Managing Pain and Telling Children
- My mother was diagnosed in October 2012 with NSCLC . I have been helping to care for her since then. A very aggressive combination of chemotherapy and radiation and the cancer spread. Radiation led to an ulcer and build up of scar tissue in her throat. Leaving her unable to eat on her own. A peg port was placed and still her weight has not reached 80lbs.She is currently taking Tarceva and Dr says blood counts are good. I feel like the amount of pain medication she's on its unnerving . Its like she stays in an intoxicated state. But not getting any better. I feel any day could be her last and i was wondering if anyone could give me any advice on what to do. How to tell my young children when the time comes. Editor's note: Unfortunately we can't offer advice here, but I would strongly recommend you contact your hospice nurse (or your mother's doctor if she is not on hospice) about her pain. Physicians and nurses who specialize in palliative care and hospice can often work with you to find the balance between controlling severe pain and maintaining some level of alertness. Many options are available. It helps to keep in mind that your doctor isn't their 24/7 and you need to let them know both her level of pain and her level of alertness -- don't be afraid to make many phone calls. As far as talking to young children, here is a great article offered by CancerCare: http://www.cancercare.org/publications/49-helping_children_understand_cancer_talking_to_your_kids_about_your_diagnosis CancerCare also offers free counseling for loved ones of people with cancer, and would be able to work with you regarding your specific childrens ages and personalities to help discuss dying and help ease the pain for your children. It's been found again and again that being open and honest with children is the best approach. In fact, children often accept a diagnosis of cancer or hearing that someone is dying better than adults do. Children hear more than we think they do, and often construct scenarios in their minds that are worse than what is actually happening. Personally, when facing the death of my grandparents with young children (aged 2 to 10) the best book I found was "Someday Heaven" by Larry Libby. It wasn't just helpful for my children - it helped me very much as well. It has excerpts such as "why does grandma want to go to heaven rather than stay here with us." I wish all of you the best in this painful process.
- —Guest loving daughter
What we CAN do for Them
- My mother died Aug 2 after being diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer 44 days prior. Hospice directed us in the use of morphine and valium in order to keep her comfortable and without pain. We continued the medication and even tho we wanted her alert to talk to I found it more comforting to medicate her and let her body relax and die without pain or gasping for breath. My biggest fear is that she would be struggling for breath as she lay dying. We were able to keep her in a peaceful slumber until she comfortably took her last breath. We keep them alert for us but is does nothing for them. The fear builds and makes those final days miserable. Say what you have to say immediately because she failed so quickly and was in a coma 2 full days before death. Use the medications available .. it is what we CAN do for them in the last days.
- —Guest Ginger
Cancer runs deep
- Wow, what to say or where to start? My great- grandmother( the only grandmother) has had bone cancer for over a year now. She is 95. Up until this past Tuesday, she was roaming the halls and going to ceramics at the nursing home. She suddenly went downhill. Constant pain. Not talking to anyone. Hospice took over. My stepmother passed away on April 3 of 2013. She was more of a mom to me than she knew. Though she said she did. She was diagnosed for the third time around after dealing with two other rounds of cancer. They said her breast cancer came back in her liver and spread to the rest of her body. Originally just stage 4 lung and liver. We had to hospitalize her because she was so weak. She died a day before of her two weeks from finding out what was wrong. It was hard watching her but I cherished every minute. I asked God to take her and heal her in his arms. She laid there the next day lifeless just labored breathing. She went when I walked out of the hospital.
- —Guest Christin Taylor
- My mom 65 was diagnosed with a stage iv lung cancer a month ago. Earlier it was pneumonia which was making her weak and we cured it, but she didnot seem to be fine. so upon the doctor's advice we went for her chest CT scan which clearly showed cancer at left lung being reached to liver and lymphnodes. later it was confirmed by FNAC which was helpful for doctors to decide her approximate remaining life to be not more than 6 months. last week she was admitted at hospital for palliative care now she is at home and we have decided to take her to local hospice very soon. no matters how long she will live we will try to make her remaining life much fruitful.
- —Guest Anit
My little Mama
- My Mam died 2 weeks ago from cancer, my baby is due in 3 weeks and she was my birth partner. My heart is broken.
- —Guest Katy
- In June 12 my brother was told he had stage 4 lung, brain, liver cancer only giving 4 to 6 months to live. To see a person you love struggling is the hardest thing to witness he also can't speak, last year they took out his voice box out because he had cancer. He is only 52, I wish to tell everyone that is going through this or went through this keep strong.
- —Guest Lupe
Lost her too soon
- My step-mom came to visit me a few weeks ago. She had been diagnosed with lung cancer 2 months ago. But. because she lives out of state, she would not cancel her trip. She told no one her secret. We had so much fun while she was here. She spent her last few days with her grandkids. I know that made her happy. But, I cannot imagine the pain she went through alone. Knowing that she was going to take her last breath less than a week after seeing us. I miss her and love her so much.
