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How do you know when the end is near?

Guest Michelle

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Guest Michelle


My husband was DX w/stage four NSCLC in April 02. He was doing SOOOO well, but recently he lost his energy, he lost a lot of weight, he cannot even talk anymore as his voice completely vanished. :( We noticed tonight his eyeball is sunken in - the same side the originating lung tumor is on. He has mets to the brain (had 3 weeks of radiation in May 02 for this - successful but no recent brain scan to check this, should he have another brain scan?), it also went to his lymph nodes and he just completed another round of radiation, which resulted in a loss of his voice and constant phlegm in his throat, it also went to his heart sacs, his lung's pleura, and possibly his liver...oh and possibly his adrenal glands. WOW. :( He has had several rounds of chemo.

We see the main oncologist on Wed. and also his radiation oncologist that same day to see what his latest chest x-ray reveals.

Now, can anyone recommend any ?'s I can ask his doctors as far as his loss of voice and how to get it BACK? :?: We saw the radiation oncologist four times for this and my husband tried every med they gave him and NOTHING. His voice just won't come back and his quality of life is terrible. He is not eating, he sleeps all the time, he is deeply depressed and up until the last few weeks he has done SOOOO well.

What I want to know (but don't want to know) is this: Is the end nearing? Is his recent behavior any indication of the cancer spreading? I guess I just don't know how to word this but I have noticed a major decline in his health in the past two weeks to one month. Is this something that happens and then he will snap out of it?

Should his doctor do a PET scan? He never had one. He just gets x-rays and CAT scans.

Boy I am full of ?'s tonight.

Thank You for your time and any info you can provide,


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It sounds like you are going through quite a difficult time right now. From what I have heard recent treatment side effects can mimic the signs of the natural dying process...so I think a physician or nurse would need to do an exam to give you that info.

This is just a thought, but you may want to contact Hospice to help make that determination and give you guidance. This doesn't mean you are giving up on your husband recovering...if he gets stronger he could be discharged from their care.They could certainly answer the questions you ask and provide comfort care to your husband and support to you.

In any event I would not hesitate to discuss my concerns with the doctor even if it means a phone call before the scheduled appointment(Wednesday seems like a long time to wait).

Hope I didn't over-step...


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