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I just joined this forum tonight as I cannot sleep. I have been living with my grandparents for nearly 4 years. On August 15th, my grandmother (89) woke up with severe stomach pains. My husband, grandfather and I insisted she go to the ER to check it out. Turned out she had a perforated ulcer in her small intestine and she needed immediate surgery. After the surgery she was brought to ICU where she stayed until the 26th. The surgeon also informed me at the time of her surgery that she has stage 4 colon cancer. Everyday in the hospital it seemed she was getting better. Then they transferred her to a rehabilitation center. At first it seemed she was getting better. We had discussed her possibly returning home on Sept. 15th. Then things started sliding downhill in literally days, if you saw her early this week and then today you would not know she's the same person. She's been having a lot of issues catching her breath. She has adema, and a heart condition. The nurse informed me today that she had somewhat of a panic attack last night and again this morning due to being short of breath. She is on oxygen, yet her respiratory level is that of someone who is exercising. She asked me if they could call hospice. I accepted. I have a meeting with them tomorrow.
I am scared, stressed and upset. My grandfather is a wreck. They've been married for almost 70 years. I also work full time and have two children myself. (15 & 5)
When I saw her today she was barely eating, my grandfather was spoon feeding her chocolate ice cream. That is the only thing she touched on her plate. She didn't look like herself. It's so hard to see her like this. I have always been very close to her, she practically raised me.

I just don't understand how she can be fine one day, smiling with me and telling me to tell the kids to "Have fun outside while they can" to how she was today.

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rachel, I lost my mom in 9 days, she went to the hospital 4 what we thought was diebetes and found out she had Lukemia, kidney failure and some other things wrong. My sisers and brothers 7 in all were there everyday till the end. We were shocked at how quick it happened. Hospice was a wonderful comfort to us all as I'm sure they will be for you when the time comes. My grandmother (Moms mom) passed 1year later and again hospice hugged all of us then as well. It's a great organization one that I highly recommend. Now we are placing my mother-in law (94) into a dementia care facility since we can't homecare her any longer, her illness has progressed beyond our capabilities at home even with in home caregivers help. A choice her son and I both agree with because we love her and know she needs more care now. I hope you get the help you need here I know this has helped me cope emmensly!
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I am so sorry Rachel♥. It is such a difficult situation to be in with our loved ones. It is great that your family was able to come and your grandfather was at her side. You a very blessed to have such a caring family and what an inspiration your grandparents have been for you and the rest of your family. Continue to support your grandfather as the loss will be greatly felt by him and you. You have our support and heartfelt thoughts coming to you.
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Thank you everyone for your thoughts and concerns. She passed peacefully yesterday at 6:25 PM. My grandfather was by her side. Many family members spent the day in her room and she was awake and even had her eyes open a bit. I told her not to worry about us that we would be OK. When she fell asleep, my aunt, cousins and I had just headed out to dinner. She passed about 20 minutes after we left. We believe she waited until we had left. Today we made arrangements at the funeral home.
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rachel I am so sorry this is happening to you. It's so difficult to see this isn't it? What I found out when my mom had an accident and had to be in the hospital for a broken neck was that during the hospital stay she seemed like she was getting better also. When moved to the NH, she started to decline. I found out that this was fairly typical of the elderly. They don't seem to adapt to change well at all and the nursing home was a complete change for her. She declined rapidly and I didn't understand it either. I don't have any great advice for yoiu Rachel but you and your grandfather need to know that you've done everything right. Just be there for grandma and grandpa. That's really all you can do at this time. Make sure grandpa knows that he's so loved by you and your family because right now, I'm sure he's feeling alone and afraid. Being married that long and then dealing with this has to be so difficult for him. He's not a spring chicken either but the man in him probably just wants to "fix it" for his wife. God bless them for being together that many years. They have been a lucky couple.
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Thank you very much. The nurse told me the same thing today when I was in tears outside her room. Everyday she gets a bit worse. The nurse from hospice said that he thinks she only has a few days left but sometimes they get surprised.

She barely acknowledged us today, but did look at us a bit, but like you said it seems as if she is not really there. My uncle died too 15 years ago from a freak accident. He was their first child. So I keep thinking that she'll get to see him again, as well as her mom and all the other loved ones that have gone already. Right now I am trying to make sure I notify everyone in the family so they can be prepared and say goodbye if they wish. We're trying to find a way to get my out of state family here, including my mom.
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I have seen this much deteriation in days. It's hard to cope with, you are in shock. All you can do is support your granpa he is going to need all of you to rally around him. She is literally his right arm and the only one that understands him and the only one that is his memory. My uncle died and my mom has just been lost ever since, she said I just lost half my life. You have to seperate your feelings and realize that is not her laying there, the person you knew is gone and you have all the love and memories you need. Hope for the person that is left goes in peace and to a better place, colon cancer is extremely painful and you do not want her to suffer and go thru it for very long. My heart goes out to you and your family.
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It is hard to imagine and accept that the change can happen so fast, isn't it? She may rally, of course, but by ordering hospice it sounds like th doctor does not expect it.

I sincerely hope that when it is my husband's time to leave this earth, or mine, we can go very quickly, without lingering for months and months, in pain, and not ourselves.

Seventy years of marriage! Amazing. Your grandfather has a lot to be thankful for. My heart goes out to you and to him and to your grandmother in this very difficult time.
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