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Posted: 2/2/2013 8:06:50 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/8/2013 4:20:36 AM EDT by SETXshooter]
I have posted before about my father, likely in response to others threads regarding cancer or dying. He was diagnosed in Spring 2011 with 2 separate stage 1 forms of lung cancer. Radiation in summer/fall. Retest showed new growth in Spring 2012. After 2 rounds of Chemo in summer 2012 and horrible physical/mental reactions Doctor discontinuesd treatment and recommended hospice care.

My brother has been living with him full time and I am 20 minutes away. The decline has been gradual and the chemo induced/accelerated Alz has helped him more than us, until recently.

This past Wednesday he pretty much lost what little strength to stand he had left. His appetite and ability to swallow solids almost completely gone during the previous evening's meal, however it had been declining as well. Hospice stopped all regular meds and brought in the comfort packs/meds. He has no desire to eat. Sleeps 90%+ of a 24hr day. Will wake up for visitors and speak a few words at a time, mostly in response to direct questions or comments. He will have some of his usual physical reactions to specific visitors like rolling his eyes at the aide or nurse, ask for his gun when my friends come in, etc.. States he has no pain at all.

Hospice says he may go a few days to maybe a week or so. Not much change since Wednesday amd no food since Tuesday evening. He drinks maybe 2 - 3 glasses of water a day.

Is this what dying really looks like?

Wes

PS - We can discuss anything at all in this thread and I will probably walk myself through my life with him as well.
Link Posted: 2/2/2013 8:07:57 PM EDT
Yes.
Link Posted: 2/2/2013 8:09:17 PM EDT
My grandpa died pretty quick from cancer. 2 weeks or so. Put off the doctors as long as he could, the salty old bastard. Korea vet. Yeah, that's what it looks like, in slow-motion at least. Sorry man.
Link Posted: 2/2/2013 8:11:18 PM EDT
Yes it is. Stay strong for your family if you can.
Link Posted: 2/2/2013 8:12:15 PM EDT
That's rough to watch. My grandmother went the same way, in our house with a full time nurse. It's good that he's as comfortable as possible.
Link Posted: 2/2/2013 8:12:40 PM EDT
With cancer, and all the poison they shove in your body to try to "kill" it, yes, that is what it does to you.
Link Posted: 2/2/2013 8:13:33 PM EDT
As terrible as it is... at least you've had time to say goodbye, make peace if needed, and come to grips with the inevitable.

We've been through something very similar here.
Link Posted: 2/2/2013 8:14:03 PM EDT
Yes, my mom died from liver cancer 11 years ago. 1 month from diagnosis to death. Not to sound morbid, but you will notice the eyes start to yellow as things start to shut down. I was not present when mom passed, but my sister was and it was not a pleasant thing to see. I can only hope your father passes peacefully.
Link Posted: 2/2/2013 8:14:24 PM EDT
This is it, I've seen it play out once with my best friend's Grand father, his parents asked me to be there for support. Those hospice people are pretty damned accurate. I don't wont to go out like that my self, but I guess most people would be grateful to have family with them when the times comes.
Link Posted: 2/2/2013 8:15:28 PM EDT
I am trying to be strong. I knew it was coming, just didnt know how soon. Brother called me at work on Wednesday and I cried. I guess hearing the end is beginning caught me by surprise. I go by and stay for however long I can and try to help my brother get some relief. When stronger signs appear I surely will stay 24/7.

Wes
Link Posted: 2/2/2013 8:16:16 PM EDT
Yep My Grandma lost her battle to cancer last year, and her last week or two sounded a lot like what your Dad is going through.
Link Posted: 2/2/2013 8:16:18 PM EDT
Yes, we lost my dad to cancer 7 years ago. Passed at home, had not eaten for about a week. Pain meds help a lot. Prayers sent.
Link Posted: 2/2/2013 8:18:09 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Bassman2:
As terrible as it is... at least you've had time to say goodbye, make peace if needed, and come to grips with the inevitable.

We've been through something very similar here.


Agree
Link Posted: 2/2/2013 8:18:21 PM EDT
He's dying and it's his will. It's just his time. Visit and recall your favorite memories with him and most of all, tell him you love him and that it's ok, he can go.

