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My mother died 3 weeks after cancer diagnosis

2 Dec 2019 06:33

A few months back i was using this form to gain some information for my own health.  Then my mom got diagnosed and i was using it for her health.  I want to pay it forward and make a post about what happened to my mother.   FIrst of all,  I am in the USA not in the UK.  I knew NOTHING about cancer until this happened.

My mother lives about 20 minutes away from me and was a little hard to deal with at times.  Typical Jewish mother.    A few weeks ago her neighbor called me to tell me that she wasnt breathing right and that i should get her to the Doctor.  After taking  her to the doctor ,  they did a scan of her and found that she had stage 4 lung cancer.  It already spread to her spine and her back.

I admitted my mother the next day to the hosptial because she also had penumonia.    After  getting her into the hosptial and doing a battery of tests,  it was determined that they were going to do a biopsy of the cancer to find out where it was coming from and if it was treatable at all.    They said it would take 10 days for the results to come back.   They could not figure out where the primary source of the cancer was but at this point it really didnt matter.  They just said it was all over.  Whats really strange is,  a year prior my mom was in the hospital for something and i saw the scan from then and it was 100% clean of any cancer.

While we were waiting for the results to see if they could determine the type of cells and get her on some targeted therapy,  she started breathing worse and was in a lot of pain.  Also she was losing a lot of weight.   We put her in an assisted living home.   I was not happy with the care there so either me, my brother or a friend would be in the room with her all waking hours to make sure she was getting the attention and care she needed.   The goal was to get her home once we figured out what the cancer cells consisted of.     Whilile she was in the assisted living rehab,  she continued to get worse until the point where i wanted to send her back to the hosptial.  The pain seemed to get worse as each day progressed and her back hurt more and more.  I could see her becoming thinner and more frail.  They could not do chermo therapy because she was 83. They were going to do some sort of Immuntherapy depending on the results.   Finally the test came back and they said they did not get enough tissue and we were to wait another 7 days for the test to be re-ran.   My mother seemed to be steady bad but not deathly bad until last Thursday.    Thursday night we were told we should oprobably put her in hospice.  They said that they could not manage the pain from the hopital.  Of course they sold us on the notion that she would possibly come out there there.  We did that Thurs night.

Friday came and my brother came to town so i decided to take the morning off from seeing my mom to myself and run some errands, shower,  go to the bank and get my hair cut .  I was mentally drained.   My brother called me around 10 am and told me i needed to get to hospice immediately.   I got up there and I missed her passing by about 5 minutes.  I was int he wrong building lost and she was taking her last breath.   I didnt see her pass, but i did have the pleasure of spending her last 3 weeks with her.  At no point did i tell her she was going to die,  but im pretty sure she figured it out at the end.     Im honestly not sure if this was the right thing,  but i just couldnt break it to my mother that she was going to pass.

cancer is a horrible disease.  I went through my texts messages from my mother going back abou 5 months and i noticed 5 months ago that she was saying her back hurt really bad and i told her she needed to go to the doctor for her back.  But of course i never knew that she had probably cnacer because she was always complaining.   THey tell me that even 5 months back if she said her back hirt it was probably already in her bones already anyway.   I cant dwell on things i could of down,  I was drive myself.      We flew her to NJ to bury her next to my dad who passed in 1982 when i was 15.   I read that most people dont survive lung cancer because usually by the time its diagnosed,  its already too late.     Literally from the time they told us she had cancer until the day of passing it was 3 weeks.

Im unsure why they still cant figure this stuff out.  All the money and resources that go into research on this disease and everyone still just looks at you and shrugs their shoulders when it comes to this.

The only positive things about this is that my mother is now with my father,  im talking to my brother again after 15 years,  and about 20 friends that i never met before in person ( from social media)  all met in NY for her funeral.   

My mother died 3 weeks after cancer diagnosis

2 Dec 2019 12:43 in response to thyroidguy

Hi I'm ever so sorry to hear of your loss. Thought you would be interested in my mums story which is very similar 

My mum in April this year started to complain of back pain which physios and drs said nerve damage.  They advised X-ray. But mum terrified of drs put it off. She has always had a terrible fear of cancer for about 50 years.  In the end after about 4 months she did go as in so much pain .  Whilst waiting for results she got an awful chest infection so drs gave her antibiotics but it was not improving. So She got more antibiotics as infection not clearing.  Anyway xrays came back all clear apart from chest infection.  Dad found mum two days later unconscious due to a pleural effusion.  They drained her lungs put her on oxygen therapy and pumped her with antibiotics.  They Took biopsy to find which bacterial infection she had as they said she had a virus  It came back that actually it was lung cancer which had metastasised with unknown primary. Anc she was far too ill to be tested further. They told her on a Saturday she had terminal cancer. But we did not tell how how long she had left. The drs told us a week to a few short weeks. She actually died only two days after her diagnosis. It was so quick. She was only really poorly for about 3 weeks. But the bad back was for 4 months. She had a bad bout of flu in February. Then another virus in March. So I wonder if that was the start of it. But we don't know what primary cancer it was. 

it's a real shock and I still can't fathom what happened. But I'm glad she didn't know she had cancer til right to the end. She would never have coped with that fear bless her

My mother died 3 weeks after cancer diagnosis

3 Dec 2019 02:49 in response to Beach45

that is crazy how similar.     I read online that the average amount of time is about 7 months without treatment.  So when your mom ( and my mom)   were complaining of the back pain,  i wonder if that was the start of the cancer.    My mom had a scan done on her back and it did show back issues but the cancer didnt show up on that.    But i was told that if she was having back pain,  even if it did show up on that it would of been too late to get it under control because it means it was already in her back.   Im not sure what is worse,  having less time to live,  or more time with a ton of pain and issues.   

My mother died 3 weeks after cancer diagnosis

3 Dec 2019 13:35 in response to thyroidguy

I'm in the same two minds.  Mum had an X-ray 3 weeks before she died and all it showed was the chest infection. I keep thinking if we had taken her 4 months earlier it probably wouldn't have shown anything then either. And we would then have asked for an MRI possibly. If that showed the cancer at that point would it still be terminal and untreatable?  Probably as it was more than likely in her bones. And then instead of only knowing for two days she had cancer she would have known for several months.  My mum would have never coped with that.  She had a terrible phobia of death and cancer.  I know none of us relish the thought of it. But her fears consumed her. Bless her heart. .