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AIBU for wishing the end would come sooner rather than later?

(36 Posts)
Euphemia Sat 14-Dec-13 19:54:48

My dad has been treated for cancer (lung, brain metastasis) for the past three years. This year he has been blue lighted into hospital three times owing to life-threatening infection.

There is no more they can do for the cancer. He's dying, slowly. He was hospitalised last Friday following a fall: he has a chest infection and poor swallow reflex. He's confused and sleepy.

My mum seems to be taking some comfort from the fact that he's sitting up and eating, or rather being fed. She's resigned to the fact that he's unlikely ever to get home again. sad

AIBU to wish he would just pass quietly tonight, rather than us all have to endure weeks and months of this rubbish quality of life he has?

I'm torn. sad

Alibabaandthe40nappies Sat 14-Dec-13 19:59:05

YANBU

My Grandpa died of pancreatic cancer. It was terminal from the word go and no treatment was attempted. It was somewhat removed because I was away at university but the rest of the family really went through the mill with repeated 'he will only last a few days' and everyone rushing to be there only for him to perk up again for another few weeks.
It was of course awful when he died, but once the funeral was done (huge catholic wailing outpouring - hugely cathartic) then we all felt 'better' in some way because we could move on from the horrendous limbo.

You have my utmost sympathy, and I hope that your Dad's passing is peaceful when it comes. x

MrsSpencerReid Sat 14-Dec-13 19:59:40

No, my gran had breast cancer that spread everywhere, towards the end she wasn't happy, lost her independence and was in pain. As much as I love her all I wanted was for it to be over and for her to be at peace. My other grandma does 6m later of a massive stroke. One day she was fine, the next she wasn't, I know which I'd want. I will be thinking of you and your family

Yama Sat 14-Dec-13 19:59:48

Oh Euphemia, of course you are not being unreasonable. It is simple heartbreaking to watch someone you love suffer.

When my brother was told 'no more chemo' he died within 9 days. He had suffered enough.

You poor thing. thanks

LovesBeingHereAgain Sat 14-Dec-13 20:01:15

No of course not. Being long and drawn out is horrible. Have you managed to tell him everything you want too?

lookatmycameltoe Sat 14-Dec-13 20:02:09

This is very normal and very common. I would say 50% (or more) of people in your position feel the same but don't (obviously) publicise it.
There seems to be a pervasive myth about the NHS hastening deaths when in my experience (palliative care) it is the opposite. People live much longer that most expectations.

SecretSantaFix Sat 14-Dec-13 20:03:29

Euphemia- my own father had lung cancer-also at the terminal stage, but he actually died from pneumonia which killed him in three days when he had gone in for treatment to try and keep him with us for a final Christmas.

As an adult, looking back I can say I am glad it was quick at the end. He had been slowly dying in front of us all for months, I don't know how it it would have affected us to see him getting worse.

You have my sympathies, I understand why you are torn.x

NorthernLebkuchen Sat 14-Dec-13 20:04:29

Have you been able to discuss the ceiling of care with the medical team? Ideally you and your mum and the team should all be able to be in agreement about what they will do for your dad and what you won't want. YANBU at all.

Euphemia Sat 14-Dec-13 20:08:12

I've never had an easy relationship with my dad, so I don't want to pour my heart out to him. He knows I love him, so he doesn't need to hear the rest!

My poor mum went through the same with her mother two years ago. The doctors wanted to let her go, but my auntie wouldn't agree. My grannie lived, or rather existed, for another six months. It was miserable. I think my mum's experience then will colour her judgement when it comes to my dad, and I think she'll be ready to let him go peacefully.

Thank you all so much for your comforting replies. X

NorthernLebkuchen Sat 14-Dec-13 20:11:48

I think you have to have seen dying to be able to know what to do iyswim. I've worked in a hospital for the last decade and I think I would know but yes I'm sure that her sad experiences with her mum will help your mum let go.

Euphemia Sat 14-Dec-13 20:13:05

I'm going to speak to my mum about this tomorrow. When my dad was in hospital in July, the A&E doctor told us he might die from his infection, and would he want them to attempt resuscitation? My mum didn't know how to reply, as she and my dad had never talked about "the end". (They are, and always have been, rubbish at difficult conversations.)

Things have moved on apace and I think my mum's ready to make some difficult decisions.

I haven't been to see my dad since last Sunday as the ward was closed owing to a D&V bug. sad My mum's only spoken to a doctor on the phone.

