Mums Story


It looks like i am the first here but i hope someone will read this and feel some support.

My mum was diagnosed with terminal cancer in Sept 2006. I chose to become her full time carer and of course set about researching her illness on the web despite her diagnosis and treatment options because i wanted her to live if not forever then obviously the longest time possible for her with treatment.

My mum complained of stomach pain in August 2006. Her Gp sent off for tests but in Sept 2006 she was rushed to hospital by ambulance with severe stomach pains. We were told that day that my mum had a blockage in her bowel and she was rushed to surgery. We were told a couple of hours later it was a tumour which they had removed but she was very poorly. I had a phone call from my mum the next morning to say it had spread to her liver. They had not waited 1 hour till visiting time to give this news to my mum and she was distraught.

The oncologist told my mum that she could have chaemotherapy but it would be in the form of a pump attached to her at all times which would make her very poorly. It may add 3 months to her life expectancy with the pump . Without it she was looking at amaximum of 12 months. my mum decided to go without treatment and feel well for a few months and make the most of her time left.

I persuaded her while she was well to fly to new york to see a top cancer specialist who reaffirmed her diagnosis but it was hard for me to be strong for her and not see a light at the end of the tunnel.

After this my mum decided to stay in her room and switch off from every day life. She was not miserable but some how set apart as though she was waiting for it to happen. It took 6 months. i was with her every day and night monitiring her medication and trying to keep her positive and unafraid. The one thing she said was whatever happened she did not want to go into hospital and so she stayed at home until the end while i monitored her medication.

When she could no longer take tablets orally i spoke to her about having a morphine pump fitted which she was hesitant about because she allways wanted to be in control until the end. She reached a point 48 hours before she died where she was still peaceful but trusted me enough to relax and let me do what was best. In the last 12 hours the pain had increased and i had called a gp to administer a higher dose of morphine at my request. The gp said to me that it would probably send my mum into coma and death but she was so close to it and in pain that i told her to do it. My mum had been in pain and when i explained to her that we were giving her something to ease the pain she took my hand and squeezed it and said thank you you are so good to me thank you. She never spoke again. For  the next 12 hours she slept soundly and then her breath began to change. I sat on the bed and held her untill she passed peacefully. 

sallye sallye
12 Responses Jan 21, 2008

I not only went through this w my mama first, yrs later I became a nurse. Weird story how that happened. It was certainly NEVER my intent! But I did become a nurse & worked oncology. My best skill ( this will sound really weird) was helping patients & family through the death & dying process. In my opinion you did the rt thing. I did the exact same thing a few yrs ago when my daddy was dying from cancer. He was in the hospital, all my family was there laughing & just being family. As soon as I walked in I could tell he was in pain by the furrow in his brow, all though he was not speaking. I asked his nurse to bring him pain med knowing that it might make him pass. She brought it & he relaxed as soon as the med entered his system. It was not his time to go. A couple of hrs later she asked again but I told her he didn't need it & a few hrs later he passed. Had he taken a dose that I requested & died I would have been good w it. No one should be in pain when they don't have to be. Especially in death.
Most families I had a a nurse understood why this was the rt thing to do. Drs & nurses have been doing this for people dying in pain since medicine was invented prob.
I always explained what could possibly happen if another dose was given. All but one family wanted the med given.20 min later after watching their loved one in pain they changed their minds & wanted to see their loved one out of pain so they agreed to have the med given.
None of us want to lose a love one, but in the end if I am in that much pain I hope someone is beside me who loves me enough to let me go.
You could be there for me at my last breath & I would be grateful.
You did the rt thing & I know your mum is grateful for everything you did & the sacrifices you made to take care of her.
I hope your story reaches many others who are going through what you endured w grace.

Dear Kaceylacey I guess i did not read the dates properly, apologies all around, But i am still here and alive and determined to live using the power of positive thinking and living.

Sally, I am not going say much here, I want you to open your mind and read the words i am going to write carefully, Cancer is not an illness to cry about or be sad about or be negative about, you only will hurt your self and the one who have it, i am talking from experience as i am with cancer since august 2008 and i hate it when people start becoming suppy and all sentimantal about oh cancer, death, My dear, with cancer or with flue illness is just an illness, and if you look people who have cancer can feel your emotions and your feelings which makes them more sick, you have to be positive to make the person who have cancer also feel positive, i was told that i time is up january 2009, now we are in may 2010 and i am still here and i will survive and i will become better, do not allow anyone to talk or behave in a negative manner infront of your mom as this will affect her, be strong, be positive and be the normal loving daughter.<br />
Dr. Thain

Thank you for sharing this. I am so sorry to hear about your mother. My own mother is in the advanced stages of multiple sclerosis, and we have had some very near misses in hospital. Like you, I've educated myself on her condition, interacted with all the experts, spent many sleepless nights by her side...I'm heartened to know I am not so alone in this...

I'm glad she passed peacefully.

Thank you for sharing this. I found out last year (September 5, 2008) that I am terminally ill from a neuromuscular disease. I am 33 years old. This is not a place for me to share my story, but I wanted to say that I hope when my time comes that my family is able to hold strong and respect my wishes as much as you were able to respect your Mum's. You did the hardest thing ever asked of you and I applaud you. Your strength and courage and both amazing and inspirational.

M sorry. Thanks 4 sharing this. Thanks alot :)

sallye thanks for your story it just opened the flood gates . it brought it all back i lost my dad at age 7 and mum 17 i am 57 this year and never goes away it make me love and hug my own lot age 29 27 26 23 can be your friend and thank you hugs!!!!!!!!!

Thankyou everyone for your kind thoughts.<br />
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My mum will allways be there for me to inspire me with her courage and dignity .Words fail me to express her bravery and courage and I am lost for words at her strength.

I'm so sorry to hear about your mother, Sallye! That must have been so difficult for you! I hope you can find comfort and support from other people on this website who've gone through similar experiences. Right now, I have a friend who's dying of cancer, and it's so painful to watch, because barely a year ago, they were up and around and living normally. God bless you, Sallye!

Sallye I'm so sorry about your mother. It was very difficult on you I'm sure but so great of you to be by her side until the end and to have her loving last words. I lost my mom and best friend a few years ago and the hurt never goes away but we can honour them by all the taught us and loved us in our lives.

Thank you for sharing this, it is very much a loving tribute of clarity to your mum's journey. I was moved, and also feel it was wonderful for her to have a daughter with such compassion, loyalty and commonsense as yourself.<br />
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My condolences, and respects.