CSN Login
Members Online: 5

Watching my mother die

Renee2516
Posts: 4
Joined: Feb 2004

My mother has breast cancer, she got a clean bill of health 1 year ago. Our family just found out the cancer spread, Everywhere they have given her 6 months to live that is with chemo. The chemo may or may not work. My mothers health is just going down hill so fast. She has had two chemo treatments so far. I need to know about resources? Who do familes turn to, how do you prepare. If anyone has advice or suggests please, please let me know. I can not find books on dealing with this or internet support.
Thanks
Renee

claucworc
Posts: 1
Joined: Feb 2004

Renee I am going through the same thing, my mother has had a double masectomy and is now fighting the pain of a metastasized liver.

What I plan to do is exactly what we are doing now, looking to the advice of others who have gone through it or are going through it. Constant communication with doctors to make sure that they are abreast of everything, my experience is that they wont research anything unless u point them in the right direction.

I hope this helps, we are in this together.....

Renee2516
Posts: 4
Joined: Feb 2004

Thank you for the CSN #. I am going to call toinght.

kneim
Posts: 1
Joined: Mar 2004

Thanks for the phone number. I'm sure it'll come in helpful.

greenemd2000
Posts: 8
Joined: Feb 2004

I feel your pain. My mother had breast cancer. She was in remission for 2 years all of a sudden on Dec. 2nd the doctor informed her it had spread and there was nothing they could do. The doctors had given her from a few weeks to a few months. I lost my mom, well I won't say I lost my mom. My mom went home on Dec. 24th....Her b-day is today and I am really having a hard time. One of the best things about knowing that someone will be going home soon is you have a chance to do and help them in anyway you can. I am not sure if you live close to your mom or not but please participate as much as possible with her care. I find peace in that. Don't look at as watching your mother die. She is going home, no more pain, no more suffering. And one more thing make sure you let your mother know that you and if you have children/siblings, let her know they will be alright. Let her know it is okay to go home. Let her go with no worries. I know you will greatly miss her, I miss my mom but know that she will be in a better place...greenemd2000@yahoo.com

Renee2516
Posts: 4
Joined: Feb 2004

Dear Greenemd,
Thank you for sharing your mothers story with me. Reading it brought tears to my eyes. I am not sure how you are coping so well, but keep me up with your tips. It sounds like you are in a very loving place and viewing things in a good light. I hope I feel that way when my mom dies. I do have a daughter but she is only 7 months old, so she really has no idea what is going on, my hope is my mom can make it until her 1st b-day which is July 2. I may be asking a bit too much though. I am 26, my brother is 21, and my father is 49, so we are all at ages where we speak openly and freely. It does not seem to lessen the pain. I do live close to my mom (right across the street), my dad and her own my house and thier home. I get to see her everyday which helps lighten things up for my dad too. It is so hard, I just really want a mircale and I hate to see her in this much pain. She is throwing up, getting fevers, can barley eat, and sleeps alot. I just want so bad to take ever bit of pain away from her and have my strong normal mom back. Did you feel this way? and how did you deal with it?

greenemd2000
Posts: 8
Joined: Feb 2004

Yes there was not a day that went by that I did not wish she was her active self again. My mom was a bowler and traveled all over the U.S. to see her just so enactive was very difficult. She would or could not eat, I even made special trips to the grocery store to get things to make her favorite dishes. Most of the time that did not work. I think one of the main things that kept me from letting her know all of my pain was, I did not want her to take on any more pain herself. A person that was so active, having to lye in bed, not being able to go to the restroom by herself, or open a bottle if ensure, and knowing that you are going to die. I believed my mom to be very strong, She needed me to be strong for her, and in the end she was still strong. I do wish my mom back but if she would be in pain I would rather for her to stay in Heaven. It will be 8 weeks since I lost my mom on the 24th of Feb. All this is still new to me. I can only advise you to take it a day at a time. If that is to much take it 10 minutes at a time. Keep spending as much time with your mom as possible. I was told by Hospice that there would come a time when my mom would show a smile that I had not seen in a long time before she passed. You know what, they were right. Every time I think of that beautiful smile I smile.one other thing my mom kept a journal up until she was no longer able to write. Does your mom keep one. Sometimes I pull it out to read and it is as if she is still here.

