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Not a Happy Ending

1 Dec 2017 19:30

This is a pretty sad story, and you might not want to read it, but I'd appreciate some advice, because it still haunts me. I suppose it's a warning if nothing else.

Mum died a few weeks ago, after a year fighting lung cancer. We struggled all year to make things better but never got very far. GPs consistently under prescribed antibiotics, causing repeated trips to A and E with infections, her tumour was missed on the first scan, her major operation to remove part of the lung didn't go ahead because they found the cancer had pread to lymph nodes, chemo was not an option because of sickness etc.

We struggled on and the latest head ache was pain. They never got a grip on it and we struggled to get ever more fantastic amountss of oxycodone to take the edge. Now mums was obviously at the end of her life, and I was struggling, staying up all night every night to keep her comfortable, when they offered to get the pain under control with steroids and other better methods I took her to hospital, or a hospice ward. They reasured me they would giver her enough pain meds, but were obviously worried I was giving her too much medicine. Well she died in under a week. She actually did well for a few days with steroids, but when the pain came back, they gave her nowhere near enough pain meds, paralyzed her with medazalam (she had agreed to them making her "very sleepy" but neither of us quite realized) and basically kept her semi conscious (she could only have pain meds when she asked for them or was obviously distressed! how the hell can you tell when someone is unresponsive) until death. I can only hope she was out of it for most of it.

I knew it was never going to be that pretty, but I wish I had rescued her once I realised they were sedating her to oblivion, without adequate pain relief. She was in such a poor state and my siblings seemed fine with it. I know this was an exceptional case in that pain seemed unmanagable, but ffs, I wish she had died at home from too many pain meds. How the hell could I let this happen?

Re: Not a Happy Ending

1 Dec 2017 20:31 in response to Sorrowguy

Oh Sorrowguy, I just wanted to welcome you to the forum and say that I'm so sorry to hear about your mum. What an incredibly difficult time this must be for you and your family.

On behalf of all the team here at Cancer Chat please accept our sincere condolences.

Thinking of you at this difficult time.

Best wishes,

Renata, Cancer Chat Moderator

Re: Not a Happy Ending

1 Dec 2017 20:57 in response to Moderator Renata

Thanks. I know people must generally think highly of hospice nurses and hospices, but I just feel devastatingly failed. Ours was an abberant case, but I feel like they wanted to get rid of our constant nagging, or not want the legality of over dosing a patient on their case.

Both of which are painfully misplaced when I just wanted my mother to die in relative peace. There was an on call doctor who said if he had cancer he would take anything he got his hands on. I guess my experience is in extreme situation of distress you cannot rely on standard medical practise, but hould seek a sane doctor. Agony is unnaceptable.