Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Re: live longer
Old 09-12-2006, 04:44 PM   #41
Moderator Emeritus
Rich_by_the_Bay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 8,827
Re: live longer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caroline
Just got word that my father-in-law's lung cancer has spread to his liver -- they're suspending chemo and radiation (after only 5 days of treatment) and calling in hospice.

I know each case is different, but does anybody out there have the misfortune of knowing what this might mean, generally speaking? If they end treatment, are we talking months, weeks...??
Caroline,

I'm very sorry for your family suffering. It's always hard.

You got it right when you said that every case is different, on top of which without technical detals speculation is not worth much.

That said, it is likely that progressive weakness will occur, poor intake (not worth trying to force nutrition - doesn't work), perhaps a level of somnolence. Maybe pneumonia will hasten things, or perhaps progressive liver failure with gradual coma. With good palliative care it can be managed with minimal pain, and even terminal sedation if that becomes necessary.

My suggestion to the family is to accept what is, enjoy the hours of meaningful exchange, and create no resistance. Many dying people really value company even if there is no talk, so just being there a few minutes at a time is helpful. Watch your MIL closely, and give her "permission" to leave, get some sleep, take a walk, and generally keep herself together - spell her once in a while.

Another thing is that many spouses in particular feel a need to be present at the moment of death. While this is understandable, it is a moving and unpredictable target - you can spend so much emotional currency on trying to time that moment that it interferes with the quality of what time you do have. Being there means generally being there, not literally being there every second, so that's another area where you can offer support and "permission" to not focus on that target.

Just some random thoughts. Hope they might prove helpful.
__________________

__________________
Rich
San Francisco Area
ESR'd March 2010. FIRE'd January 2011.

As if you didn't know..If the above message contains medical content, it's NOT intended as advice, and may not be accurate, applicable or sufficient. Don't rely on it for any purpose. Consult your own doctor for all medical advice.
Rich_by_the_Bay is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Re: live longer
Old 09-12-2006, 08:04 PM   #42
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 927
Re: live longer

Astro, Master, Rich... these are all VERY helpful comments.

Clearly, we're not going through anything a lot of other folks have not experienced already -- my sympathies right back at you, and special thanks for chiming in on what is a sad issue no matter how you slice it.

I just hope I can support my sweetie during this time. He was hoping to do a personal history or oral history with his father. I hope he still has the time to commemorate at least a part of his dad's life.

Best to all,
Caroline

__________________

__________________
Caroline is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: live longer
Old 09-13-2006, 11:51 AM   #43
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 4,898
Re: live longer

Caroline,
My deepest sympathies are with you and your family.
__________________
Zoocat is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: live longer
Old 09-13-2006, 07:25 PM   #44
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 11,615
Re: live longer

Caroline,

My father also died of lung cancer in 1982. He had smoked since he was a kid. I recall my sis and I asking both he and mom to quit smoking many times as we were growing up. They did quit several times, spent money on all kinds of programs, but never did stay off the things for long. It can be an incredibly difficult addiction to break. Try not to dwell on the causation part of your FIL's plight, it isn't helpful. You'll have the rest of your life to be filled with rage at what tobacco addiction has cost your family. It will subside, but not quickly.

Like your FIL, my Das's tumor was inopeable when they found it. He went through chemo and radiaton treatments, and lived for almost two years after diagnosis. Every case is different, and I don't know how much time his treatments bought us. It sounds like your FIL might be farther down the road than my Dad was. Pain medications: Use enough of them. I've read that the science/art of pain management has really come a long way, and I'm sure you'll find experts within the hospice environment.

As usual, I can't improve on Rich's comments. This will be a tough road for your family. It sounds trite, but during my Dad's sickness and even after his death, I kept asking myself "what Dad would really want me to be doing?" I knew he'd want me to be looking after my sister and taking care of things, not dweling on what a rough hand we'd been dealt. But, just sitting at the bed and talking, or being there with him as he rested and having quiet solitude to think about all manner of things, was true quality time in retrospect.

Best wishes.
__________________

__________________
"Freedom begins when you tell Mrs. Grundy to go fly a kite." - R. Heinlein
samclem is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Live long enough to live forever (book) JJac Health and Early Retirement 10 11-25-2006 08:41 PM
Poll: Do you want to live forever? wabmester Other topics 39 09-13-2006 03:58 PM
Work Less, Live More Questions? PsyopRanger FIRE and Money 7 08-09-2006 04:43 PM
Best Place to Live....Vancouver Calgary_Girl Other topics 19 10-06-2005 03:44 PM
Retire early, live longer dory36 Other topics 6 02-27-2004 09:36 AM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:56 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.