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New on this board with question

Posts: 4
Joined: Oct 2012

Hello all -- I am new on this board. I am the primary caregiver for my mother who has stage 4 lung cancer. She went through chemo treatments and 2 drugs but her cancer has continued to grow and has now spread to her liver. She's presently at my house with hospice care. She was in the inpatient facility last week for uncontrolled nauseau -- they now say it's not really nausea, but the mucus in her lungs making her throw up 3 or 4 times a day. In the past 6 weeks, she has gone from walking, being able to go to the bathroom, heating something to eat to being completely bedridden and now using a bedpan -- still throwing up in the bed. She says she can't move herself or sit up, etc. She has lost almost 90 pounds but was about 60 pounds overweight at the beginning and eats hardly anything. Her mind is sill good, though. Anyway, hospice tells me that she still has months left (possibly 6 months). I have read on another board of people up walking around a week before they died. Is this common for someone to last this way for as long as 6 months? I don't want her to die, but she is miserable and I am exhausted!

Posts: 306
Joined: Jan 2010

He said 2 months, my wife was gone in 6 days. I've read the average for hospice is 34 days.


Posts: 4
Joined: Oct 2012

Thank you here4lfe. I'm so sorry about your wife. My mom has already been on hospice for longer than 34 days, but she has been completely bedridden for 2 or 3 weeks. The nurses and dr. at the inpatient facility said that they believe she has some time left. I don't know, but it's hard for me to see how someone cannot eat, cannot sit up, stand up, move her legs, look and feel emaciated, sleep 22 hours a day and keep going.

Posts: 51
Joined: Jul 2009

It's extremely unpredictable, and having just been through my wife passing, the hardest part is not knowing when a loved one will pass, so you just sit and watch without any control. It's very cruel and unfair, but also very uncontrollable.

My wife's doctor recommended we take my wife off steroids and that would speed the process. She was gone within four days. I had no idea it would happen that fast. I am terribly, terribly sad, but also relieved.

The short answer to your question is that there is no way of knowing how long your mom will last. It's hard to not focus on when, but that it what you must do.

Posts: 4
Joined: Oct 2012

Tubbs - I am so sorry about your wife. It is so hard to watch a loved one die like this. As bad as it sounds, I think that I will feel relief when my mom goes. She is so aware of all that is happening to her. And seeing her miserable like this is awful!

grandmafay's picture
Posts: 1639
Joined: Aug 2009

It isn't bad to think you will feel relieved when your mom passes. It is pretty normal. The final days my husband was here, I prayed for a quick and peaceful passing. Just remember, even though you think you are ready, you aren't. I don't think we are ever really ready. Death seems so final. My faith says it isn't, but it still hits hard. Take care, Fay

Posts: 4
Joined: Oct 2012

Thank you for your reply, Fay. I am so sorry that you and your husband had to go through this cruel disease. I know that I may not really be ready to lose my mom, but, as bad as it sounds, I almost feel like I am already grieving for her because she looks and acts nothing like my mother. It just hurts me to see her so sick and not being able to really help her. Thank you, again.

Tina Blondek's picture
Tina Blondek
Posts: 1566
Joined: Nov 2009

Hello samanthac to you and your husband. So sorry you and your mom are going through such a rough time with the cancer. I was a caregiver for my dad, Ray. He suffered and passed away from EC in March 2010. I know what you are going through as a daughter. It is very, very hard to watch our loved one suffer, be in pain, and have absolutely no quality of life left. Hospice is wonderful. They will help you with this whole process. Tell your mom
it is ok for her to go. Give her that peace that she needs to hear. I told this to my dad the afternoon of March 9, 2010. He passed that evening. I think they are just holding on
for us, for their family. Once we give them permission to go, they are relieved, and go peacefully. I hope my experience has helped you. Keep in touch.
Tina in Va

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