Renee2516
Posts: 4
Joined: Feb 2004

It is nice to know you got to see your mom smile and at peace before she passed. I will hope for the same. My mom writes some, but she is so sick if she gets a shower and eats that wears her out, but I will suggest I write for her. That is a really good idea, thanks. Everyone at my office chipped in and bought her a smoothie machine (with out me knowing it was really nice). So I get fresh fruit, ensure and vanilla syrup (she really likes that) and make stuff for her. Besides that she really does not eat. My dad is going to get her a lounge chair that can lay down so she can sit in the garden or yard when it gets nice out. I do take it one day at a time, but time has never had such a big meaning as it does now. I keep thinking, will it be next month, 3 months, will we know when it is close, will she suffer???? So many things. I am sure you thought the same things. My mom also was so active, but now it is hard for her. Someone has to be at the house for her to shower. I know it is hard on her, being such a strong women. I can say having my daughter really helps me get through the hard moments, she needs me to be a mom so it keeps me off my own pitty pot. I do whatever I can for my mom and make sure to hug her and tell her I love her all the time. How was your mom's funreal? I have tons of bad dreams about my moms to come.

greenemd2000
Posts: 8
Joined: Feb 2004

It is so good to hear that you have support from your co-workers. That is truly a blessing. My mom's funeral was beautiful. I did not realize how many peoples lives my mother touched. She looked so peaceful and beautiful, just like she was asleep. I was asked by one of the funeral directors if I would like to help tuck her in and close the caskett...At first I was shocked but then I had a weird feeling that came over me and kind of gave me the chills, but in a nice way. I figured this was my mom looking over me and the next thing I knew I was folding her blankets, rubbing her hands and giving her a kiss and closing the casket. Just typing this gives me the chills, I know that she is proud of me and watching over me. Don't fret about the dreams. I had those also. I also used to be scared for her to go to sleep for fear she would not wake up, but soon realized that if it was God's will it will be done. No more suffering,no more pain. Another thing that also helped me is that besides being at her side she was able to tell me she was going home. That to me said that she was on her way to heaven, I don't have to worry she is going to be with her higher power.

Dianaedes
Posts: 5
Joined: Feb 2004

It was so nice to read others feel as I do. It's not my mother who I am watching die, it's my father. I am finding it difficult, and confusing. I hope by me writing I can get alittle of this confusion lifted off my shoulders. My father has lung & liver cancer. After all attempts at chemo they have said there is nothing left. They told us to live day by day. Well watching my father lose 10 pounds a week and do nothing but sleep was hard, the doctor said it has now gone to his brain, my dad went through a week of barley being alive, the doctor put him on decatron (spelled wrong) and poof, my dad seems to be almost his old self. the last four days he has gained 5 pounds, has actually gone outside and is watching tv again. HELPPPP Im so confused. People tell me that sometimes they get better right before they pass on, has anyone else heard this?? and you had mentioned your mother knew her time was up, my dad whispered to my mom he had 3 weeks left, it has now passed the 4th week, again....Im so lost. I know god only knows the time, but can anyone put some light on what I may be in store for???
Thank you and god bless all ...Diana

