End of Life Changes
Again, it’s important to note that everyone is different. That said, looking back many families can tell when things “started to change.” There are both emotional changes and physical changes that are fairly universal, no matter what condition a person is dying from. With lung cancer, there are often certain occurrences which in some ways herald the end. Some of these conditions which suggest the end is nearing include pleural effusions which require repeated draining1 or the placement of a shunt, increasing pain to the point where being awake is troubling, extreme weakness, and a complete loss of appetite. Let’s look at some of the specific changes you may see.
It’s very common near the end of life for people to talk about seeing those who have died before or even seeing heaven. This happens often, whether someone has been religious or not. Sometimes family members may mistake these “events” as delirium and terminal restlessness, which can be very frustrating for those who are dying. The same may occur when a dying person appears to have an awareness that death is near.