Earlier I posted but it was on the wrong board. I accidentally posted on the lung disease instead of the lung cancer and I was writing about my sister, dx with non-small cell lung cancer in Nov 2002, whom I believe is in the end stage now.
You read about all the different stages of cancer but almost nothing is said about end-stage. Why is that?
It has been hard to believe my sister has even been sick and even though she has been on 4 different kinds and rounds of chemo and radiation she never missed work. Now it is in her liver, brain and her cough is so bad she can't talk. She sounds so tired and weak and she worked through last Friday. Yesterday they stopped all treatments, gave instructions to have someone with her at all times and even called in hospice to help. She is only 55 and has never smoked. Our mother died at age 62 with lung cancer and my uncle died of the same thing but both of them smoked. My aunt died of some type of abdominal cancer but we never from what and my other aunt survived breast cancer and a touch of bone cancer. That was 15 years ago and she is in her 90's and still kicking (hard).
At this point I don't know if I hurt more for my sister or her loving husband and two grandkids that depends on her for so much. It's a sad situation. Well just wanted to talk a bit about it. I live 2 hours away but my husband and I are riding over after work today for a short visit.
Take care - especially you care givers. It is a rough road ahead.
You know, the only good thing about knowing the end is near is that you can say what you need to say and take care of whatever business you need to, hopefully before it's too late.
One thing I would have done is asked how to know when the end is near. When my mom was dying at home, she first stopped eating, because the body only takes in what it needs. A couple of days later, she stopped drinking. At this time, she had a catheter in, because she didn't want to have to keep getting up to pee.
She slept most of the time, opened her eyes very little.
In the last 2-3 days, when all liquid intake had ceased, the urine began to get dark. There was also sediment in it. I believe that her body began shutting down and as some parts began dying, the cells were shed in the urine. So that is one sign of the end coming. I would have like to have known the progression so I could have begun making final arrangements earlier.
I hope your sister doesn't have to be in pain or discomfort. Let us know how she is doing.
I started coming to the Boards after my Dad died of colon cancer. The lung and brain were the last places his cancer metastisized to.
End stage is very hard for most people to even discuss and I learned that I had to be very careful when mentioning eventual death - unless (as in your case) the orginal poster brought it up first.
On the cancer pages Hope is something that people hang on to for as long as they need to - I remember that over 4 months my prayers changed from "Please make him better" to "Please help him be pain-free and at Peace".
That last prayer was answered in February of 2001 and I am grateful both to God and to Hospice for making it come true.