greenemd2000
Posts: 8
Joined: Feb 2004

I think my mom knew all along that there was nothing the doctors could do for her. She just did not realize that we knew. She wanted to be strong for her family. My mom was taking a a drug called *****well I can't remember the name of it but it was a shot they would give her once a week. The shot would give her so much energy for a couple of days, then she would be back to being weak and sleeping all the time. After awhile I noticed that when she received her shot it did not work anymore. The doctors finally told her that there was nothing that they could do and she, I think already had come to terms with that. She informed hospice that she was ready to take care of somethings before she went home, such as financial responsibilities, signing over of her house, car and other items. When it is time for your fathers home going you will know and he will also know. Please don't look at as watching him die. I tell you in the long run being able to tell your friends and co-workers that you dad has gone home is a lot easier. The hospice nurse my mom had was a very informative person. She informed me that when a person is dying or just right before they go home they turn back to a childhood state. She basically told me, or I should say warned me of things to come. She advised me of things to look for. There was one night that my mom after being in bed for a couple days needing assistance, just got out of bed and was suddenly this strong almost like a "hulk" like person. She explained to me that she needed to go to the basement to put out a fire. She said she had left something cooking down there. The only thing I could do to calm her was to assure her that I would check and for her to go back and lay down. I did go check, to satisfy her, of course everything was ok. The next night she said she had to save Jimmy. I had no idea who Jimmy was until I watched Private Ryan and the name of the guy is the same as my uncles, her brother. He lives in NJ. It just so happened that he had planned to come visit after xmas. Well I called him and informed him that I thought he needed to come ealier and he did. After she saw him I could see the peace in her eyes and knew it would not be long. I was very close to my mom. Some people say the embelical cord was never cut. Now it is. It just seems as though I knew her every thought, I knew when she was having a good day and bad day without even seeing her. I can't explain it. But I do believe that when the time comes you will know and you will know what to do.

Dianaedes
Posts: 5
Joined: Feb 2004

Thank you for responding, It's now Wednesday and dad has been on Decatron for 4 days and wow.....he's like his old self. We had him on his death bed and trying to deal with losing him and poof, he even drove today, which the doctors said he would never do again. I am so confused at his turn around it scarey, but I don't want to get all happy and next week something tragic happen. We are all living with this day by day not knowing what tomorrow is gonna bring. By what all I have read, seems that once it is in the brain, they could live another 4 to 6 weeks. Maybe there are miracles???????

greenemd2000
Posts: 8
Joined: Feb 2004

I am so happy your dad is doing so well. You never know when a miracle comes along. I will keep you and your family in my prayers.

Jules33
Posts: 3
Joined: Mar 2004

I must agree with you. Do as much as you can with taking care of your parent. My mother is in home hospice and I am here with her. It is easily the hardest thing I have ever done... and at the same time, it is truly the best. The time that you share at these moments are the most precious. I am an only child and to be here with her, my mother, my bestfriend, will be the one thing that I can easily say will be the best thing I have ever done. It is also so true to make her feel as though you and the people who are around her/you will be ok... they will miss her and always love her, but that she will never leave their minds or hearts and with that you and everyone else will be ok.
I'm scared to death of my mother passing but at least I know that I have done everything to make it better for her...justmejtb@aol.com

ZELLARS
Posts: 34
Joined: Oct 2003

DEAR RENEE I READ YOUR ENTRY AND IT WAS ALL MY SAME THOUGHTS.MY DAD IS GOING DOWN HILL FAST WITH STOMACH CANCER.I LITERALLY CANNOT CATCH MY BREATH MOST OF THE DAY. HE IS SUCH A WONDERFUL MAN AND HAD SUCH STRONG FAITH--THERE ARE 2 KINDS OF PEOPLE IN THE WORLD--1)THE ONES WHO HAVE GONE THROUGH WATCHING THEIR LOVED ONES SUFFER AND 2) THOSE WHO HAVE NOT. I DONT EVEN LIKE TO SAY THIS BUT THE DR SAID 6 MONTHS TOO--I GUESS IT JUST FEELS LIKE OK SO THATS IT----YOU WANT TO SCREAM WORK OVERTIME PLEASE HELP US!!! MY DAD HAS 4 GRANDCHILDREN AGES 6, 4, 3, AND 1--I HAVE TWO MY BROTHER HAS TWO. I JUST FEEL SO HELPLESS AND CAN RELATE TO YOU BECAUSE IT IS JUST GOING TO FAST-HE IS SO SICK AND HAS A FEEDING TUBE AND EVEN THAT MAKES HIM SICK. PLEASE KNOW YOU ARE NOT ALONE. EVER SINCE I WAS A LITTLE GIRL I HAVE FEARED SOMETHING WOULD HAPPEN TO MY MOM OR DAD--NO WAY COULD I HAVE EVER BEEN PREPARED FOR THE REALITY OF IT. GOD BLESS YOU AND YOUR MOTHER

