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How can I accept this is the end ?

10 Sep 2019 07:10

My Nan and grandad took on the role as my mother and carer when I was 3 weeks old. As my mother didn't want me or my brother. She's my mother hidden behind the name Nan. She's been the best thing to happen to me and my brother. We sadly lost my grandad 5 years ago. He had a heart attack in front of the three of us. He was a very sick man. He had a stroke when I was 8 and had to have his legs amputated due to diabetes . His understanding was not great and my grandmother did her best. I know this is not relevant to her cancer but I gues maybe it contributed. Raising two young children and dealing with 2 alchaolic daughters and a sick husband. She never smoked and she never drank. She was diagnosed with lung cancer 5 weeks after my grandpa was put to rest. We had lost a big part of us as a family. I was diagnosed with a rare condition that causes water on the brain and I needed more help to care for myself and was rendered disabled with curviture of my spine. She pushed through and had half the lung removed. She had 2 rounds of chemo and it nearly killed her. So she stopped. She was in remission 4 years and 11 months. She was coming up to a 5 year milestone and the doctors said if she reached it .. it would be a possible cure. That month she lost her voice . We went to the gp and they kept telling us it was larangitius. We waiting 3 months to see a ENT to which they told us she had secondary throat cancer. Me and my brother have been supportive but I've been terrified. They told us that her lung cancer has spread to lymoth nodes in the lung and her throat and she should try immunetheraphy. So mum did. She tried it for 1 month and saw a shrink in her tumors. But her hair started falling out and she got a painful rash so they lowered her dose and she has been stable for a year now. This past few months she's been complaining of side pain and had gone to AnE for a CT to show no sign of growth. Last night she went to AnE and they said there is a shadow on her liver. They weren't sure what it is and forwarded to her oncologist to view this Friday. If it is secondary liver will they take her off immunetheraphy? Is it the end for us ! I've been reading and crying myself to sleep and smiling and being supportive in front of her

 She thinks it will be okay. She goes on holiday for a week in 3 weeks tims. With my brother for 7 days. Do you think she will be alive to see that?. I know no one is a CT scan here or a doctor. I just need some support as we have none. Is the life prognosis for secondary liver cancer really 2 to 3 months !?  Also could a CT shadow be nothing ?

How can I accept this is the end ?

10 Sep 2019 08:11 in response to MermiadTears

Hi there ..

Oh my, I know you put this under @ask the nurses.... but felt I just had to answer ... right now, I'm watching a morning program where they are debating the useless people that are receiving M B Es ... knighthoods ... and lordships who have nearly all failed to do anything worth while in my opinion..

I've just read your nan's journey through life.... and I'm humbled beond words ... if anyone truly deserves to be given an award for bravery and caring it's her ... how lucky you are to have had her in your life .. and how proud she must be of you too .. 

Your nan has been through more then anyone should ever have to go through .. my heart and thoughts go out to you all .. she's a legend ... and I hope with all my heart , you get some more time with her ... I'm a nanny, lucky enough to have an amazing granddaughter that makes me want to see tomorrow too .. so I know how close we can be ...  sending you a vertual hug.... Chrissie ❤ 

How can I accept this is the end ?

10 Sep 2019 18:06 in response to Chriss

Thank you so much. She doesn't deserve this. 

How can I accept this is the end ?

10 Sep 2019 20:12 in response to MermiadTears

Hello, 

I hope my post finds you well. 

I am very sorry about your situation, my father who is 48 was diagnosed with lung cancer and it has been a very traumatising moment of my life. So I can understand your struggle and pain.

Unfortunately, I do not have a medical background, but I can tell you what makes me feel better in terms of coping. But, I think it is best to prepare yourself for the worst, yet hope for the best.

Cancer is deadly, and death is part of life, it is unavoidable and inevitable.

We all will be dead one day, so try to accept this and appreciate life and the time you have with your grandmother, tell her everything you have not and ask the questions you have never asked.

And I will leave you with a quote, I like: 

“To be afraid of death is only another form of thinking that one is wise when one is not; it is to think that one knows what one does not know. No one knows with regard to death wheather it is not really the greatest blessing that can happen to man; but people dread it as though they were certain it is the greatest evil." -The Last Days of Socrates”

P.S. You are not alone!! 

Nina

How can I accept this is the end ?

11 Sep 2019 10:51 in response to MermiadTears

Hello and  thank you for posting a question

I am very sorry to learn about your nan's situation. I  can appreciate that this must be a difficult time for you and your brother.

Until your nan's oncologist has seen the scan and perhaps ordered further tests, it is not possible to know for sure what is wrong.  Unfortunately given your nan's medical history I think that there is a chance  that  it could be a secondary cancer in her liver. But this does not mean that it definitely is as there are benign non cancerous liver conditions that can show up as a shadow on a CT. If this does turn out to be secondary liver cancer, this would be called  disease progression. I cannot say for sure what her medical team would do about this, but they might well stop her immunotherapy treatment. But do bear in mind that there could be a different treatment that can help. However, I don't know for sure if this is an option, Sometimes because all treatments have side effects it is better not to have it and then the medical team can concentrate on symptom control.

So at the moment things are very uncertain, once your nan has seen the oncologist and a plan is in place you may start to feel a little better, although of course not all of the pain and worry goes away.  I suppose it is a matter of getting through as best you can until things are a little more settled. This is very hard. So it is understandable that you feel overwhelmed and so upset and many people in this sort of situation wonder how they are going to get through.

With regards to your nan's life expectancy, I cannot offer you any advice about this because the full details of her situation are unknown.  If it does turn out to be cancer in the liver, some people in this sort of situation might only live a few months while other's will live a lot longer. It depends on general health, how much cancer is in the liver, if treatment is available and how someone responds to it.

With regards to your nan's holiday if she is in reasonable general health right now, things might not change in the next few weeks and there is a chance that she could get away. But in truth I don't know.

You said that you are alone . I don't know if there is a Maggie's Centre near you Unfortunately there are not many of these centres. They offer free practical, emotional and social support for people with cancer and their family and friend's. All you would need to do is turn up at one of the centres and you will find the opening times on the website. You can find  a list of centres on their website If there is not a centre near you a possibility is Maggies online  as this can be helpful for people who do not have access to a centre near them.

The charity Macmillan Cancer Support have a helpline and they can offer a listening ear. There are details of this here.

Lastly do feel free to get back to us or give us a call if you think that it might be useful.   The number to ring is Freephone 0808 800 4040 and the lines are open from 9am till 5pm Monday to Friday.

Kind regards,

Jean