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No more treatment for my Mom


sophiesdaughter

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The latest on my Mom is that Tarceva didn't work and the tumors in her lung progressed, her brain mets have been stable though. So after being 6 week in hospital for shortness of breath due to plural effusion and severe back pain (not related to the cancer), she was told that there were no more options for treatment and was sent home on hospice. She has been home for a month and a half. It is a very difficult time for us, especially since I don't live close to her, she lives in Toronto and I live in New York, and I work full time and have small kids; my Dad is her caregiver, I visist her on weekends when I can, but am not there for her day to day care. My Mom is on morphine and on oxygen, but although she gets up and can still do a few things around the house, she has no desire at all to leave the house, she is very lucid and alert though..She has good days and bad in terms of the pain and shortness of breath, and they had to up the dose of morphine a few times in the last 6 weeks..

My questions are: does the end happen quickly and suddenly, or does it progress slowly?

Also, I would like to have a honest talk with my Mom about what is happening and tell her how much I love her and will miss her and how much she means to me, but I find it very hard to bring up the subject, and my Mom doesn't discuss this topic at all.. Any ideas of how/if I should bring this up?

Thanks as always for your help and support. It has been almost 5 years since my Mom was diagnosed, and this site has been a great source of support and information...

Regards,

Rana

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the best advice I can give you is to spend time with mom whenever you can!! tell her you love her because obviously you do very much. remember yesterday, cherish today and Pray for tomorrow always!! because you never know when the end is near......

Thoughts and Prayers always for peace and stability.

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Rana

I am so sorry things have progressed to this point. Thankfully it sounds as if your Mom is pretty comfortable and her pain is in control.

I wonder, if you are not able to bring the subjects up and Mom is not wanting to talk about them, could you sit down and compose a letter to her and tell her what you are feeling that way? It may open the door for her to feel better about discussing things with you.

If you haven't already, you can always phone the Hospice office and speak to them about the end. They have wonderful resources that will help you understand what is happening. Our experience with Hospice was very, very brief but we are so grateful that we had them involved.

Please keep posting and know we are here for you.

Sending many hugs and prayers your way,

Christine

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My situation was different because I was dealing with my dad- a man. Talking about feelings was really difficult for him and I always knew he loved me so we never really had any "talks" etc... but if ever there was something I thought needed to be said or I wanted to express my feelings and thoughts if we were having a "moment" I'd approach it backwards as if I were the one who might not be here tomorrow. I'd always start off

Hey Dad, if I get hit by a bus tomorrow, I just want you to know that ...... (and I'd fill in my favorite memory or a thank you of some sort or a feeling I had about him that I thought he should hear) Very passive aggressive, I know, but it really did work for us.

Just wanted to share that in case it helps anyone.

I'm so sorry you and your mom are going thru this.

(((hug)))

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I'm so sorry, Rana.

It's incredibly hard to start such a talk with someone slipping away, unless the subject has been part of the conversation for a while. The suggestions for putting it in writing or "backing into it" from your side are good. During a difficult period my dad broke the logjam in his own way by saying "I sure hope I kick the bucket pretty soon!" With my wife's dad we got into the conversation sideways, discussing the death of a mutual friend first, then gradually moving into his own desires and reminiscing on our lives together. They seemed to appreciate the fact that they could now talk freely without needing to overcome any denial on our part. Best wishes and Aloha,

Ned

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Rana,

I can honestly say I know how you feel because today we found out there isn't much more they can do for my mom. I am so sorry because I know how you feel. I can say that I have had many talks with my mom and when it was just to hard I would write it. It gives me peace to know she knows exactly how I feel. It is so VERY difficult but I feel good knowing. I don't want to wish I would have said something!

I pray for strength for you. Please PM me if you need to talk , it seems we are in the difficult spot!

Prayers,

Dana

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Thank you so much for your responses and support. These are excellent suggestions. I will try the letter as a start, since I live far from her, and will try talking to her as Kate and others have suggested when I next visit. I'll keep you posted.

Dana, I am sorry that you are also going through this, it is a very difficult place to be.

Regards,

Rana

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  • 1 month later...

Thank you for posting this! This is exactly what I'm struggling with after hearing the news that we're in "saying goodbye mode" with my Dad. Neither he or my Mom have ever been very verbal about their emotions, so it's tough to know what to say or do. I write much better than I speak, so I think I may do a letter to my Dad, too. I imagine a letter is also great for people who have already lost a loved one and never were able to actually say what they were thinking, too.

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I think a lot of us have struggled with trying to vocalize our feelings, especially at times like this.

To this day, I still write to Brad although it is through journaling, but it feels so good to be able to "share" the things I would have shared with him if he was still alive.

I'm so glad you found this post and that it is helping!

Warmly

Christine

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Rana:

Very sorry to learn of your mom's latest developments.

The others have provided some great suggestions regarding avenues of approach, and I definitely don't have anything additional to offer. I am wondering, however, if she has been put on hospice yet?

Affectionately,

Carole

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.--George Carlin

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