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mother-in-law's leukemia 
Started by andait
25 Jan 2012, 5:32 PM

My mother-in-law has acute leukemia(AML) and decided a week ago to not have anymore transfusions. Her last transfusion was about 3 weeks ago. Her condition has deteriorated substantially in the last few days. We are trying to get an idea of how much time she may have. And how fast the HGB level drop. Any feedback is greatly appreciated. 
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Reply by GirlWithTheBlackBeret
25 Jan 2012, 6:34 PM

I’m sorry to hear about your mother-in-law, Andait.  Has anyone talked to her (or you) about palliative care options? Has she expressed her wishes in terms of dying at home or in a hospice or hospital setting?

It’s not easy supporting a loved one through their final days. With my Mom, we did our best to fulfill her final wish which was to die at home. Thankfully we had access to great palliative care services.

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Reply by moderator | modératrice
25 Jan 2012, 6:43 PM

Hi Andait,
Welcome to the discussion forum. I'm glad you found us.

In such uncertain times, I can understand your wanting to know what you can expect for your mother-in-law. You can ask your question about hemoglobin levels to our clinical team on Ask a Professional.  

Ask a Professional
: ask a question and one of Virtual Hospice's palliative care experts will respond within in three working days. All questions and answers are confidential. Our Ask a Professional team includes doctors, clinical nurse specialists, a social worker and a spiritual care advisor who specialize in the care of people and families living with terminal illness or loss. 

You may also wish to read the Asked and Answered article: What can be expected as leukemia progresses?

One thing I know for sure is that the Virtual Hospice community is here when you need us. How do you and your family feel about your mother-in-law's decision to no longer have transfusions?

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Reply by andait
25 Jan 2012, 6:57 PM

My mother-in-law lives in Indonesia and we live in the US. We had discussions with doctors when we were back there a few weeks ago. My take is that hospice or palliative concept is not as well accepted or practiced there. Even though at this point, my mother-in-law decided to come home from the hospital about a week ago and does not want any more pokings or transfusions.
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Reply by moderator | modératrice
26 Jan 2012, 1:52 PM

Living so far away from your mother-in-law must be hard. Does she have support from her healthcare team, family and friends to continue her care at home?

The article Considerations for a Home Death might give you some guidance as to what questions to ask or services to look for even being so far away. It is written with the Canadian and American palliative approach in mind, but food for thought none-the-less?
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Reply by Plum1
10 Feb 2012, 3:24 PM

Dear Andait,
I am a member of the Virtual Hospice community, and I want you to know that I am feeling very much for you in your concern about your mother-in-law. You would wish to do so much for her, but the distance makes it very difficult. However, you are offering the most important gift to her: your love.
She must be a strong woman to have made the choice to withdraw from transfusions and "poking". We all have our limits, and she recognized hers. She wishes to die in peace, it seems. You can accompany her with regular calls or any other form of communication. 
I, too, wonder if there are any friends or family around for her. Their presence would be an added gift.
Have you friends, family, faith community, around you?  You need support also. Know that the Virtual Hospice community is always here for you. I have been fortunate in being able to come to the city where my uncle and parents live in order to care for them. So I can imagine what it is like for you not to be able to do this. I will keep you in my prayers.

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Reply by andait
10 Feb 2012, 6:05 PM

Thank you for all of your supportive messages. My mother in law passed away the afternoon of my initial message. We are glad that she went home to be with the Lord without further suffering.
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Reply by Cath1
18 Feb 2012, 6:27 AM

Dear andait.

Thank you for taking the time to update us about the passing of your mother-in-law. It's good to know she is at peace. Blessings to your husband and you and your family as you grieve.

Should you need to talk, our Virtual Hospice community is here for you.

Take good care.

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