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Topic: DNR Orders

Forum: Stage IV and Metastatic Breast Cancer ONLY —

A place for those managing the ups & downs of a Stage IV/metastatic breast cancer diagnosis. Please respect that this forum is for Stage IV members only. There is a separate forum For Family and Caregivers of People with a STAGE IV Diagnosis.

Posted on: May 29, 2012 12:00PM

ma111 wrote:

I have been seeing a palliative care doctor for almost a year now. I was hospitalized for a small bowel obstruction over the weekend and the hospital had me as a full code. I have been a DO NOT RESUSCITATE for 11 months. This is my second hospitalization since that. My palliative doctor really has to butt heads with other doctors because I am young. I can understand that doctors don't want to see us dye and I don't want to either, but know it will happen and don't want to be a vegetable with someone else wiping my butt.

Make sure your wishes are known!!!!!!!!

Dx 8/4/2009, IBC, <1cm, Stage IV, 19/19 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+
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May 29, 2012 01:23PM alesta29 wrote:

Hey Ma. Sorry to hear you have been in hospital and hope things are more comfortable for you now.


Laurie x

Stay in the present and live each day as it comes. Stage IV from the get go June 2011. ER/PR+ HER 2- Liver, lung, bone, lymph, brain, peritoneal and pelvic mets - Man this list keeps getting longer...
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May 29, 2012 01:30PM bhd1 wrote:

I am sorry u had this happen . Hope u feel better and thanks for the advise

barb Dx 9/22/2011, IDC, 3cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2+
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May 29, 2012 01:54PM sincitydealer wrote:

Hi, ma.  Sorry you were in the hosptial this weekend.  I sure hope you feel better.  Sounds like you're very specific as to what you want, and they should respect your wishes.  My Mom refuses to sign a  DNR.  She has an "Advance Directive" with me as her medical proxy, but she just can't bring herself to sign that DNR.


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May 29, 2012 02:16PM myangels wrote:

Hi Ma, Sorry you're going through this. It's a hard decision, but the bottom line is that it's your wish that must be respected. (((((HUGS))))) to you!


Dx 2/1/2010, IDC, 3cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/12/2010 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left, Right
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May 29, 2012 03:09PM banjobanjo wrote:

Hope you get out and home soon and feel better.  You are right to want to be in control.


Barbara 'And we are here as on a darkling plain, swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight, where ignorant armies clash by night. Dx 10/5/2011, DCIS, 1cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, 14/16 nodes, mets, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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May 29, 2012 03:23PM dmacw wrote:

Ma my husband had DNR and he was in a coma for 2 weeks before passing.  The DNR was not enough.  I had to decide if he should be given food, water, pain meds etc.  I didn't want him to suffer.  I said to the doctor if it was your wife what would you do?  He told me no to food and water, yes to meds to keep him comfortable.  But I don't know if I did right.  I still feel guilty.  Be very specific.


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May 29, 2012 04:16PM Mzmerz wrote:

Ma, I am so sorry you had trouble over the weekend, that is no fun.  I've actually been thinking about DNR and Living will or whatever that stuff is called.  I'm only 43 and should not have to think about it, but I don't want my poor hubby having to decide.  Heck, he can't even decide where to go for dinner, so to ask him this, it would do him in.  Something to add to my To Do list.

Dx 6/12/2009, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIB, 12/19 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/8/2009 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Chemotherapy 8/7/2009 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 1/3/2010 Hormonal Therapy 2/22/2010 Surgery 5/8/2010 Prophylactic ovary removal Dx 3/22/2012, IDC, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, 12/19 nodes, mets, ER+/PR-, HER2- Radiation Therapy 3/27/2012 Hormonal Therapy 5/1/2012 Femara (letrozole) Targeted Therapy 7/15/2016 Ibrance (palbociclib) Dx 11/2016, IDC, Stage IV, metastasized to bone/liver, ER+/PR-, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 3/3/2017 Faslodex (fulvestrant) Chemotherapy 5/23/2017 Taxol (paclitaxel)
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May 29, 2012 04:49PM ma111 wrote:

Donna, you bring up some good points. My palliative care saw me over the weekend and we reviewed the specifics. Tube feedings, iv fluid, blood, etc. Something that she changed my mind on a long time ago was antibiotics. I said no. She said that means if you get a bladder infection i can't treat it. So, it is written antibiotics for comfort, not for prolonging life. I'm glad you brought up the subject of how hard it is on the family if there is no advanced directives. You did the correct thing I am sure! I also want to be as comfortable as possible.

