My Dad is About to Die

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Middle Child
New Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 4/12/2009 5:08 PM (GMT -6)   
My 87 year old dad has late stage liver disease and cancer. He is at home living out his last days with my sister taking care of him. I live in another state, but I am going there this week for the second time in a month. I'm so afraid of seeing my dad in worse condition than he was when I left two weeks ago! He has a nurse during the day and my sister sleeps in his room at night. He can't get out of bed or go to the bathroom without assistance. He has fluid taken out of his stomach twice a week. He has trouble sleeping and no appetite. He gets confusion and itching. He has lost a lot of weight. He was a heavy drinker for most of his life and apparently he knew he had cirroshis for some time...and still drank. I am so sad about losing him, but he is 87. I am already going through the stages of grief...I had anger and sadness so far. I'm afraid he will die while I'm there and I have read all these posts about what to expect. I'm afraid...truly afraid to see him suffer. He is not in pain right now. He is actually cheerful, singing and laughing. I don't really have a question, just need some support and to hear from someone experienced with death from liver disease.

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 302
   Posted 4/12/2009 5:20 PM (GMT -6)   


Dear Middlechild,


Welcome to the forum.  I’m a middlechild myself.  I’ve lost my Father to cirrhosis, but I wasn’t there when he died.  He continued to drink right to the very end.  My brother’s were there and they said aside from the swelling from the ascites, he wasn’t complaining.  He was singing as well, “I did it my way . . .”


You Father is so fortunate to have lived such a long life given the abuse he put upon himself.  I assume hospice is involved?  If so, they will see to it that he is not suffering.  He would simply pass away peacefully.


I’m so sorry that you are having to go through this. 



Middle Child
New Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 4/13/2009 9:36 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you, Penny. I am going to be there the day after tomorrow. I hope he hangs on until I see him again. He is losing his ability to swallow, which as I understand is pretty much one of the final symptoms.

I have read several different places about late state liver disease patients singing and laughing until the end. I wonder if this is linked to the confusion? He has been in incredibly good spirits. That's a blessing for sure.

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