Whether you are dying or caring for someone who is. emotions, and other difficulties people with cancer may face during their last few months or weeks of life. Go to latest post 11 replies, last reply 17/01/ - There's several here in our situation and I have some lovely forum buddies who my life and that's fine, but dying with cancer was not something I ever strived for. Final days. What happens in the last days of life is different for everyone. But it can help carers and relatives to know a little about how things might be.
in Recent with discussions cancer Dying
Listen to your body, tell people what you need, and save your energy for the things or people that are most important to you. Focusing on getting the most from each waking moment is a good way to redirect your worries and fears. People with cancer often fear pain more than anything else. Pain can make you feel irritable, sleep poorly, decrease your appetite, and decrease your concentration, among many other things.
But pain can be controlled and managed in expert hands. They should understand that your pain is whatever you say it is. You should expect that your pain can and will be controlled. You and your team must work together to reduce suffering, relieve pain, and enhance your quality of life.
Keeping a pain record of all of this may help. Often your health care team will ask you to describe your pain using a number from 0 to 10, with 10 being the worst pain you can imagine and 0 being no pain at all. Using this pain scale is also a helpful way to describe your response to pain relief measures. You can find a Daily Pain Diary and a lot more information on pain control online or call us for free copies. The nurse or doctor will assess your pain and figure out the average level or degree of pain you have.
There are also many forms of pain medicine, such as long-acting, time-released forms of opioids that are around the clock. These long-acting drugs work by keeping your blood levels of the drug steady, which helps keep your pain under control for long periods of time. Fast-acting, rescue drugs can be used to quickly control pain. Opioid pain medicines come in many forms that can be given in many different ways.
Sometimes, very severe pain may be better controlled with a pain medicine pump which gives the drugs either under the skin subcutaneously or into a vein intravenously, IV.
If you need this type of pain control, you can still get it at home. And some people need much higher doses of opioids than others. It has nothing to do with being unable to withstand pain, nor does it mean that you are a complainer. Some people need less, and some need more to keep pain in check. This is because the body can become tolerant to a drug, so it has less effect. Needing to increase your pain medicine does not mean that you are going to die soon. In fact, evidence has shown that poor pain relief hastens death.
Sometimes other drugs may be used. For instance, certain anti-depressants or anti-convulsants seizure control drugs often work well to help with nerve pain. Steroids may be used to help with certain types of pain, such as that caused by swelling or inflammation.
These medicines are often given along with the opioid drugs. If the patient is not able to talk about the pain they may be having, there are things caregivers can watch for that show pain or discomfort. Some signs of pain they may see include:. Being able to identify these things and give pain medicine as needed helps the caregiver take good care of the patient and keep him or her as comfortable as possible.
With certain types of pain, doctors can do special procedures such as nerve blocks, targeted radiation treatments, or even surgical procedures to control pain.
The pain specialist might have some different options to help you. Medicines and medical procedures are not the only ways to help lessen your pain. There are other things you can do. Some people find distractions like music, movies, conversation, or games help. Using heat, cold, or massage on a painful area can help. Relaxation exercises and meditation can help lessen the pain and lower anxiety for some people. Keep in mind that for most people with cancer pain these measures alone are not enough to control pain.
But, they may help improve comfort when used along with pain medicines. As time goes on your body may seem to be slowing down. You may become more withdrawn and find yourself eating less and losing weight. This is a normal part of the last months of life, but it may be the start of a battle between you and your loved ones. Food no longer smells good or tastes good. You seem to become full more quickly and are interested in fewer foods. While this is going on, the cancer cells may compete with the normal cells in your body for the nutrients that you do manage to digest.
It can be very upsetting to your family to see you eating less. For them, your interest in food may represent your interest in life. They may take this personally and think that you want to leave them or are trying to hasten your death — even unconsciously. The last few months of your life should not be filled with battles around food.
Loss of appetite and being unable to eat happens to most cancer patients before death. Explain to your loved ones that you deeply appreciate all their efforts to feed you and that you understand their attempts are acts of love.
Your body is going through changes that have a direct effect on your appetite. Changes in taste and smell, dry mouth, stomach and bowel changes, shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation — these are just a few of the things that make it harder to eat.
Drug side effects, stress, and spiritual distress are also possible causes of poor appetite. Some causes can be managed with medical treatment. For example, nutritional support can be given in the form of tips on how to get the most out of each bite you take or through supplemental drinks or shakes. There are also medicines that can stimulate your appetite, decrease nausea, and help food move through your stomach more quickly.
You may be able to take small frequent meals or snacks during the day instead of trying to eat full meals 3 times a day. I thought the attack would never end and that was how I was going to die! Even thinking about breathing problems can be scary. To continue using Cancer Chat, we need you to read and accept our updated Terms and Conditions. Leave this field blank. Not a member yet? Search for discussions or people. Your space to talk about dying Whether you are dying or caring for someone who is.
Title Topic Replies Last post. Lung cancer death - sudden? My brave Dad Started by Amz Advise on latter stages of Bowel Cancer Started by Bilbobag. My dad has got terminal pancreatic cancer Started by JLT
Palliative care can’t wait: what I wish I’d known as my wife was dying
Are you a cancer patient? Here you can How do we talk about death and dying ? This is a From last 2 yrs his cancer cell comes back the 4th time. Doctors. But is dying from cancer so much worse than the alternatives? The scenario he painted – “reflecting on life, leaving last messages, visiting. The final section of this work includes a brief discussion of the most More recently, the experiences of 18, dying patients under the direct.