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My mother has lung cancer and is in the care of Hospice. I'm her daughter and caregiver. I moved in with my parents a month ago. So I could take her out of the nursing home and get her better. Two weeks ago they found out she had cancer that had spread from her bone cancer she had gotten in her knee. They replaced her knee and said she was cancer free. Now its in the lungs and in two weeks I have watched her go from going back and forth from wheelchair to hospital bed to now she can't get out of the bed she is so weak. She is a minister's wife and knows where she in going when she dies. There is no doubt about it. My problem tonight is that I'm doubting my faith. Hospice has taken her off all of her meds except the nausea med and the morphine. She begs Jesus to plea take her. She's ready. She is in so much pain before I give her the pain med. All she says is :Let me die" or "Please let me go" some version of that. Question: Why doesn't god just take her. She has done Gods work all her life, why is letting her suffer?. I don't understand. I used to tell her that God must have something more for her to do. But not at this stage. Or I would make a joke about maybe god is still doing the final touches on her mansion. Hospice wants me to double her meds and that would leave her in zombie state. Which I know she hates. But the are concerned with making her comfortable, which I do understand. But I'm questioning should I let her be a zombie where she won't be able to talk with my sister and brother or any of the many visiters that she comes from church to see her. Is that fair to her that she can't communicate when your zonked out. I have been reading the web page for months now and I know there are a lot of Christians here. Please help me not to lose my faith. (my dad is getting some form of dementia so he's not rational or any help. My next patient will be him.)
Feeling sorry for myself.
Sherri

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I am a Jewish lady but I'll give my advice anyway: Let her be pain free. Let her say her goodbyes however she wants. She will live in your good memories. She will choose her moment as she sees fit. You have been a good and loving daughter. She knows this and she loves you for it. I speak from experience.
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Im so sorry but please stop her pain.Let her say her g oodbyes and stop her pain
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Wow, Billy Graham just did his column on this! If Mom can guide how much she needs medication and how awake she wants to be that would be best. It is not wrong Biblically or otherwise to use strong pain medication if you need to when you are dying. I'm wondering why they don't have her on a PCA pump that gives a constant baseline and a little extra boost now and then that you or she can give.

If it helps any, I see a lot of things in my life as a physician for specials needs children and families, and read a lot of things both for and against the faith, and I've just lost my mom and dad with the past 2-3 years; I find ever more reason to believe even as I better understand the reasons many people don't. I will pray for your faith and comfort and your Mom's safe passage...you can do this, too, even though you feel like you can't possibly. My journey with my parents included a doing a lot of things I thought I could not do; it seemed so impossible, something only some kind of super person could really handle, but it wasn't...it will be all right.
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As someone who has had a 'christian' mother in my home since 1982,I'm not into organized religion at all. However, I certainly support everyone else's right to depend on it. When my husband was home on hospice and dying, he refused pain meds the last three days and I followed his wishes. His mind was clear and he seemed to be out of pain at that time. He went peaceful. He was a minister's son and held my same views about organized religion. I've been with several people when they passed and I've witnessed non-christians die with peace as well as 'christians.' Three hours before my husband passed, he had a smile on his face and seemed to be seeing someone. When I asked him what he was seeing, he smiled and said ..."My mother." The Hospice nurse told me she'd seen that many times .... when a loved one who had passed previously seem to 'come for' the dying person. I was so glad he had a peaceful passing. Ironically, my mom - who claims to be a christian - seems very fearful of dying.
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Note: Your Faith is unshakeable. I can tell from your post. Stay close to God through all of this. He'll help you through it. He already has his arms around your Mom.
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My Mother passed away in January after a very long hard fight. I understand what you are going through... better than most. My Mom was tired. She prayed to God aloud for death. I wished and prayed for her to die. She was in incredible pain.

The night she passed away seemed better than any day she'd had in weeks.

Jesus hears our Prayers and God will take care of your Mom.