God bless
Link Posted: 2/2/2013 8:19:00 PM EDT
And people think it is hard to quit smoking... Dying of cancer is an awful thing. Prayers sent for your father and family.
Link Posted: 2/2/2013 8:19:00 PM EDT
Yeah, I wish things will turn around for you.
My gf went through the same thing recently with her mom.
You have our prayers stay strong!!!
Link Posted: 2/2/2013 8:19:19 PM EDT
Some go slow enough, and you get to hold their hand, and say goodbye.
My father was not granted such opportunity.
.
Link Posted: 2/2/2013 8:20:37 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/2/2013 8:21:15 PM EDT by gmtmaster]
Originally Posted By SETXshooter:
I have posted before about my father, likely in response to others threads regarding cancer or dying. He was diagnosed in Spring 2011 with 2 separate stage 1 forms of lung cancer. Radiation in summer/fall. Retest showed new growth in Spring 2012. After 2 rounds of Chemo in summer 2012 and horrible physical/mental reactions Doctor discontinuesd treatment and recommended hospice care.

My brother has been living with him full time and I am 20 minutes away. The decline has been gradual and the chemo induced/accelerated Alz has helped him more than us, until recently.

This past Wednesday he pretty much lost what little strength to stand he had left. His appetite and ability to swallow solids almost completely gone during the previous evening's meal, however it had been declining as well. Hospice stopped all regular meds and brought in the comfort packs/meds. He has no desire to eat. Sleeps 90%+ of a 24hr day. Will wake up for visitors and speak a few words at a time, mostly in response to direct questions or comments. He will have some of his usual physical reactions to specific visitors like rolling his eyes at the aide or nurse, ask for his gun when my friends come in, etc.. States he has no pain at all.

Hospice says he may go a few days to maybe a week or so. Not much change since Wednesday amd no food since Tuesday evening. He drinks maybe 2 - 3 glasses of water a day.

Is this what dying really looks like?

Wes

PS - We can discuss anything at all in this thread and I will probably walk myself through my life with him as well.


It is what dying looks like. My dad was the same, passed before he even got to hospice. No cancer, his was pnuemonia. Prayers for you and your family.
Link Posted: 2/2/2013 8:21:13 PM EDT
Both grandparents on my dad's side and an aunt suffered from Alzheimer's, and eventually went on hospice. It's horrible to see. All 3 of them just kind of wasted away toward the end.
Link Posted: 2/2/2013 8:21:40 PM EDT
Usually they go on morphine and then it's straight downhill from there.
Link Posted: 2/2/2013 8:21:53 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/2/2013 8:23:53 PM EDT by SETXshooter]
I wrote his obituary out today, or at least a draft version. His brother is coming tomorrow to add in if need be and maybe help give a few eulogy topics. Its kind of theraputic. I do regret not asking more about his family history but he never really brought it up and acted as though he was not knowledgeable of it.

Wes
Link Posted: 2/2/2013 8:23:21 PM EDT
Yes, it is.

Just make sure that someone, or as many of you as can, are there with him.

In '06 our Mom was suffering from renal failure. Sister and I both lived 100 miles away. My greatest fear was that Momma would pass away alone. I got leave from work and was there in the room with her the last three days, and it's the best decision I ever made. She passed with me holding her hand and talking to her.

I only hope I'm as fortunate when my time comes.
Link Posted: 2/2/2013 8:23:38 PM EDT
Yes! I lost my 19 yr old son two weeks ago today.
Link Posted: 2/2/2013 8:23:54 PM EDT
Sorry to hear...my thoughts are with you. Cancer is a fucking bitch. Taken several of my family members and it basically went down as you described at the end.
Link Posted: 2/2/2013 8:24:18 PM EDT
Originally Posted By mrzip:
Yes! I lost my 19 yr old son two weeks ago today.


Link Posted: 2/2/2013 8:25:01 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/2/2013 8:26:56 PM EDT by Towely]
Yes it is. My grandfather died from cancer and his situation was similar. Had to help him up to go to the bathroom and just about carry him. Towards the end he could barely get out but a few barely audible whispers. My grandmother would sit at his bedside at night and sing to him.

Poor lady would have an easier time carrying a bowling ball in a soaked paper bag than she does carrying a tune but it was still one of the most beautiful, heart wrenching things I have ever witnessed in person. In his last few days he lost his ability to swallow. I would pick him up a small frosty from wendy's every day after school or work and sit with him as he ate it telling him about my day. Not sure if he much cared but he would always come up with some excuse to have me stick around when I announced that it was 2am, I had to be to work at 8, so I really needed to go. Pulled about 3 weeks worth of all-nighters sitting with him.

Then one day he tried to eat a spoonful of frosty my grandmother was feeding him and couldn't get it down. Two days later I arrived home from their house around 3am. By 530am I was back at their house standing over his dead body. Horrible way to go but death is never pleasant.

