It appears you have not yet Signed Up with our community. To Sign Up for free, please click here....



Cancer: Lung Message Board
Post New Thread   Closed Thread
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 09-29-2004, 06:31 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 10
Tree_Thing HB User
Our story and how do you know when the end is near?

My Mom has been fighting a good fight for 2 years after she was told that she had less than 6 months to live.

She has one primary tumor that is attached to the lower backside of her heart and her spine, lung and esophagus.

All 5 chemo treatments have added to her osteo that has given her compression fractures all up the length of her spine. She's mostly bedridden due to pain and fear of breaking something else. She had 5 fractures cemented to hopefully help but not.

Her onco finally threw in the towel, her body has taken too much abuse to endure any more treatments. She's now on hospice and giving her things away. She's trying to prepare.

We've been told she'll probably suffer some type of heart failure due to the pressure the tumor is putting on heart. She could also be paralyzed or have her esophagus compressed.

She's already had one lung partially collapse. We are so distraught over the turn of events since Mom was first diagnosed. She turns 59 in November. She had quit smoking 4 years before she was diagnosed. Her sister had just died of emphysema then. Two years later she lost her brother to prostrate cancer.

The eerie thing is that she lost her mother when she was exactly my age 38 and I just had had my daughter who is now the age I was when I lost my grandmother. If you all follow that string.

I quit smoking (I smoked for 16 years less than a pack a day) as soon as we received her diagnosis. Pretty much cold turkey and don't give a rip about it since. My sibs (3) haven't quit, neither has my husband. I only hope that I've done myself a favor and not kicked started something bad. Some folks feel like those they know that quit smoking and got cancer anyway, got it because they quit. Like they denied the body something it had had a while. ??????

My question is how when we will we know that she will be leaving us? We've had so many crisis' and she's rebounded so many times that we feel like yo-yo's. For awhile I was devastated then I regained some balance now I'm back to bawling like a child because I want my Mommy. But she doesn't have cancer in her lungs and no metastisis so it's hard to know what will be more than she can overcome. Any thoughts or similar experiences?

Last edited by Tree_Thing; 09-29-2004 at 06:32 PM.

 
Sponsors Lightbulb
   
Old 09-29-2004, 06:42 PM   #2
Inactive
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 1,240
Soulcatcher HB User
Re: Our story and how do you know when the end is near?

My husband is a Radiation Therapist and says to make sure she has her affairs in order, health insurance, house papers, ect. Just make sure she's comfortable. If she's in hospice it won't be too much longer. You are very lucky to have had her for the time you did. Remember it's only her body (the vessel) that won't be here. Her spirit will be with you and you have to believe that. We are sorry that you have to go through this. ^i^ Sending an angel to you.

 
Old 09-30-2004, 04:37 PM   #3
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 10
Tree_Thing HB User
Re: Our story and how do you know when the end is near?

SoulCatcher,
Thank you for replying. We've actually had her POA, Will and DNR prepared many years ago, so that was in place. This weekend I will fly in for an overnight stay and discuss her burial wishes. Her hospice teams believes too that she or we are on borrowed time. I still get soooo mad.

We feel incredibly blessed that we've been given the gift of my mother's life for all this time. Funny, I always thought she'd live to be a old lady who moved in with me. Instead, she becomes very ill, very young and moves in with my younger sib who lives in the same town she does. Strange how life works.

Is anyone on this board an older "orphan" with siblings? I'd like to have someone to talk to about that issue.

Thank you for the angel !

 
Old 09-30-2004, 05:21 PM   #4
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 13
sanderlings HB User
Re: Our story and how do you know when the end is near?