May our Heavenly Father make haste as one of his Angels wants to come home.

God Bless you.
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There is nothing wrong with not believing in any god. If it means so much to you that you do want to believe then think of your uncertainty as a test of your belief. Question your belief and your uncertainty. Some answer that works for you will, at some point, become more clear. Good luck.
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I truly believe in unfinished business. Twenty six years ago my father was dying from a brain tumor. The doctors said he would go into a coma. In the early morning hours he did. My mom and I were by his side. He was so afraid to leave her alone. Mom picked dad out in the lunch line when she was 13 and told her friend she was going to marry him and she did three year later. They were a great match for 35 years.

When he went into the coma I touched his shoulder, kissed him, and I promised him I would take care of mom. His next breath was his last. I do believe that was why he had fought so long because he wanted to make sure she would be okay. I think that was his unfinished business.

Bless you for taking care of your mom. I have been taking care of my mom since her stroke over six years ago and with that she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. She is my best friend and I can’t imagine not being together. I imagine when the time comes I will be telling her it is okay to go and her unfinished business will be making sure I will be okay. My heart goes out to you and bless you!
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I must admit that I have been on this site many, many times but this is the first time I have ever commented. It was your subject line that got my attention, "I'm not sure I can do this anymore. Someone please help!" I have said that many, many times, either out loud or to myself...but mostly to God. My prayers were always answered and I was able to continue on. I brought my mother to live with me after my sister put her in a nursing home and she so hated it there that she lost 100 pounds in a matter of months. She suffered from "hospital dementia" and once I got her to my home, while her mind wasn't completely clear, it was certainly clear enough that we were able to have many wonderful discussions and I learned a lot. Her physical health, at the age of 87, was suffering and she was in a wheelchair, while I struggled getting her to doctor's appointments and she was in and out of the hospital several times. Even with the help of home health care, it was exhausting, and took it's toll on my own health as well. One late night as I was driving home from the hospital, I had to pull off the side of the road because I was crying too hard to see. I said those words we have all said a hundred times before "I need help...I just can't do this anymore!" The next day an aunt I hadn't heard from in ages called and asked if she could come stay with me for awhile and help out. She came and stayed for a month. My aunt gave me so much more than the physical help and rest I needed. She was a Freedom Fighter during World War II and had been imprisoned and tortured. When she made her escape from Hungary and walked to freedom, all she had to start over was a toothbrush and her faith in God. She is one of the most "joyful" people I know and lives every day to the fullest. I don't mean to get off topic, but my point is that I have no doubt that God sent her to me to renew my faith and give me the strength to continue. There were several other times when my prayers were also answered. My mother lived an additional two years and I was with her when she died in her own bed here at home. She was a very religious person her entire life, but there were times toward the end when she was scared and asked me "what if this is all there is?" She was also afraid she hadn't led a good enough life. I like to think that the spirit of God gave me the best answers I could give her and it did seem to comfort her. I believe God sent her to live with me for a reason and when what He had intended was fulfilled, it was time for her to let go. I had never seen a person die and the thought of it scared me to death. She had Hospice for only two weeks and morphine to ease her pain for the last day. Even so, I know she could hear me. Mom used to sing Silent Night to me as a child, year round, and I did the same with my children. I sang that to her that last night, I said the "Hail Mary" over and over again, and the last thing I told her was that I would do my best to take over for her and watch over the family and keep them all together. I said it was okay for her to let go now. And that is the very minute that she did let go. Don't be afraid to use the morphine, it will ease her pain, but I think that will free her to be able to listen to God and family. And for those afraid to be there when a person dies, it was the most wonderful, fulfilling moment of my life. One that has changed me, renewed and strengthened my faith, and I thank God every day that I was able to be with my mom at the end, as she was was with me at the beginning!
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Swinchester,
Many hugs to you, and God Bless. I feel your pain, and I wanted to say that it's okay for you to trust your instincts when dealing with your mom. I wouldn't worry about other people coming to see her; if she needs morphine for the pain, let her have it. As someone else said, hearing is the last to go, so visitors can pray for her and tell her how much she's meant to them.

