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Readers Respond: What Helped You Honor Your Loved One in the Final Stages of Cancer?

Responses: 186


Updated February 10, 2010


I lost my mum to breast cancer 6 weeks ago i was with her to the end but just before she died and took her final breath her eyes were close and a tear ran down her face, this is tearing me apart, was she sad, happy to be in no more pain, or was it a response to all the medication, has anyone else expierienced this? please help? I can't get it out of y mind mum couldn't comunicate with us days before she died due to her lungs filling with fluid and loss of her voice due to surgey also so she could't talk, I hate to think she was sad when she died((((
—Guest trudy

BROKEN HEARTED WIFE - Given false hope

Its hard to know where to begin this but I will try. My husband lived 58 days from the time I took him to the emergency room to the day he died. I believe the doctors gave us false hope. We finally found out close to the end, he had stage 4 lung cancer. It had spread to the bone, liver and brain. He had 3 chemo treatments and 8 radiation treatments that did nothing but wear him down. The only thing that I am thankful for is he never had any pain. Strange as that may sound, it's the truth. From day one all doctors asked him- are you in pain? He said no, if I am I will tell you, do you think I want to be in pain? The other thing is he passed peacefully in his sleep with me holding his hand at hospice. I will never be the same now that my wonderful partner in life for 23 years is gone. He was my friend, my everything. I will miss him forever! Cancer is the killer of life and happiness. I will never understand why there is no cure for this horrible destructive cell.

my dad lung cancer - only 3 months

my dad was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer,we went through chemo to reduce the symptoms i hated seeing not well,but we thought it would buy us time,my dad only lasted 3months he passed away on 23/12/12.how we miss him,if only we knew we had little time we told him we love him and what an inspiration he was as well as admired him we love u dad and one day we will meet again,forever in my heart and in my thoughts,my dad.xx
—Guest michele

It's very strange

I am lost and can't wrap my head around not having my mom around. I have felt anger because I can't take this away. My mother has been so sweet to me and my family, she has given so much of herself through the years. I have not given up but feel that she will leave us soon and I don't know what to do. Editor's note: Spending time with a loved one who is dying leaves us feeling so helpless. In most other areas of life we can usually do something. What I've heard from people who are dying is that they don't want or need us to do something. They just want us to be near. It's our presence alone that they seem to want the most. I've also heard that sometimes they just want us to be silent and hold their hand. It takes a lot of effort and energy to carry on a conversation in the later stages of cancer, and sometimes they appreciate it if we just sit quietly at their side. I know it's easier said than done, but a great piece of advice I was given when my dad was dying from cancer was to quiet my heart and follow his lead in knowing if I should be quiet or try and talk or do something. Here is a good article on talking to a dying loved one that many people have found helpful: http://dying.about.com/od/thedyingprocess/a/talking_2_dying.htm

The day has finally come

I found this article from googling what's happening to my bf's dad. He was diagnosed with lung cancer (approximately stage III) during winter 2010 and have been fighting the battle since with various chemo treatments, operations and whatever pills that may slow down the growth of his cancer cells or eases his symptoms. It's now nearly the end of 2013 and after a long and brave battle, I think the day could be near: few days ago he started to have shortness of breathing and today he's struggling so much that we sent him to the hospital where they've put him on level 10 oxygen. He's fully conscious and have been moaning about being in pain for the last couple of weeks. The doctor said the shortness of breath is likely to due to lung infection from his cancer, and as he is in terminal stages they will not rescue him once his heart stops. I don't know what to say for the moment but I'm glad all his family is beside him right now. He's a great father, husband and son, and I love him to bits
—Guest Keldrid

No one understands

We were given 6-8 months from diagnosis. On May 5th 2011. The most horrible words you ever want to hear. My husband fought a brave battle. Never asked for pain meds. I know it sounds bad but I really could have used those meds. I was here every single day even with hospice. He passed peasefully on 11-10-13. I still miss him terribly..I can't live with out him...no one understands...
—Guest mavsgram

number 1 mom

Not sure what to do I kno I must b strong but im scared my mom is all I have. She was suppose to see my kids graduate. My mom has stage 4 lung and it traveled to the liver not sure what tomarrow holds mom is still with us but has terrible pain and dr has no idea why is my mom dying before we even thought she was? Im scared im a fighter but this is something I cant figure how to fight I cant work think or b myself and im a father of 2 and a husband
—Guest joey timmons

