What to expect, and how to deal?
December 10, 2012 2:02 AM Subscribe
My mother was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer in May this year. We've just been told she now has 6 months to live. Help me with what to expect.
posted by sunshine arakhan to health & fitness (22 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I'm not even sure what I'm asking here, but here goes.
My 47 year old mum was diagnosed with stage 4 cervical cancer in May this year. They then discovered it had spread to her lungs and lymph nodes. She's been through intense treatment this year, including extensive and invasive radiotherapy (which she can no longer have as her body can't handle any more) and several types of chemotherapy. Last week we got the results of the scans she had to see how her treatments had gone so far. The tumours have doubled in size, nothing has worked, her doctors have given her 6 months.
I'm 24 and never had to deal/experience the death or illness of a close family member or friend before. I've been seeing a psychologist this year to come to terms with some difficult issues from the past involving her, so I am much more at peace with her and the fact she will pass away soon. What I don't know however is the whole physical side of it. What exactly happens when someone stops treatment for cancer? How do they deterioate physically, especially in the way of lung and cervical cancers? In my head I think of how AIDS normally kills through pneumonia etc - is it an immune system failure that will end up taking her, for lack of a better phrase?
I know this all sounds very morbid and any information I try and brace myself with now may well go out the window once the time goes. I live two states away from her (3 hour flight then 4 hours driving), so I won't be there the whole time to see her go through this, which I think makes it worse because once the family says "it's time, come up" it's going to hit me hard seeing her in whatever state she may be in.
FWIW I am going up at Christmas, having not seen her since July, and will be there for her during any time off she wants to take with the family next year, however long that may be. It's more the actual moment where she may be admitted to hospital and we just have to sit around and wait that I don't know what to think of.