On the flip side, though, it was a big relief to see him dead. No tears were shed that morning(aside from a few by my grandmother, and from everyone sitting there watching her sing to him one last time). We all sat around and had coffee, shared stories, grandma made everyone breakfast. It was about as close to a party as you can get... but with a dead guy in the room.

Of course dealing with the fuckhead coroner later that day was a whole nother story.
Link Posted: 2/2/2013 8:25:13 PM EDT
Originally Posted By TwoDogKnight:
Originally Posted By Bassman2:
As terrible as it is... at least you've had time to say goodbye, make peace if needed, and come to grips with the inevitable.

We've been through something very similar here.


Agree


Lost my Mom very slowly to cancer, could not believe that could happen to someone like her who through out her life told us many time that she just wanted to die peacefully in her sleep. (Mom was a nurse)
Thoughts and prayers to you my friend.
Link Posted: 2/2/2013 8:25:28 PM EDT
Originally Posted By mrzip:
Yes! I lost my 19 yr old son two weeks ago today.


God grant you serenity. Parents should not outlive their children. I am so sorry for your loss.

Wes
Link Posted: 2/2/2013 8:25:33 PM EDT
Link Posted: 2/2/2013 8:25:46 PM EDT
Originally Posted By mrzip:
Yes! I lost my 19 yr old son two weeks ago today.


Don't even know what to say.
Link Posted: 2/2/2013 8:26:16 PM EDT
Yes. The hospice nurses have a pretty good idea what is going on. They see it everyday.

Sometimes it can go faster than they think. Nurse told us my son had about a week left, so I had made plans to get back up there in two days, got a call later that night that he had about an hour left. Eight-hour drive so I never made it. His sister got there a few minutes after. So stay close and in touch.
Link Posted: 2/2/2013 8:26:44 PM EDT
Originally Posted By mrzip:
Yes! I lost my 19 yr old son two weeks ago today.


Jesus.

This thread is too real.
Link Posted: 2/2/2013 8:27:07 PM EDT
Originally Posted By SETXshooter:
I wrote his obituary out today, or at least a draft version. His brother is coming tomorrow to add in if need be and maybe help give a few eulogy topics. Its kind of theraputic. I do regret not asking more about his family history but he never really brought it up and acted as though he was not knowledgeable of it.

Wes


This is something I hope to rectify in the future. Once they are gone, so are the stories.

Im sorry OP. Prayers for you and your family are on the way.
Link Posted: 2/2/2013 8:27:40 PM EDT
Originally Posted By mrzip:
Yes! I lost my 19 yr old son two weeks ago today.



I am so sorry. It's the worst thing to lose your child. Things are never really the same after.
Link Posted: 2/2/2013 8:28:45 PM EDT
Yes, my dad went thru the same thing with a different cancer.
Link Posted: 2/2/2013 8:29:21 PM EDT
I am so sorry OP. This is death at a slow pace. It sucks watching a family member go through this. I know this may sound morbid but do some reading on what signs to watch for preceding death. It helped me prepare myself and my family because I knew when the end was near. Prayers for you and your family.
Link Posted: 2/2/2013 8:31:04 PM EDT
Yeah. We watched my wife's father go through this 2 years ago April. It wasn't a long process, he was in the hospital for a couple of weeks, and up until the last few days he seemed like he would come out. He never went to the doctor in general, and when he finally did, it was a trip to the ER because his wife made him go because he was spitting up blood. He was a Vietnam vet exposed to agent orange and a lifelong smoker and suffered from COPD for years.

He was exactly as you describe your father in his final days. Weak, no appetite, but generally in good spirits and even cracked a joke every now and then. He suffered a collapsed lung at the very end when nurses tried moving him for some reason. Seeing everything that happened, you should take comfort that your father is at home. Since my wife's father was already in the Hospital, they put him on life support and left it to my wife and her mother to make a final decision. His final hours were prolonged and harder than they had to be, in my opinion, but I know everyone's experience is different.

Shortly after he passed they got test confirmation that he did have advanced lung cancer.

I didn't intend to type out all that, but there it is.

There are some good articles you can find online that will explain the physical and mental changes that you experience as your body dies. Death is a process and not a split second thing. Reading those resources may help you better understand what he needs by thinking over what you would need.