May your mother's transition be peaceful and may you both be surrounded by The Holy Spirit.
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One thing for sure is that being a caregiver has brought the reality of death front and center for me, this is something all my life I have been afraid of. Fear is usually behind most things in my life that make me feel uncomfortable. I went from being a young kid who knew everything and could handle anything and anyone to someone who not only does not have the answer but really do not know the question any more. I do know now that I don't know very much. I was raised a Catholic, today, I am not religious, I do believe in God and I think that love is God. So, I must have a lot of God in me cause I have a great deal of love in me. I have found that if I accept things the way they are, change what I can and meditate for the wisdom to know the difference things work out the way they are supposed to. There is pain coming in this world and I assume there will pain on the return trip. Do what you can to help, accept what you can't. I can only imagine that love is the way out ,it was the way we came in, love yourself and love your mom.
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If your mom is ready to go, let them increase the medication and ease her suffering. I have had a small taste of seeing my mother suffer, and you cannot hold out like this indefinitely. It feels like someone us ripping your heart.

And I personally would forbid any visitors outside of family. Since she has worked in the ministry as a pastor's wife, I imagine she still has a "be polite and entertain guests" reflex. She is no longer required to do this and should not feel pressured by well meaning guests. The church family doesn't always remember that ministers are as am human as everyone else. Anyways, their prayers are as effective at church as they would be in her room.

