My mother has stage IV non-small cell lung cancer. Her biggest problem is fluid filling up around her lungs and pressing on them, making it so she can hardly breathe at all. On top of that, in the past two weeks, her tumor has grown so much that it is now pressing on her lung. She has to now wear an oxygen mask to get any air into her system. She can't even get up to go to the bathroom (they refuse to put in a catheter for some reason, so she has to get up to go to the bathroom) anymore, she has to be carried in, and just that exhausts her so bad that she has to spend an hour or so recovering from it.
2 weeks ago she was a tiny bit short of breath, but functioning fine - going to work and such. Now she's in the hospital and it's not looking good. She finds out today if there's anything more they can do about the fluid building up. If there's any way they can get rid of it then she'll do chemo once more to shrink the tumor, but if they can't get rid of the fluid, then there's nothing more they can do for her.
She's had the fluid drained before by having a needle inserted and drawing it out, and at the moment has a chest tube insterted to drain it.
Has ANYONE had experience with this? We kids think (as I'm sure all kids do) that the doctors could be doing more or something. I refuse to hear that there's nothing else for them to do. We've had to suggest other things to them that they just didn't bother with to make her more comfortable, so I'm scared to death that there's something else we may suggest.
I'm sorry to jump this to the top, but things keep going downhill - the docs say there is nothing more they will do - basically, they are letting my mother suffocate to death. They are giving her a few days to live....I'm sorry to put it so bluntly, but I feel so helpless right now...my Mom is my best friend and Mother... I call her everyday just to ask how her day has been, and I can't imagine not being able to do that anymore. I'm only 28 years old, I still need a Mom. I'm engaged to be married, and I can't envision walking down the aisle without her to give me away... And I can't believe that there isn't someone out there who hasn't had this happen from their personal experience with lung cancer, and I will not allow them to just give up. There has to be something else we can suggest...Please, has anyone had this symptom? Are there any other treatments besides a chest tube??
Again, I know all posts are important, but time is running out on my Mother - it could be days at the most....
I’m so sorry to hear about your mum – I really do appreciate the pain you’re going through – I felt you needed a reply but I’m afraid I can’t really offer any positive advice. My mum also had fluid build up on her lung and the only thing that could be done to give her any release was to drain it. In her case the Drs didn’t leave in a permanent drain – just drew off the fluid when it got too difficult for her to breathe. In the end that became too painful for her so perhaps a permanent drain is actually a good thing.
I also wanted to find anything that could help her – anything to give her a little more time but sadly it was not to be. All I can offer is to love her – tell her how much she means to you – don’t give yourself any reason to look back and regret not having told her how much you care…………….then when the time is right – let her go. My thoughts and prayers are with you – as I’m sure are the prayers of many others……….let us know what happens.