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First of all i would like to thank everyone who has given me and my sister (sarah33) advice on these forums. We have found it very helpfull especially as before my mum had mouth cancer i had never heard of anyone having it before. We dont get much time to log on and reply as its so full on at the moment but i just wanted you all to know we appreciate your comments.Cookie, Deb,Shirl and Trev - thanks so much. I read your stories and im touched by what you write and how brave you have all been. Sadly my mum has mouth cancer as has been told its terminal. She was diagnosed in the August, operation (neck disection) in the sept, Radio and chemo in Nov, however before she started treatment in Nov she was told the cancer was terminal. Sadly my mum is coming to the end of her life and could bascially die any time. Its such a horrible and scary death awaiting her too. She has been told the cancer has spread into her windpipe and blocking her airway. This all came to light 2 weeks ago when she was rushed into A&E with breathing probs. We were told she had days to live which is just awful as she looks better than she did a month ago when she was on her radio and chemo treatment. To make this worse she has cravings to eat and drink which she cant as she is fed through a peg. Bascially she will feel a tightening of breath and she could die straight away or they will give her some strong drugs to let her slip into a comma and die peacefully. The alternative was to give her another operation for a hole in her throat so she can breath, it will give her a bit more time, she wont be able to talk and there is a high chance she could die on the operating table. She obviously wants to die peacefully. Every day i wake up and think is today the day ? its just awful im trying to be strong as she is being incredibly brave but i dont know what to say to her. She says she has accepted it and has had enough but i can tell she is frightened and i dont know what i can say to her. Any advice ?
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Hi Dawn
Rob was offered the strong sedation when he was in the hospice,They discussed it with us when he developed severe agitation just prior to his death.This agitation is apparently one of the recognised stages of dying,and was perhaps the most distressing for us both.By the time this started we had said and done everything we wanted and needed to say and do,and were by then more concerned with how he would die.He didn't want to bleed out from a heamorrhage in his throat,and he really just wanted to go to sleep and pass away peacfully. The medication they gave him granted his last wish,and his last hours were a blessing.

All the advice i can give you Dawn,is if you and your mum are at one and have said everything you need to and you know what she wants,then i would say your goodbyes and let her take the option if that is her wish.the fear will go with the drugs and it will be easier on you both.Dont hold back dawn as you cant go back from this choice and you do not want to regret leaving things must tell her you are ok with her choice even if you aren't and tell her its ok for her to go,she will need to hear that.Once she is sure its ok then she will be at peace.

i am sorry it has come to this and if you need to talk please pm me anytime.

love liz
Hello Dawn
I feel very teary reading your post, especially where you say that you wonder each day if it will be your Mum's last. I went through that with my own mother and it's heartbreaking because all you want is for them to find peace and slip away while at the same time wanting them to hold you and make the world OK again like they did all of your life. I really feel for you.
Who really knows what is the right thing to say or do at this stage but, like Liz, I felt it was important to talk to Mum about all the things I thought I would think about after her passing and wish I had said and asked her also how she was feeling, could I do anything to help her etc and then finally to support her in going when she wanted to and was ready. It's hard, so hard.
My love to you and your family, Dawn. This is a tough time for you all but you will get through it. Among the pain of your grief you will feel relieved and grateful that her suffering is over and that you have been lucky enough to have her in your life. There will be a very big empty space in your heart but that will fill with memories and you'll get through.
hi dawn
i am so sorry to hear about your mum and it is clear what a caring daughter she has in you.i can't give you any advice except you can talk to your mum and let her say what she wants to say and that will help you own dear mum slipped into a coma just when we thought she was getting better and we never got to tell her just how much we loved her although she knew we did.i hope when the sad time comes it is peaceful for her,that is all we can wish for our loved ones.god bless love shirl xxx
Hi Dawn

So very very sorry to hear you news. My mum died of non hodgkins at 61. For the last couple of days she was virtually in a coma (from the drugs) We sat and held her hand and continued to talk to her to the end. It was thankfully a more peaceful way for her to leave us. We always let her know we would respect her wishes as to how she wanted to proceed. Will keep you in my thoughts you are never alone,
Love Mum
Dearest Dawn

I can feel your pain and anxiety in your post and I feel dreadfully sorry for you all.