JLZELL
Posts: 3
Joined: Mar 2004

I have lost my grandfather to lung cancer, my father to colon cancer, my wonderful father in law to liver cancer, and now my mother- my best friend - is trying to put up a good fight with ovarian cancer. I am feeling hopeless and helpless. She is very sick as I write this. She is frail and weak. I have seen this same pattern in those that have passed before her. I simply feel that these were very special people who suffered a great deal of pain and I really have such a surreal feeling watching once again as another loved on travels down the same path. Don't know where to find strength. I thought I was prepared and handling this so well and being strong for her but this is a really bad time. Just wanted to share

Roxanne_Daoust
Posts: 4
Joined: Jan 2004

Renee,

My mother had liver cancer and passed about a month ago. I was in the room with her the whole week before she passed and also the moment she took her last breath. It truly was heart wrenching, but you know, I honnestly feel that if I had not spent those last few days with her, I definately would be worse right now. It is hard to see your mother leave, expecially if you two are close. My advice to you is enjoy every single second you have together. It's really weird because I was very sad when it happened but then it seemed to go away, only about a week ago am I know being hit like a ton of bricks and find myself really distraught and lonely. What's helping me is my great family. It's really nice to talk about my mother and my feelings to my husband, my sisters or even my father. Hang in there, you'll see when time comes and you can see the look of satisfaction on your mother because she is no longer in pain, you will realize that it's for the best and it is not good bye, it's see ya later. I truly beleive that my mother is watching over us ( my family) and although I miss her so much, I know that there is nothing I can do, but it is nice to have that feeling that she is still present and is watching over you.

Good luck, my prayers are truly with you. Remember, everything has to happen for a reason,just cherish every second you have.

Rox

val1_3
Posts: 1
Joined: Mar 2004

Wow this is my first day here and once I read your message it made me feel like someone out there was going through the same thing. Or at least going through what I've been through except my mother has already passed she died Jan 21st. A day I will never forget. And since then I can describe the feelings I have. I really can relate to you and know your story. Stay strong and always remember the important memories you have. Yeah my mom was told the same thing...you don't have cancer anymore, now your in good health...heard it all before but it did come back and now she's gone. The place that I turned to was the church I felt that the chuch we attended was very helpful and made me feel like this wasn't a mistake which is what I was saying but more of a relief that she was no longer in pain. There really is no way of preparing but you can definetly cope and understand what is going on. The one thing that helps me cope is being closer to my family and sharing what emotions we have together especially my brother and sister. I hope I provided you with some insight.

heidirho
Posts: 1
Joined: Mar 2004

Renee,
Have you checked out the book called "A Cancer Battle Plan" by David and Ann Frahm? I can highly recommend it along with "The Cancer Battle Plan Sourcebook" by the same authors. It is the story of a woman sent home to die after going through every horrendous medical ordeal imaginable to save her from breast cancer that spread. A natural juicing/fasting/cleansing treatment had her on the mend with complete remission in six weeks. My mother in-law has cancer, and we have just received the family juicer today, all supporting her in delaying chemotherapy to give this alternative a shot. Perhaps you and your family can find the kind of hope we have in alternative treatments. Don't give up hope yet.

