There are honestly worse things than dying.

By Buzybee · Nov 1, 2012 · ·
  1. Buzybee
    This old bee has seen, done and experienced many things in this life but the past couple of days have made even this old girl realise that she wouldn't wish this suffering, pain, pain and more pain upon ANYONE.

    For those who don't know the story so far my sister has been fighting the progression of terminal lung cancer for the past 15 months. Various tortures Imean treatments have included physically dusting lungs with acid to retard fluid build up, chemotherapy for eight month, experimental chemotherapy something similar to antifreeze or anti boiling your radiator is dripped slowly into your veins. Drug trials Frankenstein stuff really but honestly when it's happening you will try anything. Palliative chemotherapy has now failed and we are at the last stop in this train ride to the inevitable which is 10 daily doses of radiation.

    How bad can that be I thought after everything else has done its worst. Like one of those TV adds but wait there's more. After sending her in for what I thought was going to be a little lie down in the bed for 25 mins, had to sit outside and hear the moans of pain that no one can offer any help or relief for they are on their own, then wheel back to the car for the trip home where every bump in the road causes even more agony.

    Last night looking into her eyes as she was locked in pain was almost soul destroying as I can't do a bloody thing to ease the pain. Tryed lifting her up and walking a couple of steps as she cramps up from not moving. She doesn't want you to touch her much ad it just makes it hurt worse so dammed if you do don't etc. Finally as last resort and her pleading propped her up on the toilet and let her have a cigarette. I'm reading this fellow members and feeling ashamed and very ineffectual as I don't like encouraging anyone to smoke tobacco BUT can you guys tell me what you would do? I can't let her plead like that and it did indeed make her relax finally and allow the pain meds to finally work for a while.

    Today while everyone in the family was busy I hid a can of a really good smell neutraliser in her bathroom for next time and it won't be long till we use it. She now informs me as her legal exec when you know what I mean that she is donating her body to medical research so then I had the words can't describe it but unreal it feels like its happening to someone else experience of explaining what this entails to my mother ie no funeral but we've accepted it as her wish and hopefully it will help someone else positively. It's harder for my mother as her generation and I guess mine also expects the funeral as part of the process of grief, life etc resolution I guess if possible but in mums case I suspect it will have a very big toll on her health.

    To finish we have decided to prepare for a celebration of my sisters life by gathering all photos from friends and family and little snips of funny experiences shared and create our own ritual in her honour. I would like to share some of mine but suspect some of the less enlightened members of the family might not be so entertained by our dubious exploits more worthy dear DF members of your appreciation as it really is DF worthy of your laughter I hope in the future.

    Thanks for letting me clear some of the stuff out of my head and think more clearly and rationally. Will let you all know how we go if anyone feels inclined please light a candle for her..... From her big sis Bee and yes even when you are 53 and 50 you are the big sis!

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  1. kailey_elise
    What about trying a high-quality electric cigarette? I would highly recommend the Joye eGo variety, and using a clearomizer with it. There are tobacco-flavored nicotine juices; it's not exactly the same, but it's close, and won't get you in trouble with the hospital, nor would it be dangerous to use, like smoking a cigarette (the flame in a hospital can be a BIG problem, because of the oxygen in use).

    If you want to consider this route (it'd probably be about $50 for an initial set up, and about $10-20/month in upkeep, depending on how often it's used), send me a PM & I'll give you specifics on exactly what items I would recommend (not gonna go into my setup or my boyfriend's setup here if you aren't, in fact, interested. *lol*). Those gas station disposable e-cigs aren't nearly as satisfying as a good quality one. I have seen hospitals be totally okay with the use of e-cigs too, which is a bonus! :)

    I am so sorry you have to be witness to something so painful. It's so sad when you can't help someone you care about feel any better. :'(

    ETA: There's also no reason why you can't have a funeral. Well, maybe it's not considered a "funeral", exactly. But you can most definitely have a ceremony/service without a body. My roommate just came back from a funeral & her friend had been cremated.

    Yes, it's different - some feel it's easier to accept the death when you can see the person's empty shell, but their soul is freed regardless of the manner of interment, and deserves to be celebrated in some manner.

    Stay strong, but don't be afraid to ask for help or to share your pain with someone else, even if you feel most comfy talking to a professional. *hugs*

    All the best,

  2. Buzybee
    Thanks for that info was just speaking on phone to friend and we both wonder if anyone had told us or warned us about tobacco and lung cancer when we all starred smoking would we have listened? Yong under 21 and bullet proof is not the way?

    Sis is just hanging in there what an incredible feat, that is to make it 8 months past when the oncologist said she would. Breakthrough pain is happening more frequently prob 4-6 times per day and then she doses but to answer the smoking she really craves the real thing we used to be able to give her some green and calm it down but physically not able to smoke it anymore don't know how she even gets the cig in but really should understand it especially here it's addiction through and through. Med stuff that you have in the states is not an option here but afof has made some nice cake frequently that used to help.

    You're right we are going to have a memorial and have sent some discreet emails to friends for photos and short blogs/stories and have been talking to sis and thinking of maybe a,short vid where she gets to say something probably knowing her she will want a glass of wine and a cig as props and thinking of as much out of the ordinary to help her to ease through this.

    This has taught me that there really comes a time when it's you as the meds are pretty useless mostly and finally they knock her out and leave her waking up exhausted ready for more of same. Her children are a huge motivating factor in all this and I know she is hanging on for them and mum who is pretty fragile.

    We will hang in and do whatever we can and more at least over the cig thing if she wants/needs its there don't have the heart to say no. We are hugely lucky to have a close friend of my sis who is a palliative nurse helping out so we can facilitate her desire to pass at home and not go back to hospital.

    So thanks again K and everyone else who has read its not the end just the opening of another world I believe and hope its a better one for her and thank goodness for this it's keeping me sane and making me moderate crazy urges of my own or realise its human to do whatever we all do and we are not perfect robots and its the wonderment of small things and gestures that make a real difference for better! Buzz from bee
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