My Father in Law had Mouth and Throat Cancer and also had a radical neck dissection. Regretfully he died 10 months ago. We live quite near to you, he lived in Bedfordshire.

It is so very difficult to watch someone fade in front of you. My own Father died of Lung cancer in 2001 and I can only say that it is possible to manage the end of someones life with great compassion and dignity. The doctors attending to my father were brilliant. As the tumour moved across his windpipe they sedated him more and more which meant that we effectively lost him earlier but that he suffered no distress.

He was terrified of 'suffocating' and it is a great relief to me that he did not endure anything like that.

My father in law, who had the neck dissection and PEG like your Mum passed peacefully in his sleep which is the kindest gift he could have received.

I'm afraid that I don't know how you can help her. I am sure that she is terrified as you say, goodness me wouldn't we all be! I think you can try and spend as much time together as you can and reassure her that you will do all that you can to be sure that she leaves you peacefully and without distress. Some of my fondest memories are of the last few days I shared with my Dad as he was bedbound. We shared lots of laughs and sometimes tears, we hugged as if we would never hug again and those memories are very precious.

I wish I could help you more but I can only offer my own experiences and support in the hope that they may help you.

I'll think of you all in my prayers.
Hi, Just wanted to write and thank you again for your messages. This site has definately provided support for myself and my sister especially when we were unsure what to do or what to think. I just wanted to let you know that our mum sadly passed to heaven on April 2nd and she died peacefully. I remember reading a support message on this site as to how to deal with her final days and i read that letting her die how she wanted would be the best parting gift we could give her. So we did. It was hard as we could tell she was getting worse by the hour and her poor husband my stepdad couldnt let go. He had quit his job 6 months ago and was her carer and looked after her brillantly and when it was time for us to call the doctor to administer the high dose of morphine as she was struggling to breath, as it was becoming very distressing and she couldnt relax and was very agitated. Her husband wouldnt accept it and kept rejecting us to call the doctor saying that it would be ok and this is normal for mouth cancer and the doctors told him this would happen. Well i just kept remembering the post about giving her a final gift and let her die peacefully and how she wanted to. Myself, my sister and my auntie stepped in and i took it upon myself to order the doctor round and check her as i just felt it was the right time. Sadly it was and the doctor gave her the morphine and told us she may not last the night. Her husband let go and accepted it and we all made this time with her as special and loving as we could. We sat with her all night whilst her breathing calmed and she fell into a deep sleep. Infact it was the most peacefull we had seen her in such a long time. She was given her injection at 1am with us hearing her last words which were 'Thank you very much' which amazed us as it was so hard to understand her in the last couple of days but we understood this so clearly. It reasured us we had done the right thing. She died at 7am after her husband said let go christine and she did. We all told her we loved her and held her tight. She was amazing and i miss her so much and as i write this i cry with sadness as i wish i could turn back time and have her with us. However i deeply sympathise with others as its not just my mum it happens to and we are not the only ones affected. Thats why me and my sister will always read peoples stories on this site and offer help where we can. We will do the mouth cancer walk in September and we will raise awareness where we can. I have heard of cancer of course, but i wasnt aware of mouth cancer and how awful it can be and how dying from it can be so cruel and well to my mum just torture. If i can help others i will. Once again thank you all so much and mush respect and peace to you all. Dawn and Sarah.
Dawn, I'm so sorry for you and your family's loss. I've never had to go through what many do on this site, caring for a dying loved one, and can only hope I handle it as gracefully as you and others on this site.

Keep in touch with us all and let us know how you're doing,

Take care of each other in this time of need, Love, Mary
Hello Dawn
I know you and your family must be grieving now that your Mum has passed and I send my sympathy to you all.
When I read through your email though, I was struck by the peace and beauty that accommpanied her in her last hours. You were all privileged to support your Mum through it and she must have been reassured by your love and presence. Try to keep the focus on your mother and your pain will ease in relation to the peace she has found.
Best wishes to you all.

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