It is normal for lymphoma patients and their family members to have questions about what they can expect in the end-of-life stages of the disease. While all cases are different, there are some things that you can be prepared for that will help you through this difficult time. Keep in mind that experienced, dedicated professionals are available for support throughout the dying process.
Discuss concerns about the stage of your lymphoma with your doctor. She can give a realistic prognosis about your condition and discuss options for end of life care. You should also discuss the possibilities with the family members and friends who will take care of you so they know your wishes and can be prepared to support you during this time.
According to Cancer.net, it is important to know your options about end-of-life medical care if you face the possibility of not being able to voice your opinions at the end stages of your disease. Advance directives such as do not resuscitate orders (DNR) and living wills outline the kind of care you would like as your condition deteriorates. A durable power of attorney for health care designates a specific person to make medical decisions about your care if you are unable to make them yourself.
It is important to be prepared for the symptoms associated with end stage lymphoma, which include drowsiness, confusion, withdrawal and decrease in body functions. When treatment options have been exhausted, pain control to keep the patient as comfortable as possible becomes the priority.
The end-of-life stages of lymphoma cancer are different for each individual. According to the National Cancer Institute, when there are no more options to control the cancer, the care shifts from treatment to supportive care. This care may involve the services of Hospice, which is a group of health professionals and volunteers who offer medical, spiritual and psychological support for the patient and the patient's family throughout the dying process.
Emotional support from friends and family members is extremely important during the end-of-life stages of any disease. Patients facing death face a range of emotions, including fear, anger, guilt, worry, and grief, all of which are normal. Talking openly about these feelings with friends and family as well as with trained professionals can help to ease the patient's mind.