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What is it like to die of cancer?

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JulieN

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My friend is 22. He's already in a lot of pain, can't hear well, can't see/focus well. Is it going to get much worse before the end?
 

Camille

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It depends where/stage & kind of treatment. Wouldn't like to guess but is it in the brain? Sorry to hear this about your friend.
 

HollyS

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Everyone who has cancer experiences it in their own way. I''m not sure that anyone could answer this question, really, but perhaps an RN or MD could give you some insight.
 

Linda W

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Julie, I am so very very sorry about your friend.

I lost one of my best friends to cancer 11 years ago.

To answer your question. Each person is different, but when her time came. We were with her. Her husband told me her time was near and we rushed to the hospital. When they are in a lot of pain, the doctor''s give them a lot of pain medication. They drift off into a deep sleep and pass away quietly.

If your friend is in pain now, I am sure his doctor will give him medication to control his pain.
 

Blair138

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My grandfather passed away from cancer 8 years ago. I wasn''t there but my parents and aunts/uncle and grandma were. He was in hospice care so he was drugged to keep him from feeling pain. I know that toward the end he was basically no longer ''with us''. He was talking to his parents (who are no longer living). I wish I knew more but his death is still very upsetting for me.

I am very sorry to hear about your friend. I hope that his medical team can give him something for the pain.
 

LtlFirecracker

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I lost my mother to stage 4 breast cancer. I am sorry that your friend is going though it so young.

Everyone experiences cancer in their own way. My mother did very well, considering what she was going through until the last few months. The last week is something I will never forget. But I really don''t think those details will help you.

I think the best thing to do is be a supportive friend and realize this is a hard for anyone to go through. The worst thing I have seen is someone who spent those last few days alone.
 

Haven

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I'm so sorry, Julie.

I think everyone's right when they say it really depends on the person.

My "second dad" died of multiple myeloma two summers ago. He lived with it for three years, and by the end he had wasted away to a very tiny, weak version of himself. He had his sense of humor until the very end. He never checked out of reality. He was himself, just very weak and in a lot of pain. His last words to us girls were "Kick ass, ladies."

My uncle died of a brain tumor five years ago. He was 39 when he was diagnosed, and he very quickly lost most of his faculties. He was sort of lost to the cancer long before his body gave way.

My grandmother was diagnosed with lung cancer three years ago. She was given three to six months to live, so the prognosis is obviously not always correct. She was okay for a little while, but she's been in a lot of pain for a long time.

It's different for everyone, but it's never pretty. I just try to spend as much time with my loved ones as possible. I'm so sorry for you, for your friend, and for his loved ones.
 

Kaleigh

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Date: 4/6/2009 10:59:17 PM
Author:JulieN
My friend is 22. He's already in a lot of pain, can't hear well, can't see/focus well. Is it going to get much worse before the end?
Julien,
I am so sorry. I have lost many to cancer. I have to ask, does he have hopsice? It's a great help when the time is near. Yes the pain gets worse, in my experiences. But that's why hopsice is so helpful as they really help to keep the pain to a minimum. My friend died of kidney cancer and I was by his side every day. I saw him suffer, even with big pain meds. He asked me to end his life, but I couldn't do it. I just held him as he passed. I tried to comfort him the best way I knew how.

I lost my grandfather to cancer, it was bladder cancer. They removed his bladder at 88. A dumb move on their part, but that's what he wanted, so I stood by him. OMG, have no words for what he went through.

Be an advocate for your friend. See that he gets hopsice, etc...

Just be there for him, hold his hand. The human touch means so much in the end.


I am so sorry, hugs.
 

JulieN

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Date: 4/6/2009 11:05:59 PM
Author: Camille


It depends where/stage & kind of treatment. Wouldn''t like to guess but is it in the brain? Sorry to hear this about your friend.
No, but he has/is experiencing neuropathy. He has esophageal cancer; the survival rate is very low.

Thank you /very much/ ladies. He''s hospitalized right now, but he''s going to have hospice care when he goes home later this week. Right now he''s still "here," and he''s still himself in personality.
 

FrekeChild

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The day before my mom died, she ordered me out of her hospital room and to class. That''s the last time I saw her. I didn''t think she would be gone the very next day. But I was in class when it happened, and thats where she wanted me to be.

Interesting you should ask this question today. My father''s first wife is currently dying from cancer. I don''t expect her to be with us in a week...
 

