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I've been reading the posts in this forum for several months and feel like I almost know all of you! What great people you all are.

Anyway, my story is as follows.

In Mar 2001, Mum (73 yrs old) was noticing a cough at night, a liitle different to what she had before. I lived 2000 miles away but had visited my parents that month (for a week) and hadn't noticed anything wrong. Our thoughts were always about Dad, who was in the process of being diagnosed with Alzheimer's. He had been having severe hallucinations and delusions and at times thought Mum was someone else. That's another story. :roll:

A friend of Mum's called me and said she noticed Mum had lost a lot of weight (June 2001). This, combined with the fact that she couldn't talk on the phone for coughing (being treated for suspected asthma), was enough for my sister and I to fly out there.

She was eventually diagnosed with stage IV NSCLC (July 2001) and had to go on 6 litres oxygen 24/7. :shock: Dad didn't recognize any of the family and was becoming quite paranoid. Since neither my sister or I lived close, he was placed on the emergency list for nursing home placement.

Mum deteriorated rapidly - within 2 weeks, she passed away. Her memorial service was the day after Dad's admission to a nursing home.

I realize this happened some time ago, but I'm still trying to come to grips that I was so worried about Dad, I never thought Mum could be the one that was so sick.

Kathleen

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Kathleen,

I did the same thing. I lived 600 miles away from my mom and she had been coughing for almost a year. I always got frustrated with her when I would call and she would cough and I would always say "Mom why dont you go to see the doctor" she did after a while and for but there was never a dx. of lung cancer. What sucks is she had been treated for hyper thyroid disease for 3 years and routinely had nuclear tests and no one ever cought the massive tumor growing in the center of her chest. :evil:

well this past christmas she lost her voice so I came home and took her to the doctor myself on my vacation. she was treated for pneumonia and sent home. 7 weeks later...no better...back to the doctor 3 times before a chest x-ray and blood work were taken and BAMM hello...lung cancer which had been there for the better part of a year. I quit my job, and moved back home and today we are still battling this evil monster. Some days its harder than others and I find I am already grieving her.

my point is I never noticed or thought that it could be cancer either. It takes sooo long for LC to show signs that at that point its already late stage and harder to treat. You can only work with information that you know so if your mom never admitted to or even thought she was sick...how could you. especially being 2000 miles away.

I cant help you on how to deal with it cause I dont think I will ever be able to either. I was only 9 when my dad died and that was 26 years ago so I dont really remember allot about it.

Venting helps thats really all I know.

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Kathleen,

I can relate somewhat to your situation. For the past 4 years my family has been totally focusing on my father situation. We thought it was Alzheimer's, but as it turns out it is frontal lobe degeneration. It presents symptions like Alzheimers. I had done tons of research on it and it is now finally becoming real apparent that he has a problem. In March, my mom was diagnosed with Stage IV SCLC. We have been able to get her treatments, but in the meantime, we slacked on any of dad's medical problems. It is really hard to have to try and focus on both parents at once. You're probably feeling guilty for not recognizing your mothers health issues. But you mother was probably so busy trying to care for your father, that she didn't take time for herself. It has to be hard on you, but your mother is in a better place and is not longer suffering. I'm sorry for you loss and I hope things go well with your father. Both diseases are very hard to deal with.

Take care,

Jennifer

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Kathleen, I'm so sorry that you had to face so much about your parents in so short a time. It often happens with a couple that the caregiver dies before the patient. Frankly, I believe they are just worn out. I know the feeling now, and it is one reason I'm on a cruisade to take care of myself by exercising, taking breaks, etc. It sounds as though your dad is not aware of your mum's passing, so in a way he is spared. Sorry you have to grieve for both of them at once. Keep connected here and you will get support. Don

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Thanks for all your responses, I see I'm not alone. I do agree that Mum was probably tired out - she was constantly checking on Dad and since she couldn't drive (and he was very limited), any kind of freedom was out of the question.

My sister was with her in the hospital the morning she died - I was home looking after Dad because he would want to leave the hospital room all the time and go for a walk. Unfortunately, we couldn't let him go anywhere on his own because he would get lost. The worst thing was he thought he was OK and everyone else had problems. It was absolutely awful.

Anyway, my sister sat with Mum for 7 hours on the final day and as she went to get a coffee at 2 a.m., Mum passed. My sister was only gone 5 minutes.

Mum talked about meeting her sister and Mum (both passed) and also told me to tell Dad that dying is "lovely" and "not to be afraid". Very surprising coming from Mum.

Well I've babbled on long enough.

Thanks again,

Kathleen

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Kathleen,

It can be difficult to lose a parent to Lung Cancer. Especially with your Dad ill as well. Please don't beat yourself up about not getting an earlier diagnoses. The what if game can get real depressing. I know, I played it for a while after my mother passed. The pain does not go entirely away but it does lessen over time.

Keeping the Faith,

Mary

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