Ovarian cancer - end of life symptoms

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Ovarian cancer - end of life symptoms

by rohit.new on Tue Jan 22, 2019 06:46 AM

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Dear friends,

I have been involved in care-giving for a dear friend (42 years old) who is in the "last stages" of her battle with ovarian cancer. She was detected with Stage IV carcinoma ovary in Dec 2017 and has gone through extensive chemotherapy and surgery. However, the disease is progressing and doctors have declared her as chemo resistant and there is little that can be done. 

We are now in the care-giving stage where we are unsure of how to manage the symptoms and what more to expect. Because of intestinal obstruction, she has been completely on IV fluids since 9 weeks now (not even water). A naso-gastro tube has been inserted to keep sucking out fluids produced in the abdomen. Despite the tube, there are 5 to 6 episodes of oral vomiting every day. In the last couple of weeks, we have notices swelling in her legs and the docs say it is because of edema. 

What I would like to know from friends here is about best practices to follow, what more to expect and any advice on managing her symptoms. Mentally, she is rattled like hell and has been asking us to let go of her and stop all support. I thank you in advance for your replies.

RE: Ovarian cancer - end of life symptoms

by PunkyD on Thu Jan 24, 2019 12:36 PM

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Dear rohit.new ,

I don't know if I can help you, but I wanted you to know that someone read your message (and maybe many others) and I'm here to listen, if nothing else. 

I am so sorry that you are going through this with your friend. I know it's very difficult to watch someone nearing the end of his/her cancer journey. I was with my Mom and father in law until the end of their journey. 

Does your friend have family? Is hospice involved?  They can be a very big help, giving you vital information on how to help your friend, relieve her of pain and suffering and what to expect. 

Is your friend still mobile? I wish your friend peace. 

I'm here if you want to talk.

Punky

RE: Ovarian cancer - end of life symptoms

by miraclegirl69 on Thu Jan 24, 2019 06:39 PM

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I agree with everything PunkyD said... Especially about Hospice.  They are Earth's angels and allow the person to pass on with painless dignity. Highly recommend she, her doctor, family or HCS contact them immediately...  Love to you all.

PeggyS

RE: Ovarian cancer - end of life symptoms

by Cnewman888 on Wed Jan 30, 2019 08:02 PM

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Hi there - First of all - I'm so sorry to hear about your friend, but she is so blessed to have a friend like you in her life.  42 is SO young.  My mother is 83 and is also terminal with ovarian MMMT cancer.  I've been here with her for the past 4 months - hoping for the best, but having to cope with reality.  We are trying one last ditch effort at a different and reduced chemo to prolong life.  No idea if it will work or not.  There is some paperwork that may or may not be helpful to you - it's called "5 Wishes" - mom's pallative care dr team made us aware of it.  It helps you to talk to your friend and find out what she wants and allows you to fullfill her wishes at the end.  Mother Teresa ran a hospice in Wash DC and this was drawn up to help patients and families plan ahead and cope.  We have gone through it with my mom- and also my 88 year old dad who is fine now - but dementia issues indicate discussing this now is a good idea.  Anyway - I just thought it may be helpful.  Other people have mentioned hospice help and I know that I am calling them the minute we are no longer pursuing life prolonging treatment (I was afraid it was going to be yesterday - but they let us get the chemo - a reduced dose of Gemzar and Aviston).  So we are still fighting the fight.  I'm afraid though - I know the end is coming and I also wonder what the last stages will be . . .   I hope you and your friend are coping and finding comfort that you are not alone.  Thoughts and prayers are being sent for you.  All the best, Cheryl

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