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End Stage Cancer and Alzeimers

4 Oct 2017 18:12

My 80 year old mum has Ovarian Cancer and Alzeimers.  She has been battling both for 3 years but the cancer has returned to her lymph nodes in her neck and she is embarking on further chemo as without her consultant advised she would have about 18 months.  It is hard as my sister has power of attorney and makes all her decisions and we are both worried having chemo will just mean living longer in a scary world with all the symptoms of alzeimers around her but during a more lucid moment my mum aggreed to chemo so we are going with that and supporting her.

She is due to start it in a months time but in the last month she has rapidly deteriorated, she has lost weight, has no appetite and only nibbles an occassional biscuit.  The Oncologist advised my mum should go in a specialised care home for respite during her chemo as she will need 24/7 supervision (she forgets her meds and even that she has cancer at times)

 

My thoughts are confused, are we doing the right thing going forward with this chemo, if it means she has to leave her home and cat for the final days/weeks/months of her life.  If she has only got a little time left anyway isnt the quality of it more important, I feel confused and guilty and also could the appetite and weight loss be connected to the Alzeimers rather than the cancer...any advice appreciated (my first post)

 

 

 

End Stage Cancer and Alzeimers

4 Oct 2017 19:34 in response to painfree

Hi there ... my big sis has Alzheimer’s too ... so can empathise... and how cruel to get cancer on top .. It must seem overwhelming to you and your sister right now .. my heart goes out to you ... 

i know what I would do but you must weigh everything up with your sister ... the only advice I can give is, if someone came to you in this situation , how would you advise them ...  try to stand outside your world and look in ... sometimes we can’t see a way forward when it surrounds us ... it’s not going to be easy whatever you decide ... 

please keep in touch and wer all here to hold you up and support you ... big hug Chrisie xx

End Stage Cancer and Alzeimers

20 May 2022 00:07 in response to Chriss

Thank you Chrissie, I missed this reply.  I wanted to update you as you were so kind to respond to me.

My mum did end up going into a specialist care home, she went to an excellent place in Henfield where she was given dedicated care, my sister and I visited often, but sadly my mum died in May 2018, she continured to eat and drink less, which the doctor could have been caused by the lymph node in her neck or the Alzeimers, the doctor advised it would be cruel to put her on a drip, my mum died a couple of days after the Royal wedding, with my sister and me by her bedside.  

It was a peaceful passing and my mum breathed a little heavily for a while and then stopped, this was 4 years ago now, but I have found myself looking back to see if I can offer any support to others going through a similar situation.

I hope you are well Chrissie xxx

 

End Stage Cancer and Alzeimers

24 May 2022 07:01 in response to painfree

Hi there, 

 

I am sorry to hear about your mum but I appreciate you sharing your story.  My FIL has had a stroke as well as stomach cancer and so couldn't have chemotherapy before his gastrectomy.  He was offered it after but he probably has early vascular dementia and physically cannot cope with it.  The surgeon was very good and agreed with us which took a weight off our mind.  

It just seems such a big responsibility making decisions for someone else when it's life or death but like your mum we do not want a longer,  poor quality last remaining few years for him. 

These stories really help you to not go crazy.  Thanks and I'm sure your mum appreciated everything you did for her.  Well done.  

Gigi