• What can I do to comfort my mother in her time of need? She has stage 4 cancer and her doctor wants to stop giving her chemo.

    Asked by Doie on Sunday, February 3, 2013

    What can I do to comfort my mother in her time of need? She has stage 4 cancer and her doctor wants to stop giving her chemo.

    I'm looking into assisted living or hospice. She has been fighting for 2 years and her body is tired. She thought the chemo was going to cure the cancer even when the doctor told her it wasn't. I just don't know what to say or where to start

    8 Answers from the Community

    8 answers
    • karen1956's Avatar

      Sometimes words aren't necessary....just be with your mom....listen to her....hold her, hug her....go to any doctor appts with her...REgarding assistive living or hospice....does your mother want to stay in her own place? she can move into assitive lviing and still avail hospice resourcs.....hospice might be a good resource for you for information. Please keep us posted on how things are going....

      over 3 years ago
    • carm's Avatar

      I know how hard those conversations can be so I understand your apprehensions and concerns. You do have a few options. First of all, unless her doctor writes a hospice order, you cannot contract with them. If he suggested that option then he has to write the order. You might ask him about palliative care as well. You can also get a second opinion from another oncologist. Maybe this doc does not want to go any further, but I am sure you can find another oncologist that is willing to go a bit farther. As for what you might say to her, If she knows what the doc has said about discontinuing the treatments, then ask her how she feels about that. If she tells you that she had hoped for a better outcome then validate her thoughts by telling her that you understand that, but that is not the case at this moment; so ask her what she would like to do and that you support any decision she will make regarding the issue. Tell her how you feel about this news, but then tell her that the choice is still hers to make. All the onc stated was that he could do no more for her, not that there is no more that can be done. Does she want to keep fighting? If she does then get a second opinion, if not then ask her if she wants the hospice or the home health route. You can always arrange an in home appointment with an organization admissions nurse that has home health/palliative/hospice care within the organization. The admission nurse can explain the options to you once she has made an assessment and spoken with her medical director. Whatever she decides it has to be her choice to make so she is still in control. Best of luck to you, Carm RN.

      over 3 years ago
    • Laureen's Avatar

      I concur with karen1956 & carm completely. Listen to your mom, give her lots of love. Do you have a cancercare or other group near you? They may have suggestions. My heart goes out to both of you. I will keep you both in my prayers.

      over 3 years ago
    • Queen_Tatiana's Avatar

      My heart goes out to you and your family as move through this.

      over 3 years ago
    • FreeBird's Avatar

      Hello. My dad has a stage 4 cancer also, and is currently receiving Hospice care. They have been very good so far. If she stops treatment, I think that's a great way to go. They come to the house, or wherever your mom is living. Best wishes to you and your family .

      over 3 years ago
    • SMT4's Avatar

      These conversations are always so difficult and hard to start. I agree with all the contributors the best way is to comfort your mother and let her know you are here for her during this time of need. Communicating to her that you are her support system and will support her in her decisions of care is an important way of letting her now your there, and giving her control of decisions when she probably feels there is little she can control. As Carm said the doctor wants to stop chemo that doesn't mean other options cannot be investigated or other treatments if that is the direction your mom would like to go. I am a strong believer in second and third and as many opinions or conversations you need to have with a doctor until you are satisfied with the amount of information you have to make an assessment of what your would like to do. Sometimes also hearing information from different resources and perspectives canhelp clear up misconceptions simply by the presentation of the person giving the information.

      You are in my thoughts and prayers!!!

      over 3 years ago
    • JennyMiller's Avatar

      The greatest comfort a mom can have at a time like this is her child by her side. If she has been fighting for 2 years and her body is tired, she may soon decide to give up her fight. However, she may feel that she is letting you down. I would say that she needs to know that you support any decision she makes. If she wants to talk - listen, if she wants to cry -- let her, if she wants to laugh -- laugh with her. If she knows that it is ok with you, she will come to terms with her circumstances and take the path that the Good Lord has intended for her. Hopefully, this will help to bring the comfort and peace that you want for her. My prayers go out to both of you!

      over 3 years ago
    • SueRae1's Avatar

      Be there for her. Let her know how much you love her. Let her vent, and try not to take it personally (I know this hard, my mother died for complications from Alzheimer and the venting and raging were difficult to hear).

      At this point the goal is to make you mother as comfortable and pain free as possible. Do you have family and friends who can support the two of you. Assisted living is probably not the place for you mom at this point, most of them do not have the staff or facilities to handle hospice care. If you are up to it, and you can find a service that provides in home hospice services, that may be a good way to go, if not find the best hospice care facility that is easy to get to.

      over 3 years ago

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