Well, that's my two cents worth. Ask the Lord for wisdom, and remember two things: Jesus knows how horrible death and pain are, and He knows about being concerned for your mother (remember at the cross He entrusted His mom to one of His disciples) .
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Dear Swinchester,
My Mom passed at hospice a few months ago from colon cancer that had migrated into her lungs. She also had Alzheimers. She used to be a Buddhist until I witnessed to her about Jesus and eternal life with him.. I read Scripture to her, sang praise songs to her, prayed for her and when she was sleeping, prayed with her while she was awake.
The Holy spirit did miracles for her. Not her body, God did not miraculously heal her, but God revealed Jesus Christ to her in ways that shocked me totally. I knew that Jesus accepted her prayers and was her savoir God by the things she said and prayed, and by the look in her eyes. I can go on forever by the things that marvelled me. I was holding her when she passed, kept speaking into her ear [I heard that the last to go is the hearing], kept telling her that Jesus is calling to her, and can you see him, go to Him to his eternal kingdom. She passed so beautifully. She looked like she was just sleeping. She was so Peaceful. I was praying that the Lord allow me to be with her when He took her "real" self, her soul, into His presence. Even though I still grieve mightly for her, I know where she is - seeing Jesus in all his glory and splendor. We allowed hospice to medicate her with morphine because of her pain and her difficulty breathing was painful too. Mom was in that "zombie" state as you put it, but without the meds, we saw how much pain and suffering that she was in that we couldn't stand it. And she couldn't stand it either. Even if she's in that "zombie" state, she can still hear you. You can still read Scripture to her, sing to her praise songs, pray over her. She will hear you. Most importantly, Jesus will hear you and hear your Mom's silent prayers in whatever state she's in. His understanding is infinate.
We did not want Mom to suffer in passing the way my Daddy suffered when he passed.
I will pray for you. The Lord blesses us with His faith and trust. And if you pray in faith, He will bless you with more faith. You know where Mom is going once her heart stops beating--the Lord will send his angels to escort Mom into His presence!! Praise God in the good times,Praise God in the difficult times.As Paul said, "I consider everything rubbish [here on earth] compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Jesus Christ my Lord."
Mom won't be in a "better place" as many people say. She'll be in the greatest eternal kingdom that no human can imagine until we get there ourselves.
The Lord sees your pain, he carries your tears in His bottle.... He knows what suffering is all about. He felt the worst suffering that no human can imagine. He loves you and will take your Mom up. Let them put her out of physical pain, and then leave the rest up to God. After all, He's in control of everything right?
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I just went thru the same exact situation. My mom passed away March 6th 2013 with hospice. She was only on hospice for 1 month. It was hard to accept that they were there just to make her comfortable and not to try and save her, but my mom was also ready to die and go home to God. I wanted them to give her IV fluids as she was dehydrated but she was dying and they just wanted comfort for her. I know how hard it is for you, but if they gave you a book on teh final stages of life and the dying process, you will get a better understanding. We as caregivers try to "Save" and nourish someone we love. Only God knows when their time comes, but Hospice was a blessing for my mom and our family. Just be there for her and you will be assured they you made the best decision for her to die at home. You will have no regrets and I am sure she is going right to heaven. God bless you and your mom. Do not doubt what is happening. All things happen for a reason.
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I have been praying for you and your mother. Please let us know, how things are.
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Hugs to you (((((Swinchester))))) It's such a matter of personal faith, but here's what I've come to feel observing death within my own family life. A death isn't about only the one who is dying but all those connected to that person as well. The dying time is a crucible that tests and changes everyone involved as well as about the person dying letting go. There is much we simply cannot know from our vantage point. I agree with everyone else though that unless your mother needs to be lucid for a particular visit it is better to let her have enough meds so she isn't in pain. Also if she's mentally clear enough she could make her wishes known too.
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It's not God who is to blame for all our sickness, pains, etc...Adam ate the forbidden fruit and condemned all mankind to death. That's why Jesus had to come to earth to sacrifice His life so that we may have everlasting life. Hence the Easter celebration. If you look into the Book of Job, you will see that it is Satan and his demons that are causing the problems on earth. With that said, your mom is suffering so much in pain. We live in an island that has a very high rate of cancer. I've had acquaintances who had brain cancer. I understand that towards the end, she kept screaming for relief from the pain. I've been in the hospital (mom), and we could hear this man yelling for help because the pain is so bad. The nurse told us that he had cancer and they can only give him the painkiller at certain prescribed times. So, when the meds wear off, he is in excruciating pain that he's yelling for hours until the next med time. I remembered thinking that this is a very good time for him to be given marijuana as a way to put him in "la-la land" so that he cannot feel the pain. I will always remember him yelling, begging for help and how the nurses can continue as if nothing is unusual. Truly awful.

If I ever get cancer, I would not want to die with my very last thoughts of pain. I would like for once, to have one very good thought before I die. I came to this decision as I heard that poor man begging and screaming for help for hours.

Swinchester, please think of your mom and give her the dignity and peace of her last days here. This is a time to reassure her that her God is there for her. Read from the Book of Psalms. You may have doubts about Him, but please help your mom to go to Him.

My mom has died recently. For a few weeks before her death, she was struggling to breathe. On Sunday, I texted all my siblings that mom is close to the end and that she may not make it in 6 days. My siblings dropped everything (well except baby sis). Older sis left Colorado on Tuesday, and arrived home on Wednesday. My 2 brothers (Texas and Virginia) left on Thursday, and arrived here on Friday. Baby sis couldn't find a flight out on Saturday, and ended up leaving on Monday, arriving here on Tuesday. During that time, mom struggled in her breathing in the mornings. Sis didn't make it in time. Mom died at 4pm, sis arrived at 6pm. Each of us told our mom that it's okay to go. We followed the advice here to not hold her back by crying or telling her in any way not to go. We reassured her that it was OK to go.