My mother just passed away Sept. 20. Her illness was very short. She was diagnosed Aug. 4. She had a superior vena cava obstruction (tumor blocking largest vein carrying blood & oxygen back from brain to body). The hospice told us that it would cuase her to die before the cancer caused much illness. This was a fact.
This is how we knew it was the end. Friday night, she began to throw up blackish-gray foamy bile and was somewhat delirious. My neice is a hospice care giver and cried when I told her this, because she says this always means within a few days. She was right. My mom threw up so much of this foamy bile Saturday and I was surprised because she hadn't eaten anything much for days.
My mom woke up Sunday morning and told us she knew it would be sometime that day. She hung on unitl Monday at 9:50 AM, her birthday. She had slipped into some type of coma around midnight Sunday. If you want any other details, please let me know. I remeber wanting to know what to look for in thsoe last weeks. I looked everywhere for information.
God bless you, this is the hardest thing I have ever been through. I am so glad I read the signs, because I was able to be with her when she passed. It can be very spiritual if you know what to look for. Do you have the book Final Gifts. It helped us all so much during those last 3 days. We would have missed many spiritual gifts without that book. I am so sorry.

 
Old 09-30-2004, 05:29 PM   #5
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 13
sanderlings HB User
Re: Our story and how do you know when the end is near?

Tree,
One way we also knew, because we had read in the book, Final Gifts, was because many people who are ready to pass will somehow act as if they are going on a trip. Like, looking for tickets, thinking they need to get in line, get in the car, etc. The Sunday morning before her death, my sister woke up to my mom trying to put her shoes on. She had not been out of the house for weeks, and then only when we practically forced her. But that morning she was talking about getting in a car and trying to put on shoes. My sister got her calmed down and back into bed. She also seemed to be talking to our family memebers who had already passed away and reaching for things we couldn't see. These are all typical events according to the book. This book was put out by two hospice nurses about their experience over many years. Also, i do have siblings and we have said the same things you did about being orphans and expecting our mother to always be around. She was only sixty. I am 38.
Keep in touch.

 
Old 10-01-2004, 07:54 PM   #6
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 10
Tree_Thing HB User
Re: Our story and how do you know when the end is near?

Hi Sanderlings,
I too am 38. I am very sorry to hear that you're mother passed away. That just breaks my heart. The only thing that comforts me is that I believe they will move on to some place better, in time, right now they get to rest and wait for the rest of us to join them. Although I have to be honest and say that I'm still hoping for a miracle. Stranger things have happened.

One happened just Thursday night. My sister said Mom walked into the kitchen to see the new refrigerator. She's been in so much pain and afraid of breaking something else to move past the port-o-let. She's even going to the bathroom down the hall the past few days. We've been channeling our positive attitudes and youth to her to help her fight. My mother-in-law said it couldn't hurt, we didn't think so either. I guess the desperate will do whatever.

In some wacked way - I think that had Mom left us sooner it may have been easier. We all wanted her to beat it. She did a heck of job the 1st six months. Then next year was a holding pattern, the past 6 months have been a nightmare. One crisis after another. Long term illness does not bring out the best in siblings, or any other family member <smile>

Does cancer run in your family? My Mom has lost 3 sibs before they were 60. She turns 59 in November. She has 4 more sisters, only one smokes.

I'll add you in my thoughts tonight - are you involved in counseling, support group or anything? Did you consider antidepressants or anxiety medication. I believe I'm one tough cookie, mostly, but I don't know about this.

Could you envision being without your Mom? Actually foresee a day when you would get that call or think you'd go through something like this? I just can't see it - I still see her growing old and being with us for along time to come. Is that crazy???

We lost our dad 15 years ago, just this week. He was not close to us kids- atleast we two older ones, the two younger had kept closer ties. He died in a pedestrian vs. vehicle accident. I didn't feel the loss for him and was virtually unfazed by his death. I think I had said good-bye many years before he died.

I'm sorry to bombard you with questions, when your pain is so fresh. Please don't let me offend you and if you don't feel up to answering any questions, I'll understand.

Take it easy on yourself and I hope you have many supportive people around you.
Tree_Thing

 
Old 10-02-2004, 09:14 AM   #7
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 13
sanderlings HB User
Re: Our story and how do you know when the end is near?

