My mom was diagnosed with Advanced Lung Cancer 3 months ago and passed on May 14th. I took FMLA and moved in with my parents to care for my mom for those 3 months. My 2 toddlers came with me, for most of the time, to spend quality time with her and to take our minds off of the inevitable. We made the best of the terrible prognosis and I made sure to get her out for rides almost every day to make her as happy as I could. Thankfully she was in no pain, except for the shortness of breath.
Her liters of oxygen increased greatly in the last few days, and she was afraid she would suffer when it became her time. She asked all the doctors what would it be like and how dying would work- they told her morphine would allow her comfort. Her last wish was to pass peacefully and I needed to make sure that happen. She went on Hospice that morning at our house and began morphine once every hour. The morphine made her lethargic and very dazed. She had a rattle or phlegm in her throat that she could not clear. It got louder and her oxygen stats got worse as the day went on. I felt terrible that she couldn't cough that up and I want to know if she suffered? She looked relaxed and peaceful but I am wondering if the morphine just made her too weak to move but she was still suffering from not being able to clear that fluid? That is my last question and I was hoping that someone with a similar situation might know more about lung cancer, the death rattle, and how morphine works. The hospice nurse came in and out during that day and assured me she was comfortable b/c her hands weren't clenched, but I still wonder if the morphine was the cause of the relaxation and she still struggled within.