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Just found out

Posted: Sat Jun 30, 2007 8:03 am
by tjcleaver
Hi,My name is Teresa. We found out yesterday morning that my mum-in-law has pancreas cancer. We have been told that she is to advanced to be helped any more as it has spread to her lungs. We either have 2 weeks or 2months max before she will be leaving us. The most anoying thing is for 8yrs we were told that she had 2nd stage diebitis we found out yesterday she may not have been diabetic at all.

Mum is understandably talking as if she is going tomorrow and wants to jam as much in as possible in to a day we are trying to get her to devon for a couple of days next week so she can see her sister (her words to say goodbye)

I have the added worry that we all live together with my 8yr old we have been as honest as possible to let her know nanny isn't very well and told her that she has been offered a special job of being an angel but we do not know when they are going to come for her. she seems to have accepted this

I am trying to stay as strong as possible. My father-in-law doesn't want to talk about it and i am worried that he is trying to block it out. My husband has talked and now seems to want to through himself in to work.

Posted: Sat Jun 30, 2007 8:13 am
by rosieh
Hi Teresa.
I am so sorry to hear your news.

I lost my father to this cancer on Wednesday this week (he was diagnosed on 8th March after becoming ill in late January). Interestingly, he was diagnosed as type 2 diabetic about 3 years ago.

Please make sure to get all the care, support and information that you can to help you over the next few weeks or months. I think your care team should be able to let you know when your mum-in-law enters her final week and days of life (barring anything unexpected happening in the meantime). Dad's GP and District Nurse were able to tell us when we had hours left with him, which was a big help. They were also able to make his passing extremely comfortable and pain free.

I hope your 8 year old bears up, and that your father in law and husband can get their head round things... it's so difficult. I believe that Macmillan Nurses can be good at helping family members with the emotional side of things.

Take care - and I wish you all strength as you go through this.

Posted: Sat Jun 30, 2007 11:16 am
by tjcleaver
Hi Rosieh,

Thank you for your kind words, and sorry to here about your father. It is comforting to know that its reletively pain free when she finally goes

my 8yr old seems to be ok she seems to be telling every one she meets that nanny is going to be an angel.

we have managed to get somewhere for her to stay in devon she goes on tuesday untill thursday the place she is going to is a farm and the lady is used to people who suffer from terminal illness. The hospital is 2mins away if needed. She seems to have perked up abit since we told her she is going even packing ready.

Posted: Sat Jun 30, 2007 11:43 am
by rosieh
Oh that's lovely - I hope the trip to Devon goes well.

I think 8 year olds still have that innocence which helps them cope with situations like this.

Take care
Jan

Posted: Sat Jun 30, 2007 2:56 pm
by claude
hi teresa

I am so sorry to hear about your mother in law.
I am experiencing something similar with my mum and its a terrible time. It seems to me that focusing on doing positive things like the trip to Devon is the best thing to do it takes everyones mind off things and creates happy memories for all.
My advice would be to get the help of your local hospice as soon as you can i know it can be scary but they are fantastic and can help your mother in law and all the family. They are wonderful caring people and can make a real difference.
I'm glad you have been honest with your 8 yr old i live next door to my mum and have a 7 yr old.We weren't honest and have always said that mum may get better. They are so close and i didn't want her to worry but now we are nearing the end she is upset and always asking questions about when will grandma get better. I wish we had prepared her better.
As for your husband and father in law i think everybody handles things differently all you can dois be there for them when they are ready to talk and need you. i hope you have a nice trip and i wish you all the best off luck.

claude x

Posted: Sat Jun 30, 2007 3:41 pm
by tjcleaver
Hi claude,

Thank you for your reply,

As mum(in law) was only diagnosed yesterday we still haven't had chance to get in touch with anyone yet i will be on Monday. I am going down to our local gp to kick start what ever.

I am so greatful to those that are talking to me and helping me to come to terms with this aweful diese

i am trying to take in the fact that a great woman that has been there for me for the last 20yrs is actually going. I won't have that rock that i could talk to if i was going through a bad patch.(even if i wanted to curse her son) we have been a close nit family and i will miss her so much

Posted: Sat Jun 30, 2007 4:19 pm
by claude
hi teresa
i know exactly what you are going through.On one hand i don't want my mum to be in pain or suffer but i also cannot bear to think of her not being here. She is mu best friend and even though i have children of my own i always ask advice and talk through my problems with her. Its must have been a terrible shock for you and your family. Your mother in law sounds lika a great woman please try not to focus to much on the time they have given her.They gave my mum 4-6months 12 months ago. Try to treasure every second you have left.If i can help or give any advice in any way please let me know.
love claude x

Posted: Sat Jun 30, 2007 10:52 pm
by tjcleaver
Well mum is now settled for the night. She has been scratching like mad. we have been give some menthol cream from the hospital when she was sent home but is only a temperary relief for her. I shall be glad to get stuff sorted on monday so we can at least get something for when she is in Devon

well i am off to bed now i wil keep you posted on how thing are going

many thanks to you all for listening/reading to me ramble its a great comfort to be able to talk about whats happening with people who are going/already been through the same as our selves

Posted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 9:39 pm
by tjcleaver
Well another day over and mum is settled for the night again.

mum must be thinking i am a hard b***h because i made her have a bath and get dressed to day instead of mopping around upstairs in her pj's feeling sorry of herself

We have managed to get a loan of a wheelchair for Tuesday when she goes to devon.