You know I do believe in fate/miracles/whatever. My mom never fought. When the doctor was giving her her first diagnosis, I knew then she wouldn't fight. She wasn't a fighter, only when her kids were in danger. She had worked in several nursing care facilities and watched so many people fight through chemo to end up dying after such a long and painful fight. She wouldn't go there. Everyone tells me to be thankful for that. After hearing about your past two years, maybe they are right. But I can't help wishing for one more day, one more time to hear her tell me she loves me.
I am also estranged from my dad. My oldest sister and I are. My other two siblings stay in touch with him. He came for my mom's funeral and everyone said when I saw him crying it would tear me up. It didn't phase me. My heart was all for my mom. I didn't have the energy to think about my issues with him.
I knew my mom was going to die, soon. And I thought I was ready. But when she actually passed, I felt my heart ripping from me. I sometimes feel slight panic attacks at the thought that I really cannot get to my mother if I need her. True, I haven't "needed" her in a little girl way for many years, but the thought still makes me so anxious. I am not on any medication. Actually, I want to feel my sorrow in honor of my mother. My siblings all have anti-depressants and valium to help. But I don't think I need them. I need to go through this. I believe it is part of the healing process and will somehow make me stronger. I have a 10 yr old daughter, and I don't want to be dulled out. I want her to see me hurting and know its okay. I guess we all have our own ways to grieve, and really however we get through the days is okay. I am so glad to have found you. Please keep in touch. I will try to check the board daily. I thought after she passed I wouldn't come back here, but I seem to be here more now than before. Thank god for small miracles.

 
Old 10-02-2004, 09:19 AM   #8
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 13
sanderlings HB User
Re: Our story and how do you know when the end is near?

Oh about the cancer in my family - no we have not had any one with cancer before my mom. I am the only one in my family who does not smoke. It was so hard to sit with my mother, who is dying from lung cancer, and watch all of my aunts, sisters, nieces, etc. chain smoke. The really crazy thing is that they were all trying to explain how her cancer was not caused by SMOKING!!!! It made me crazy. But somewhere at the beginning of this sad journey, I had to let that go so I could spend time being with my family. They are truly the blessing that get me through everyday. My sisters and aunts are my sanity. Take care.

 
Old 10-02-2004, 01:14 PM   #9
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Indiana
Posts: 34
texaswonder HB User
Re: Our story and how do you know when the end is near?

Tree Thing
As you have said being an older "orphan" with younger siblings, I am the oldest with the youngest sibling being 28 I am 47, it is hard my mom is diagnosed with stage four non small cell with mets to the brain and groin, I resigned my position and moved to be with her and to help the youngest sib.
Its tough and hard to predict, when her mind, body and soul are one then she will be ready.
Hang in there we are struggeling.
Robin

 
Old 10-04-2004, 07:22 PM   #10
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 10
Tree_Thing HB User
Re: Our story and how do you know when the end is near?

Sanderlings and Texas Wonder,

Thanks for the posts, they are comforting knowing I'm not alone and there are some things being the oldest that I dont' feel I can say to my sibs. Some habits never go away I have those panic attacks too. It's only then that I melt down. I have talked to my Mom every day just about for the past two years and before then it was atleast 3 to 4 times a week. We are so alike and have such a good time talking. If I keep my mind from going "there" then I can usually deal okay. Even when talking to my sibs and they are crying.

We had a good weekend with Mom. After talking with her this weekend I know now that she's beginning the resigned stage, not totally just sticking a toe in. Trying to convince herself that atleast she can go see her siblings , parents and other family members that have passed on. But she says it like it's a consolation prize, so she's not ready to let go. She's much better with getting around in bed and to the bathroom and she's a fighter. She says that she still has something to accomplish here on earth which is why she hasn't been called. She believes it has something to do with us kids. Perhaps like you said when the mind, body and spirit get in the same place. I really feel, barring anything such as a heart attack or such that Mom still has a long time with us. That tumor is growing I'm sure but she's not ready. And as long as it doesn't spread, I think she can tough it out abit longer. She still believes that she will receive her "healing". After all she's been through, I think she should have it

The hardest part was ministering to my sister. She's taking this very hard, as is my nephew and brother in law. (He lost his Dad in 2001) Sure wish that things would have been different and I would have been able to take care of Mom. She didn't want to leave her sisters and she was also covered by an HMO. Need I say more there. and I have a spouse and two kids (one that was in high school) so I couldn't move there. Although it sure has tempted me sorely these past few months. This is going to so really mess her up (sister). I think Mom won't go until my sister and brother can cope with it. Does that sound normal? I guess you can will yourself that way to an extent.

