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When do you know the end is near?

Jackie UK

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My dads health has now started to decline and i am frightened.

He is sleeping more and eating less,he is also confused and unsteady on his feet sometimes.

What other signs should we be looking for?

I presume that eventually he will become bedridden.

It is heartbreaking as his 2nd grandchild is due in March 2008 and my dad has also been asked to give his niece away at her wedding in March as well.His sister who lives in austalia is also coming over to the UK in March as well so i was really hoping he would keep doing well.

My poor brother will be devastated if my dad isn't around to se his new granddaughter.

Dad is really reluctant for mum to call the doctors out in case he is put in hospital and never gets home again.

We do not want him to go to a hospice and hope he will die peacefully at home.

How do you know when the end is really near?

Please pray for my dad Peter please.

Thanks so much


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You don't know when the end is near with this disease. It is different for everyone. Some may decline and go into hospice care while others like my husband are doing well and gone in minutes. There were many times I thought my husband was close to dying and he rebounded and lived much longer. There just isn't an answer to your question.

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I just want to second what Ry told you. Everyone is different and not two people are the same. Let me make mention that we have had many people come here and ask this same question. There's no easy answer. Make each day as special as you can for him and for yourself. My prayers are with your dad, you and your family.

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If he's eating less, he may not be taking in adequate fluids. Is it possible that he go in for IV fluids, and see if perhaps that is the reason for the fatigue, etc. rather than disease progression? If it is disease progression, would he not be allowed to leave the hospital, even if the doctors recommend he stay?

I know this is so hard. And there are milestones we and our loved ones would like to see them live to see those milestones. But the reality is that at some point, you have to realize that there is ALWAYS another milestome we want to see! Just one more...

So, what I'm saying is, though it is good to have goals, don't focus on what they will miss. Focus instead on what they have been here for, and make the effort to create special memories.

Keeping you in my prayers,


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I am wiht Ry on this one. You never know when. It will hit you like a ton of bricks though. deb was in stable condition and 5 minutes later she was gone. nad she was right across from the nurses station in the hospital also. You never know. Tell your dad you love him every chance you get though because you never know :(

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Your dad just started to take morphine,

could be the reason for his change in

sleeping and eating habit..........

could you have it checked to see for

the dosage, the right one should bring

a better appetite and good night sleep

not what Peter is getting now.

Ry's answer is all we have to go on,

nothing is ever clear cut in lc.

Prayers for Peter and the family.


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As others have said, there really is no way of telling when the end is near. My husband had chemo on a Tuesday and died that Friday. (Although the handwriting was all over the wall, he kept fighting.) Who could know when it takes that final turn? I think it takes most of us by surprise.

I've read your Dad's profile and it leaves me with questions. When was the last time a CT/PET scan was done (other than the head) to determine what the cancer is doing? All I see are x-rays, which are dubious for telling the whole tale. It could be morphine or dehydration, as have been mentioned before, but it could also be a sodium problem or paraneoplastic syndrome. Try running this by Doctor West at Onctalk.com.

I totally understand his hesitation about being admitted to the hospital, but they may get down to the root cause of the problem and find that it is not the cancer causing his symptoms. If he's approached that way, maybe he'd be more willing to seek medical help. You don't want to be left with those question marks -- your Mom needs to be assertive and get some medical answers.

Prayers and good thoughts for a positive outcome for your Dad -- he sure has a lot of living to do with weddings and births coming up!



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I just have to add this. When my mom was in her ending stages 20+ years ago, the nurses and the doctor told us, 1. She has 6 weeks to live. :shock::( 2. This, that, and other things are likely to happen to her in the ending stages of her life. :cry:

Well, my wonderful mom lived 14 weeks (in my home with my kids and I) after she was dx.d with lung cancer. She didn't live 6 weeks like they said she would.

My family and I lived in HELL those 6 weeks counting every day and dreading ever minute of it. Then 6 weeks came and left, and my mom was still going STRONG! :shock::? Helping me cook meals and doing things she pretty much always did, a little slower but non the less life was fine for her. NOT FOR US! We didn't know WHAT TO THINK!

All the things they told us that COULD OR MIGHT happen DIDN'T! Now mind you, I went through this with my father 17 years earlier and Nothing of what he went through in the ending stages were anything like what my mother went through.