I'm so sorry that you're having to go through this. I was sooo stressed when I thought I would be the one to be here as mom was dying. I have told everyone here on AC and to my siblings that I cannot handle being here when mom dies. I was so relieved when older sis came and took over with the caregiving until the end. I feel for you, Swinchester. {{{ HUGS }}} from across the ocean.
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Ooops! I wrote that to Mishka and it's supposed to be to swinchester! Yeah, it's way to late at night to be writing stuff. I apologize!!!
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Mishka, does your mom have some favorite hymns that she really loves to hear? Are there verses that bring her comfort? Has she asked for her Pastor or a certain special someone that she finds to be very Christian or Spiritual and therefor comforting? Is there anyone she has been asking for?

Are you aware of anything that she may feel is left unfinished? The ties to this world are very strong, stronger than most realize. The slender threads that bind us here are like steel. I know a son, a friend of mine, whose father was struggling to leave this world, physically struggling. He and his father had always had a difficult relationship, but he spent the last few months helping his mother care for him in hospice. On this last night as his father struggled so mightily, he held his father's hand and talked to him and told him all the things that he did right as a father and how at the end his father did make him feel loved, and then he gave his father permission to leave. His father took one last deep breath and then he was gone.

Find out who she feels the need to see, who she may be worried about, find out who needs to see her, and get these visits finished. To many visitors in and out of the room tie her here and make it impossible to slip away. Let things quiet down. Unfinished business can also hold her here, is All accomplished in her mind? It can be something financial, perhaps something in the Will or Not in the Will.

Begging Jesus to take you, and being ready to go 'Home' are two different things. For decades I had ALWAYS thought of myself as ready to go Home to Jesus at any time, but when lying on a gurney and being rushed upstairs for an angiogram on an emergency basis I suddenly became how aware of how not ready I was and become so very incredibly afraid I found myself sobbing hysterically and David was holding on to me tightly, trying to calm me but he was wasn't able to help me and even made it worse. He's an agnostic and quite likely an atheist. I discovered that I had more studying to do. So give her a chance to talk to someone she trusts, and offer to read any parts of the Bible to her that she wishes to hear.

Don't worry Mishka, God will receive her, as soon as she is ready to leave.

And Do medicate her pain. It's more unfair for her to be in pain, let her be comfortable and at peace. There can be a happy medium. She doesn't have to be drugged out of her mind. Talk to the hospice nurses.

p.s. just as my faith can falter and your faith can falter, so can your mom's. being a Pastor's Wife doesn't mean a hill of beans, each of us are human after all. It doesn't mean that her address will be different, her room is being readied, His blood covers all. :)
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Praying for you and your Mom ( and Dad and family), swinchester. God is there with you now and He is with your Mother. Be still, listen for His quiet voice. Trust in Him. We know not why He does what He does but God loves you and your Mom and is there right now with you both.

As for the medication-Did she say she wanted to talk to anyone? If not than I think you should let her poor body rest.
My deepest sympathies for all your pain and you are all in my prayers.
~Mishka
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I read on here not long ago that fighting pain may keep some people alive, and that when the pain is relieved, they can let go. I do not know the truth of this, only what I've read. It is a tough decision -- to ease her pain or to let her visit with her children. Maybe you can find a balance so that both needs can be met by easing the pain most but not all of the time.

God be with you and let the Holy Spirit bring wisdom so you will know what to do.
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Would you want to be "all there" and endure that pain? I know I wouldn't. Let them medicate her until she's in little or no pain, even if it makes her a "zombie" - even if it's only at night so she can sleep. If she has a visitor coming whom she won't see again or who can only visit occasionally, the staff can try to time her meds so she's not totally out of it when that happens. But the rest of the time, it's OK if she's in a fog. The pain is truly excruciating, and yes, the power is in the hands of the staff - and through your OK - to take that away. Don't feel guilty easing her pain - and you're not robbing her of lucid moments. You're saving her from horrible pain.
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God has given you the ability to ease her pain. I can't imagine not increasing her meds. I didn't know that hospice would even give you the option of what to administer. My heart goes out to you, but they have to make her comfortable.
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