Courtneylub

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Haven, I love your 2nd Dad''s last words. Says so much about him. A weaker, more frail version is what I''ve seen also.

My aunt just passed 2 weeks ago from lung cancer and I saw her the day before she passed. She was medicated and finally catching up on sleep. She died the next day and my grandmother said it was the most peaceful, beautiful thing she''d ever seen.
 

Lorelei

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My Father died of cancer Julie. If the pain is under control then it can be easier, but my Father's passing was not an easy one and it was very traumatic to witness. As LtFire says the details of how terrible it actually was probably wouldn't be of benefit.

But the main thing is that the pain is controlled which will help. Death isn't always a quiet and peaceful event regrettably. I am so sorry to hear about your friend.
 

Bia

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JulieN, I have a good book for you that may help. It''s called Final Gifts. It''s written by two palliative care nurses who have seen it all.

It delves a bit into the physical effects but mainly it talks about the final stages that people go through emotionally (which in turn effect them physically). I have read it many times because the stories are really poignant and I think anyone (as we all face death of a loved on at many points throughout our lives--even our own) can benefit.

I''m sorry about your friend. Cancer''s a real b****. I was just at a memorial this weekend for a neighbor who died of pancreatic cancer. Very sad but the memorial was beautiful.

If you want more physiological, look for anything by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross. She''s pretty amazing.
 

pichuchy21

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I am so sorry to hear about your friend and agree with everyone else about it being different. My mom passed away last Aug. of Lung cancer it had metastisized everywhere including her brain about a week before she died she could no longer talk just listen to us. She was in a lot of pain two days before she passed and the last day we took the doctors advice disconnected her of everything except the pain meds. I wasn''t there when she went but my stepfather said it was very peaceful she took a deep breath and was gone.
 

mochi

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I''m so sorry about your friend. It''s so different per person, as others pointed out. Is your friend being taken care of by Hospice? They are a fine organization and the support they give not only to the patient but to family/friends are admirable. They can also give insight to questions like this because of their experience.
 

Ellen

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Julie, I''m really sorry about your friend. It sounds like Morphine might be in order, are they giving him any yet?

{{{hugs}}}
 

Skippy123

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Julie, I am very sorry about your friend. (hugs)
 

mia1181

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Ugh this just breaks my heart.


I am so sorry for you Julie and for your friend.
 

bee*

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I''m really sorry to hear about your friend
 

pinkstars

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I''m sorry to hear about your friend, it''s so hard to go through that.

One of my best friends got diagnosed with cancer a couple months after turning 21, she quickly started chemo and had the orange sized tumor removed and started chemo again and went on to radiation. A few weeks after her 22nd birthday she had a terrible headache that wouldn''t go away. That night she became incoherent and they took her to the E.R. It turns out the cancer had spread to her brain, they try to relieve the pressure but that didn''t help. Her parents decided they didn''t want her to live like that, and she died.

It''s so hard to watch your friend be in pain, I''m sorry.
 

packrat

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I''m sorry about your friend, Julie. One of my Uncle''s died 5 years ago from colon cancer. Just be his friend and love him.
 

gemgirl

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Date: 4/7/2009 1:45:26 AM
Author: JulieN

Date: 4/6/2009 11:05:59 PM
Author: Camille


It depends where/stage & kind of treatment. Wouldn''t like to guess but is it in the brain? Sorry to hear this about your friend.
No, but he has/is experiencing neuropathy. He has esophageal cancer; the survival rate is very low.

Thank you /very much/ ladies. He''s hospitalized right now, but he''s going to have hospice care when he goes home later this week. Right now he''s still ''here,'' and he''s still himself in personality.
Julie, you can find out more about esophageal cancer on the Oral Cancer Foundation''s website. www.oralcancer.org/ The OCF covers all head and neck cancers and their metz. They have an excellent discussion board. I was an active member for four plus years. All of the members are very helpful, and the mods are supportive and they''re there for anyone who needs help, advice, or information. My husband''s aunt, who was one of my closest friends, passed away after a valiant fight with base of the tongue cancer. The advice you have gotten so far is correct. Every patient is different, the course of their battle can also be slightly different. You can read through the OCF site and not register if you don''t want to.
I don''t want to volunteer any information about our aunt''s case because hers ran the worst of scenarios, but if you have any questions, I''d be happy to answer them.
 

Diamond*Dana

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I am very sorry about your friend JulieN, I pray that he is as comfortable as he can be.
 
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