• Anyone else know of roller coaster ride of symptoms nearing to what I believe to be 1st stage of dying process and what is your experience?

    Asked by Lost904 on Wednesday, May 23, 2012

    Anyone else know of roller coaster ride of symptoms nearing to what I believe to be 1st stage of dying process and what is your experience?

    One moment my dad looks like its nearing the end, the next day he seems like he could last another month or so. He is such a fighter and he is so strong. My mom and I are confused, sad, angry, tired and worried. I want to know if anyone else has been through this and what to expect. If you would have asked me last week how Dad's doing..I would have told you he looks like he is on his death bed. This week, I would tell you...I don't know, ok I guess...he's hanging in there. This is constant and Mom and I are not sure what to make of it. The Hospice Nurse thinks it could be before the end of the month which would only give us another week with my Dad. That observation seemed correct last week but this week he looks better..(not better by any means but better than the week before). He always likes going for rides in the car with my Mom but NEVER would go with anyone else. Not even me (his daughter) or his close friend. But out of no where after looking like he was nearing the e

    13 Answers from the Community

    13 answers
    • RuthAnne's Avatar

      I would suggestion reading: "Death: The Final Stage of Growth" by Elisabeth Kubler Ross. Although written for people who themselves are dying, it has good information in it.

      over 4 years ago
    • nancyjac's Avatar

      I think in your circumstances, it might be easier for everyone concerned to just take it one day at a time instead of constantly second guessing and trying to calculate how many days or weeks he has left based on some arbitrary idea of what symptoms and behavior constitute being closer to or further from death.

      over 4 years ago
    • MamaFagan03's Avatar

      I was a CNA for 9 years and from my own personal experiences people who are near the end will sometimes get a burst of energy a few days before they pass. They themselves will feel the burst and sometimes try to say that they are feeling better and will maybe want to get up and be active. Please know that this can vary greatly from person to person and it certainly doesnt happen everytime. I totally agree with NancyJac's response......take it one day at a time and love on your dad as much as you can. Also...all the feelings you are feeling are normal.....it is TOUGH. Prayers for you and your family.

      over 4 years ago
    • shauna0915's Avatar

      I just went through this last year with my dad. He was diagnosed April 6th and passed on July 4th. 5 days before he passed, we went to the doctor, went to the store and he drove the scooter all over the place like a kid, went for a special treat then back home. All was good and he was happy. The next day he was tired by seemed okay, until later that night. His belly bloated. We took him to the ER and found his cancer had spread. Over the next few days he went downhill quickly. By Sunday we were giving him liquid morphine every 2-3 hours to keep him comfortable. He was responding with head and hand gestures Monday morning... Monday afternoon he was unresponsive. He passed Monday evening.

      Please follow this link to the Berger Hospice pages and read "As Death Nears". I know everyone is different, but this will help you understand what is happening with your dad. It helped me tremendously. I think it's the one time in my dads entire life he followed a list of steps in order. Sorry, I know it's not funny, but you'd have to have known my dad to understand. I pray for you and your mom to have the strength to get through the coming days, one day at a time, and that you have the strength to let go when it is time...and you will know when it is time.

      If you don't read anything else, read this one page...

      Here's the link:

      over 4 years ago
    • jbrw's Avatar

      I have been on the same journey....my dear brother Michael died last Thursday. He was diagnosed with stage 4 glioblastoma last September, and roller coaster is the right term. He ended chemo in late January, we were told to expect 4 - 6 months at the most. He would have declines, some gradual, some acute, but then rebound, but never to as good as he had been. It's literally a day by day thing. And, yes, the not-knowing is among the most difficult thing you'll ever experience. I got to spend a lot of time with Michael in his last month, just being.....sometimes sitting with him and watching tv, sometimes sitting there while he slept.....no matter what, he knew I was there and that his other fabulous friends were still coming to visit, even if he slept through the visits. Last Monday he took a turn for the worse, but even the hospice nurse thought it would be at least another week. By Thursday, it was clear he had hours. He was surrounded by people who loved him all day, playing his favorite music, talking to him, laughing, crying....and while he couldn't talk, and his eyes were closed, he knew we were there until the very end. My advice is to spend as much time as you can just being with your dad, to take breaks for yourself as you need to, and just love him. Let hospice make him comfortable. He'll know you're there and that he's loved. And isn't that the most important thing?

