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When to get help for the patient


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Hi, I haven't posted in a while but have been reading. My MIL (67 year old long term smoker) was diagnosed in mid-December with stage IV NSC (squamous). Her first symptoms were neurological - she has five tumors in her head. She had 14 rounds of WBR in December which has shrunk the tumors (they didn't say how much). Now she will be starting chemo on Friday for the lung and any other sites to which its mets.

They will be using Carboplation and Taxotere, six treatments, one a week.

MIL lives alone with two small dogs. She is doing pretty well right now, except for fatigue and she sometimes forgets what she was going to say. We are wondering when it will be necessary to get someone in during the day to stay with her. One of her children mentioned it to her and she is not too happy with the whole idea. But we also need to know that she is safe.

Any suggestions on how to talk her into seeing the inevitable need and does anyone have some input on how the chemo may affect her ability to live alone?

Thanks for any input and best wishes to everyone.


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Hi Carolina,

It's good you found us. You'll find alot of support and information here. Maybe it woudl be good if you talk to a social worker where you're mil is getting her treatments. They may be able to guide you on how to handle living alone while she's undergoing treatments. You didn't mention how old she is, and everyone is different, but in my case, i surely needed someone around to help me. Please keep us posted on how you're doing.


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Thanks for responding. She is 67. I think my husband will talk to the person in the chemo clinic regarding what they call Can Support which is part of the hospital's hospice care. They can help us set up some care for now and st some time in the future she needs more intensive care they will help us get it.

The woman I talked to said she could talk to my MIL about it.

We want her to be able to maiintain independence, but we also don't want her to get hurt.

Thanks again.


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When my grandmother was in the early stages of Alzheimer's she had a lady come to sit with her during the day to make sure she ate at least once and help with minor housekeeping. Gramma's insurance paid for it. Check into your mother's insurance as some older people DID get in on some good policies that supply "supplemental" or "in-home" assistance...

If you could find someone to sit with her that she can talk to, it'll be more like having a friend over for a while to sit and knit with or scrapbook or whatever...(and let her think it was all HER idea, that she was lonely and/or is helping the OTHER lady out....)

Good luck,


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I believe that anyone on chemo should not be living alone. Too many side effects can come into play. And, as you raised, it is not a safe situation. I also worry about the dogs. Can she really take care of them right now? She needs to be free to fight the disease and not have responsibilities. My two cents. Don

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