My MIL, who has terminal cancer, is deteriorating rapidly and no longer able to live alone. So there is a lot of talk in the family about what the next step is. Mum always said she wanted to stay at home as long as possible then go into the Palliative Care wing of the local hospital when she was near the end. Now that we are at that point Mum is very reluctant to go into the hospital and coming here to live with us is being talked about as an option. We are happy to have her here but I really wonder about how do-able this actually is. I have two kids, aged 6 and 8, who are active and busy with the usual mess, morning rush to school, piano lessons, play dates etc. We live in a little old house with a tiny bathroom and narrow hallway and we need to get a hospital bed with an air mattress in here. Plus move one child out of his bedroom and in with the other. Mum is being transferred off oral medications tomorrow and having a syringe driver with 24 hours morphine instead. She is still able to toilet herself but is very unsteady on her feet due to massive fluid retention in her legs and abdomen. She is very vacant and restless atm. I just don't know if its an option logistically or if I can provide the sort of care Mum really needs. I don't know how the kids will cope with constantly seeing their beloved Grandma like this and not having any "down time" or normal sort of space in their life where they can escape from it all. I am feeling scared of taking on this responsibility (all the rest of the family live interstate) and I worry that if she moves here next week Mum will die here and that's not what she wants, or me to be honest. If anyone has thoughts from their own experience to share with us it would be very helpful as we deal with these difficult decisions.
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Hi there. I think I know the position you are in. In mid 2008 my dad was diagonised with terminal oesophageus cancer and by 2010 had gone downhill really fast. He too lived alone and was so independent even though he was legally blind. My daughter and I wanted him to come live with me-5 hours away. Eventually he had to come here but rushed to hospital next day where he was for 3 weeks till he passed. I so wanted him to come live with me but after social worker/occ health came they said I could not look after him. He died a peaceful death in hospital with family around - something I would not have coped with at home. Looking back now after 3 years it was probably the best thing. I only thought last week that if I was as sick as him I would want my grandkids to remember me as I am now and not see me in too much pain. Hope I have helped a bit but do spend lots of time with her and talk/laugh about memories. That has helped me a lot with my dad even though I still terribly miss him. Take care Chris
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Thank you for your reply Chris, especially with the wonderful perspective of some time having passed - I can't believe I wrote that post only 5 days ago...things have changed so quickly. Mum went into hospital only 2 days after I posted and may not last through tonight. I am relieved in many ways that her health made the decision for us. In the end she simply had to have hospital care and ASAP. We are just waiting now as her breathing slows, but she has been more comfortable over the last 3 days than she would have been any where else. I thank God for the Palliative Care nurses and the facilities we have available, and the burden they have lifted off our shoulders giving us room to live and grieve in our own space at home.
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Hi again. One last thing I can say is be there for your mum through the night. I know it may be hard with young children. My son/daughter and myself were with dad the afternoon before and my daughter and I spent the whole night with him (only quickly going back home to see her kids-6 and 9 at the time) and were there when he took his last breath. Even though I miss him him so so much I am really thankful that I was there with him till the very end and I truely believe that he knew I was there. Dad was there when I came into the world and I was there when he left. Think I was really blessed. You stay with her and you will be glad yod. Feel free to message me if you want to talk. Take care. Chris
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Hi again. One last thing I can say is be there for your mum through the night. I know it may be hard with young children. My son/daughter and myself were with dad the afternoon before and my daughter and I spent the whole night with him (only quickly going back home to see her kids-6 and 9 at the time) and were there when he took his last breath. Even though I miss him him so so much I am really thankful that I was there with him till the very end and I truely believe that he knew I was there. Dad was there when I came into the world and I was there when he left. Think I was really blessed. You stay with her and you will be glad yod. Feel free to message me if you want to talk. Take care. Chris
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Hi again. One last thing I can say is be there for your mum through the night. I know it may be hard with young children. My son/daughter and myself were with dad the afternoon before and my daughter and I spent the whole night with him (only quickly going back home to see her kids-6 and 9 at the time) and were there when he took his last breath. Even though I miss him him so so much I am really thankful that I was there with him till the very end and I truely believe that he knew I was there. Dad was there when I came into the world and I was there when he left. Think I was really blessed. You stay with her and you will be glad yod. Feel free to message me if you want to talk. Take care. Chris
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Oops sorry posted 3 times-must have pressed wrong button
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Hi again. How is your MIL going xo Chris
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Hi Chris - it is so kind of you to ask how things are. My lovely MIL passed away peacefully in the early hours of Wednesday morning after 4 days in the Palliative Care unit of our local hospital. She had family with her 24/7 for the whole of the last week. Although I was not able to be there at the very moment she went (at home with sleeping children) I'd had time to hold her hand and say thank you for all she blessed me with in her life and goodbye. Her funeral and Thanksgiving Service will be held on Monday. Thanks so much for you reply to my original post, which was very helpful at a particularly difficult time for us and your ongoing interest. You've set me a great example of using this hard time well for the benefit of others and I will continue to keep an eye on these blogs. Best Wishes to you and yours, from Karen
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Hi Chris - it is so kind of you to ask how things are. My lovely MIL passed away peacefully in the early hours of Wednesday morning after 4 days in the Palliative Care unit of our local hospital. She had family with her 24/7 for the whole of the last week. Although I was not able to be there at the very moment she went (at home with sleeping children) I'd had time to hold her hand and say thank you for all she blessed me with in her life and goodbye. Her funeral and Thanksgiving Service will be held on Monday. Thanks so much for you reply to my original post, which was very helpful at a particularly difficult time for us and your ongoing interest. You've set me a great example of using this hard time well for the benefit of others and I will continue to keep an eye on these blogs. Best Wishes to you and yours, from Karen
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