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Months to live, in your experience how long was this?

(28 Posts)
ifonly4 Fri 29-Sep-17 16:33:14

DH has found out his Mum has months to live. With all the other questions that came to mind to ask, he didn't clarify how long this could be. I know everyone is totally different, but if you don't mind me asking, how long did this mean for your loved ones.

I asked him what they meant my months and he now wished he'd asked, but it's hard to actually speak to the doctor. My gut tells me she won't get back 4/6 weeks, but I don't want to alarm him.

Ijustlovefood Fri 29-Sep-17 17:17:47

Sorry to hear about your dh's mum. I know you will feel you really need to know how long but unfortunately even the doctors won't be able to give an exact time.
When my dad was dying they said he had weeks rather than months but he actually ended up living for about 4 months after that. Just concentrate now on quality of life, keeping her comfortable and pain free and being with her when you can. Nobody can predict the exact moment they pass they just give an idea. So sorry.

SweetChickadee Fri 29-Sep-17 17:19:00

Your poor DH. I'd probably guess 3-6 if I was told that

1234hello Fri 29-Sep-17 22:22:25

Really sorry about your MIL. It is actually pretty hard for a medical professional to accurately predict this as people buck the trends all the time (in both directions). I have heard of people being given 6 months and then lived for 4 years, and I have heard of someone given 12 months who only lasted 6 weeks.

It's human nature to want to know these things but as a PP said the best thing for everyone is to live for each day and take things as they come.

What makes you think only a few weeks?

Blossomdeary Fri 29-Sep-17 22:26:24

A consultant told me yesterday that my OH is at the stage when he is dying from his Parkinsons Disease. I asked nothing - I was too shocked - I still do not know exactly what was meant and I am having to take steps to try and get back in touch with her. Brains can only take so much in.

ifonly4 Sat 30-Sep-17 08:57:48

Thanks everyone. In we respect DH would have asked if they meant 2/3 months or 6 months. It's been a bit of a rocky three months as we have three family members and MIL is the first to loose her fight.

Blossom, so sorry to hear about your other half. It's not easy catching up with the professionals but it doesn't help you. x

KinkyFruits Sat 30-Sep-17 09:54:13

It really is impossible for doctors to predict. My MIL's prognosis was 4-6 months and she ended up living for over two years. That was an unusual case where they found she was eligible for an experimental treatment that worked really well for a while, but even when she was finally dying they told us it would be a matter of weeks and she died two days later. I know how much you will want to know a timeframe but it sounds like the doctors have told you all that can. When they say "months," it is in contrast to weeks or years, so it likely means more than a few weeks but well under a year -- maybe 2-8 months? But even that is just a prediction.

I have found that caregivers can predict when the end is very near, like within a day or two. So you may well have the chance to be with your MIL at the moment she passes, if that is a concern. Of course, some people whose bodies are shutting down can have a stroke or heart attack and die suddenly. So really you can't know.

flowers for you and your family.

PastysPrincess Sat 30-Sep-17 09:58:27

I'm really sorry for what you are going through. My friends husband was given until Christmas on the 18th August, he died on the 29th August.

fleshmarketclose Sat 30-Sep-17 10:02:12

They told dm six months, she lived 7 months, it would have been more humane for her to have died within three if I'm honest as the last four were just torture for her and us. Really sorry you are going through this flowers

Namethecat Sat 30-Sep-17 10:10:21

Mum was given the diagnosis of stage 4 bowel cancer - no chemo offered emergency colostomy. She didn't want to know her prognosis but was ok with me knowing - given around 4 months but she passed at 11 weeks. They can't give an exact as obviously a lot of life limiting illnesses can lead to other problems such as infections etc .

ifonly4 Sat 30-Sep-17 10:56:27

Thanks again for your replies. Like I say I suspect it's more likely to be weeks/just into a month myself. She's developed a hoarse cough this week (has lymphoma in lungs, stomach and neck) so I suspected the treatment hadn't helped.

mammmamia Sat 30-Sep-17 11:00:21

My uncle had similar last December and was given 2-3 months, but tbh that knowledge almost seemed to make him give up and he passed on 10 December. Sorry for your family flowers

ifonly4 Sat 30-Sep-17 11:32:06

So sorry to hear about your Uncle. My Uncle also had/has cancer, they've operated but haven't confirmed future treatment/all clear, so I know it's not easy.

