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 Grieving the loss of my Mom?
My Mom lost her battle to Ovarian Cancer a month ago today. Right after she past I did cry, and felt that I missed her, but part of me couldn't fully let go and release my emotions. I still ...

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My mothers doctors have told us that she has 4-6 weeks to live due to brain cancer, should we tell her or not?
she knows shes not 100% but dont know that nothing more can be done, shes talking about things she is goin to do when she get out of hospital etc

In my personal opinion I think you should. From my experince my father was very upset that we didn't tell him how bad his cancer was. The reason we didn't is because if he knew that there was know hope we were affraid that he would just stop living. That was a very selfish thing we did and I regret it.

Before you say anything, talk to her docs and see if they've told her. If they haven't, they should have. And you should talk to them about her 'in general' health. Make sure she's physically able to handle the news and not go in to a heart attack when she hears it. If her 'in general' health is good, then the docs should have told her by now. If it isn't, then that's the only reason I'd think they haven't told her yet.
I faced the same thing in June of this year, and the docs told mom what was going on before they told me. I'm not sure, but I think in the case of the adult being in the crisis, they have to inform them of it, but not if it's a minor child. Or if the patient is mentally handicapped and can't understand what's being said.
She may just be putting on the 'brave act' for the family hoping to keep them at a 'normal' level and to keep them from feeling sorry for her.
And before she goes is the perfect time to check into the legal aspects of it. Make sure there's a Will made and that kind of thing. And to make sure everyone understands what she wants. Some want to be buried, like my mom wanted, others want an alternative.
My mother knew before the docs said a word, that she was dying. And while she couldn't make it perfectly clear to them, she could to me, and I followed her wishes. I didn't want to, but I don't go against momma once she has her mind set to something.
I am sorry for your pain and stress you're under and will be under in the future, I know all too well the feelings of it. I'd give anything to have 4-6 more weeks with my mother, but that's impossible now.
Enjoy her now, while you have her. Let her plot and plan her little behind off and enjoy the rest of her life. She's earned that right.

She may already know.

Talking about things she's going to do when she gets out of the hospital might be a coping mechanism for her; giving herself something to look forward to.

Why are the doctors giving up? Has the cancer metastasized to other parts of her body, or is it still located in her brain, and just growing beyond control? From what I understand, cacer has to be pretty far along before a doctor will "give up," and by the time it's that far along, the patient can usually tell quite a bit of difference in their pain level, and the way their body feels.

To me, the time frame wouldn't matter. Sure, 4-6 weeks is quite a bit more drastic than a year, or even six months... but people beat those odds all the time. And sometimes they don't. My point is, not even a doctor can predict the exact amount of time someone has left... they can just make their best educated guess.

What you need to talk to her about is that the doctors are going to stop treatments. She's going to figure that out, obviously, even if you don't tell her. If everyone avoids the subject, she's certainly going to wonder why she's no longer being treated... and even if she hasn't intuitively felt the changes going on in her body, she'll likely figure out what's going to happen if the treatments stop.

It's my opinion that no one should be given a time frame on their life... even if that time frame is fairly predictable. She needs to be told that her treatments are going to stop, after which she'll likely have questions about what's going to happen next... one of which will almost certainly be "How long do I have left?" I wouldn't tell her unless she asks... she may not want to know a specific day or week amount. I personally think that giving a person a specific amount of time is often a self-fulfilling prophecy; meaning once you start telling your body it's going to die, it gives up hope a little bit, and actually speeds along the process. One's mindset has a lot more to do with one's well-being than most people think.

After that, she'll have some decisions to make. No one wants to die in a hospital... does she want to go home? She certainly should, unless being in the hospital is integral to her survival (for example, if she'd die within hours if she was unhooked from her machines).

Thanksgiving is just a week away... if it's possible, that might be a wonderful way for everyone in your family to be together with her, and say what essentially might be "goodbye." I certainly wouldn't choose that time to TELL her... I'd assume she'd know what was going on before she left the hospital, and I suppose it'd be best to not actually DWELL on it that day; just for everyone to do their best to make a happy holiday for her.

She may have other ideas, though. She may fully intend to keep fighting... depending on how old she is, and how capable she is, she may have every intention of fighting for as long as she can. Not everyone is ready to die when they're told they're going to.

She may want to pursue alternative therapy, and she certainly has the right to; if that's what she wants to do, SUPPORT HER! I truly believe that, while it may not cure late-stage cancer, it could certainly improve her quality of life.

Or, she may be ready to go. She may want to write down memoirs, she may want to travel (once again, depending on her condition), or she may just want to do something so simple as go shopping with you one last time.

My point is, you need to talk to her. Tell her she's coming off the treatments, and answer any questions she may have. Don't give her a specific time frame (4-6 weeks) unless she forces it out of you. Tell her that the doctors have said that it could happen fairly soon, but that it's entirely possible it won't. We all know people who have beaten the odds.

Anyway, have heart. Take care. I just lost my grandfather to metastatic cancer, but by the time we were told he didn't have much time, he was already in what I can only describe as a coma. In many ways, it was a blessing that he didn't have to know. I was with him when he passed, and I can truly say that he "went peacefully in his sleep." I hope the same for your mother when that time comes.

