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Am in bits at hearing how DH is having to do all the palliative care for MIL who has terminal cancer...he's really going through it :-(

(91 Posts)
PussinJimmyWhoooos Sat 11-Oct-08 23:09:52

As some of you know by now, my MIL is in the M.East with terminal liver cancer that has spread to pancreas and bile duct

Mum called DH on my behalf tonight (I'm deaf) to get a proper update as texting just doesn't get info over and OMG...sad The hopsitals over there will not take patients if they know they are dying (no hospices) and so all the pain managment is being done at home

MIL has an infection and DH is having to administer IV antibiotics himself via canula and says he has to go very slow as it burns apparently and can take 20 mins each time for it all to go in...she is diabetic and her glucose is very high and she started to convulse this am (due to infection or diabetes - they are not sure) while DH was taking her temperature and he had to fight to get it out before she cracked it and the mercury came out.....he managed it and she brightened up later..

He is in mum sobbed after putting the phone down at what they are going through and my heart is aching as no palliative care when you are dealing with grief must be so awful... She isn't getting any quality of life now and I find myself thinking its better for her if its sooner rather than later as what DH described is awful....wish could send a Mac nurse over there to take care of it in a right state!

BreevandercampLGJ Sat 11-Oct-08 23:13:29


It is going to be harder for you as you can only rely on text.

<<< aside>>

Are you being assesed for a CI ??

Threadworrm Sat 11-Oct-08 23:15:39

I'm really sorry to hear all this Pussin. It sounds awful, for all of you.

FangolinaJolly Sat 11-Oct-08 23:17:20

Aww sweetheart.xx

Replied to earlier post,I dunno if it was any help.It is so hard,the limbo waiting bit.

Is her pain well controlled?Poor dh,I am sure he is doing the best he can.All you can do is be there for him as I am sure you arexx

VeniVidiVickiQV Sat 11-Oct-08 23:18:29

How awful for all of you. How long has DH been over there?

ilovemydog Sat 11-Oct-08 23:19:04

Am so sorry, but why is your DH administering drugs himself?

Is it usual for family to take care of the palliative care? It's so hard when family are ill so far away....

It doesn't sound as if she has much longer to live, so it's a matter of controlling her pain. sad

PussinJimmyWhoooos Sat 11-Oct-08 23:19:46

<Bree - no am TTC atm so no ops for me for a while yet but thanks for remembering - very sweet of you>

Thread - it is awful....I mean can you imagine not having a hospice and having to do it all yourself? Physically take blood samples etc to the labs...its a world apart and I'm so so sad that he's going through it and very worried about when he comes back - may contact his boss to explain he will need at least another week at home...he works in a hosptial you see so no way will he be able to be around that when he gets back.....I can't stop crying and feel so powerless...

PussinJimmyWhoooos Sat 11-Oct-08 23:22:31

Yes, apparently the hospitals won't take dying patients as no point....its down to the family and as DH is a Biomedical Scientist himself and can do bloods etc - a lot of it is falling down to him....she doesn't want to go to hospital either so in a way he's helping to keep to her wishes but its soooo hard for him.....I never realised until tonight as was just relying on the text messaging and feel such a bitch for not realising just how hard it was - I mean convulsions....sad

herbietea Sat 11-Oct-08 23:23:09

Message withdrawn

FangolinaJolly Sat 11-Oct-08 23:25:06

He is doing right,giving the antibiotics slowly,especially if MIL is diabetic.He sounds like a star pijc.I know what you mean about the sooner tahn later thing.Life is too cruel sometimes.I have sat with relatives of the dying at this stage and it is unutterably sad

onlyjoking9329 Sat 11-Oct-08 23:28:18

it must be hard to be so far away it must make you feel helpless. it is hard to see someone so ill and it is hard to look after them but i take comfort that i was able to care for my DH and kept him at home which is what he wanted, cancer is so very cruel, you are all in my thoughts

PussinJimmyWhoooos Sat 11-Oct-08 23:33:55

Thank you all for posting - it means a lot...I just wish I could send a mac nurse over to sit with her so DH could get a proper nights sleep. Her temperature went up to about 38 today and while we think that is ok, apparently in older people, it can be very serious. They don't know what caused the convulsions exactly but I'm wondering if its similar to the ones that children get if temp goes too high....her glucose is vv high as well so.....but, the antibiotics for the infection are working. DH and family are all over the place as they can't see why the convulsions are happening and puzzled at the up moments followed by dramatic downs

