Terminal cancer

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My mum has anal cancer unfortunately we were told it was incurable as it had spread.

She has been in and out of hospital with pain, infections, just seems like every week my mum has had to deal with something new.

We were told by her gp she was entering her final stages of life 3 weeks ago. She is at home, she is on so much morphine and couple of other medicines all she has done the last 2 weeks is sleep. The last few days she can't really move, hold her cup, etc. The last 24 hours she has been more awake but she doesn't seem like she is there she will stare at the ceiling or us but she looks right through us. One minute we get an 1 word response than next nothing. She now is trying to feel different things with her hands she will pull the bed cover up than back down, again feeling round for things, she grabs our hands and lifts them up and puts them down. But last 12 hours she seems like she is talking to someone, she told my brother he had to go to a garage, and told us we have to do what normal, then she said to me she assumes someone is deceased. It's a quiet voice so you can't always tell what she saying. Me and my brother were talking and she shouted out pardon and closed her eyes again.

I have read this can happen days before they pass, then someone said it can last a long time. I love my mum but hate seeing her like she is. We told her she needs to let go and find her mum and dad, she always said she doesnt want to live if she was bed bound and in pain. I dread my phone going in case it's my brother who lives with my mum, I know noone knows how long they have left, I wish we knew whether days or months. 

  • Oh Stitch 0206

    My heart goes out to you and the others in your family.  I wish I could say some meaningful words that could take away some of the pain in watching someone very near and dear to you approaching the end of their life.  But I can't.  All of what you are saying is painfully familiar and it sounds, from what you say, that she is not in pain but is going through some of the confusion that can accompany the various powerful drugs that are administered to help her and keep her comfortable.

    I would suggest that the team in charge of her care are kept informed of everything that is happening so that they keep on top of her medication to ease what she is going through.

    And it will be a huge comfort to her, in her lucid moments that you are there beside her and listening, even though what she says doesn't make sense.

    You, your family and your Mum are in my thoughts.

    Irene xx

  • Thank you for your kind words. My mum had a nurse go in every day as she has got 2 syringe drivers and the gp phones daily. She doesn't seem in pain, she just been on and off talking since last night waving her hands around, pulling at the bed covers. I would love to know what she is on about sometimes. 

  • Oh Stitch, my heart is heavy for you and your family. If she likes music play her favorite songs and hold her hand. Talk to her and let her know you're near.

    It is so hard watching our loved ones especially our Parents in this state. I know from experience with my Mom,  if she's not eating or drinking it won't be long.

    Heartfelt Thoughts and Comforting hugs for you and your family during this difficult time, Theresa

  • Thank you

    She hasn't eaten for the past about 6 weeks. She takes a drink couple of times a day but not much. I actually sat for a whole morning with her listening to queen as that was her favourite band. I just want her to be at peace now

  • Stitch, Is your Mum on a feeding tube? Six weeks is a long time without nutrition. 

    I Praying for peace for your Mum and comfort for you and your Family. 

  • Oh, Stitch, my heart is cracking wide open for you. I ushered both my parents and in-laws to the edge over the last few years, and I know how exhausting, confusing and just plain weird it can get.

    However much the mind is ready to move on, the body fights for life with such tenacity, even through a situation like this. It's SO hard to watch. 

    All you can do is hold the space for her, stay on top of the meds etc (take notes, in your stress and exhaustion your memory WILL play tricks on you) and keep her as comfortable and surrounded by peace and love as you can manage. 

    And take care of yourselves and each other too. This is prime time for over-extending yourself.

    We're here when you need us.



  • Hi 

    No she doesn't have a feeding tube

  • Thank you

    She has 2 syringe drivers so meds are now sorted. She on the dose she needs so there is no pain. 

    We try to engage with her when she is talking, even though she doesn't really respond to us.  It's so hard seeing her like she is, she always been so strong, stubborn and ready to take the world on. Now lying there that's not my mum,  it's like a whole new person, even when we hold her hand or engage with her she carry on talking as if we are not there.

    I know she will know that we there even if we don't get a response, etc. I just wish I could help her move on as much as it would hurt me she needs to find peace 

  • I’m so sorry you & your family are going through this right now  , my heart breaks for you all. We’ve just recently lost my lovely dad (10th May, not cancer related) he was placed on end of life care on the Tuesday & passed on the Friday morning. Unfortunately we didn’t really have time to get everything organised to get him home so he passed in hospital & he was fully aware what was happening up until the end which was really difficult for us all but we were warned by his Dr’s that he would possibly become increasingly confused. We left my dad at 7pm on the Thursday evening, he was ok although his breathing wasn’t great & we were called by the nurse that was caring for him overnight at 5am the following morning to say his breathing had changed & if we wanted to be with him to come, unfortunately he passed before we got there & the only regret I have is that I wasn’t there holding his hand when he left this world. I went to bed the night before my dad passed & prayed for his swift passing & my prayers were answered & I’m sure you’ve been doing the same. 

    I wish I had some advice that would make this transition easier for your dear mum & you & your family but the truth is I don’t. My nan passed away at my mum & dads house, she hated hospitals, she was in bed with kidney failure for a week before she passed & a bit like your mum she was in & out of consciousness & rambled about things we didn’t really understand but what was clear was during the day or two before she passed she spoke of her brother John (my nan was one of 13 children & John had passed many years before her) it was as if he was sat in the room with us & I believe he was, I like to think he’d come to show her the path on her next journey. She also spoke of a couple of other relatives that lived in Ireland, where she was from, that were supposedly coming over to visit, & in the months following her passing sure enough these two people did come to visit us. 

    I do hope your mum finds her peace soon, stay by her side as this will be of huge comfort to you in the weeks/months to come. My thoughts are with you all right now, take good care of each other. 


  • Thank you 

    I'm so sorry you didn't get to be with your dad, it's what I'm dreading, my brothers will be with her as they live with her but I can only go in weekdays when kids are at school. 

    I don't this to carry on for her any more, she become so unsettled, tugging at her bed sheets, has a good natter to herself, I want her to go in peace. I just hope for her sake this doesn't go on for months.