To treat or to stop?

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To treat or to stop?

by Porcepic on Fri Apr 24, 2015 11:58 PM

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ma mother was diagnosed with stave 4 lung cancer a year ago. The cancer has metastasized to the vertebrae, the rib and we suspect the leg. She is rapidly losing weight and strength. At this point doctors still do the chemo treatment once a week but are getting worried as she has lost too much weight in the last 2 weeks and are considering stopping all treatment. My step father is unable to deal with the possibility of her loss and pushes the treatment and the fight. I have talked to her and she seems absolutely unaware that , almost no one can survive lung cancer at that stage for more than a few months. She keeps on talking about people she meets at the hospital who lives for years but I don't believe she asks them what stage they are at. And so she thinks she can get better, almost back to a normal life in a little while. She understand the cancer can't be beat but can be contained. Right now though she is deteriorating quickly and I fear the moment someone will tell her the treatment is over and you are entering the end of life. I know that my role as a daughter is to be with her, comfort her and love her. But I know the proximity of her death is going to have to be confronted by both my mother and her husband. I don't know if I want to ask the doctors to give her placebos, telling her that this way she can have a treatment via pill or if she should be told the truth and try to have a few weeks without treatment but just pain management so she can be with her loved ones. Since my step father is the fighting one, I feel that I am betraying her by giving up. I just see her quality of life quickly diminishing and feel this life is not a life. Should I talk of hope and fight or try to prepare my mom and her husband for what is coming? This is the most difficult time I ever lived. My mother lives in France and I in the US, I am with her now for 3 weeks and am doing my best to have light or meaningful conversation. Things not related the illness as the house is becoming very gloomy and sad. I know I am rambling but I guess my question is when do we decide to stop treatment and should we be honest with the patient or protect her with lies so she doesn't get so scared? I am really lost and confused. I feel evil for bringing the subject of "shouldn't we stop treatment" when my step father only wants to fight till the end. I just feel she is suffering too much and has no quality of life left. Hope someone can share some of their past experience and guide me a little through this tunnel of doom and despair, I only want to do what is best for my mum...
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