Thanks Beth. We knew that it was terminal and she didn’t want any treatment. Her only wish was to not suffer, and in Washington we have death with dignity. I told her we would have a party while she was still hear and let her go once we did all of the required “things”. I wish I had know how quickly this would have been and I could have granted her wish. Instead she had a miserable 4 days, and I know that isn’t long comparatively, but I can’t get the last night out of my head.
I feel lucky I was with her, but it was very very hard to see her like that, and to smell someone dying, to cover their face in plastic………… it’s just plain hard. I know, so selfish of me to mentioned how hard this is.
We lived together for 25 years, and she was my best friend and helped me raise my son, who really gave her so much comfort on her last few weeks.
I am so sorry to hear the news of your mother’s passing. This must be very hard to accept given how quickly she succumbed to the cancer. Please accept my condolences and prayers.
Regretfully, because cholangiocarcinoma can be fairly symptom-less until it is very advanced, patients like your mother may be further advanced than appearances would suggest. Some patients are discovered to have cholangiocarcinoma at a point where it is too late for treatment, even though the diagnosis is unexpected. Your frustration at not getting a better diagnosis is very understandable. I know you were doing all you could to get good medical advice and keep her comfortable. With the cancer apparently very far along and your mother’s poor health, there may not have been much more that doctors could have done for her.
Not having a doctor’s assessment of how long she had remaining was a concern you had raised. My impression from reading many patient stories is that there is not a good way to estimate with precision how long a patient will survive, so it may not have been possible for a doctor to give an accurate prognosis.
Your loving care and concern for her well-being surely brought your mother much comfort as she faced this difficult challenge to her health.