All the best,
Heidi

BionicKitty's picture
BionicKitty
Posts: 15
Joined: Mar 2004

Heidirho,
It's so nice to see some other people interested in alt. therapy. My mom has been drinking essiac tea, and also has a special juicer that dosn't spin, it presses, to keep all the enzymes intact, and she is doing all organic juicing/cleansing. She wakes up early and has alot of energy. for 4 months she has had no energy, not realizing at the time why(Just found out she has a brain tumor, possibly elswhere too).
I am going to check out the book you recommended.You might check into the Gerson Therapy, if she is open to cleansing and detoxing...My mom had a freind who it cured. But it requires alot of work to do it properly, or if you have lots of money, you can go to a Gerson Clinic. The AMA has banned them to mexico, because they have a higher than 50 % success rate, without chemo, than traditional does with chemo.... Sometimes I wonder if the AMA really does want to find a cure, as they would lose alot of revenue.I think a blend would be good, depending on the type of cancer . Good luck to your family....BK

AuthorUnknown
Posts: 1563
Joined: May 2006

I don't really have answers to that, but the one thing I can tell you is tell her all the good things you think about her, spend as much time as you can with her. Don't be scared of talking about your fears with her, and let her talk about hers with you. Try to know the most aout her, so that later on, you'll have some stories to tell about your mom. Write down all the things she knows that you want to remember. Event try to make her write those down. That's all I can tell you. I'm not sure that there are ways to deal with that. I really hope your mother is going to live longer. You know, people react in a different way, so she may be strong enough to be able to live much longer:)

mickeyfan3
Posts: 3
Joined: Mar 2004

Renee, I am so sorry that you and your family are going through this. My mom was blessed with a 10 year remission after 3 bouts with breast cancer, so it was a complete shock in October of 2000 when her oncologist told her it had come back. It was sneaky this time and had metasticized to the bones. Her CA counts never rose to give any indication during those 10 years that anything was amiss. They gave her 6-24 months at the time, she been on various chemo treatments,as well as other drugs, during the entire time. In November and once again in January she had extremely severe reaction that almost hospitalized her, her body had had enough. It's been 41 months since the diagnosis, and last week we were told it was time to start getting Hospice set up. After 41 months I don't think it's any easier than it would be to hear it after 6 months or a year.

Write down everything that you can about your mom and your relationship now, for your daughters sake. If you've been emailing, print and save them for her scrapbook. Write a piece about how brave your mom is, and what she was like before and after the diagnosis, and your feelings in dealing with this. My son is 7, and I've been doign this for him during most of this bout. Since he's been emailing a bit, I've saved their messages back and forth as well. He is blessed in that he is probably as close to my parents as he is to us,and he'll have some incredibly wonderful memories. My brother and sister in law are having a tough time, because my niece is only 13 months, and I doubt very much that she'll have any personal memories. But she will have the stories that we will tell her, and pictures, and video of my silly, crazy family. Cherish this time that you have, and I'llsay a prayer too that she'll be here for your daughters birthday. Take care.

dobeecamp
Posts: 4
Joined: Mar 2004

I just don't know what to think. I guess I really don't believe it.I haven't even cried yet. I don't mean to sound morbid, but I just need to know what to expect-time wise and condition wise. It started in the lung and grew like wild-fire. It is in her back,hip,leg, extensive in the liver and lung and in the skull bones.She has numbness from the forehead down to the neck because it is pressing on the nerves at the base of the skull. She has had 1 chemo treatment, so far.The doctor said the chemo wouldn't lengthen the amount of time she had left but it would give her some relief.they gave her around 9 months. I don't know. I just don't know what to expect or what to look for. I have read everything about SCLC but now I don't know about liver cancer in correlation with Lung Cancer. I guess what I'm looking for is a crystal ball. Maybe no one can give me the answers that I want.
Thanks.