      over 4 years ago
    • Lost904's Avatar

      Thank you everyone for your responses. I know my Mom and are are not alone (we have family and friends) but it sure as heck feels like we are alone sometimes. I have been spending as much time as I can with him. It is so rough....crazy, unbelievable and its unbearable to know that people have to go through this sort of thing. I keep thinking "Why Dad?" "He's such a good man!".... A lot of good people have to through this too. So I am sad, very sad and I'm also sad for everyone who has to pass through these moments. It's nice to see responses and know that we are not alone. So again...Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

      over 4 years ago
    • Blue's Avatar

      As I now face my own challenges associated with pancreatic cancer, I can share my experience while caring for my mother who died of colon cancer. Hospice was most helpful and we managed the little pain she had with morphine patches, suppositories and, when possible, oral dosage. She slipped away peacefully in her sleep. She talked to people at her bedside who weren't actually there (at least I don't think they were) and saw flowers in landscapes that weren't there. I felt it was important to verbally acknowledge her reality rather than force mine on her.

      over 4 years ago
    • Lost904's Avatar

      Is it possible that someone can be tough enough to hold on until the very end without being completely bed-ridden? Can they seem ok off and on and then out of the blue fall asleep and not wake up? Or does death caused from terminally illness always lead to being bed-ridden for at least a day or so or more?

      over 4 years ago
    • knocks' Avatar

      My husband is going through the same thing with MDS/leukemia. In between crises he feels almost well, except for getting tired more easily than he used to. But he needs transfusions 2x week and all his counts are dropping (red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets). He has been hospitalized twice, first starting on 4/21 for 16 days, and now since last Saturday. They will discharge tomorrow. They are beginning to suggest that we consider discontinuing the transfusions and begin Hospice soon. Even though he feels well, the crises and the dropping counts suggest that he doesn't have much time left. We are trying to take each day as a treasure without worrying about the days before or trying to predict the days to come. It is very hard to tell what things you can control and where you have to just let go, isn't it?

      over 4 years ago
    • Lost904's Avatar

      I am so sorry about everyone's family & friends. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you.

      In response, I just want to be sure that my father does not die alone. I want to be there with him. I have to be at work although my mind is with my father. I can get away with taking a couple weeks off but need to use those couple of weeks when it will count the most (to be by his side as he takes a journey into another life). He's my rock and it plain out sucks that he has to go through this:(

      over 4 years ago
    • Marisa's Avatar
      Marisa (Best Answer!)

      I am so glad to see this question answered by so many people. Lost904, my prayers are with you and your dad during this very trying time. Rollercoaster is the right word for the final stages of life. The man I care for was on his last couple of weeks two weeks ago, but he is rebounding this week. I know that he is as comfortable as possible right now, but I am completely stressed out for the same reason as you are - I don't want him to be alone when he dies. He is running me ragged though. As he struggles to stay connected with this life, he is asking me to run errands or do things that he considers important, like sorting through his t-shirt drawers or writing lists. Sometimes it just drives me crazy, but this is where he is at right now! My friend's progression is not in a straight line by any means.

      over 4 years ago
    • Lost904's Avatar

      Hi Marisa, thank you for your input. I am not happy that anyone has to go through this but I am in sort of a relief I guess you could say that someone else is going through the same type of roller coaster, so I can find someone to help cope. Would you mind if we kept in touch to maybe to compare sort of speak? Maybe guide one another about how our roller coaster ride is continuing?

      over 4 years ago
    • Cash40's Avatar

      My family too has been dealing with a roller coaster ride.. 2 weeks ago my dad was still functioning but saying and doing strange things that made no sense then after 9 days of being like this it's like he decided to come back to us. He said he felt he was dead for 9 days with no memory of that time said he saw several people that have passed away.,he's now been stable for the past 2 weeks with no irrational behavior and is up and about and eating again...we don't know what to make of this we have heard about rally's before death but have never heard of it lasting this long...has anyone else had this kind of experience? My dad has metastatic liver cancer from bile duct and has not had any treatment since March

      27 days ago

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