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

Responses: 192

By

Updated February 10, 2010

Feels like no one understands

I lost my mum just one month after my wedding. She was discovered with Lung cancer called Mesothelioma. I couldn't believe it in such a short time of we just lost her. She was okay during the wedding. She was my best friend my everything. Sometimes I feel no one understand me. Only my young sister feels wat I feel. Even my husband he just wants our life to move on, he doesn't understand how difficult it is. We were best friends and used to help and understand each other. But because of the way he is acting toward the situation I feel like I don't love him and it is just I short time since we ate married but I feel like I want to be free from him.as I don't trust him anymore.
—Guest sophia

forever grateful to my grandma

my beloved grandma passed away January 5th 2014. She was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer mets o the bones. I was not with her when she passed but I was less than a week prior watching over at the hospital.. she went home on hospice on new years and said she was happy. I knew she was close to dying because all the signs were there however I was in denial. She still smiled even through the pain in her final days. I miss her so much and think about her every day. I wish I had more time and I wish she could've made it to my wedding. I guess God needed her more.She helped raised me when I was a baby because my father abandoned us..I'm forever grateful to have a grandmother like her.
—Guest nee

So hard

I am scared for my grand father he is battling heart and lung canser he is very healthy but he isn't doing so good right now. He can't get out of bed my whole family is all perparing for the worst we are trying to make his a comfortable as we can it is just so hard to take it in and I should tell you we are all trying to get through it and if there is any one in this position I hope you get through it
—Guest Makailey

It's not fair - the suffering

its hard and never easy hearing the news that your love one has cancer. My mom is 50 years old and loosing he battle to stage 4 throat cancer. There are now putting her in hospice care and its the hardest thing to accept. Im not ready to let go of my mommy. I'm not even married yet and she has grandchildren that need her. It's not fair and I don't get why so many people suffer from this stupid disease, but at the same time I cant be selfish . I no she is suffering so bad and deserves better. She is so strong and I love her with all my heart
—Guest michele hechinger

IN PAIN but trying to be strong

I just found out my baby brother has stage four cancer. i know he is with good doctors but because he was misdiagnosed from a clinic he now has to suffer . Had this been better looked into when he kept going to the clinic explaining his symptoms then maybe it wounldnt have spread to this stage............ i am so lost right now and trying to be strong at the same time is difficult. Editor's note: Sadly you are not alone in having a loved one diagnosed so late. I don't have numbers on how often cancer is first misdiagnosed and only later found in the late stages, but it is substantial -- and heartbreaking. Wondering how you can be supportive and grieve at the same time is the million dollar question. I don't have a lot of advise, but being true to your emotions, even if your brother sees your tears, does not mean you are not being strong. In fact I've heard from many people with cancer that they don't feel as close to family members who are "pretending" to be strong. Expressing your sadness (instead of trying to be optimistic and strong) may be a special gift to your brother, in that it will allow him to also express his honest feelings without in turn trying to be strong for his family.
—Guest ANN

So difficult - but always hope

My father 89 had cancer in lung 18 years ago. Lower lung removal. Lived well until April 2013 when had pneomonia. Not well beginning December 2013 diagnosed lung cancer spread to liver. He is still alert and so wants to be fine. 89 and what an end he would have been better not knowing. Brain still very much alert. It is so sad but we been so lucky that he had 18 good years after first diagnosis. There is always hope we thought it "the end" 18 years ago. God bless.xx
—Guest Martha

trudy

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.
—Guest BROKEN-HEARTED

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
—AurelioEnrique

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

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