 I am only 48 and shouldn't have had to do it either.

Dx 8/4/2009, IBC, <1cm, Stage IV, 19/19 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+
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May 29, 2012 09:55PM china wrote:

Sending you all my love Ma! Dawn

Dx 4/6/2007, 1cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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May 29, 2012 10:11PM Brendatrue wrote:

I completed an advanced directive years ago and was very specific about a number of possible interventions. I am about to update it again because I have even more specific ideas about what I want or don't want at end of life. I made sure that my primary care doc, my MO, and my local hospital all had copies and will do so again. Nowadays hospitals and MDs are more likely to be sued if they do not follow an advance directive, but there are still MDs out there who act like it is their decision, not the patient's. Also, make sure family members are well aware of your choices on your directive and ask them to make a commitment to you that they will not try to undermine your wishes being followed. There are still many instances nationwide in which MDs will agree to provide life prolonging treatment--even if it contradicts the patient's written or stated wishes-- if family members insist on various interventions being done, and they often agree to do so because they fear being sued by the family members. These MDs typically will not lose these cases but fear their reputations or malpractice insurance will be drastically impacted (among other concerns). Even if you don't complete an advance directive, it is vitally important to have conversations with the person who would be your surrogate decision maker should you be unable to speak for yourself and with all your MDs--being careful to ask the MDs to document the conversation you just had and your specific wishes. Thanks ma111 for starting this topic!

Brenda.... Wanderer, there is no road, the road is made by walking. (Antonio Machado) Dx 1995, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/16 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 2006, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 2009, IDC, 1cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC)
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May 29, 2012 11:42PM steelrose wrote:


You're always thinking of others and your thoughtfulness is well taken! I signed my papers a while ago but I think I'll review them, as much as I hate to look at the darn things. You taught me to be a grown-up about these matters in your "death and dying" thread, even though we're the same age! Okay... so I've been somewhat adult-like in my preparation, but can I say how much I truly hate this whole ****ing mess????

I'm sorry you were in the hospital again. I think of you and your daughter often and I wish peace for both of you. You and Apple have made me emotional tonight. You are inspirations.

Love to you...


Dx 1/22/2010, IDC, Stage IV, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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May 30, 2012 12:34AM justjudie wrote:

Hi Ma,

Sorry you were back in the damn hospital again. Hope the obstruction has been cleared. I FINALLY asked for the DNR and Advanced Directive paperwork. Only took two years. As of yet nothing has been filled out. I always think of myself as a pretty much no BS, take charge, kind of person and I definitely do not want to leave all this undone for my poor hubby and son to have to deal with. So I am mad at myself for this stupid procrastination and I swear I AM going to get it together and do this. Awwwww...its all so hard.

I hope you feel better, Ma. You have so much strength. I admire you greatly. Holding your hand,my friend.


Judie Dx 3/31/2010, IDC, Stage IV, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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May 30, 2012 12:46AM Reneepals wrote:


 I Just wanted to let you know I hope you feel better. I am so sorry for our your dilemma.

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May 30, 2012 03:40AM - edited May 30, 2012 03:42AM by ma111

It is a very hard thing to do. What inspired me was thoughts of my daughter. She was 16 then and now 18. No father around, so she would have to make the decisions for me. That would be mean to do to an 18 year old. All of my doctors had copies, however, I was admitted through the ED. I presented them to the ED. Next day when my palliative care doctor made rounds she told me I was listed as a full code still.

There have been hospitals that have lost malpractice suits because of not following DNR orders. It just takes so much work on our part to let them know we have them and it shouldn't be that way. Doctors are just now being taught death and dying issues in medical school. In the past they have always been taught how to prolong life. It might take a decade or two.

Rose, thanks for the compliment, it brought a tear to know I could help in such a crappy situation,

Dx 8/4/2009, IBC, <1cm, Stage IV, 19/19 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+
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May 30, 2012 11:18AM K-Lo wrote:

When I was a practicing nurse, they would suspend any DNR during and immediately after surgery.  They have to use life saving techniques in order to put a person under general anesthesia.  They have to paralyze you, breathe for you, etc.  They don't go into surgery and do things half way.  Check with your hospital for policy...   how long is dnr suspended?

Kathy Dx 8/30/2010, IDC, 4cm, Stage IV, 8/12 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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May 30, 2012 11:53AM dmacw wrote:

Yes Ma, please talk to your daughter.  Let her know everything.  My husband was 40 when he passed.  I was 39.  Never thinking this would happen at such an early age we didn't discuss a lot of things we should have.  The guilt is horrible.  I hope your feeling better.


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