My Mom has stage 4 lung cancer and recently moved in with my family.

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I'm an only child so all decisions fall to me. She has been very independent and has been able to live alone and drive until 4 weeks ago. The doctors can't explain the pain she is having and I just don't know what to do.

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Hi Bluegirl. I'm glad your moms pain is under control. There is a thickener they use in hospitals for liquids to keep patients from aspirating and getting aspiration pneumonia. I'm not sure if it would be beneficial to your mothers comfort at this stage. You might ask her hospice doctor or nurse. I hope you are getting rest. Thanks for letting us know how she is doing.
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Mom is now in hospice care. We are giving her morphine, which has helped with the pain. She only complains of pain when being moved. She is now bed ridden due to being so weak. My only concern is she is now having difficulty swallowing thin liquids and has developed a hoarse voice overnight. The hospice nurse thinks it is due to muscle weakness in the neck/throat area. Thank you to each that posted.
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Depending on where the pain is the lanocaine patches might help. They really helped my mother and husband. Much more than Norco which did nothing for my husband. They originally were for shingles but mother used them for a fractured spine and husband for a deep muscle injury that had him breathless with pain. Also a med for inflamation helped more than the Norco. Take care of yourself. Remember to breath and try to walk each day. There is mindfulness training that many hospitals use to try to help people with their pain. We can manage pain without suffering and that may have to be the goal. They teach that everyday you are alive there is more right with you than is wrong with you. I know that's sometimes hard to believe. My 19 year old brother died of lung cancer in 1972. Take care my thoughts are with you.
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They can switch it up, try Morphine, but with narcotics, she will be loopy, but may level out, once she's used to it. There is no reason they can't increas her pain meds, and if it is nerve related, they can add Gabapentin or another nerve blocker. Maybe, if she likes Coffee, she could have several cups throughout the day to keep her more alert. So sorry this is happening to yoyr Mom! My own Mom had Cancer of the Uterus, and after surgery and Radiation, then onto Hospice, she hadca Pic line put it for direct Morphine, but she was end stage, and had bone Mets to her pelvic bones, it was Awful! Be persistent and check about Hospice if there is a prognosis of six months. They will give your Mom you and your family a lot of support! Take care!
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Where is the pain?
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Thanks Pamstegma, the oncologist gave her Norco, but it really didn't touch the pain. It also caused her to be out of her mind for a week.
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Even if they can't explain the pain, they can still prescribe pain killers. They should also be able to give you some kind of prognosis. Make sure she signs a Health Care Proxy for you, a Durable POA (see an attorney) and some Advanced Directives (done with the MD). Come back here whenever you have a question or just want to vent.
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