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Has your loved one 'bounced back' during hospice care?

Posts: 51
Joined: Jul 2009

Wife finished radiation two weeks ago. At the last appointment, the oncologist told me that there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of results. He was ordering hospice in order to help us. My wife looked awful and sounded worse, so I understand.

The last week or so she has maintained as far as her condition goes. Maybe the appetite and walking have gotten worse, but the radiation has helped in some small areas: tonight her speech improved a bit and she has a bit more color on her face. Still, she can't walk and she continues to lose weight.

Has anyone seen a hospice patient 'bounce back' a little before going down hill again, while in on hospice care? How long? Emotionally speaking, the worst part is not being able to plan that well. I have come to terms that she will not live, but now see small signs of improvement. And on top of this, I'm meeting with the mortuary tomorrow. I hate the 'no man's land' I'm currently in. As mean as it sounds, I just want this over with. I can't take it for much longer. I am all over the place, mentally.

grandmafay's picture
Posts: 1639
Joined: Aug 2009

My husband did not "bounce back" while on hospice, but he did have a few better days. This is,a very tough time for all. I'm guessing you have accepted that she is dying in your head, but not your heart. We think we are ready for it, but we aren't. I don't think we ever really are. I think your wanting it to be over is not unusual or mean. Toward the end I prayed for a swift, peaceful passing. I can't even imagine what it is like to be waiting to die. My husband had a strong faith, and it stayed strong. That helped our family stay strong. I will be thinking of you. Take care of yourself, too. Fay

Posts: 51
Joined: Jul 2009

I am indeed finding myself praying for a fast and peaceful passing. My wife took was getting very sad this late afternoon and started crying a bit, which has not been uncommon. I gave her an ativan and a few minutes later she indicated she wanted to get up from the couch. I never quiet know which room she wants to go in until I start walking her. For the first time since we've had it, she chose to go into the hospital bed we have set up in a guest room. She just layed there, by herself, as if trying it out. I told her I wanted her to sleep in our bed tonight. So after about an hour, I checked on her and asked if I could put her in our bed and she agreed. I carried her in. It's like she's slowly accepting the inevitable by 'trying out' the hospital bed. Sort of seems she's gradually planning for her exit.

Posts: 1849
Joined: Aug 2010

This is such a hard time for both of you.

I've been through it with family members, this kind of "anticipatory grief" - does not mean you are looking forward to your loved one's life being over, just their suffering.

It is a tough spot to be and you have my empathy and sympathy.

I've seen people who seemed to be on a rapid decline suddenly have a burst of energy, appetite or strength and then just as suddenly be gone. I don't know what our bodies are doing when this happens: perhaps just one last try to survive.

Hugs, Tubbs. Let us hear from you.

Posts: 51
Joined: Jul 2009

Thanks for all of your replies. After a day spent resting at her parent's house, my wife came home and wanted to rest again in her hospital bed with the lights off. I wanted to sit with her but she wasn't into it. One thing is, I think she might have some comfort in the bed know that it's steps away from the living room, where I spend my time when she's resting. After a short time in the hospital bed she wanted to go to our bed, so I carried her in.

She is eating much less. Just a few random bites throughout the day, mainly small pieces of watermelon. She is a recent convert to orange juice. She prefers it to anything, foor or drink, right now. So strange how this all 'works.' She never drank it before.

Another thing she is down on are her meds, but I suppose that' not totally unusual. I just wish she would take the day's last dose of decadron...I try to explain to her that it will help her walking and swallowing but she doesn't seem to care.

I can only encourage and persuade.

Posts: 306
Joined: Jan 2010

When my wife entered hospice she was already in rapid decline.

Best to you.

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