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Help! Mom Diagnosed 10.4 stage 4 non small cell cancer

BeautyNBernice2011
Posts: 1
Joined: Oct 2011

My mom is 80. She broke her arm 3 weeks ago and to make a long story short our world has changed dramatically in one short trip to the ER a week ago. All of your stories are so inspiring! I was just wondering if anyone there whose experienced this- what treatments were involved and can we expect her quality of life to improve? She spends the majority of her time in a hospital bed in and out of consciousness. She is in so much pain and her last 2 chemo doses have her exhausted to the point of being catherized and we're fearful dr is going to rec her being placed in a rehabilitation setting... How do you keep her spirts up when she is so drugged? How do you encourage when she just wants to get her affairs in order and doesnt speak nor eat much???? I just want to help her, what do I do?

soccerfreaks's picture
soccerfreaks
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

First,there is at least one alternative to a 'rehab setting' and that is home hospice, where she can be among her loved ones, and that is something to consider strongly, even compared to the current environment within the hospital.

In my own experience, once my mom was in the deeper stages of pain mgmt (frequent daily doses of morphine) there was little or nothing we could do to "keep her spirits up". I would advise that you encourage her, in fact, to focus on getting her affairs in order, as you put it, as that gives her something to be alert for, to be awake for, to actually enjoy in an odd way, something to keep her busy.

Besides which it is an intelligent decision on her part and will make things easier for all some time down the road.

As for what you can do, you can help in maintaining her home, you can spend as much time as possible with her talking about the life you have shared and the things you have enjoyed together, you can organize family and friends to help with household tasks she can no longer do, and, sadly, you can help her get 'her affairs in order'.

Sometimes, we get too tired, too sick, to move on. Sometimes we decide that our time has come, and that is just a sad but honest truth, one I have experienced first-hand.

Best wishes to mom and her family.

Take care,

Joe

BeautyNBernice
Posts: 5
Joined: Oct 2011

Thank you so very much! Your words were very helpful! A few days ago, all was going so well.... And things continue to change rapidly with this terrible terrible ddx. How are you doing? Are you ok?

soccerfreaks's picture
soccerfreaks
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

Glad to hear that I could help in some small way. As for me, I am a two-time survivor, first of head/neck cancer and then of lung cancer. I am post-five years free of cancer in the head/neck cancer, and so more or less out of treatment (a few issues still crop up now and then), and am 3.5+ years free of lung cancer (had lobectomy for the lung followed by chemo, and had surgery, chemo and rads for the head/neck).

So I am doing well. I appreciate you asking!

Please remember these words that I like to pass on to caregivers: to be a good caregiver, you have to take good care of the giver. Make sure that you don't let yourself be consumed by this, as hard as it may be to step away for your own well-being.

Take care,

Joe

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