She is really forgetful and has asked so many times today when she is going. Not sure if this is to do with the cancer or not

I am going to have an early night tonight i have so much todo tomorrow call doctors etc

Posted: Sun Jul 08, 2007 8:44 am
by tjcleaver
Mum is back from Devon.She really enjoyed the break even though it was quite emotional seeing her sister. According to her hubby (Roy) she was eating really well but was finding it very tireing and had a sleep in the afternoons.

We have met the macmillan nurse on Friday who was very helpful and managed to sort out a few things for us. the District nurse came the same day and is going to sort out a walker for her as she is very unstable on her legs.

Her memory is completely shot but we are unsure if this is the cancer or the alzheimer's.

Yesterday was a good day for mum she managed to get up and even go out in the garden for a little while. This morning she doesn't even feel like getting out of bed. Even tried to encourage her to get dressed she says she might later. Is this Normal? Mum has been given some stronger pain killers as she says her side and back is hurting

Emma has gone out with grampy (Roy) today. She seems to be coping ok but keeps asking when Nanny is going to be angel? I just say we don't know yet. The Macmillan nurse is going to sort out a book for her to read so she can understand more what is going on. The school has said there has been once or twice when the have seen her burst into tears saying Nanny is going to die and i don't want her to go

Mum is adament that she doesn't want to go in a hospice at all we are fine with this at the moment but are worried when the time comes that she is to ill to stay at home what stress this will put on her.The District nusre has informed us that we have local nurses call laurance nurses which will come to the house and stay with her so she can stay at home but i am torn with worry for emma how she will cope when mum gets bad and respecting her wishes

Well thats all for now and sorry i have rambled abit but just writing things down helps with trying to sort this out in my head

Posted: Sun Jul 08, 2007 3:32 pm
by rosieh
Hi again...
I am glad mum had a good time in Devon. She's done well getting there.
I believe it is normal to not want to get up etc - this disease makes people very weak and it might be that your mum in law has exhausted herself and needs to rest?
Has she already been diagnosed with Alzheimers?
Dad's short term memory started to suffer in his last few months, but not TOO badly. His long term memory was ok.

I understand you being unsure about where mum will be when the end comes... does she live with you? My dad chose to stay at home and because we could manage all his symptoms he was able to do so. If you'll have nurses coming to stay that would be a big help.

Take care.
Jan

Posted: Sun Jul 08, 2007 9:36 pm
by tjcleaver
Hi Jan,

Thanks for your reply, We all live together there is:

Beryl (Mum-in-law)
Roy (Dad-in-law)
Martin (beryl & Roy's son, My hubby)
Me and our daughter Emma
We have been living together since i was sweet 16 and got engaged to martin all of 19yrs ago now and we are a really close family.

Mum was diagnosed with Alzheimers about 4 months ago. She tends to start talking nonsence now and again and the switch back to the conversation we were talking about half an hour ago. but i am even beginning to dought that from what you have said.

For the last 3 nights that she has been home i have been sleeping down stairs to and finding myself going to check on her just to make sure she is ok. She feels happier knowing i am downstairs with her. we have had an emotional night tonight with mum keep hugging me and saying she loves me and crying saying she is an nuisence which has been very hard not to burst into tears in front of her.

In lots of ways she has been a mum to me which my own mum wasn't so its really hard to see her like this.

Posted: Sun Jul 08, 2007 10:38 pm
by rosieh
It's tricky to know if it is the Alzheimers or something else really.

My dad talked complete nonsense a lot of the time in his final week. By that, I mean he would have been asleep and would wake and tell us things that he was convinced had happened (but hadn't). One night he did it from about 3.30am until 7am... just kept coming out with random statements and questions.

I believe it is part of the metabolic changes (chemical imbalance?) as the body prepares to and starts to shut down.

Of course, if your mum in law is not yet at the very end stage, her memory problems etc could be the Alzheimers. As if she/you hasn't got enough to deal with.

I understand how you're all so close.

Bye for now
Jan

Posted: Fri Aug 03, 2007 7:39 am
by tjcleaver
heres a quick update at where we are with mum,

On the 14th july mum was really poorly and woke up in the night freezing cold and sweating buckets and being pysically sick so we had to get the emergancy doctors out to her .When they arrived they gave her a shot of morphine and a shot of something else aparrently her blood suger was so high.

on the night of the 23rd of july mum had a hypo (blood suger dangerously low) and she was admited in to hospital she was in the hospital for a week and only came out this monday.

inbetween these times she has been ok not to bad we seem to be on a rollercoaster with her and i am constantley waiting for the next dip and wondering if she is going to make it back to the top again