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Cancer: Lung Message Board
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Old 09-16-2004, 12:29 PM   #1
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siren1024 HB User
Sudden relapse and death. Any answers, support?

My best friends grandfather, who she was very close to, passed away Sunday morning. This wasn't a suprise as he had been very ill for the last month. He had lung cancer for 5 years, never smoked in his life, and was 72 years old at his passing. He had otherwise been very healthy all his life. A typical robust midwestern workhorse. I spent several weeks in the summer for a few years relaxing at their rural home, and he was one strong man.

Here's the unusual part (or maybe not.) For over 4 years, he had fought lung cancer valiantly, refusing harsh treatements that would impact his quality of life (at his age, he didn't see the need) opting for some radiation and a surgery which greatly improved his health and shrunk the cancer. His cancer had been shrinking steadily all that time, and he'd been feeling great for the most part. Then suddenly, last month, he began having excruciating pain. After some tests, they found that one lung had been completely taken over and the other signifigantly invaded. He fell very ill very quickly, and was soon on huge doses of morphine. He declined very quickly over the last month. Suddenly he could barely walk, talk, or eat, and began having "accidents" at night. I know these embarrassed him greatly. The doctors gave him little hope, and I think he knew his time had come. Home health came in to help care for him, but he refused IV sustenance, choosing to let things take their natural course. As of last Thursday, he had not had any food or liquid in three days and was severly dehydrated and hospitalized. He still refused IV. Just asked for morphine to make him more comfortable. He managed to cling to life until Sunday morning. The doctors and nurses couldn't believe how strong his body had been. He was ready to go mentally, but his body wouldn't shut down. I know he is the type that doesn't want to be remembered as a sick, weak, frail man, which is why he chose to gracefully let go of life. And he was only sick for a month, so his wishes were answered. None of us remember him that way.

But the suddeness of the relapse and death is what spins my head, after 5 years of great health. I guess I just needed to share. I just can't believe he went so quickly. Well, thanks for listenting.
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Old 09-17-2004, 01:11 AM   #2
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Lady_J_1_01 HB User
Re: Sudden relapse and death. Any answers, support?

Thanks for sharring, Im ever learning about this disease. It has so many faces and facets. As we are dealing with post surgery lung cancer in remission I often wonder what will happen next, will I be able to see the changes. The more I read in here the more I think each persons life story has some parralles, others are so different. I guess Im not ment to know. He sounded like a brave man, who left allot of memories tucked in you. Im sorry for your loss. again thank you for taking the time to share your story, and sorrow. God bless. Mattie

 
Old 09-17-2004, 02:03 PM   #3
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sanderlings HB User
Re: Sudden relapse and death. Any answers, support?

I am so glad you shared. My mother sounds so much like him. She was diagnosed 8/4/04 with small cell - limited. She decided on no treatment. But the thing is that within one month she went from working, driving, shopping, etc.. to bedridden. Nobody can believe that she could really decline this fast. I am always confused wondering whether it is the drugs, disease, or depression. It helps so much to read what other people are going through. Everything I read on the web is for people going through treatment, as if they assume all people will. I cannot get my mom back up to the hospital, no matter how much begging I do, so I gave up out of respect for her wishes about her own life. But with that said, I can't find anything that will tell me what to expect. Thanks for sharing.

 
Old 09-21-2004, 05:30 AM   #4
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texaswonder HB User
Re: Sudden relapse and death. Any answers, support?

Everyone here is listening in some way this dastardly disease has caused so much pain for all. Please post anytime
Robin

 
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