Saturday, May 21, 2011

a hurried decision

Mr K, 45 years, a chronic smoker now presenting with a brain tumour. a CT scan of the chest revealed another tumour in the right lung, even bigger than the one in the brain, & it has even shown signs of spreading out already.
this new finding has taken us all aback. after presenting the pros & cons of brain surgery to the family, expecting them to think over carefully, they made the decision to operate within the hour. apparently Mr K is undecided but Mrs K has made the decision for him.

without any surgery, he may succumb to either tumour in 3 - 6 mths, even with chemo and/or radiotherapy.

with brain surgery, he may last slightly longer, probably up to a year. but that is only if it is vastly successful & recovery from it is uneventful.

but i'm not optimistic. i think they should deliberate over the weekend & come to a consensus. as it is, i can see some of his family members are keen on surgery, while others aren't. & this decision is made while tears still flow & the duress is obvious.

i feel this is a hurried decision. and, i sure don't have a good feeling about the outcome.


missyc said...

sad huh .. consequence of smoking but then who are we to judge, its his life.

can't help but ask is Mr K a case of lung ca with mets to the brain ? I remember my late sis-in-law was semi-conscious in this situation, & the oncologist recommended radiotherapy, surgery definitely not an option the risk was just not worth it. She survived longer than the neurosurgeon (an a**hole) predicted. The family didn't make a hurried decision as they couldn't stand to see prolonged suffering.

do your best, the rest is up to GOD

Anny said...

If I were him, I will do nothing. 3 - 6 months VS a year, not much diff but so much added suffering :( But I guess family usually keen to do all they can to prolong life.

doc said...



it's more likely a lung Ca with a single mets to the brain. either that or both are separate pathologies, because mets to the brain or lung are largely multiple.

doc said...


it seems that he was unable to make the decision, so his wife did it for him.

did she DO him in?

we'll see....

Adino said...

Such a pity, 45 years is just too young. Can his doctor make up some excuse to postpone the surgery until they have calmed down to think things over? Or, will this backfire on the doctor as he might be blamed for delaying treatment?

Yvonne Foong said...

She might be wanting do to what she still can. The option of surgery is given to her so she chose to do something rather than nothing.

doc said...


his doctor....hmm...that's another story altogether.

this is not a dire emergency, so a day's delay or two would not make a difference.

doc said...


you could be right.

beng said...

sometimes we jus dont know wat to expect. last week the dr said my mum in law would die within hours n asked everybody to b at her side jus in case. now he says she will live for a long time n has been discharged. sometimes it is out of human control.. the timing i mean

doc said...


only God knows the future; we, including doctors, can only guess!

Yvonne Foong said...

That's the thing. People think doctors can predict the future, and they will hold doctors accountable for their wrong predictions. :P

"He said I won't live another month. But I have lived many more years! He was wrong. That son of a....#$*^%$#@!!!"

The patient didn't realize the doctor could have been right, basing his judgement on the patient's condition at that very moment, but God decided to extend the patient's life after the doctor made his prediction. So instead of cursing the doctor, the patient should be thanking God.


Loshini said...

making a decision not to cut has to be harder than making a decision to cut huh, doc? and i agree, they need time to weigh the pros and cons, but she's probably an emotional wreck inside and largely afraid she'll lose her husband. a weekend should help her rationalise a bit more and consider postop recovery and complications and all... god bless..

doc said...


sometimes i wish too that people don't ask how long before someone dies, but that's unavoidable because people EXPECT doctors to know, or at least, give an estimate as they need to make certain arrangements, eg. make emergency wills, get the family members back from out-of-town, etc.

if only they don't hold doctors to their words!!

doc said...



making the decision itself is hard enough, whether to go ahead with surgery or not. deciding when one is an emotional wreck is risky!!