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Bowel Obstruction in Peritoneal Carcinoma 
Started by Trishwhiteman
12 Apr 2012, 10:36 PM

Hi Everyone, My mom has had peritoneal carcinoma stage 4 for almost 2 1/2 years and has been through about everything. She almost has a complete bowel obstruction blockage and can no longer take chemo, because it's not working. The word hospice was used yesterday so we know the end is near. So many emotions!! But the worst part is not knowing what lies ahead. We want to be able to care for her at home but fear we won't be able to. Has anyone been through this? The doctor told us that with this type of cancer it is normally a bowel obstruction that ends life. Thanks, Trish
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Reply by Cath1
13 Apr 2012, 12:43 AM

Hi Trish:

I'm so sorry to hear about your Mom's cancer and that you must now prepare for the end of your Mom's life. You are surely going to experience a huge range of emotions and of course they will not all be easy ones, though I promise you as strange as it may sound to you in this moment, you will have moments of exalted feelings of love and compassion as you see your Mom through her transformative experience. Never forget that while your Mom is ill and dying, this is a life altering experience for you and all those close to her as well.

Do you mind sharing your Mom's age and yours? I am wondering if this is your first experience with serious illness of a loved one and the anticipatory grief you are likely feeling?

My Mom passed away at age 84 when I was 55 years old. That was a little more than a year ago now. It is the hardest thing I have ever experienced but it is also the deepest and most meaningful experience of my life to date. 

I am here if you want to talk more this evening, and we are all here for you to support you as your Mom approaches her final journey in this life and as you learn to accept the separation between mother and daughter. Please remember that the love you feel for your Mom and hers for you will never change in life or in death, but now is the time to say it out loud and to show it while you both still have this precious chance. Not everyone is so fortunate to know that the end is coming near.

I used to think it is better not to know when a loved one is dying, but I now know from experience, from being there with my Mom until she drew her last breath that it is a gift - a privilege - and a grace to have had the opportunity to give voice to the enduring love we shared that will live on for the rest of my life, and beyond.

Hugs to you Trish. We are with you. xo

VHcath         
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Reply by Trishwhiteman
13 Apr 2012, 9:40 PM

Thank you VHCath,
Such great words of wisdom. My mom is 68 and I am 50. I have been very fortunate to have only lost my grandparents. My parents are divorced and my mom has us girls to take her into her next life. So this is my first experience to lose someone close to me. I will treasure every moment we have for sure!
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Reply by Cath1
13 Apr 2012, 11:29 PM

Hi Trish:

Thank you for your message, Trish. Your Mom is so young, as are you, and yet life has handed you both very hard circumstances to bear so I imagine neither of you are feeling so youthful these days. I remember when my Mom had been diagnosed with various illnesses in her last few years of life it was a challenge for us both to stay positive and hopeful and yet we had to because attitude matters so much to how we were able to cope with her health limitations. Between doctor's appointments, tests and hospitalizations, we were both exhausted much of the time and yet all the things she had been told she could die from and for which we prepared never happened in the end. 

Looking back, I wish I could have spared my Mom from having been told she had an aortic abdominal aneurysm because it was a constant worry and yet it never caused her any pain nor did she die from it. She also had COPD, kidney disease and dementia, but it was repeated urinary tract infections and a lack of a basic need - adequate amount of water to drink - that caused her to become dehydrated as she suffered neglect in a nursing home prior to her death. I visited her every day, and yet her symptoms of increased confusion and weakness was explained away by staff to a progression of her dementia. I know much more about dementia and dehydration these days.

While my Mom's frail body could not fight off the infections nor could she express her own needs and help herself to water or even remember if she had been given any water to drink, life decided that her time had come to rest in a place that she would never again have to go thirsty as I believe her soul is fully refreshed and she is now free of all pain and worry.

Serious illness puts a great psychological and emotional strain on those dealing with it, not to mention all the physical symptoms that zap one's energy and dull one's spirit for living, and those caring for and about the person we love can barely imagine our world without them in it.

There is about the same age difference between my eldest daughter and me as you and your Mom. You sound so well-adjusted and able to cope with what is expected of you even though you are learning what exactly that is as you go along. You are such a sweet and loving daughter and as all your protective instincts are aroused to protect your Mom and to care for her, her heart is overflowing with love for you and your sister(s). I know this as a mother and a daughter both. Her daughters are your Mom's best loved treasures of her heart!

I feel as if I grew up with my kids and we have a very close bond and I'm sure that your Mom and you are feeling so helpless in the situation at times. Please know that you will find the strength you need when you need it, and if you are feeling uncertain and just need a safe place to talk about your feelings or if you have questions, we are here to help you in whatever way we can.

I feel for you deeply, Trish, and will keep your Mom and you and your sister(s) in my prayers. I will pray that you will all be given the grace to accept each day as it happens while knowing that the love you share will make all the difference to your Mom, as hers will for you. Always.

Hugs to you all xo

VHcath
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Reply by Cath1
28 Apr 2012, 5:09 PM

Hi Trish:

Just writing to let you know I'm thinking of you and your Mom and family today. I hope you are all managing well and receiving lots of support.

Take care. hugs xo

VHcath       
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