My father has become so weak over the last few weeks. On Jan 27, we discovered through an MRI that he has mets to the Brain and Spine. He spent 3 days in the hospital and began radiation, not as a cure, but in order to help with mobility. On the third day, he bagan vomiting blood and was dehydrated. They discharged him from the hospital that afternoon saying "any other care would be pallitive".
Since he has been home, he fell on Saturday night and was taken back to the ER. They gave him 2 liters of fluid and sent him home. I called hospice in that day. Since then, he has been so weak, he is not eating very much and is barely drinking any fluids. He began hallucinating "basically reliving his life", talking about people and experiences that happened many years ago. The hallucinations have decreased, but he can barley walk now. His brain and feet do not work togather.
Today, I noticed that his fingernails have no color. Hospice says that they will not give him any more IV fluids. This is where I am emotionaly struggling. I know that in order for him to live any longer he must be hydrated. I am an only child and my parents have been divorced for over 23 years. I guess I feel guilty about my decision, but I can;t stand to see him suffer any longer. Any advice as to what I can expect at the end. Hospice has been helpful, but they don't sem to want to provide many answers at this time.
Your story brings back so many memories on the day I lost my dad, less than three months ago. I went through exactly what you are saying. It seems it won't be long now from what you've said. There is nothing you can do to stop the cancer from taking him away from this world but what you can do is just hold him, talk with him and let him know you are there. Even though he may seem like he's not understanding you, he is. He knows you are there. Hold his hand till the end. When it is over it will give you such comfort knowing that you were there and you stood by his side till the very end. When it comes to the last few hours the nurses will know. Our hospice nurses told us to help dad on his next journey. That was the hardest part for me. Telling my dad that it was OK to go to the other side. He can slip away now and there will be no more pain in heaven. That was so hard telling him this, but now after it is over, it is so true, he is in a much better place, out of pain. He is not physically here with me now but when I look to the sky I know he is here in spirit. He is with me every day. It is tough, the toughest thing I have ever done in my life, holding my daddy's hand and watching him pass away, but I am so gratefull I was able to be there and do this. I know I would have been having a much harder time if he ever passed away and I wasn't able to spend the last few days before he died with him. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family, it will be so difficult to get through, but you will, and remember, he will always be in your heart! You will have the memories, they will last for your lifetime!
It is true that people dying from cancer can hear you even though you think they can't. I wont go in to detail but I will tell you that we thought my mother couldn't hear us anymore and then she replied to a conversation we were having about her pain meds. That was only a few hours before her passing.
My son died from lung cancer Dec 15, 2003. The last chemo just zapped all his strength and he would not eat or drink. When they sent him home from the hospital they told his wife hospice would hydrate him and even feed him through his shunt, but that never happened. He went home on a Thursday and did the next Monday morning. He was so weak he couldn't even stand up. I wasn't there when he died, but his wife said it was peaceful. That he had been trying to tell them something and pointing at something and he just faded away. I was so glad to hear it was peaceful. I am so sorry about your Dad.