Hard times and a question...

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Hard times and a question...

by ErinB on Fri Nov 23, 2012 07:40 AM

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I just joined this board right after finding it. I hadn't thought of trying to find a forum for cancer sufferes/survivors and the friends and family of those diagnosed.

I'm posting because this is the first time I have dealt with cancer. I am not the person afflicted but my mother-in-law is. My husband and I found out that his mother was diagnosed with cancer only a few short months ago. The reason they found it is because she had fallen and broken her leg. The doctors took a biopsy of the bone because it was her femur, which is one of the harder bones to break. They found Small Cell Carcinoma and upon further investigation a three inch mass in her lungs and it was also in her lymph nodes. The doctor briefly discussed treatments, but she is almost 70, already fairly frail, and her chance for a successful treatment wasn't a grand one and wouldn't give her much more time, according to the doctor.

She refused chemo therapy and just wanted to live the rest of her life her way in her own home. I completely understood, however my husband was mad at first. He couldn't understand why she didn't want treatment, especially since we are expecting our first child. He wants her to be there for our son but even if she had decided on treatment, her life expectancy wasn't long enough for him to ever remember her. 

So her original time frame was a mere six months to one year. She has been in pain from the cancer in her bones so she has been on oxycotin since her surgery to repair her femur and recently the pain of the cancer caused the doctors to prescribe morphine on top of this.

This morning, well, I guess now it was yesterday morning, on Thanksgiving we recieved a call from father-in-law asking if there was any way we could make it to where they are. She had been awake all night, was coughing up blood, she was seeing things, and was consitently getting confused. My husband immediately got out of bed and started looking at plane tickets and we realized we only had enough money to spare for one ticket. He, of course, was the obvious choice to go...besides, I don't think I would be able to fly without a note from the doctor. I haven't done research on it since we couldn't afford it anyways, but being in the third trimester, I don't think I'm supposed to fly. 

Within a couple hours he was packed and on the road to the airport and now he is safely there and having the hardest time of his life trying to keep it together.

From what he has been telling me, she is constantly snapping in and out of being "bat shit crazy". She saw me come through the door with him and she was talking to me. Then when my husband hugged her, she snapped back into reality and started crying saying she doesn't think she's going to make it to the birth of our son and that she is so sorry. She has clawed and drawn blood on his father and she told my husband that he was being mean to her and that's why she did it. She has been seeing a random woman on and off and has been randomly getting a very nasty look on her face and snapping asking if he was having fun with his trampy girlfriend in the bedroom. She saw a man down the hallway smoking a cigarette and she is starting to get mad that they keep telling her it isn't real. My husband also said that it looks like she is lifting a plate and eating off of it, but there is nothing there.

He even said at one point he specifically asked her what she was seeing, and she seemed completely lucid when she told him that she couldn't even begin to describe it.

So here is my question:

It seems like the cancer is now in her brain because she has been getting headaches lately. Could this be causing the temper and the hallucinations? The Hospice nurse said it was probably the lack of sleep (been awake for NOW over 24 hours but when this started she hadn't been awake that long) mixed with the morphine. I can't seem to find someone else who has experienced these kinds of symptoms from it spreading to their heads.

The doctors have revised her expectancy to be at most a month though they expect more like a week...maybe two. I just don't understand how they can be SO off from their previous time frame. She was only diagnosed a little less than two months ago when they stated 6 months to a year. I also don't understand how she was doing relatively good with the only progression seeming to be the pain to all of a sudden a HUGE turn for the worse. I've never experienced cancer before. I guess I've been lucky. Maybe this is just one of the ways it happens and I had no idea. I always thought it was a steady progression of symptoms. I always knew they could get really bad to the point where everyone involved wish the person would fall asleep and quietly pass so they would no longer be suffering, but she was happy and completely lucid and then within an instant it all changed.

She won't fall asleep, either. She keeps resting for a few seconds and then shakes violently and sits up...this is, at least, how it was described to me by my husband.

Sorry, this was long and that was unintentional. It has been a very long day...

RE: Hard times and a question...

by mariaf on Mon Nov 09, 2015 02:32 AM

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I'd like to hear an update if you have time.  Going through questions myself.

Thank you

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