Sorry to waffle on...I just need to get it off my chest

PussinJimmyWhoooos Sat 11-Oct-08 23:38:27

He's just text....her glucose still vv high. Dr said to give another big dose of insulin so he's doing that (why is it staying so high- the pancreatic tumour?) and he couldn't get the antibiotics into the canula so waiting for Dr to come to do that


herbietea Sat 11-Oct-08 23:40:46

Message withdrawn

FangolinaJolly Sat 11-Oct-08 23:41:21

Oh,sweetheart you aren't waffling.I think I posted earlier about rigors caused by having an infection but of course if MIL is diabetic this could also be a causation.It is soo hard for her family like you say cos she may appear to be "normal" for a bit and then go downhill for a bit.Sometimes people "plateau" and are able to talk with teir family,sometimes not.Your dh is doing very well and you sound as if you are supporting him with the calls,which is all you can do.Hugs Fango xx

VeniVidiVickiQV Sat 11-Oct-08 23:43:47

PJC - don't be too hard on yourself. You can only do what you can do.

PussinJimmyWhoooos Sat 11-Oct-08 23:43:58

Thanks Fanjo and Herbie. I've asked him if he wants me to DHL over a digital thermometer so he doesn't have the fitting with mercury thermometer again but I doubt he will say yes as probably not enough time but I at least have to offer. HAve said I'll stay up with him until Dr comes to keep him company via text if he wants....he has to measure her glucose again at 5am so....

I really don't think she's going to make it through the next few days

herbietea Sat 11-Oct-08 23:51:36

Message withdrawn

PussinJimmyWhoooos Sat 11-Oct-08 23:54:17

THank you all for posting - especially as its so late...will sign off now and hopefully MIL and DH have a peaceful night...

Positive vibes to anyone else going through this kind of thing

SofiaAmes Sun 12-Oct-08 00:03:03

It's sounds terrible and really awful that you can't be there to support your dh. Have you and your dh tried video cam with Skype? If you can lip read, or your dh can sign, you should be able to have a proper conversation over the computer. And it's free. My dh is in the uk and I'm in the usa with our children and we talk to him every day on video cam through skype and it costs us nothing. All you need is dsl or high speed internet connection. It really has been a lifesaver for us.

Sidge Sun 12-Oct-08 00:09:30

I'm so sorry your DH is dealing with all of this, and being so far away from you, his support sad

Yes her type of cancer will make her diabetes go haywire, as the pancreas is a major organ in insulin production (as I'm sure you know) so it will be hard to control.

I hope she is comfortable and I wish you and your DH peace and strength.

Threadworrm Sun 12-Oct-08 12:12:05

Hope that your dh and mil had as peaceful a night as poss. Thinking of you

TheArmadillo Sun 12-Oct-08 12:15:52

I am sorry to hear you are both going through all of this puss.

IF you need any help let me know x

exasperatedmummy Sun 12-Oct-08 13:06:28

Oh, i am so sorry to read this, what an awful situation. I am pretty thankful for the NHS really, it gets a rough ride but in comparison, well there is no comparison is there. Your poor DH and poor MIL. I am full of admirationi for your DH, he is doing so well - you can be there for him when he comes home, he is going to need a huge cuddle. You both sound very brave.

PussinJimmyWhoooos Sun 12-Oct-08 18:18:32

Thank you all for your posts - so lovely to check in and see all the support smile

She had an ok night. A big dose of insulin as her glucose was too high but then at 5am it was too low so they gave her juice and honey. At 7am it was normal so now its just trial and error with the insulin dosage.

I'm very puzzled as she has been on the IV antibiotics since Wed afternoon and her blood tests showed that the antibiotics are working BUT she's still getting very high temps and DH keeps thinking she's going to go every time her temp goes high. Apparently, its very dangerous in old people. The cancer is in her liver, bile ducts and pancreas and he said today the bile duct cancer was adrenalcarcinoma which I had a feeling it was as was googling like mad.

It sounds awful but because I know that all what they are doing is just keeping her comfortable and no chance of a cure, I just find myself wishing it would be over sooner rather than later as I want normality back...its awful and from a selfish perspective, I'm missing DH something chronic....I was crying when giving DS his dinner as it just hits me at certain parts of the day and the thought of possibly another two weeks of this is ....obv nothing compared to what DH is going through but...

I need chocolate!

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