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My name is Mike and I have never done this before. Never had this happen to anyone I loved.

My sweetheart Terri has SCLC and is getting in-home hospice. Terri and I have known each other, off and on, since we were about 12 years old. Terri was the popular, beautiful cheerleader I had such a crush on. She would always say hello to me in the hallway with that big smile of hers. She was way too pretty for a shy guy like me to actually talk to. I felt like she was out of my league, although she never insinuated that in any way. I feel like I always had a place in my heart for Terri as we went through elementary, junior and senior high. Years past and we had separate lives for years. After 33 years we connected on classmates.com. Terri lived in Colorado and I Georgia. I was no longer the shy boy I was, but Terri was still the beautiful, sweet girl she always was. Terri still sees the little boy in me and I still see the little girl in her. That is rare! Now she has SCLC I am don't know what to do. We have been together 10 years and I just don't know how to deal with this.

Terri has been talking an herb called essiac, which many people have had success with. She has taken it religiously for the last 4 months. Terri had chemo a couple months ago, but she has said she will not do it, again. The mass in her lung has gotten bigger and some has spread to the other lung. She does not really get out of bed very often, and sometimes she does not eat as much as I would like her to. We are both trying to be positive, as that is important with any illness. I break down out of nowhere and have cried so much I wonder why I still have tear ducts. I do this in private. Does anyone have suggestions as to how I can get her to eat more, and maybe try the walker? 

Any suggestions at all would be appreciated. I wish the best for you and yours. Appreciate every moment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hi, Mike, and welcome.  I'm so sorry to hear of Terri's illness.  Unfortunately, her herbal "treatment" will not cure or even effectively treat her cancer.  The only effective treatments are chemo, radiation, surgery, or, in some cases, other types of drug therapies.  If she is receiving hospice care, it essentially means she has given up on any kind of medical intervention, other than the kind geared toward making her comfortable (palliative care).  Her hospice caregivers should be able to suggest strategies for eating and exercise to maintain her strength for as long as she can.  Are there certain foods that still appeal to her?

It's important for you both to have support as you go through this.  You can ask at the hospital or cancer center whether there are support groups for caregivers.  Are there other friends and family who can help out when you need a short break from taking care of her?

I'm glad you found us--hope you will stick around.  This is a great place for information and support.

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Hi Mike. I absolutely love you and Terri's love story!  It made my heart so happy, thank you for sharing it with us.  I am so very sorry to hear about Terri's lung cancer.  My grandparents moved in with my parents and I toward the end of their lives.  My grandma had end stage lung cancer and was on hospice.  She ate very little too and toward the end did not get out of bed much at all.  Hospice was very helpful in getting an actual hospital bed that was adjustable so she was more comfortable.  It is likely that hospice can make some referrals for someone to come to the home for physical therapy if she wants it - to help with walking. Occupational therapists also come to the home and can teach how to properly use a walker and what type of walker is best for her situation.  We have a local group called Knights of Columbus who have a good stock of assistive devices that are available to "borrow" for free.  We borrowed the hospital bed, wheelchair and shower chair from them and it was a life saver as everything is so expensive.  This may be an option in your town if you need it.

As far as eating, my grandma had to eat so she could take her insulin.  She was a bit ornery and would only eat for my dad when he brought home chicken strips (he was always her favorite son-in-law!).  We really didn't care about nutritional value, we just wanted her to eat something.  Maybe you need to find that "something" and go with that.  

Hope this helps a bit, take care,

Steff

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