Profile picture
, 48 tweets, 7 min read Read on Twitter
#cancersurvivor #cancer talk looks today at the final part of the cancer experience when the battle is lost. Again this may bother some folks but I think it's important information to consider. ACS provides some information especially for caregivers
The signs of death being near can be different for each person. No one can really predict what may happen at the end of life, how long the final stage of life will last, or when death will actually happen.
Sometimes death comes quickly due to an unexpected event or problem. Other times the dying process moves slowly and the patient seems to linger.
If possible, it’s important to have a plan for what to do just following a death, so that the caregivers and other people who are with the patient know what to do during this very emotional time.
If the patient is in hospice, the hospice nurse and social worker will help you. If the patient is not in hospice, talk with the doctor so that you will know exactly what to do at the time of death.
Just like the timing of the dying process cannot be predicted, it's also hard to predict what exactly will happen in the final stage of life and especially near death. The following symptoms are examples of what may happen in some people with cancer who are dying.
Before we get into the symptoms I wanted to ask again you consider helping me continue my fight and stay with my family as long as possible.
PayPal Venmo
CashApp $MarcoDad
Possible change in body function

Profound weakness – usually the patient can’t get out of bed and has trouble moving around in bed

Needs help with nearly everything

Less and less interest in food, often with very little food and fluid intake for days
Trouble swallowing pills and medicines

More drowsiness – the patient may doze or sleep much of the time if pain is relieved, and may be hard to rouse or wake

Lips may appear to droop

Short attention span, may not be able to focus on what’s happening
Confusion about time, place, or people

Limited ability to cooperate with caregivers

Sudden movement of any muscle, jerking of hands, arms, legs, or face
Help the patient turn and change positions every 1 to 2 hours. It's best to time any position changes to be about 30 minutes after pain medicine is given.

Speak in a calm, quiet voice and avoid sudden noises or movements to reduce the chances of startling the patient
If the patient has trouble swallowing pain pills, ask about getting liquid pain medicines or a pain patch.

If the patient is having trouble swallowing, do not give them solid foods. Try ice chips or sips of liquid.
Do not force fluids. Near the end of life, some dehydration is normal.

Apply cool, moist washcloths to head, face, and body for comfort.
Possible changes in consciousness

More sleeping during the day

Hard to wake or rouse from sleep

Confusion about time, place, or people

Restless, might pick or pull at bed linen

May talk about things unrelated to the events or people present
May have more anxiety, restlessness, fear, and loneliness at night

After a period of sleepiness and confusion, may have a short time when he or she is mentally clear before going back into semi-consciousness
Plan your times with the patient when he or she is most alert or during the night when your presence may be comforting.

When talking with the patient, remind her or him who you are and what day and time it is.

Continue pain medicines up to the end of life.
If the patient is very restless, try to find out if they are having pain. If it appears they are, give breakthrough pain medicines as prescribed, or check with the doctor or nurse if needed.

When talking with a confused person, use calm, confident, gentle tones to reduce chances of startling or frightening the patient.

Gentle touching, caressing, holding, and rocking are usually helpful and comforting
Possible changes in metabolism

The patient may have less interest in food. (The patient has less need for food and drink.)

Mouth may dry out (see “Possible changes in secretions” below)

Check with the doctor to see which medicines may be stopped.
Medicines for pain, nausea, fever, seizures, or anxiety should be continued to keep the patient comfortable.
May no longer need some of his or her medicines, such as vitamins, replacement hormones, blood pressure medicines, and diuretics, unless they help make the patient more comfortable

What caregivers can do

Put lip balm, lubricant, or petroleum jelly (Vaseline®) on the lips
Ice chips from a spoon, or sips of water or juice from a straw may be enough for the patient.

Check with the doctor to see which medicines may be stopped. Medicines for pain, nausea, fever, seizures, or anxiety should be continued to keep the patient comfortable.
Please help me stay in my fight with the treatment I need monthly. I cannot stay in treatment without help
PayPal Venmo
CashApp $MarcoDad
Possible changes in secretions

Mucus may collect in the back of the throat. This may cause a rattling sound with breathing that’s very distressing to hear, but it isn’t usually uncomfortable for the patient.
Secretions may thicken and build up due to less fluid intake and because the patient can’t cough
What caregivers can do

If the mouth secretions increase, keep them loose by adding humidity to the room with a cool mist humidifier.