als26
Posts: 48
Joined: Feb 2002

Dear Renee2516:
I don't think that there will be a more difficult time for you to face. I recently lost my mother on January 7th, 2004 to Ovarian Cancer. My story is a little different. We went to see her doctor on December 17th, 2003. At this time, she was still receiving treatments. For some reason, nothing worked. The doctor told us that there was nothing else he could do for her to ensure her remaining quality of life. She battled the disease for two years. At the moment he told us the news, his office began to spin. My entire world was shattered. I had no idea that he would say that. I knew that someday she'd pass away from the disease, however I had no idea it would come so quick. We left the doctor's office and immediately went home. For the next week up unti Christmas we discussed Hospice care. I was told that this is the best approach to ensure that your loved one will be out of pain for the remaining portion of their lives. I can honestly tell you that there was no way for me to prepare myself. I went through what they call "anticapatory grief". I cried daily up until she died in January. Others may have handled this better, but my mother was my lifeline. I'm an only child and I'm only 28. You can seek other family members for support, but I've found that no one can truly understand your pain because they probably have a different relationship with your mother. I'm sure your bond is extremely special. The hospice groups also offer social workers for family members. This may help you. I believe they offer a one on one setting and group settings. For me, neither of these would do. So, I decided to seek my own therapy with my mom's old psychologist. It helps to talk to her about my mom because she knew her and can relate to my stories. Please take care an know that it's ok to cry buckets full of tears.

rb11
Posts: 1
Joined: Apr 2004

Hi to all of you. I'm new to this site and I have been crying my eyes out while reading your messages. I feel like I've shared some part of all of your stories. I lost my dad to colon cancer 11 years ago, and am now facing losing my mom also. Mom had her first mastectomy shortly after dad was gone and since has had chemo and radiation, a second mastectomy,chemo, found cancer in her bones, chemo, radiation, and more chemo along with other unrelated medical problems. We have just found out that the chemo pill she was taking is no longer effective, and her blood count(the cancer indicator-not sure what it's called) is up significantly. The doctor has told her the cancer cannot be cured, whether she chooses to try another type of chemo is up to her, it may or may not work. I know she is afraid to face the reality that her days are limited, I am too! I also feel that she is depressed about her failing health. (She is 80)How does one make the decision to go thru treatment again or to stop treatment and accept your fate? I don't know if I should be encouraging her to keep fighting or to be supportive if she chooses not to! It is hard to talk to her about it because we have never been really close. I'm trying to be strong, but I am afraid that I will break down in front of her because I am a very emotional person. I remember what we went through when dad passed away and I am really scared that we may be reliving it again with mom in the not-so-distant future. Thanks for listening, Good Luck to you all!

bluesk134
Posts: 2
Joined: Feb 2004

Renee, I want to start by telling my story about my mom and maybe it will give you some answers you are looking for...My mom was diagnosed with colon cancer August 2002. She went in to have it removed in September of the same year. They told her that she was only about 15% likely to get it again, well guess what? July 2003 she found out that it did come back but this time it was on her liver. She fought so long. Taking chemo treatment after chemo treatment, but to no avail. I lost my mom 10 days ago. She was lucky to have the doctors she did. They took to her like most everybody who knew her did. Well, there is support groups out there. Ask her doctor. Most have list of seminars and support groups in your area. You can't never prepare yourself enough. It never seemed like reality that she was dying until she was already gone. I miss her so much. She was my best friend and I wish I could tell you that it gets easier or that you learn to cope seeing the person you love go through it, but it doesn't. The last week of her life was the roughest on me. Her doctor told us that she would not be in her right mind and they she may say things that would hurt and she did. The lady that was in that bed the last week of her life was not the mom I knew. My mom was so sweet and giving. She truly touched so many lives. My heart and prayers are with you and your family. May God bless. If you read this and you would like to talk more just email me at bluesk134@ail.com

Subscribe with RSS
About Cancer Society

The content on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition. Use of this online service is subject to the disclaimer and the terms and conditions.

Copyright 2000-2014 © Cancer Survivors Network