I'm truly sorry for your situation OP.
Link Posted: 2/2/2013 8:33:40 PM EDT
Link Posted: 2/2/2013 8:34:42 PM EDT
Be there with him as much as u can. My wife went thru this exact thing with her mom. She was basically sleeping the entire day near the end and was not communicating at all. Then , out of the blue in the middle of the night she opened her eyes and had about an hour long 100% with it conversation with my wife . It was truly a blessing for her to get that last memory of how her mom really was rather than the sick mom she had been with for the final month or so.
Link Posted: 2/2/2013 8:34:57 PM EDT
Lost my mom the same way in 2005. I hope you and your family peace in this difficult time.
Link Posted: 2/2/2013 8:36:03 PM EDT
Yes.

I have a fair amount to do with a local hospice. Generally speaking, that is exactly what it looks like when someone is getting ready to die.
Link Posted: 2/2/2013 8:36:09 PM EDT
Originally Posted By 1extremeGTO:
I am so sorry OP. This is death at a slow pace. It sucks watching a family member go through this. I know this may sound morbid but do some reading on what signs to watch for preceding death. It helped me prepare myself and my family because I knew when the end was near. Prayers for you and your family.


Hospice brought some pamphlets to our home. BTW, he is at home, don't remember if I said that. He will pass in the house I was raised in. I want to say they bought it in '72.

The hospice pamphlets describe what to look for and expect, I guess I am just having trouble wrapping my mind around this being the process. I have never witnessed dying like this. My mother died from an anuerism in 1997 but she slipped into a coma post op and had a massive stroke. DNR dictated what would go down after that. She donated organs and there were several successful transplants asociated. There was no fade out like this.

Wes
Link Posted: 2/2/2013 8:37:34 PM EDT
Yes, and no.

My mother lingered for a year and a half. My grandfather just dropped dead one day.

I don't think either one is easier than the other.
Link Posted: 2/2/2013 8:37:34 PM EDT
In my experience, yes. His body is slowly shutting down.

Sorry for your loss.
Link Posted: 2/2/2013 8:37:55 PM EDT
Watched my grandmother die in my parents care the same way, from the same thing OP. Pretty much looked exactly like what you described. When she really started declining fast it took about 8 weeks. She had a few "good days" even towards the end.
Link Posted: 2/2/2013 8:38:20 PM EDT
Originally Posted By mrzip:
Yes! I lost my 19 yr old son two weeks ago today.


Link Posted: 2/2/2013 8:39:07 PM EDT
Yes that's what it looks like. I lost my dad in much the same way.
Just remember him passing will be harder on you than on him. I hope that makes sense.
Prayers sent for you and yours from me and mine.
God bless
Link Posted: 2/2/2013 8:39:55 PM EDT
Originally Posted By P08:
Yes, my mom died from liver cancer 11 years ago. 1 month from diagnosis to death. Not to sound morbid, but you will notice the eyes start to yellow as things start to shut down. I was not present when mom passed, but my sister was and it was not a pleasant thing to see. I can only hope your father passes peacefully.


Jaundice is a symptom of liver failure.
Link Posted: 2/2/2013 8:41:08 PM EDT
Hospice has some material you can read that will explain the signs and symptoms of how it will unfold.

I went through this with my mom back in October. It is REALLY TOUGH to sit there with your loved one through the end.

Sorry you have to endure it, but you will be glad you did.

Right after my mom passed i didnt think i would ever remember her as her old self. All i could see when i closed my eyes was her all withered up and pale from not eating or drinking for many days.

Now i hardly remember what she looked like when she was sick. When i think of her now it is as if she was before the illness.

Hang tough!! Be there for your family.
Link Posted: 2/2/2013 8:42:44 PM EDT
Fuck.
About 8 yrs ago, my best friend died of stomach cancer. He was 33 years old. This was a big strong tough kid. He made it through half of BUDS in Coronado. He was about 6 feet, and 210 lbs. When he died, he went about 95 lbs.
Two years ago December, my beautiful mother died from lung cancer. She was way too young, and it took way too long. She suffered through about 2 years of chemo/ radiation. Luckily, we (my brother, sister, and I) were able to be there when she left us, I held her hand as her last breath left her lungs.
Towards the end, she didn't want to eat, and it really bothered my Dad. He said we were STARVING her. Sadly, that's what we were SUPPOSED to do...
Best wishes for a quick and painless end for your Dad, Wes.

Fuck cancer.
Link Posted: 2/2/2013 8:43:05 PM EDT
Originally Posted By SuperJanitor:
Originally Posted By mrzip:
Yes! I lost my 19 yr old son two weeks ago today.


Don't even know what to say.


Same here . It is my greatest fear. Prayers sent.
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