Mom with Stage 4 NSCLC

VG Member Posts: 5 Member


       My mom has been receiving treatment for NSCLC for about 6 months now and she has been so resilient but it has pushed her to her breaking point. She says she is traumitized and can't imagine going back to get another chemotherapy session, the tasteless food, vomiting, constipation, mouth/ throat sores and now skin peeling has brought her to her wits end. I know at some point soon if a clinical trial is not an option to switch her treatment she may soon opt to receive pallitave care. I accept that this is reality and in all probability will sooner than later happen. I think of how terrible it will be to visit her house after she passes and pack up her things, knowing she is gone but still expecting her to be there and pop out of her walk in closet with one her new outfits on saying, "Hey look at me, don't I look cute? I got the whole outfit for $15.00 bucks on clearance at Marshall's."  I know I should concentrate on being positive while she is still here and still has possible options for a better treatment that can keep her in a non-progressive state but it just feels really gut-wrenching to watch a person who was vibrant, funny and outgoing be so stolen away from this illness. I am venting but also just wanted advice about what to expect as a caregiver when pallitave care begins ?? I know the doctors will tell us many things about the process but I just wanted to know from this community - how did you feel emotionally when your loved one started pallitive care, what were some good things or some bad things?? Thank you so much everyone.



  • a_oaklee
    a_oaklee Member Posts: 566 Member
    Palliative Care

    I believe you are confusing Palliative care with Hospice.  My husband is a cancer patient and besides seeing his oncologist, he sees his Palliative Care Doctor.  At our medical center, Palliative care is the speciality that deals with everything related to a persons quality of life.  All of those symptoms that you said your mom has...the side-effects...are the same symptoms that our Palliative care doctor helped us with.  And more.  We would see his oncologist who was focused on the cancer, and then go have an hour long appointment with the Palliative care specialist and discuss everything else, and treat everything else.  Even the psychological aspects of having cancer.  It was the smartest thing we ever did, and I encourage you to find out more about what your medical center has to offer.  Everything that you mentioned can be helped.  Your mom can feel better with the proper attention given to all her side effects.  I hope she will feel better soon.  

  • DanNH
    DanNH Member Posts: 184 Member
    edited March 2021 #3

    Friday morning I though palliative care was more like hospice too. Our holistic oncologist explained it all to us and it is just like a_oaklee said. I messaged her oncologist and he had a social worker stop by during her chemo and she is getting us a referral to the palliative care team. They are concerned about helping with your side effects, quality of life, etc. while the oncologist battles the cancer.


  • kuronrp
    kuronrp Member Posts: 11 Member

    Palliative care is completely different from hospice. I took never heard of it until my mom was diagnosed. Their job is to basically be a go to for support, pain management, resources, monitoring things and help any way they can while our family members are in chemo. Don't worry or let your mind take you to a place that Palliative care is not.

    Hospice usually comes AFTER palliative care IF the cancer is terminal. Someone can be on palliative care for many many years where as hospice is usually short.