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Discharged from hospital


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My dad is discharged from the hospital with  diagnosis of 10 cm lung mass by the hospital oncologist after doing bone scan, CT scan and lung needle biopsy. We are waiting for results which were sent to Mayo Clinic by them for second opinion. In the meantime, since discharge my dad is experiencing sob, wet cough however there is no help from the discharge hospital oncologist. After several trips to ER , the Er requested us to contact the same hospital oncologist for support for SOB. 
The hospital oncologist referred us to hospice care. They are not answering any questions just saying wait for results. Although we were not expecting hospice to take over while we are waiting for results as we want the curative approach , we are confused why hospice. The hospice has been pushing us for morphine and has given us Robinul and Duoneb and oxygen concentrator for support. We are not comfortable with morphine which they are pushing very much. Is Robinul and liquid Morphine given to lung cancer patients without knowing the results?? We are so confused??? 

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Morphine is for calming anxiety in the case of shortness of breath. I would also recommend it. Hospitals have a habit of pushing patients into hospice care. Sometimes it's warranted, but in your dad's case you don't even have all the test results back yet. In the meantime, keep him as comfortable as you can. 

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I am sorry you are dealing with this nightmare!

When I investigated entering hospice, now years ago, it was carefully explained that my medical insurance would no longer pay for "curative" care. Moreover, entering hospice is a voluntary action. A doctor may refer one to hospice but the patient needs to agree before being admitted.

Judy is correct about liquid morphine. It is used to treat affects of shortness of breath. And, an oxygen concentrator is used also for that purpose. But, you ought to have been told the histology results of your dad's needle biopsy (his type and stage of lung cancer). It is typical for follow-on laboratory examination of biopsy material for biomarker testing and these results typically take 2 weeks.

You mentioned your dad was seen by a "hospital oncologist". Sometimes, hospitals employ contract physicians who work only in hospitals. Have you looked for a private practice oncologist, not associated with the hospital? That would be my recommendation along with waiting for the biomarker testing results.

Stay the course.


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