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

Responses: 186

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Updated February 10, 2010

We don't like to talk about the final stages of cancer, but sometimes hearing stories from others can give us ideas on ways to cope, and not only cope, but honor our loved one during their last days. What helped you cope as a family member or what helped you honor your loved one during the final stages of cancer? Share Your Story

Heartbroken

The hardest thing about cancer is to see your love one deteriorated in front of your eyes.
—Guest -d

I lost my mom to Stage 4 Lung Cancer

I just lost my mom! she was having a port put in on March 11th to start her chemo on March 13th. At about 1 am on March 12th she threw a blood clot from the port and died instantly. In some ways it was the best because she did not have to suffer thru Chemo. I miss her so much. We actually went on a vacation to St. Augustine Florida the weekend before and she felt like a million dollars. She got to swim with the dolphins which was always a dream of hers. God gave a glorious weekend before he took her home. I will cherish that weekend for the rest of my life. Great memories that Cancer cannot take away!
—Guest Julie Bates

My Beautiful Mother - I Love Her So Much

My mom was diagnosed stage IV Lung Cancer 3 weeks ago on Mar 7th... She'd been in pain for months but was reluctant to go to a dr because she also has MS (last 30 years) & thought she was just having a flare up with the MS... Something kept telling me it was something else when we went to visit for Christmas... but she argued with me about seeing a doctor. I kept having panic attacks, always thinking about my mom, knowing something was wrong. Then, I get a call from my dad (I'm 500 mi away) on Mar 7th... he tells me she's in the hospital. It's advanced lung cancer. My boyfriend & I drove out the following day... They live in a remote area & I worry so much. It's now April 2nd and she has her first appt with an oncologist tomorrrow. Almost a month later. I know there is a mass below her ribcage or on her abdomen... it's hard for me to get specifics & I can't be there until the end of the month because of work & money. I'm strong for everyone but I am so sad. I love her so much.
—Guest Augusta

Bitter

I have 3 sisters and a very close friend that has canser and my mom died of it! I dont know how i feel sometimes, i cry most of the time,but i pray all the time. These people is very importent in my life. I'm getting sick now bcus thinking about wats gonna happen to my friend very shortly makes me sick!! I love u all and will miss u all:(.. love an i miss u so much mom....
—Guest verly

Talk to them -- CHERISH!!!

Where do I start? I just lost my mom on 2/19/2014. After some discomfort the ER doctors found "a mass" on June 8, 2013. Through all of the testing, we found out that my mom had Stage 4 lung cancer. The cancer had metastasized to the bone, adrenal glands, and brain. Mom went though "whole brain radiation", which gave her some more clarity. She tried chemo, but only lasted two treatment before the doctors stopped treatment due to too much weakness. I went to every appt with her and my dad, and tried to "stay strong" for them. I am sorry to be so brutally honest, but you can never prepare yourself for "the end". I love my mom so much!! She got so weak about 2 months before we lost her, but then came back to almost normal. Then within a few days she took a drastic turn and we lost her within days. I have read that that is what tends to happen, they come to say good bye. Take advice, really talk to them then, that may be the last chance you have to talk to them. CHERISH!!!!
—Guest kelster36

In disbelief

My dad lost his fight with stage 4lung cancer today 3/1/14 this past Friday he went to a dr.appt for ultrasound and my mom insisted on dad seeing his primary dr because dad was having difficulty breathing and he was sent to ER they ran test and everyone from doctors to family was shocked when the results came back stage 4lung cancer small cell dad lasted 8days he wanted mom by his side they were married 50years and she was right there I am in shock that he's gone what a great man I thank God for the opportunity to have known him.
—Guest Deb

It happened so fast

i read so many of your stories and my heart truly breaks for you all as it does for myself,, My dad has always been a healthy man,, never sick a day in his life,, He worked hard and put food on our table, he helped me as a single mother raise my boys his grandchildren into fine young men. This last Dec 2013 he got sick, we begged him to go to the doctor thinking he had pnemonia,, well he finally went on Dec.28 and we found out it wasn't pnemonia it was small cell lung carcinoma,, I made sure everyday he had everything he needed till he went to bed,, I put him in the hospital on Jan 14,2014 and they put a chest tube in his lung to drain fluid off of his left lung,, he was able to breath well and ready to live again... We come home and went to the cancer doctor on Jan 27,2014 and he told me he was so progessed in his cancer that no treatment would help ,, He said i had at least 3 months,, so then i brought dad home again ,, hospice come in and 5 days later i no longer had my dad..
—Guest oklahoma girl

Hardest thing I've done

My step father the only man ive known to be a father.is dying from prostate cancer our entire family is devastated i have so many things to tell him still. This has been very hard. Watching the strongest man i know deteriorate. My son and nieces are going to lose there grandfather a man who puts them on a pedistool a man who has taught us about i integritity and honesty a man who worked for everything his entire life. This is by far the hardest thing ive had to witness in my 34 yeArs in life. I want to be strong for my mother is losing her best friend and soulmate. I pray for all the victims of this horrible disease god bless you all
—Guest Brittney cyra

Dad has Lung Cancer, Stage IV

As I type this, I am drinking, tears of sadness. Just spoke to my dad's doctor today and he reaffirmed that he is in stage IV of lung cancer. He was diagnosed last January 2013. It has been a very hard journey for my poor mom who is retired and going with him to all his dr's appointments. He redeveloped a lump in his neck, however smaller but only this week we saw a major change in him, for the worst. He is hallucinating, frustrated and it is heart breaking to see my dad go through this horrible disease. I am praying for the best but starting to prepare myself for the worst. Lord, please be with us! We need you now MORE than ever!
—Guest Marly

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

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

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