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Dying process


Guest Farfbaz

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Guest Farfbaz

HI..

This is going to sound like an awful question. but what is the dying process like from lung cancer?

My mom was diagnosed with stage iiib, three weeks ago, but it is spread to her brain as well as possibly other orgrans. She is on Fentanyl (PICC drip) and is unable to get out of bed without assistance, cant be up for more than 2 mins or so. She is in a lot of pain, although the meds are helping somewhat. She complketed chest and brain radiation and we are now bringing her home today or tomorrow so she can spend her final days in comfort. After we admitted her to the hospital they told us she has at most a few weeks, that was two weeks ago. She hasnt seemed to have gotten worse since then, in fact slightly more mobile since being put on Fentanyl.

She knows what is happening, and is dealing OK with it, but asked me yesterday how she is going to die? I assume something like she'll go into a coma, then just stop breathing (or at least im hoping). Can anoyone provide details from their experiences?

thanks

Renzo.

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Renzo:

First, I'm so sorry that you're having to go through this. In September, another member (Mskim) offered this link for those who wanted to understand more about the process:

http://dying.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsi ... h008a.html

In her words: "This site has everything you may want to know about dying, what to look for and perhaps how to prepare and make it to say I know) easier?

It helped me to know the end was near and had been, helped me to understand what her body was doing."

She made the point at the time that this site is not for everyone, but you might find it helpful.

The process itself is highly individual in reality, with no set way to know in my experience. Neither of my parents passed according to any pattern (dad from brain cancer and mom from lung cancer) -- they both caught hospice off-guard.

Hope this helps you in your journey.

Linda

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Everyone is different. No matter what you read or what advice is given here- we all die our own ways and we all do it differently. Sometimes painlessly and effortlessly, and other times- not.

I had read alot on this subject and was taken completely by surprised by my father's dying process.

The only thing you can control, is the now. Just be there and love each other. Say and do all you need to. Try to make her as comfortable and painfree as possible and have no regrets about your last days.

I'm so sorry your family is going thru this. My thoughts are with all of you.

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My personal experience with Mom.

My mother basically began to lose conciousness, went to the hospital. They gave her some medication to help her be comfortable.

Her breathing was more and more shallow, she was not concious for the last say 12 hours BUT I believe she could hear us.

I whispered to her that I hope the care and the choices we made were what she wanted, and told her she did really well. But she didn't need to stay here for us anymore and if she wanted to go, she could go. I believe she heard because within minutes the monitors buzzed and she took one more ?involuntary? small breath.

I know it is not the same for everyone. But that was my experience.

I'm sorry you are having to think about such things.

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My story is as follows. Everyone is different.

On Jan 20th 2006 at 730 My late wife befgan gasping for air. She was at home, Not on chemo ofr radiation a t the time. We called for an ambulance and she was transported to the local Cancer center ER facility. She was given morphine shots for pain management. All her vital signs were normal. She also got breathing treatments to help her breathing. HEr vitals remained stable through the weekend. On monday we were going to see her reg Oncologist for something to try. She was attendsed to by the ehad of Oncology for the weekend as he was on call. she continued on Morhine and Bereathing treatments through out the weekend.

At 9 pm on Sunday Jan 22nd, I kissed her on the forehead and told her I Loved her and would see her tomorrow morning. Then I left for the night. At 3:05 am on jan 23rd my phone rang and you know the hospital never calls at 3 am with good news. At 245 am the Staff checked her stats. Everything was Normal as it had been all weekend long. At 250 am she took a breathing treatment, also as she had all weekend long. At 255 am, She got out of bed and went to the recliner in her room and sat down. The staff could not hear her gasping when they walked by her room and by the time they got into the room it was too late.

On Monday I notified her Medical staff of whaat had happened. EVERYONE WAS SHOCKED AND NO ONE SAW THIS COMING FOR HER!!!!!!!!! The med records showed the cancer was all over her in almost all major organs. She had scans done just 2 weeks prior to this and was to start possibly alimta/avastin on the 23rd.