Stage 4 Brain Cancer

My Co-worker was diagnosed today with cancer at UNC hospital keep him in prayer that God will give him a miracle.
—Guest Tommy Burns

My Step-mom has stage 4 lung cancer

So, we found out about a month ago that my step-mom has stage 4 lung cancer. They say it's inoperable. Terminal. I hate the word "cancer". I hate it so much. I've tried so hard to deal with all of this, to not to think about it. But, hoe can I not? I'm 17 years old, and when I was 8, I watched my mother die from pnemonia. Now I'm watching my step-mom die from lung cancer. This is the hardest thing I've ever had to do. And it's so hard realizing that she won't be there when I graduate. She won't be there when I get married. She won't be there when I have kids. She'll never be there. This is her last Christmas. I feel like i'm breaking inside. I've been talking to my school counselor, but that only brings me a temporary relief. I'm not ready to lose her. I'll never be ready. Who is? And what do I know? I'm only 17.
—Guest Emily

My Dad, My Hero

My dad is in the final stages of a 18 month battle with stage IV kidney cancer. I am currently lying in the hospital bed beside him in a hospice. Every single day I lose another piece of my dad but he keep fighting and I am here to cherish every single second that we have left. My father has been my Dad, Mum and Best friend and when I lose him, I will lose part of my heart. I love you dad, keep fighting and we are here for you every step of the way xxx
—Guest Daddy's Little Girl

Comfort to a passing sister

It is true that they still can hear you even that close to passing when I was called to be by sisters side in her last days I asked her if I could pray with her even though she had no physal connection with this world any longer I found tears streamming down her checks while I prayed with her I BELIEVE that was Gods way of letting me know she made a connection to our heavenly father and was ready to accept his call for her to come home she passed two days later. Simply relish the final days for our window of opportunity to be with the passing is so limited and this is an example they really are hearing what is around them. And this experience I relive so often and it also helps comfort my broken heart
—Guest Brenda

Mom might have lung cancer but not sure

Hi I just lost my wife of 27 years to lung cancer She was a little short of breath had some pain in her back, I took her to doctor they did xray found a nudule did an mri showed a tumor in her lung, next week a bunch of test, pet , breath , blood work, then they took a sample of the tumor. Told me she would be ok for now. Was at home a few days noticed she was feeling worse and was startion to look yellow took her to doctors again this time she was admitted to hospital said her liver was 10 times the size it should be. She requisted that no heroic measure be taken. She was in much pain and was doped up most of the time the last day with her she was still coherent she asked me to tell her what was real and what was not. The doctor said she was real close to death i still don't know what happened, i got in bed with her she started breathing funny they she passed with me snuggled next to her, It has only been since sept 13 i hurt from head to toe, i have no joy i miss here so much
—Guest Dave


Finding it so difficult at the moment. chemo no longer effective and had to be discontinued.My role was to motivate dad to stay strong and keeping fighting.we have lost the battle....and now it's silence when I vist. I visit. no common ground minor.
—Guest me myself and i

everyday is different

well I have been taking care of my uncle for about 1 month now he was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer on aug 21 that was already spreaded to his 3 and 4th rib his right arm and and both upper lobes of his lungs...we had him for about 4 days before he went to the er where they told us he needs hospice service. my uncle refused chemo so now we are here fighting everyday as its his last. my uncle has days where he is up and moving around and days where he is sleep and in pain most of the time. I was curious on any responses that can give me an outlook on what to expect during the last couple of months before his dimise...thanks and GOD bless everyone who is fighting this battle

be positive and stay strong

my mom was recently diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer & it is devastating. like all of you, she is my everything. i read all these posts and i genuinely hope that everyone eventually finds inner peace. my mom thru this process has remained so strong, so brave and is such an inspiration that she inspires me everyday to be a better person. i cannot imagine this will get any easier, i cannot comprehend the "why" - i can only give my sympathies to everyone, to cherish life and to spend time with the ones you love. try to live, love & laugh for as long as you can.
—Guest nicholas

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