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Nearing the End


Guest shannygirl

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Guest shannygirl

Hi everyone,

My step-father is 46-years-old and has lung cancer. He's fought for a year, but the cancer spread, and he's decided he wants to die with dignity. My question for everyone is, what can my Mom expect as my Dad's dying? I'm unable to be there with them as I'm in another state and have my own health issues. I want my Mom to be prepared for what she may see and experience as my Dad leaves this world. Honestly, is it painful for them? I guess I'm looking for someone to tell me their experiences so that I can prepare Mom, if that's possible, for the end. Thanks everybody and God bless.

Love,

Shannon

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If it hels any, My late wifews passing was peacful. She merely got up out of bed and sat doen in the hospital recliner and stopped breathing. So, I was told by the staff. They said that they walked by her room at 3 am and did not her her gurglin for Air and by the time they got to her it was over.. Thats my experience with that stage.

Prayers for peace and comfort tonite and always for you and the Family.

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Guest shannygirl

Thanks to all of you who responded to my question. It means a lot. Everyone is so kind and loving here. I only wish Mom had internet at home so she could speak to all of you. God bless each and everyone of you. Thanks again!

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It's different for everyone. I've heard stories that range from one degree to another...but I can tell you about my dad, who passed away in the hospital.

He wasn't in pain and he was given lasix to prevent fluid build up once he went into a coma-like state, and pain medication (the same as I gave him at home in IV- I would not allow any more than he needed) . They told us he had 24 hours and he lived 11 more days. He left this world on his terms.

I was with him until the end.

The one sign I did notice was a settling of color on the skin under his legs and feet...for some reason that is a "sign"- and I am only guessing here, but perhaps that is related to slowing circulation/respiratory, etc...???

but a few hours after that, he passed away.

His breathing had been shallow for a few days but when he took his last breath, he mumbled something that none of us could hear, leaned up a bit and gave us the most beautiful smile we had ever seen. (He had not spoken, opened his eyes or motioned for a few days so this was very rare and we were so happy)

For an instant it looked like he was going to just "wake up" and be "ok" when I saw him smile like that. All of us in the room just looked at each other in awe. We were so surprised that none of us realized that had been his last breath.

When the smile became relaxed is when it set in that he had passed away.

I don't know if that will help you or your mom at all. Just know that he will know you are there and that he is loved until the very end.

Prayers for comfort and peace for all of you.

I'm really so sorry you all are going thru this.

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Guest shannygirl

Katie,

I am so sorry for your loss. I got teary eyed reading how your Dad smiled as he passed. As heart breaking as losing him was for you and your family, what a beautiful memory he left you with. I want that for my step-father and my mom. I want my step-dad's passing to be beautiful, because I think every person should leave this world feeling loved and treasured.

Thanks again for sharing your story. I found it so touching, reassuring, and comforting. God bless you!

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So very sorry that your Dad is not doing well. I know how strong you and your Mom are to respect your Dad's wishes. After seeing my husband struggle with extensive small cell lung cancer, I would make the same decision that your Dad has made, if I was diagnosed. The actual struggle with lung cancer was much worse for my Dennis than was his actual death. It was a very peaceful experience, one that I will never forget. Seeing him pass helped relieve me of all my fears I had of death and dying. Hospice has some wonderful material that would be very good for your Mom to read. I'll be keeping your family in my prayers.

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Ann is right. Fighting the cancer is so very hard but my mother's passing was very peaceful. She was under hospice care and was given morphine every 3 hours plus ativan around the clock. She settled into a very peaceful sleep. Her breathing became shallow and she passed very peacefully. It took away my fears of dying also. If I can pass that way, I would be very pleased. Basically she went to sleep on a Thursday afternoon and passed Monday morning. Her feet became blue on Sunday and hospice told us the dying process had begun.

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I'm sorry you can't be there to help and share with them. My father died from SCLC very, very recently. He had to stop all treatment as second-line was not helping; he died about a month after that. Things we noticed with dad: He slept a lot. Some times he would go to bed at 6:00 pm and not get up until the next day after 12:00 noon or so. He fell asleep off and on during the day. He seemed a bit withdrawn. No longer wanted to read or watch tv. His appetite was horrible. He had trouble swallowing. Everything tasted metallic to him. Water and ginger ale were about it. Could not swallow medication. All meds were given as liquid and sometimes that was hard, too. His voice changed; it became more raspy. He lost weight at such a fast rate, we had his pants taken up; he lost about 20 pounds the last month. His color changed to a pasty, gray-green color. His breathing became more labored and shallow. He was on almost 5 liters of O2. BUT, you have to understand this, too. He dressed himself every day in a shirt and pants. It took almost two hours for him to do this. He could no longer comb his hair, we did that for him. His urine output diminished to nothing the last 36 hours of his life. We had hospice with us the entire last 36 hours of his life; we (sister and I) simply felt we were over our head. We gave him morphine for his breathing; his pain was tolerable. The increased amount of oxygen caused him to have "nose burn". It just hurt his nostrils. I was with him the last night of his life. He and I talked about 9:30 pm. At 11:30 pm he seemed a little agitated. Got him settled down. I fell asleep at 1:00 am. When I woke at 1:30, I knew he was gone. All the wrinkles were gone from his forehead. I did not see him breathing any more. He looked calm and peaceful. I know I would have heard if he was in pain or had discomfort in any way. He just fell asleep and died. I hope this will help your family. Again, the actual death was not the bad part, the dying process was harder.

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Shannygirl: I just wanted to add that my mother's hospice nurse told me that a very large percentage of her patients passed very peacefully and that it was not uncommom for them to smile with their last breath. I hope all the info you've received brings you some comfort. God Bless...........wendyr

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