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Any suggestions for my mom's very bad night sweats (Stage 4) and sleep deprivation?

catswe
Posts: 5
Joined: Sep 2013

Hi everyone:  My mom is in Stage 4 ovarian cancer and in hospice care. She's a 7-year survivor, but her cancer became unresponsive to chemo, so now we are in an end-of-life situation. My question relates to her comfort.  She has bad night sweats and is unable to sleep much.  Her hospice nurse hasn't suggested anything, although my mom is bringing it up with her again.  And her oncologist only was interested in her cancer treatment, not addressing other symptoms, so we're pretty much relying on the hospice team for guidance.  She recently did a few days of respite care, and the nighttime staff were wonderful, helping her change her gown regularly, etc, but she still wasn't getting good sleep.  I'm wondering if she should just be on some kind of sleep aid so she can sleep through the sweating.  Has anyone received helpful medical advice to address this?  She is six years post-hysterectomy so I don't think it is that.  These started several months post-chemo as well.  (She's been off chemo since May.)

It is hard to see her so sleep deprived. I have searched online and I'm not finding any answers.

Thank you in advance for your help!  Keep on fighting!!

Catherine

scatsm's picture
scatsm
Posts: 235
Joined: Apr 2013

Welcome to this board and so sorry to hear about your mom. I'm sure you will get some good suggestions from the teal sisters!

I have night sweats from being on Arimidex for the breast cancer that followed my ovarian diagnosis. I have a fan pointed at me at night which helps in 2 ways. It cools me down and it creates white noise which helps me sleep.

I think you'll get some better ideas than this, but I wanted to share my home remedy. I am also a fan of lorazepam as needed!

Susan

catswe
Posts: 5
Joined: Sep 2013

Thank you Susan!  I just bought my mom a bed fan - a small fan that blows right under the sheets - that I learned about watching -- yes -- a Dr. Oz video.  The video was more for women dealing with menopause, but the fan seemed like a good idea.

I'll mention the medication to my mom as well.

All the best to you, and thank you!!

Catherine

 

Alexandra's picture
Alexandra
Posts: 1198
Joined: Jul 2012

Sorry about your mom and I hope she finds relief.

Please read attached pdf document http://www.hospicepharmacia.com/assets/pdf/PMM0408.pdf

Hope that helps,

Best wishes

Alexandra

catswe
Posts: 5
Joined: Sep 2013

Thank you, Alexandra!  Very helpful document - I will share it with my mom.

CRM's picture
CRM
Posts: 13
Joined: Sep 2013

You are right.  She needs a sleep med so that she can sleep through those night sweats and get some rest.  The answer is different from everyone.  You should investigate ambian and other sleep meds.   Some also get relief from xanax or valium.  If you are in a medical marijuana state, there are many mmj options which are non-addictive and effective.  So sorry you are going through this.

lovesanimals's picture
lovesanimals
Posts: 1227
Joined: Sep 2011

You sound like a very caring daughter.  I am so sorry that your mom is suffering with sweats and lack of sleep at this stage of her journey.  Although I haven't tried it myself, I understand that Costco sells a "cooling pillow" that is supposed to stay cool and help the person who sweats through the night.  My co-worker bought one over the summer and she likes it.  I don't know if you live near a Costco but other stores near you may carry it.  Keeping you and your mom in my thoughts and prayers.

Kelly

catswe
Posts: 5
Joined: Sep 2013

Hi Kelly:  We are in Washington State, so I will check Costco!  Many thanks!

Catherine

catswe
Posts: 5
Joined: Sep 2013

Thank you for getting back to me.  The funny thing is, my mom doesn't like the idea of sleeping through the sweats - but if she needs to, it is good to know about the sleep options.

Thanks CRM!

lovesanimals's picture
lovesanimals
Posts: 1227
Joined: Sep 2011

Although it's only been a couple of weeks since you posted your question, I hope that your mom is resting more comfortably now and is able to get some sleep.  Keeping you both in my prayers.

Kelly

CRM's picture
CRM
Posts: 13
Joined: Sep 2013

Night sweats are awful.  I try to sleep through them because otherwise I am a sleep-deprived zombie the next day.

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