When my father and mother died of lung and liver cancer, there is fluid build up and pain.  My father felt the pain from lung cancer for 9 months while my mother had severe pain from liver cancer during the last month of her life.

Both experienced the signs and symptoms years before such as chronic cough, pain in the abdomen and knee, back pain, loss of appetite, loss of weight, eyes are yellowish, lack of sleep, fatigue and fast heartbeat.

Most of my clients , with Motherhealth caregivers,  would have fluid in their legs or edema a week before they die. So did my mom. Whenever I enter the room of new cancer clients, I always inspect the legs if there is fluid and if there is dark discoloration. And if the belly is hard or soft. For liver cancer, the stomach area is hard.

In the last stage of my mom’s liver cancer, her abdomen becomes harder and at the end when she died, liquid goo of mixed black matter came out of her nose like the abdomen is being emptied. As I closed her eyes and massaged her face with moisturizing cream, I cried “I love you mom”. This is to help the embalmer smoothen her skin when she is placed in her casket before her body becomes so hard.

My mom’s liver cancer traveled to her brain that my cousin felt extremely hot when she was massaging my mom’s head two weeks before she died.  My dad’s lung cancer traveled to his bones that the pain become so severe.

The following factors may cause edema:

  • Cancer, especially kidney, liver, or ovarian cancers
  • Some types of chemotherapy, including cisplatin (Platinol) and docetaxel (Docefrez, Taxotere)
  • Other medications, including the following:
    • Corticosteroids, which are drugs that reduce swelling
    • Hormone replacement medications
    • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), such as ibuprofen or naproxen
    • Some blood pressure drugs
  • Low levels of protein in the blood, caused by poor nutrition
  • Inactivity, which can cause fluid to collect in the feet and legs
  • Problems with kidney, liver, or heart function

Signs of pain include:

  • Noisy breathing – labored, harsh, or rapid breaths
  • Making pained sounds – including groaning, moaning, or expressing hurt
  • Facial expressions – looking sad, tense, or frightened; frowning or crying
  • Body language – tension, clenched fists, knees pulled up, inflexibility, restlessness, or looking like they’re trying to get away from the hurt area
  • Body movement – changing positions to get comfortable but can’t