The holidays are a horrible time to have to go through this, but with the right attitude, perhaps they can be turned into a wonderful memory for family of your mother.

Best wishes.

This must be so tough on you. I personally wouldnt know what to do. If you tell her she might spend the last days of her life crying and sad. And if you dont then she can die peacefully. I hope everything goes good and that she may even live longer then 6 week without suffering or being in pain. God bless you and your family!

Why would you want to tell her she is going to die? If she is happy now and planning a future, let her plan. Who would you be doing it for if you told her, you or her?

Wendy P
As hard as it is, she needs to know, it's her right. Besides that would give her the chance to do all the things she wants to do before something could happend.

Cheryl E
i'd want to know.

talk 2 her dr.. ask him if he told her.. chances are she knows, but is prolonging the sadness you will feel..

She needs to know so that she can get all of her loose ends tied up (Wills, financial stuff, etc...).

*Care Bear*
Just because she has cancer doesn't mean that she's not a human being. She's an adult, she has a right to know about her own condition.

If I was you I'd tell her & let her treasure her last few weeks with her family. There may be things she wants to do before those weeks are up that you will be depriving her of doing otherwise.

Don't you think she deserves to know? I think it would be cruel not to tell her.

angel eyez xx
I know someone in the exact same position. She chose not to tell her mum. Possibly because she is to far gone to understand but also she would want her to live the rest of her life happy.

Kidambi A
I guess what kind of a person you think your mother is..

If you think that she's the kind of person who won't worry that she's going to die, but is going to make the best of the time doing things that she's always wanted to do in life, but never did them.. then you should tell her..

But if you think that she's gonna get depressed and lead the rest of the time remaining to her with sorrow, then you'd better not..

You could always be there to support her, and get her to go in the first track than to go in the latter one.. She may also need to get some legal issues set.. If so, do tell her...

yes tell ,let her do and say the things that are important to her.be there with her enjoy her talk to her about how you love her and how you will miss her and that you will always think of her. give her her own power about dying

crazy person
no don't tell her. let her live happy without putting more worry on her

That is something that the family should decide. She may live longer than that, some people do.
For me, I would want to know so that I can get things straight in my personal life.
If it were my mom, I wouldn't tell her as I would want her to live in the world she is accustomed to.
It is your families call.
Sorry for the news. God bless.

Granny 1
Before the Dr told anyone he should have told her, so she has a choice if she wants to go through Hospice and go home to die. If it was my mother I would insist the Dr call a family meeting and let her know she has choices.Good luck to you and your family you are about to walk the hardiest path of life.I know from experience Hospice is very helpful at a time like this. God Bless.

Yes you should tell her. I am so sorry for you and your family.

She has a right to know. So she can plan what she wants to do when she gets out of the hospital with the time she has left.

Yes, she has the right to know. Plus, she might want to say some things before her mind starts going. She might also want to do something special before she passes away.

sy greenblum
This is a touch subject. I would say you should tell her if she is very old anyway. Say, over 80. If she is younger, more like 60, I would would have to think about it. It is ultimately up to you.

Your mother has the right to know. I'm sure there are things she would want to get done before she passes. Not everyone gets the chance to say good bye, don't deny her that privilege. I wish you all the best.

As harsh as it sounds...Yes, she needs to know the reality of the situation she is facing.

There is no way a doctor would tell a family and not the patient of the condition.

David B
of course she needs to know. The reaction will be difficult to predict and possibly difficult to handle, but its her right to know.

it depends on how frightened she is. personally i would like to know but maybe she would react poorly if she found out.

the doctor's should tell her. she has every right to know about her health so she can make the proper decisions.

john e russo md
In my experience patients know long before anyone else when their time is near. The 'doctors' should never tell the family and not the patient - that violates the ethics of the American Medical Association, the Federal Law known as HIPAA, and the patient's rights. Often patients put on a 'front' for the family - pretending they will be fine when they know that is not true. Whether she believes this or not, however, you must discuss the prognosis with her.

Oh my goodness. How horrible. I am so sorry for you and your family. If it were me, I would tell my mother, but I would wait until the time was right. Wait until your immediate family can be there with you and her. Goodness. God bless you all.

green eyes
She definetly has the right to know.

Tell her what the Dr's say. You will all need for her to know so that you can have closure. She may have things she needs to say to people before she dies. Im very sorry for the pain you are going through!


Boy that's a difficult question and one I am also going through right now with my mother. I don't think anyone is going to be able to answer this for you and your family, you all know your mom the best. I can only tell you what we have done. My mother knows she has lung and heart problems but she really doesn't understand the severity of the problems. The last time she was hospitalized she had to be put on life support, and the doctors told us she has about 6 months. She is terrified of doctors and hospitals and worries about dying. She's been really sick for years now. As a family we decided not to tell her what the doctors said because she gets so scared and we want her to get the most out of the time she has left without being scared and worring all the time. So only your family knows enough about how your mother to make this decision. Is she the kind of person who would want to get her affairs in order or would it only add to her suffering. I hope this helps some. Good luck and God bless.

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