I am saying prayers for you tonite! I hope this personal insight shows you that no one is the same in this process. My late wife fought for almost 3 years and went through 6 rounds of Chemo and Curative Radiation before she passed.

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This is not the kind of questions you want to be asking, that, I am sure of...

I think you have gotten some great advice from the people who have written before me, and I will reiterate that everyone is different. My Dad was put on Morphine to help him "not realize" that he was barely able to breathe (the doctor explained it as Dad would feel like someone was holding a pillow over his face if he wasn't given the morphine) He died very very peacefully and for that I am eternally grateful, but, it is a personal and unique experience for each and every individual. I will pray for you and your family.

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Thank you Sharyn and Nick also for opening up yuour hearts and going back to that dark day. I know it is hard but thank you both also. RandyW

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My mom was given 2 weeks she lasted 6 weeks. When she started breathing shallower, they increase the morphine, so she was unconscious the last 24 hrs of her life. The nurses told me to check her feet. And if I saw that they had a marble gray look to it, it was happening. I remember checking her feet every 15 minutes and guess what her feet where fine. The way I realized that it was happening it was that her hands turned ice cold so I run outside to get the portable monitor I could not get a pulse, I called the nurse and it was happening, 20 minutes after that she took her final breath. Sorry that you have to go through this, my advice to you tell her everything you want to say before they increase the morphine because after that they lose consciousness, and you don't know if they can hear you. And that happened to me. I am left now wondering if she heard me. Sorry again I have never talked about this until now.

You will be in my prayers and I hope that you and your mom will find the strength to get through this painful separation.

Martha

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Thank you all for answering this very personal question. I was wondering this my self as I came to this site tonight. I guess because at the bank tday a teller asked how John was doing. She asked me if Hospice told me what could happen. I told her no. They Social worker asked me if I had a funeral home. That when the time came I could call them and not 911. John wants to pass here. This was very hard calling the funeral home. I did put it off for days. But they said you can have payment plans. And you know my parents have done the funeral planing for them selfs years ago but my mother's mother did this.

My heart go's out to everyone here and hope we all find comfort by talking on the board.

And Randy I have tried that blanket out of dryer by aaccident. Forgot I left it in dryer at night a litter damp so gave it a whill and boy did it feel good!

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:lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol: You may be the first person I know of besides me to actually do that. I say that to everybody when things are rough and you ar ethe first to fess up to dooing that. Ya made my day today thanks, Sending prayers for peace and comfort tonite under the Carolina Sky.
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My mom was at home the whole time. We knew that the time was coming about two weeks before. She stopped taking in food and very few liquids, although she was very conscious and awake. She was on a lot of pain medication and we added a morphine pump. She began to sleep a lot more...yet had many hours of complete clarity where we talked about everything, looked at pictures, etc.

Three days before she died, she told us that her body was done and asked to speak with each of us...I am sobbing as I write this. Her mind was so crystal clear as she talked about all of our futures and told us over and over that she was not scared, but that she simply did not want to leave us. She slipped into a coma like state the next day. She looked so peaceful and made continual, small noises as if she was comforting someone.....We felt that she may be a bit anxious and gave her ativan ina dropper and increased morphine when she seemed a bit agitated (which was for a few minutes)....we stayed by her, held her hands, and kissed her continually. The hospice nurse, my good friend stayed the night.

In the morning, the nurse said that her pulse was gine and that she was very close....we all held her and told her it was ok to let go, all with Vivaldi playing in the background. She took a small breath and she was gone.

The peace in the room is something I can't explain. I sat with her body, knowing that her soul was on a glorious trip.

I am so sorry that you have to think about this...say EVERYTHING you want to say sooner versus later. The one thing that the last year has taught me is that dying is such a big part of living. Once you go through it with someone, you will understand.

