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what to watch for in final stages of lung cancer?

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Old 06-24-2008, 06:27 AM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: nh
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theresa11367 HB User
what to watch for in final stages of lung cancer?

what to watch for in final stages of lung cancer trying to get some insight and time frames if poss in order to help my husband through this his 44 year old sister is in stage 4 and has has chemo and radiation already and now is suffering seisures and they just found 2 new leaisions on the brain and 2 new ones on the lung my husband and his 2 other sisters are strugling hard with this and due to travel times i was looking for anything that may be ale to help with any kind of help with what to expect

Last edited by theresa11367; 06-24-2008 at 06:39 AM. Reason: im not sure i gave enough to answer my question

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Old 06-29-2008, 09:57 PM   #2
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jeaniek HB User
Re: fwhat to watch for in final stages of lung cancer

I'm very sorry to hear what you and your family are going through..
It's a very tough place to be and you just want direct and honest answers...the thing is that no one person is the same and we all experience death as an individual.
Is your Sister in law on hospice care? If so, there is a great book that I was given that outlines (roughly) the different stages of the end.

My Dad passed away a little over a year ago from Small Cell and had several metasis to his brain...He went through several months of Chemo and Radiation but after 6 months or so of regression, the cancer came back quicker and more aggressive then previously...he had several more brain tumors that had to be controlled and more frequent seizures until the doctors had them under control.

My Dad experienced different symptoms at the end...loss of appetite and thirst, more and more frequent sleeping, irritable (even more then he was known for). He was unsteady due to the tumors, forgetful, loss interest in things like tv, newspapers and radio. his sleeping would get more intense and he started sleeping 14-16 hours out of the day. His hands and feet would get cold ...
this lasted for a few weeks, until one day he had an energy surge (which can be a normal thing), I took him by my Mom's, he ate 2 Burger King burgers and fries, was up and talking and arguing with me.
My parents were divorced for many years prior, but they remained good friends. He wanted to stay at my Mom's for the night and I needed a good night out...but when I came to pick him up the next day,he slipped into a coma - possibly from a siezure.
This may sound terrible, but in actuality, it was a blessing. My Dad slept while his body wound down and prepared for it's transition. No pain, no worry. He died early the next morning.

Your sister in laws experience maybe a completely different transition, but there is an abundance of online info about what to expect.
For me, knowing what to expect helped me keep a calm head during the process and to plan out anything I needed to do to make certain my Dad was always comfy.

Hope this helps...

Old 06-30-2008, 07:51 PM   #3
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: PA
Posts: 175
SherryAnne HB User
Re: fwhat to watch for in final stages of lung cancer

Hi Theresa, I'm sorry for your husband and you. I just think you should know that there are many signs of end of life. However, if someone has those signs it doesn't necessarily mean they are going to die anytime soon. I have first hand experience of that. My mom was diagnosed in Dec. 2006 with small cell lung cancer and she is still alive today. Several times she has had so many signs of oncoming death according to the hospice books I have. But like I said, she's still here. My best advice to you is just to actually NOT look
for these signs and live each day to the fullest. Only God knows when your loved one will be taken home. I have learned quite some time ago to try to keep guessing if this will be "the day". It's not worth the time and effort. Use that instead of enjoying the present time you do have.

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your husband.

Old 07-06-2008, 01:37 PM   #4
daughter issues
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Location: Canada
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daughter issues HB User
Re: what to watch for in final stages of lung cancer?

I agree with not looking for the signs and enjoying the time you've got left with your SIL. That being said, a lot of the signs are similar. My Mom stopped eating and drinking, slept almost all the time, and was extremely weak. She decided she was too tired to stay up with us while we were visiting her, so she went to bed and then slipped into a coma approximately 2 hours later. Some of the signs while she was in the coma that I watched for were listening to her breathing (it becomes almost like little puffs of air) and her hands and feet. Her feet turned blue first, and then once her hands turned blue (I should mention that her entire body was cold to the touch by this point) it was a matter of seconds before she passed away.

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