on resources I might approach to get her moving in the right direction.
Thank you so much for your time, in reading this.