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Do I tell Mom that her cancer is fatal?

She has Alzheimer's, she doesn't remember from one day to the next so we would have to tell her over and over. I don't want her to deal with that kind of shock every day but on the other hand if we can get her to remember she might be more complaint with treatment.
Status: Open    Jun 03, 2015 - 01:48 PM

Caregiving, Dementia

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Jun 15, 2015 - 12:10 PM

There is no good reason to tell her that she has cancer.
As a matter of fact I would not put her through treatments if it were my Mother. Or my Husband.
I would contact Hospice and let them determine if she is a candidate for Hospice now or Palliative care.
Pain management would be the first priority.
Most of the treatmens she would undergo for cancer have side effects that she would find difficult to deal with.
Radiation, chemo. To confine her for scans or to have infusions would be difficult.

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By mleonard6 on Mar 04, 2017 - 05:56 AM | Like (0)  |  Report

Yes, call your local hospice -- Medicare pays for it. You may live in an area where there is more than one hospice service, ask around. If your mom's in memory care or a nursing home, they may have a relationship with one. You can use the service at home too.
Hospice has lots of experience to help both you and your mom through this. And you've already made the biggest leap, honestly facing the facts.

By shirleyv03 on Mar 06, 2017 - 04:09 PM | Like (0)  |  Report

You are right to want to avoid breaking this difficult news to her on a daily basis. Since her doctors have already confirmed that it is incurable, what would be the point of putting her through treatment that might prolong her life for a few months, but would cause her to have many frightening experiences and possibly be sick and in pain from such treatments? I agree with the two previous responses: it is time to look into hospice service. Even if she is in some kind of care facility, the extra attention that the hospice staff will give her, may bring some new sparkle into her life and may save you money on medications and some supplies. If she is in your home, hospice will be a tremendous support to you as well as to your mom. If you do have a choice of hospices in your area, do inquire or ask them for references. Not all hospices are created equal!

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