My mother-in-law has a touch of dementia and apparently she'd blanked out the doctor speaking to her in the week and then family on Thursday. I guess it's the shock and not wanting to deal with it, but it'll probably hit her hard in the next day or so.

HyacinthBooquet Sat 07-Oct-17 04:22:57

My friends prognosis after her cancer returned was a maximum of 12 months yet 2 years later she's still here. However, we were told again last month that she only has months left and when I asked what it meant was told about 3 months.

Im not sure people can really tell what it means.

Kittymum03 Sat 07-Oct-17 04:38:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Mjslaven Sat 07-Oct-17 04:54:35

Having been through this with my mum, i can only say treat every day as the last. Deterioration seems to happen so quickly and only at late stages can doctors or nurses give guidance on timeframes. Don't hold back from asking questions now whenever you get a chance, question everything I would say, even if just to give yourselves some peace of mind. You're entitled to ask anything whenever you like

Lucisky Mon 16-Oct-17 08:45:29

You can never tell, in my experience, and nor can the doctors always predict. My mum was given 18 months to two years, and lasted 20 months. My best friend was given 6 months, but lasted 3 years. In her case, new drug treatments became available which really helped - there are amazing new drugs being developed all the time. My brother is currently terminal and coming to the end, but is now in his 20th month, which he wasn't expected to reach. The only thing I can say is, if someone is declared terminal, do as many activities as you can while they still have some semblance of health. My brother was in denial for a long time, and now it is far too late for even simple things like a trip to the theatre/fancy restaurant. I know some people go really quickly after diagnosis, but it seems more usual to have a bit of time before things get really bad. God I hate cancer.

ifonly4 Mon 16-Oct-17 10:44:35

Thanks for your replies everyone and sharing your experience.

I thought I'd let you know my mother-in-law passed away last week. She slowly deteriorated during the week, was confused Thursday afternoon before falling asleep. I stayed with my DH overnight and we sensed her breathing slowly changing during the night and she left us peacefully. The nurse thought she'd have another couple of days when we asked about her breathing but luckily we decided to phone the family and they had a chance to see her. She had cancer and was in pain initially before they tried chemo but has been pain free since, so we have to be grateful for that.

Kittymum03 Mon 16-Oct-17 18:40:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Namethecat Mon 16-Oct-17 22:46:30

Sorry for your family's loss.

echt Tue 17-Oct-17 08:26:11

Sorry for your loss, ifonly4, but good to know there is some comfort in you MIL's peaceful death.


AnnieAnoniMouse Tue 17-Oct-17 08:36:16

💐 I'm very sorry she's gone, but it's lovely that she was pain free & went peacefully. Look after yourselves x

Ifailed Tue 17-Oct-17 08:45:16

My DP was told that the average prognosis was 8 months, but age related so maybe longer. Is was 8 months to the day.

AnnieAnoniMouse Tue 17-Oct-17 09:48:18

I'm sorry to hear about your DP Ifailed 😢🌷

I'm not sure if you saw it or not, but the OP updated the thread just a few posts up. Sadly her MIL has passed away already.

Ifailed Tue 17-Oct-17 10:32:59

AnnieAnoniMouse, thanks, I did see the update. It just something that really made me think; would you want a prognosis to be accurate, or vague? With the former, at least you have some idea of how time you have left with your loved one, but at the same time the 'count-down' could be horrendous. With the latter, they could suddenly go.

As it happens, DPs condition gradually deteriorated and it was clear the time was coming, the prognosis didn't really come into my mind until afterwards.

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