There's a conventional wisdom among physicians about organ failure. If a patient has one organ system failing, we can deal with that. If it's the kidneys, we can dialyze them. Heart failure, there are meds and devices we can implant. If a patient has two organ systems begin to shut down, it starts to get dicey. It starts to get like a dog chasing his tail - the faster he runs, the farther the tail gets away. Once you hit the magic number of three systems failing, there is very little, if anything that can be done.
My brother is starting to enter into that phase of multiple organ system failure, or as hospice views it - the active process of dying. He has begun to look a bit jaundiced which means the liver is beginning to shut down. He is drinking very little water anymore and his urine is getting very dark. That means the kidneys are no longer working quite the way they're supposed to. As if that isn't enough, his lymphatic system and bone marrow are both affected greatly so his blood and immune system aren't working right. As a consequence, he's starting to get open wounds as bed sores. And the final sling and arrow of outrageous fortune is the fact that he does have two tumors present in the pulmonary system - one in the lower right lung and one on the right bronchus. His breathing has increasingly become more rapid and the slightest acts leave him feeling like he ran miles at a sprint. Those tumors are probably increasingly working their evil. If you wish to see my brother, now is the time to do it. There is no later.