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I am sorry you have to be crying and hope you are ok. It does take a lot of inner strength to walk the road of reliving these terrible moments in our lives. I thank you for having taken the time and having that courage to post these details. Hugs and Prayers, RandyW

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Renzo, Sorry for everything you are going through. My boyfriend is in so much pain right now that I'm not sure what to think or do. I'm afraid he will just give up. It's not my choice to make for him. We have talked a little about it. We are still hoping that he can beet this at least for a little while so that we can enjoy what we have left. My thought and prayers go out to you, Aliboo

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Guest Farfbaz

HI,

Thanks for all the replies. We got my mom home and she has deterioriated somewhat. She is eating and drinking only small amounts and the doc advised it was probably a week or so away. Tomorrow they are switching her PICC medication from Fentanyl to Dilaudid (hydromorphone) She was on dilauded briefly in the hospital - went into a semi-coma state and her respiratory rate was down to a breath every 19 seconds. As she has declined since then we think that once they change the medication it will be a matter of days. She weighs about 86lbs now and She was on 1MG hour at the hospital and tomorrow is going on 2MG an hour.

She is ready, we've talked to her about it at length, have settled most of her affairs, done some funeral planning etc, and mainly just spent time with her and talked to her about whatever she watned to talk about.

We are basically at peace at what is about to happen, as she is suffering quite a lot and we just want her pain to subside. It's still weird though.. almost as if none of this is happening. She was only diagnosed early December.

Anyway, thank you for all your replies.

Renzo.

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All I can say now is remember the Past, Cherish the day, and pray for tomorrow. My prayers and thought are with you in this trying time of your lives. Keep her surrounded with peace, Love, and tranquility.

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Renzo,

I have been present for the last weeks and moments of life twice in two years...with my mother, and with a close lifelong friend. In retrospect, I just feel honored to have been a part of both. I can only tell you that it's all about peace. Sounds like that element is already there. It's a profound experience, and you cannot be fully prepared for it. Just continue to provide love and comfort, and be at peace with the process. You will be in my prayers. MC

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Renzo,

While my Mom's death was quite peaceful, there can be unforeseen complications, too. My Mom was hemorraghing in the week before she was dying. It came out as what appeared to be a very loose stool, but was in fact, blood. We kept giving her blood transfusions as the Doctor indicated that she might have an infection. While this was difficult to handle, the doctors and nurses were very professional in their handling of things and eased our fears.

One thing that you should be aware of with cancer is that a pulmonary embolism is possible at the end of life. We were quite unprepared for it and I have to say that I absolutely panicked when I saw the blood. The nurses bring in a red towel to help absorb it and so that it is less distressful to the family. We were also assured that my Mom was quite beyond awareness by that time, so while a painful experience for us, it was quite peaceful for Mom.

As the hours went on, we kept the room very quiet other than to murmur sweet nothings to Mom. My brother and I both heard the cadence of her breathing change, signalling shallower breaths and stayed with her until the last involuntary breaths where the body is ensentially clearing itself of air. It was quite peaceful and in its own way, beautiful, too.

I wish your Mom, you and your family God's comfort at this difficult time. Peace be with you all.

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Oh Renzo, I am so sorry. You seem amazingly well composed. I am so surprised to read this and again so sorry.

I always assumed that Mom's passing would be similar to the way you, and others, described it. Ironically, the day she passed away, I thought to myself "We made it". The wedding of a close family friend was about a week away and I was sure we would be there together.

Two days before her death, Mom had a chemo treatment (the first of the adjuctive treatment she opted for after surgery) and felt good enough to go shopping afterwards. The next day she had lunch with friends. The day she passed away, she didn't feel well, a little short of breath, but it didn't seem serious enough to go to the hospital. Dad called the hospital to talk to an oncologist and during the conversation Mom said she needed an ambulance. Dad called 911 and went to check on her and she was gone.

I always thought I'd have that time when we knew the end was near to say the things we needed to. I dreaded it. Mom never entertained the thought that she could die. So in many ways, her passing was very appropriate for her.

Wishing and praying for peace for you, your Mom and your family.

Shauna

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