Together we will beat cancer


End of life mother dying in hospice

23 Nov 2017 15:01

my 65 yr old mother diagnosed with lung cancer metastasised to 5 cancers and a lesion in the brain collapsed with a stroke and she was refused hospital admittance while having a break in between chemo sessions in the Uk while in their holiday home in Bulgaria, instead mom was taken to a newly opened hospice.  Mom has been here for 7 weeks, the language barrier is difficult at times and mom is in so much pain in her head, throat and arms.  She hasn't eaten for @ 30 days and sips water or Fanta lemon/orange.  Constantly on a drip, injections, oral meds and a driver.  Moms veins are collapsing and the director says he can't always give her drugs as he says he has given too many and it's really difficult to see mom suffering and we keep asking for help and the director said today he cannot give more drugs and that he is not a murderer! So sad that mom had to hear him say this in front of her and our only concern is that mom is comfortable and not suffering.  This director said 5 weeks ago that she only had a month to live and I understand that it's only a guideline and mom is in the hands of god but I just wonder if moms pain can be managed better? 

Re: End of life mother dying in hospice

23 Nov 2017 19:58 in response to Carersue


So sorry to read about your Mum's situation, You might want to repost under Ask a Nurse. 

I'm guessing your Mum's unable to claim on travel insurance to repatriate to the UK via Medevac?

I'm not an expert but friends in a similar situation with collapsing veins have benefited from having a PICC line fitted. This made it easier for drugs to be administered. 

Best wishes


Re: End of life mother dying in hospice

24 Nov 2017 10:29 in response to Carersue

Hi Carersue and thanks for posting on our forum.

I am very sorry to learn about your mother’s situation. This must be an extremely difficult time for you all.

It can take time to get the right balance with pain control. In circumstances like this your mom’s medication may require quite a lot of adjustment, changing to a different drug or even giving it in a different way (like for example a drip, by mouth or even by a patch).

The people usually involved in controlling cancer pain are experienced palliative care doctor and nurses and you can read about these here. You mentioned your mom is in the care of the director. I wonder if this is the same as a palliative care doctor, it sounds like it from what you have described, but I can’t say for sure. If this isn’t the case you could ask if they could refer her to one.

It sounds like you have tried to talk to the director and I wondered if you maybe need to speak to them away from your mum. I am not sure if it will be helpful, but we have a section about pain on our website at this link that includes information about pain control. But it is written for people in the UK.

You also mentioned that there is a language barrier, I wonder if they can get an interpreter involved to help with communication. Or get some visual aids to help your mom communicate with the hospice staff. 

I’m sorry I haven’t been able to be more specific, but hope this has been of some use. I am not sure if you are contacting us from abroad, but you are more than welcome to get back to us if you have any further questions. If you prefer to speak to a nurse then you can call us on 020 3469 8355 (this is the number if you are from abroad). If you are in the UK then we have a freephone number 0808 800 40 40. We are here from Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm.

Best wishes