NorthernLebkuchen Sat 14-Dec-13 20:20:13

That's a good idea to talk about it. It's not wishing him away or anything negative. It's simply working out what kind of dying he would want to do and you would want to see. I hope your mum finds it easy to talk about with you. I think a family can get a lot of comfort from a peaceful gentle death and whilst that's not always possible it's something to aim for.

Doobydoo Sat 14-Dec-13 20:23:13

What Northern has said.Please have the conversation...people are there to help your dad and you and your mum.
Thoughts with you all and YANBU.XXXXXX

Chottie Sun 15-Dec-13 06:19:42

My DM, Dsis and I had the 'conversation' with the consultant regarding DF. It was a joint decision taken and at the end my DF was sedated and hydrated and allowed to die with dignity and in peace.

It was awful, but we were all reunited and in agreement. It is so, so awful watching someone you love so much suffering.

basildonbond Tue 17-Dec-13 20:41:56

You're not being unreasonable as far as I'm concerned - my mum has terminal cancer and has been going steadily downhill for the last few months - we thought we were going to lose her in the summer but against all the odds she pulled through that crisis. She's back in hospital again this week as she now has a bowel obstruction. It's horrendous watching her suffer and knowing that it's only going to get worse ..,

My friend's mum died suddenly last year from a massive stroke - it was a terrible shock at the time but I know what I'd prefer when it's my time

Euphemia Fri 20-Dec-13 17:04:37

My dad's been moved to a care facility; he's frail and on puréed food, but still hanging on in there. smile

It's horrible not knowing what'll happen next. sad My mum seems quite accepting that he's not likely to get home again.

SecretSantaFix Fri 20-Dec-13 22:45:15

The waiting for the inevitable is almost like starting the grieving process early, if that makes any sense?

I hope he stays comfortable, how hard for your mum though, to have to face up to the real idea of not having him home again.

Euphemia Fri 20-Dec-13 22:48:35

I feel like I've done a lot of grieving already. I cried most of the way home from hospital last weekend, not wanting to leave my poor daddy in the horrible ward, all confused and lost. sad

I'm going to see him again on Sunday. smile

SecretSantaFix Fri 20-Dec-13 22:49:58

smile I'm sure he enjoys your visits, as unwell as he is.

Ponyphysio Fri 20-Dec-13 22:52:29

Is he able to talk still? Could you ask the staff to clarify what his wishes are regarding nasogastric/peg feeding? Resuscitation? Fluids once IV access becomes difficult? I lost my Mum last week. But we had talked about her wishes and she had made it clear to the medics what was and wasn't acceptable to her. My heart is broken, but she's at peace and I hope you too can find solutions that are acceptable to you all xx

threepiecesuite Fri 20-Dec-13 22:54:24

My MIL has dementia. She has also had 3 strokes in two years, plus a heart attack and has just had pneumonia (3 weeks in hosp). People keep 'celebrating' how well she has fought back time after time.
She lives at home (her choice) but she can barely move at all now and her carers come 4 times a day to wash and feed her. It is no life at all.

We all know this but it is something none of us in the family can talk about openly.

I wish you and your family well. It is hard.

Euphemia Fri 20-Dec-13 22:59:19

He talks but doesn't always make sense. I need to clarify with my mum whether they have discussed his wishes.

I would like my mum, my brother and me to think as one on this, to respect what Dad would want. My brother can be a bit sentimental, my mum shies away from difficult decisions, so it might not be straightforward!

Ponyphysio Fri 20-Dec-13 23:04:54

I know it's so tough - sometimes you just have to elect yourself spokesperson. Mummy's voice was so frail, the doctor asked questions and asked her to nod or shake her head. It felt awful, but she was a proud woman with great strength of character, so it was only right to ask her what she wanted to do. You will find the right way to ask your dad. Thinking of you.

Vintagebeads Sat 21-Dec-13 18:08:26

YANBU.
I often wish he had a heart attack sad I got no comfort from being able to say goodbye and just felt relief initially .I hope that doesn't sound awful....
My dad had lung cancer that went to his brain/kidneys three years ago, the end seem to go on forever but he was less than a week in there in the end. Things improved alot for all of us when he was in hospice care and stayed there.

My thoughts are with you all <hugs>

I am hoping for you all,that as he is in hospice care it might be a shorter time line than you think,the hospice know the signs when someone is going,you may want to chat to them? I know my mum was all over the place and couldn't or wouldn't tell me anything.

Euphemia Sat 21-Dec-13 18:13:37

Mum tends to downplay things, so who knows what she's really thinking? sad

DD and I are going to stay for a few days from Boxing Day - I'll have a good chat to Mum then.

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