Dec 02, 2011 - 8:13 am
I am relatively new to the boards. My mom has been battling cancer for the last 15 months. On November 14th we admitted her into hospice care in her home. He goal at that time was to make it to Christmas. Her oncologist said she probably had three months before passing so we thought this would be a very doable goal for mom.
Mom has been transitioning faster than Hospice expected so they called me yesterday and asked me the question. Do we want mom to live to Christmas or do we let her go more on her own time?
A little bit more on mom's diagnoses. August 2010 she had a colonoscopy and they found a tumor in her right ascending colon. The very same day, they found two tumors in her right breast. In August she had a right hemi-colotecomy and in September she had a masectomy of her right breast. Her breast cancer was worse so we treated that with chemotherapy (CAT regime) and radiation. She survived the treatment (barely) and we thought we were on the road to recovery. then in July she started to lose blood again so they moved up her 1 year check up on her colon. During that colonoscopy, they found a huge 11cm tumor so exactly 51 weeks after her first colon surgery, she had a left hemi-colocetomy. This one was bad!!!! It had gone through her colon wall and unfortunately we found out in September that it had spread throughout her abdominal cavity. There was no cureable option for her. She was already weak, and they would only give her 5FU and lucovorian as treatment and that only lasted for 5 weeks before having to stop treatment due to her weak state. Now, she is sleeping about 22 hours a day and when she is not, she is in pain. We try to control her pain but the cancer is putting pressure on so many organs it is hard to know what to do. When she does eat, many times she gets violently ill. They assume she has either an ileus or actual obstruction but hospice doesn't do diagnostic testing to know one way or the other.
She is now not eating or drinking enough to keep herself alive. Hospice is giving her fluids but it is barely enough to prolong her life. They want mom and I to decide if this is what she wants so she can make it to her Christmas goal, or do we let nature take its course and let her go earlier. hospice can't keep giving her fluids forever. What is better, for her to pass right after Christmas or sooner? Mom has fought such a valliant fight for so long. She is tired of this battle but her spirit is strong. She just doesn't want to leave her children. we don't want her to go either!!! But i can't ask her to suffer anymore. I just can't be that selfish.
I am in no state to make this decision and I honestly feel that my mom needs to be the one who decides. I just never thought it would come down to this. Life seems so unfair. anyone esle been given a decision like this one? What did you do?