Hospice, Scared, Guilty - no winning
Mom was put in the hospital in November for dehydration. While there, we discovered her lungs are covered with white nodules - 27, top to bottom, both sides. Doctors recommended we not do more invasive testing to confirm their suspicion of lung cancer. She had been a breast cancer survivor 9 years ago, and we are guessing it spread to lungs. Because she has dementia, she does not remember this at all. Fast forward to the end of January where her breathing was short and pain severe in her chest. I called for a doctor's appointment and they suggested Hospice. I began services with Hospice and am so glad for their support - we have been assigned a very caring nurse, not eager for medicine but just keeping mom comfortable. I am scared about what I read of the morphine and ativan and being the one to give these drugs to her. It is scary to think I am causing her decline. I am reminded why they are needed when the pain breaks through and my mom is so confused by her chest pain. She's still willing to eat and drink. I am able to get her to the potty most times. She has uncontrollable shaking at least once a day. She sleeps with her mouth wide open and is developing discoloration on her face but nowhere else. If this is it, her natural end of life, then ok. But if I am hastening her passing, causing her anxiety, keeping her too sleepy to enjoy sunny spring days, then I hate myself. No question, just wanting to scream in frustration, but mom is sleeping and I don't want to wake her.