I wish I could wake up and it be 3 or 4 years ago, my life was sweeter then. My daughter was still home, my husband and job were good. Mom wasn't sick and all was well with the world. Now it just bites.

Texas Wonder, I'm a born and bred Texan too! From near Abilene.

I hope both of you have had good days today. I know you probably just take a day at a time. I am really sad when I think that there are many others that are hurting too - Robin my prayers are with you as you take your steps and Sanderlings just remember to breathe.
Lisa

 
Old 10-04-2004, 07:44 PM   #11
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Indiana
Posts: 34
texaswonder HB User
Re: Our story and how do you know when the end is near?

Lisa you have what it takes to help your family get through this
keep yourself in check also and talk to someone at hospice to help you too
it does help
my mom had a good day today and thats better than the horrible day on Saturday.

please keep in touch here thinking of you and everyone else here in my prayers
Robin

 
Old 10-06-2004, 08:27 AM   #12
Inactive
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 32
lttlbgft HB User
Re: Our story and how do you know when the end is near?

OK, your experience will probably differ from mine somewhat but I'll share what I know. Margaret became a little out of step with reality weeks before her passing. However, this was not continues thing. It would come and go. Four days before she passed, she lost the ability to speak other than a few words here and there. She became very restless and tried relentlessly to get out of bed and roam the house. Sometimes it seem normal. Like she wanted to just get out of bed for a minute. Understandable, of course. But other times she would wander aimlessly around the house. She took her daughter on a twenty minute trip to the rest room, where she got into everything. She even became a little physical with her daughter when Jessie tried to get her back in bed. Jessie did say that Margaret clearly didn't realize what she was doing. Later that night, she took me for a on a journey to the restroom and nothing out of the ordinary happened. It was the next day that she passed. She was very uncomfortable for the last four days but she didn't express to us that she was in great pain. Just uncomfortable, as if she was in some pain and just couldn't find the right position to make herself more comfortable. We were able to keep up with her pain meds until the night before her passing. at that point, she couldn't swallow the pain meds anymore. She couldn't even take a drink without it causing her to cough and choke. She began breathing in Chain Strokes the night before and then changed to Fish Out of Water pattern just 4 or 5 minutes before she passed. This surprised me because my mother, who also died of cancer, lasted for about twenty minutes after her breathing pattern changed to the Fish Out of Water pattern. I hope this has helped you some. I fully understand how you feel, right now.

 
Closed Thread

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Board Replies Last Post
Polycythemia at 22 years old - My story femmedeviant Blood and Blood Vessel 102 04-13-2011 07:07 PM
My chronic ankle instability story greeneyeses Foot & Ankle Problems 6 11-19-2008 11:02 PM
My Story Philster2003 Addiction & Recovery 4 01-31-2008 09:20 AM
Having an anorexic girlfriend - my story KH87 Eating Disorder Recovery 2 12-27-2007 01:04 PM
I would like to share my story about getting tested zonaguy HIV Prevention 36 10-11-2007 04:09 PM




Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Join Our Newsletter

Stay healthy through tips curated by our health experts.

Whoops,

There was a problem adding your email Try again

Thank You

Your email has been added




Top 10 Drugs Discussed on this Board.
(Go to DrugTalk.com for complete list)
Ativan
Decadron
Iressa
Methadone
Morphine
  Oxycontin Prednisone
Procrit
Tarceva
Tylenol




TOP THANKED CONTRIBUTORS



Kimslos (22), LeisaH (13), renee_ky (9), conan1017 (9), Janmarie2 (8), rockie (7), tuckygal (7), flintrock (6), pbj11 (6), DaveInVA (6)

Site Wide Totals

teteri66 (1180), MSJayhawk (1004), Apollo123 (904), Titchou (847), janewhite1 (823), Gabriel (759), ladybud (754), sammy64 (668), midwest1 (668), BlueSkies14 (610)



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:55 AM.



Site owned and operated by HealthBoards.comô
Terms of Use © 1998-2014 HealthBoards.comô All rights reserved.
Do not copy or redistribute in any form!