If the patient can swallow, give ice chips or sips of liquid through a straw. This may help thin secretions.
Change the patient’s position – turning them to the side may help secretions drain from the mouth. Continue to clean the teeth and mouth with water and a soft toothbrush or foam mouth swabs.

Certain medicines may help. Ask your doctor or nurse about them.
Possible changes in circulation and temperature

Arms and legs may feel cool to the touch as circulation slows down

Skin on arms, legs, hands, and feet may darken and look blue or mottled (blotchy)

Other areas of the body may become either darker or paler
Skin may feel cold and either dry or damp

Heart rate may become fast, faint, or irregular

Blood pressure may get lower and become hard to hear

What caregivers can do

Keep the patient warm with blankets or light bed coverings.

Don’t use electric blankets, heating pads, etc
Possible changes in senses and perception

Vision may become blurry or dim

Pupils may not change size

May have trouble closing eyelids

Hearing may decrease, but most patients can hear you even after they can no longer speak.
What caregivers can do

Leave indirect lights on as vision decreases.

Always assume the patient can hear you.

Continue to speak with and touch the patient to reassure them of your presence. Your words of affection and support are likely to be understood and appreciated.
Possible changes in breathing

Breathing may speed up and slow down due to less blood circulation and build-up of waste products in the body

Patient may grunt while breathing

Neck muscles may look tight to help breathe

Mucus in the back of the throat may cause rattling or gurgling with each breath

The patient may not breathe for periods of up 10 to 30 seconds
What caregivers can do

Put the patient on their back, or slightly to one side.

Raising the patient’s head may give some relief.

Use pillows to prop the patient’s head and chest at an angle or raise the head of a hospital bed.
Any position that seems to make breathing easier is OK, including sitting up with good support. A small person may be more comfortable in your arms
Possible changes in elimination

Urine may become darker and decrease in amount

The patient may lose control of urine and stool
What caregivers can do

Pad the bed beneath the patient with layers of disposable waterproof pads.

If the patient has a catheter to collect urine, the nurse will teach you to care for it.

Bathe the patient as they can tolerate it - this could be a sponge bath or simply washing
Signs that death has occurred

Breathing stops

Blood pressure cannot be heard

Pulse stops

Eyes stop moving and may stay open

Pupils of the eyes stay large, even in bright light

Control of bowels or bladder may be lost as the muscles relax
What caregivers can do

After death it’s all right if you want to sit with the person for a while. There’s no rush to get anything done right away. Many families find this is an important time to pray or talk together and reaffirm their love for each other
If you have a hospice or home care agency involved, call them first. If you’ve completed funeral arrangements, calling the funeral director and doctor are usually all that you have to do.
If the patient dies at home and is not under hospice care, caregivers are responsible for calling the right people. Regulations or laws about who must be notified and how the body should be moved differ from one community to another
I know this is at depressing but even though you should plan to win your fight you should still learn about this final phase. Knowing is better than not knowing.
But I say fuck death, I'm in this fight to won, just give me the resources I need
PayPal Venmo
CashApp $MarcoDad
Every donation makes a difference

$5 pays for the person to push my wheelchair at airport
$10 pays for a ride from hotel to hospital
$15 pays for a meal
$20 for ride from airport to hotel
$40 for copays
$50 for child care
$100 a night of lodging
$125 aide I need
$500 airfare
My cancer, an extremely rare-you are more likely to win Powerball than get it, is supposed to be "incurable" and I still plan on being there first person to survive it. But of course I've thought about the alternative. What generally gets blood cancer patients is pneumonia
I had it and almost died in 2016 and 2017. It's horrible and it is awful and you have little dignity. I don't want to go out like that. Fortunately I moved to Oregon a few years ago and have more control of the end
Missing some Tweet in this thread?
You can try to force a refresh.

Like this thread? Get email updates or save it to PDF!

Subscribe to Cancer Sucks
Profile picture

Get real-time email alerts when new unrolls are available from this author!

This content may be removed anytime!

Twitter may remove this content at anytime, convert it as a PDF, save and print for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video

1) Follow Thread Reader App on Twitter so you can easily mention us!

2) Go to a Twitter thread (series of Tweets by the same owner) and mention us with a keyword "unroll" @threadreaderapp unroll

You can practice here first or read more on our help page!

Follow Us on Twitter!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just three indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3.00/month or $30.00/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!