When my sister died (also LC) 10 months after my mother did, again, not my mother, nor my father nor my sister were the same in there ending months, or weeks. Not even close.

So please know when I say everyone is different it's very true. As for what to look for?? THIS TIME what you DON'T KNOW WON'T HURT YOU, don't look for anything, just take each day and go with the flow. I mean that in the kindest and most sincere way..

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I don't have an answer for you, but I want to encourage you to make each day a special memory with him so you don't have any regrets. Don't wait for the big moments like the wedding...make today a special day.

My prayers are with you. I've never been in your shoes and my heart is breaking for you. :(



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Any kind of pain medication can cause constipation which leads to lack of appatite. Could maybe check on the meds he is getting.

If he is on chemo you might ask his doctor about Marinol. It is only prescribed for those on chemo. Supposedly to control nausia but it also increases the appatite.

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  • 2 weeks later...

My best friend was actively dying for about a month. He was sleeping a lot from March 2007 and it progressively got worse until the time of his death. Not only did he sleep constantly, but he did not eat, then could not swallow. Eventually, a month prior to his death, he started to show signs of dementure. However, his death was imminent when I noticed his body temperature went from normal to extremely high (over 104F). He passed within 72 hours of that point. He was virtually in a coma. Could not speak, eat or do anything. Only had very bloodshot eyes and a permanent gaze. When he was medicated, his breathing sounded terrible. I'm not sure if it was too much medication that eventually took him or if his heart just let out from all the added exertion. I can tell you this: while I miss him terribly, I try not to think of those things, but it's natural. My memories are many and precious. He was taken too young from this world, but I know he's with God now and has been given the wings of an angel.

Hang in there. Only God knows when the time has come.

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In my moms situation she had so many other things wrong with her before she was diagnosed with nsclc the last 6 weeks she was in hospice care...They treated her so well and were so good to all of us...we all took turns round the clock staying with her...we were able to come and go at any time...the time we were with her we were there enjoying any and all time we had with her without worrying about anything else but her....we had 15 people in her room at one time...other times it was just one on one...I know its not for everyone but it was nice not worrying about anything else but her....

My faith in God is what kept and keeps me going..

my prayers are with you.....

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Well i visited my dad this weekend and i was so shocked at the change in his appearance.

He is skeletal and so weak he cannot stand without support and needs help to get upstairs /toilet.

He is eating only porridge and drinking lots of milk.

He has terrible pain and cannot sleep at night at all.

His nurse has prescribed him an antidepressant Amitriptyline to help with his sleep which has worked for the last 2 nights.

They will consider steroids for his appetite next week.

My poor mum is trying her best to keep him comfortable but she is finding it tough and dad does not want to go into hospital/hospice so mum is going to carry on as best as she can.

I found it hard to talk to my dad over the weekend as i didn't know what to talk about.

He looked so tired and sad that i just sat beside him saying little too him.

Keep him in your prayers please.



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I am so sorry that things are where they are right now. Having just gone through it myself, I know how hard this weekend must have been for you.

We also did not want my dad to go to the hospital. But once we finally decided that he needed to go, it was a relief. We could not provide the care that he needed--and I think he was relieved too as he knew we needed help.

Towards the end, I found it best to just sit with my dad and hold his hand. Conversation was just too exhausting for him. It was very peaceful to be with him and I'd like to believe that it was reassuring for him to have one of us there with him all the time. Even if we were not talking a lot.

I am sending you strength. My thoughts are with you and your family.


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Please know that you can have hospice care at home. They come to your house. We did that with my Dad, he didn't go anywhere and we all stayed with him. Hospice is very up on this and they are really wonderful. I know how hard this is! I just went through it in October. My prayers are with you and your family!

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Many hugs and prayers for you, your Dad, and especially your Mom.

I was in the exact same position in October as she is in now. My husband also did not want the hospital or hospice. There will come a moment when your Mom makes the decision for your Dad and it will be very, very tough for her. Leslie was so correct, it becomes an issue of not having the tools/knowledge to adequately care for him, and watching too much suffering, that will flip the switch for your Mom to call someone to help. My husband begged me not to call an ambulance and was angry when I finally did, but I couldn't let the situation continue to deteriorate without medical intervention to make him comfortable.

I wish for peace for your entire family at this time. I understand and am so very sorry that this is happening now.



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