Should we make sure Mom's bowels are moving? - AgingCare.com

Should we make sure Mom's bowels are moving?

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My mother-in-law has cancer. We are keeping her at home because that is her wish. We have hospice as needed. She is eating and drinking very little and sleeps a lot. She has not had a bowel movement in 5 days. She will go to the bathroom to pass urine but has to have help. With the type,of cancer she has we were told she would starve to death. The cancer is concentrated in the bowel area.

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Sam, your MIL's oncologist or a doctor assigned by hospice is/are the ones to be asking the question of "how long". They would have the insight and experience to judge. Also raise the issue of the expression on her face; perhaps they can start the morphine now if they haven't already. Given that she's in a terminal situation, there's no point in allowing her to suffer any more than she already has.

Peace be with you and your family.
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I know this is a terrible thought! But, how long can this go on? She definitely doesn't want to be like this. You can see it in her eyes every time she wakes up.
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I would also ask hospice staff to discuss this with their hospice doctor, or better yet, with your MIL's oncologist. If forcing a BM means taking laxatives, on basically an empty stomach and having colon (?) cancer, I can't imagine what the results might be. It might cause her internal upset or pain.

If she's not eating, there isn't going to be much to pass anyway.

I am so sorry for the sad and traumatic situation your mother-in-law and family are facing. I hope that her eventual passing is as peaceful and pain free as possible.
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My mom died of cancer 3 years ago, and that really is what finally killed her was starvation. Nothing tasted good, nothing turned her on anymore food wise, so she just quit trying to eat. She'd drink once in awhile, but only when we reminded her to. There are pills that will keep the bowels moving, so I'd mention it to hospice and let them talk to the doctor. Hospice was wonderful to us and mom btw.
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