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End of Life?


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Hi everyone. I’ve been on this forum a while trying to read up on anything and everything about pancreatic cancer to help with my grandmothers diagnosis, but I am now looking for some advice. Here is her story (sorry if its rambling)


She is 77 and was diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic PC with mets in the lungs and liver, on 1st January this year. This was after weight loss and poor stomach for a few months prior.


She continued to have a bad stomach despite creon tablets and continued to lose weight but was relatively well despite being given 6 months to live.

By April she had developed Jaundice and was rushed to hospital with suspected sepsis caused by the tumour obstructing her bile duct. She had a stent fitted and was home a week later.


Since then, she has continued to live her life, with the biggest issue being diarrhoea which eventually left her unable to really leave the house due to needing to be near a toilet. She continued to eat, albeit less and more restricted with what she now liked.  Luckily this whole time she had been relatively pain free despite bad bloating.


Fast forward to a week and a half ago (October) she severely sick and suddenly in a lot of pain leaving her bedbound and needing her ‘just in case’ morphine. When the doctor came out, we were told she potentially had days to a week left to live and to make her comfortable. She had a driver fitted for constant pain relief and by this point she was barley drinking or eating and was very weak.


10 days later she has got weaker still and has waves of confusion and tears, and seems to be sleeping most of the day. She has eaten the odd half an apple in this time but seems to now be drinking more each day than she has for months. Some days, like today, she seems somewhat fine, lucid and asking for all sorts to drink. But others she is so confused (almost like she’s dreaming and forgets to wake up) and tearful when she realises, she’s not making sense.

Has anyone got any advice about the ‘end of life’ stage like this, her symptoms seem so up and down and it doesn’t seem like the steady decline we’d researched or been told to expect.


Any support, tips or people with similar stories would be appreciated. Thank you :)

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I’m really sorry to hear about your grandmother.  I lost my (prior to PC) very fit 88 year old mother to this awful disease in May of this year after struggling for 1.5 years. 

My Mum towards the end of her life started to have strokes, I think it started a couple of months before she passed away and then had one very large stroke which caused her to be bedridden.  

Can I recommend buying mouth swabs which you can buy from Amazon as they are nigh on impossible to buy from a pharmacy.  As the disease took hold, Mum stopped being able to drink let alone eat and we were recommended these swabs by her carer which meant her mouth and lips could stay moistened.

It is truly a horrible disease and hopefully one day a test can be found.

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My 74 year old brother didn't complain of much pain up to his last 3 weeks. Discomfort and extreme weariness. He voluntarily wished for placement into our local MCurie hospice and he was a lot more comfortable in the expert care on hand 24/7 and as visitors we had quality time with him (rather than a great anxiety and despair as his carers) He was placed onto a 'driver' and we were advised of the symptoms and progress of this manner of pain relief. The staff are so experienced in recognising the final stages of dying. In the last two weeks he lay awake talkative, and comfortable even smiling, and he  refused food. He said he had no appetite, but he did demand a regular very ice cold drink on the hour and even ice lollys they had to be iced drink. - with use of straws -so we kept dozens coming for him. He lost a lot of weight in these final weeks and his complexion darkened so much, but was in no pain, nor did he complain to us of any discomfort. In fact he merely req that we raise his pillow supports or lowered. Same on the feet of the bed. I Thank God for that driver and those wonderful reassuring caring nurses. In the last 3 days he spent them in deep sleep and we had no communication. Until he  stopped breathing in his sleep.  It was a serene peaceful end. We couldn't have wished for a better ending for our greatly loved and very much missed gentle man. If I have an end the same I'd be very grateful. 

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