- —Guest Loving step-daughter
My Uncle and friend
- I just found out my Uncle doesnt have long to live. He was diagnosed on July 21 2013. We were told without treatment he would live 1-3 weeks and with treatment 3-9 months. I wish I had more time to spend with him....he is one of my heros.
- —Guest GA
I'm dying - Hard to Dependent
- I have stage 4 colon cancer that has spread to my lungs. I was diagnosed 4 years ago. I have two beautiful children, ages 9 and 11. The thought of leaving them is heartbreaking. Their father and I are divorced. The woman he married is a not good to my children - ignores them. I told my ex I had cancer. His response, "Good! I hope you die from it. It's not killing you fast enough!" This from a man that left me for another woman. My family has been awesome, but I feel like such a burden to them. First the divorce (unheard of in my family), and a year later my diagnosis. I try to be independent, but as the cancer spreads, I am becoming more and more useless. I don't want my children to remember me as being sick. Sometimes I wish I would die in my sleep. Quick and painless. It is getting harder for me to want to keep on living knowing the end will be painful and devastating for my family. Please pray for me. Editor's note: Yes, my family and I will be praying for you and your children. I wish I had something I could say, but I know that any words would be trite. As a mother I can't imagine how you feel, yet thankfully these youngsters seem to be more resilient than we are. I do remember being a 12 year old watching a loved one die in a somewhat similar situation. I am grateful that I was able to be present through even the worst times, and think that helped my grieving considerably. I wish I still had that heart of a child that always knew that in dying we never stop loving.
- —Guest Mary
- My father was diagnosed 3 weeks ago with Lung cancer, we were told there was no cure, he thought it was a lung infection, he got 1 dosage of radiotherapy to help ease the pain in his back as cancer had also spread to his spine, On thursday he asked to go to the toilet and he said he really needed to go urgently, i carried him and sat him down and he asked for the door to be closed for privacy, 20 seconds later i checked on him and he was gone...I tried to resuss for 10 minutes before paramadecs arrived but it was no good, 3 weeks from diagnosis to when i lost him. Doctor was surprised how quick it happened but said there was nothing i could have done and he was not in pain at the end. I love you and miss you everyday, i grew thinking you were invincible but i will treasure those final days forever. RIP Dad x
- —Guest Heartfelt
My Loving Mom Suffering
- My mom suffering from lung cancer and brain metastases. I feel very hard time to see all her painful moments. pls God help her to recover its my prayer.
- —Guest swetha
- My dad is 68 and found out may 8 2013 he had stage 4 lung cancer. He's doing chemo now. He tried one chemo 1st one didn't work. About 2 weeks ago Dr said his tumor has grown 5% since the last cat scan. He is very weak, can't drink anything without choking. We got him Thick It. That helps a little. He can't do radiation cause of where the tumor is. Dr said it could hurt other organs. I live 750 miles away, I came down 3 weeks ago to help step mom. Since I have been here he has gotten 70% worst. He was walking better and now he can't walk from couch to kitchen without wearing his self out. He just started another chemo today Anticancer antifolates. I really don't see anything working by looking at how he's doing now. One good thing he's not in pain. It's really hard for me because I lost my husband 3 years ago with Bladder and bone cancer. I pray that when he goes he still won't have pain. Dad I love you
- —Guest Alison
- Sorry for all your losses my bro-inlaw, has had stage 4 for the better part of the last 5yrs.,he's down too 117lbs,had his first blood transfusion and now 2 days later had called 911 because he can nolonger breath they coded him in ambulance but hospital resucitated him and now have hin in icu he's 6'6,117lbs. how much longer due u feel he has left. Editor's note: It's so hard to understand when the end is near. Some people go quickly, whereas other people surprise us and after a time like this, continue to live.
- —Guest paul'slast chance stage4 cancer
Mom dying of cancer overseas
- My mom was taking to the hospital a week ago. She could not breath well. When they took a x-ray they sea something She lives in another country. The hard part for me is no able to go yep My family is taking care of her. My cousin uses Skype so I can see her. She is going tomorrow to under a surgery. They are going to explore with a camera her lungs. I am so terrify. I need to ask perrmisuon to work to go. But my family told me no to go until the results comes. They will given the results in 10 days. The doctor said that x-ray looks very bad. Hoping is a mistake. But I know I am not accepting this. I don't know what I going to do if my mom is having cancer. :(
- —Guest Sandra
Lung cancer for a month
- My mother had huningtons for 4-5 years and she was diagnosed with lung cancer in the beginning of April she refused all treatment telling us all that it wasn't cancer and that he can still do everything in her own, but she need oxygen and 24/7 care that we couldn't help with and we told her that, my biological brother even came out to the hospital I talk to her and make her realize, even though he hasn't connected with her since he was adopted he tried every way to help which was helpful. She finally agreed to a nursing home to have help, I room my kids to go see her the last Friday before she past. She was normal as she normally acted and the next day I get a call saying she ha a fever and not to worry. Saturday night I get a call saying she past. She lived a month after she found out. I tried so much To help and for her to see her grandchildren as much as possibl. It was hard on the family when we lost her. We've all had great memories with her.
- —Guest MollyA