Avatar universal

Terminal condition - options

After 3 years of my Mom's fight with ovarian cancer, it got to the point when doctors are lost and have no any suggestions for her treatment.
She is currently in the hospital and her condition is really bad. There is no more hope for relief of her condition and we are taking her home.

I have to admit it is pretty scary, because I am not sure how I will be able to help her at home. I know she will be in pain no matter what, but will I be able to ease that pain for her? We will have hospice people coming once a week to help, we'll get feeding line, IV etc. But she is all bloated with ascites, she can barely breath. She is not able to eat any more because tumor grew all over her stomach and other organs, her bile ducts are blocked and bile is drained through outside tube.

I guess what I am trying to make sure is that we considered all the options. My understanding is:
- she can't stay in hospital because they can't offer anything any longer
- there is nursing home but she doesn't want to go there and family fully supports it. I will be working from home for next few month, so I will be by her side during work hours and my dad will take over for the night time. We think it is better then nursing home, however not sure how long this can lasts if she has hard time to breath/eat...
- I have heard some people were given Morfin so they do not feel pain. How effective is it to relief the pain? Is it even legal?
- she keep asking for sleeping pill, and from what I know it is not an option.
- palliative care doctor will prescribe her some other meds, but not sure they will work at this point. She is about to have her ascites drained, this is how bad it is

Anything I might have missed? Is there something else to bring at least some comfort during her last days ?


I really would like to know
8 Responses
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155056 tn?1333638688
I am so sorry that it has come to this for your mom and the rest of your family.  It is alot for all of you to take on caring for her at home....how very lucky she is to have family around that truly cares.  Have you spoken with the social worker at the hospital?  Are there programs possibly available through the church or local American Cancer Society that can help with the care giving?  
Her pallative care doctor should be able to prescribe medications that will help your mother rest as comfortably as possible.
May your mothers last days be filled with love and little pain.
We are here to support you in anyway we can.
Helpful - 0
488478 tn?1275022517
I know exactly what you are going through, and I sympathise completely.  My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.  

My mum passed away 2 months ago from this terrible desease.  She was in a hospise but that's how she wanted it.  We visited all the time, she was never alone, but she really needed to be there.  We couldn't have coped otherwise.  They kept her comfortable giving her pain relief (morfine), giving her baths and generally taking care of her, leaving us free to put all our efforts into making her feel loved.

If you are going to take care of her at home, get as much help as you can from her doctor and the Cancer Society in your area. She will probably need oxygen, pain relief and draining tubes, more or less contsantly.  

Maybe it will help you to know that when my mum went into coma, in the last 10 days of her life, she seemed to be comfortable and free of pain.  She passed away very quietly and calmly with all her family by her side.

It is good that you have family, because you will need each other's support during this very stressing time.  Keep strong and try to take care of yourself.

If you need to talk about anything, or if I can help you in any way, please, do not hesitate to contact me.  I will be praying for you.

God bless you
Helpful - 0
282804 tn?1236833591
I truly am sorry your mom is not winning her battle.  The very best you can do is as suggested above.  Avail yourself of ALL of the help you can possibly get.  It is very hard for one person to take care of someone that is that ill.  It is too emotionally draining for you or your father.  If you mother is not sleeping I would ask her Dr why some sort of sleeping aid isn't available even if it isn't a sleeping pill.  Xanax for instance is an anti anxiety pill that would also help her sleep.  I understand that "sleeping pills" interfere with your breathing ability so maybe that is why they don't want to give her any.  Hospice care should be helpful with her care. You should see if they could come more often and I agree that you should have some help from your church or the ACS to have people just to sit with your mom if nothing else.
My FIL passed away in Feb from pancreatic cancer and hospice was wonderful.  We could not have done it without them.  He was pretty independent up until the end, but they did give morphine for the pain and we had to help administer it, but it was only for two weeks.  That too was a blessing.  
I hope your family finds some comfort in being able to be with her and each other as you all go through this emotional time.
Helpful - 0
315 tn?1230998574
I am so sorry that this is happening to your Mom as well as to your family.  Having the ascites drained will help sooo much.  I have a problem with ascites and I feel 100% better after they remove it.  This fluid is pressing up against not only her stomach but her large and small bowel. I was in extreme pain until they removed the fluid.  Morphine is legal and is quite effective for pain.  It's side effect is respiratory decline...so I'm sure once they get her on the proper dosage as well as drain the ascites,she'll sleep.  I think the ladies above had some great suggestions as far as getting some more help in for you and the family. I'll keep your sweet Mom in prayer~~~~Joanne
Helpful - 0
187666 tn?1331173345
I'm sorry you're facing this now. My Dad is in the same position (obviously not ovarian cancer but cancer all through his body). The hospice nurse and volunteers are terrific. My Dad's hospice nurse will do whatever it takes to keep him comfortable and drugs are the number one defense. My Dad is groggy and falls asleep all the time from the meds but that's OK. Hospice usually sends a volunteer to your house to sit for 4 hours so you can get out and do errands or just unwind. Please take advantage of that. I don't know why sleeping pills would not be allowed. My Dad uses Ambien. Morphine is available to him as needed. He also has his oxygen tanks in the house now (he not only has the lung cancer spread all over but has severe heart failure).

You're doing all the right things but it's going to be a bumpy road emotionally. I know. . . .
Helpful - 0
415684 tn?1257329318
Nothing much to add, except I will keep you and your family in my prayers that Mom does not suffer much and the meds can control her pain and she can rest.  Judy
Helpful - 0
348243 tn?1213139885
Im so sorry you are going through this.My mum passed away from this awful disease 10 months ago. My mum suffered with ascities and she had a bowel blockage. Her symptoms got so severe that it wasnt possible for her to stay at home. Within a few hours of being in the hospice she was more like her old self. They got the pain under control (by using a morphine pump into her arm, she had morphine at home orally but kept being sick) and the sickness sorted too. She passed away a week after entering hospice.  
Spend as much time as possible with you precious mum. I would do anything for one more cuddle from mine.
I wish you lots of strength and love to get through this very tough time. Godbless, Sam x
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
As far as pain, don't think Morphine is 'it'....there are many options.  Home or inpatient hospice services and doctors can prescribe different types and options.  One thing that worked for my mom (even during treatment stages) was a portable PCA pump with Dilaudid.  This went intravenously three or four times an hour with the option to give a 'breakthrough' or 'relief' dosage when the pain broke through.  

There are also patches and other ways to give pain, but I know mom got the most and only relief with the above drug and option (dilaudid is from morphine but is 20x more powerful).  

All I can say is *never* allow them to say there is nothing else they can do for pain...that's a pure lie.  All hospice services should have some sort of 'pain specialist' who can prescribe what is needed...that's the whole point!
Helpful - 0
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