How much should Mom know about her prognosis?

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I'd be grateful for any advice. Mom has two types of cancer each with a poor prognosis though a timeframe has never been given (she has asked, believe me!). She has declined quite rapidly over the last week or two and is being treated for infections in hospital. She is still mentally alert though forgetful. I don't think she has processed how ill she is as yet. My dad died two years ago. Doctors have asked to meet with the family in the next couple of days and the nurse organizing it said it's up to my sister and I whether mom comes along. I don't anticipate there being any kind of good news at this meeting. So, should mom come along? My initial thoughts are of course as it's about her, but then I see her talking about maybe getting better, going on vacation etc. and I wonder if it's something my sister and I should do alone.

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It may be easier for your mom and you if the doctor tells her the prognosis. Your telling her will be emotional and you may not be able to answer all her questions she has. If it was you would you want to hear it from the doctor and be able to ask questions? When my dad was dying I couldn't tell him. I was too emotional and my mom couldn't deal with it. The palliative care nurse told him. It was such a blessing to all of us.
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If Mom is declining treatment, would she be comfortable with hospice? That would provide additional services for her and for the family members. Spiritual guidance, nurses visits, and aide, etc etc. And if she is able to travel (my personal love) can you plan a get away with you and your sister? It doesn't have to be far but something that would create some beautiful memories.
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I know the last thing you have time to think about is reading a book, but Being Mortal by Atul Gawande is a wonderful book which grapples with end of life issues.
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Mom is only 72. The forgetfulness as far as we know is just that, and not dementia. It's gotten worse over the last week or two as her condition has declined. She has lung cancer and was receiving radiotherapy but elected to cease treatment. The doctors talked her round and were about to start the treatment again but have now decided not to.

We have no idea what's going on other than that it's bad. She is very put together with her admin etc so for the most part her affairs would be in order.

Early on I kept the lung cancer diagnosis from her for a week and that nearly broke my heart. Now that she's been told how sick she is she talks about dying, but then in the next breath talks about going on a holiday this Summer. I want her to be comfortable and as happy as she can be for however long she has left.
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maryjane, Sorry about your Mom's situation. I guess it all depends! How old is your Mom and is she forgetful or does she have some level of dementia? Does she have 'her affairs in order' or are there steps she would want to take now? (and is competent to do so)
When she asks about a time frame can you deflect and say something like -- no one knows Mom but it is always good to be prepared. Do you want to make any updates to your Will? POA? Health care proxy? What are your wishes? You and your sister could go to the meeting without Mom and then decide what to communicate. but without more info, I'm not really confident that I should weigh in. Whatever you decide, I wish you the best.
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This is based on your comment that she is mentally alert, my answer would be different if she was not. I feel that she has the right to know: to make final arrangements, to make her peace with family, to attend to any unfinished business, to allow her to seek comfort from friends and family and also to allow family to offer it without worry about "spilling the beans", to bring in hospice experts who can guide you and her through the coming months and offer reassurance and expert care.
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