Julieanne, Hospice is for the whole family. Would you feel comfortable phoning the Hospice nurse and conferring with them. She is on the scene and may have a better sense of what is happening with your mother. The hospice workers here told me that my children could call a hospice where they lived for grief counseling or support groups.
At any rate pain is pain and needs to be relieved. Your Mom sounds like she is doing amazingly well. I don't know if any of us who have been through this would be able to give you a time estimate. Some of it depends on the health of the person other than the cancer. My husband had a lot of medical problems which contributed to his decline which still took over a year. The quality of your Mothers life is certainly better than it would be if she had chosen to have chemo. It is easy to get comfortable with the status quo and each change causes us to readjust. It is difficult for everyone to live with the certain knowledge of a time limit on life. I think we put it to the back of our mind but each new symptom brings it up again.
Has she had a PET scan? That is how we found out that my father's had spread to the bones.
I completely know where you are coming from...I am the same way! We always think of the worst first because unfortunately, we have been disappointed so many times.
Now those of you who know me, know that I get all in a tizzy sometimes. To be honest I think I had gotten a little comfortable in the fact that Mom was doing pretty well. I knew it wouldn't last forever, but I had sort of settled into the fact that she was "cruising along." Now,since I found out that her leg has been hurting for awhile(she didn't mention it at first)and I have had time to think (you know I really mean obsess)about it, I am getting nervous. I have this way of deciding what is wrong on my own. I have "decided" that the cancer has spread to her bones. It just makes sense because that is pretty much what the doc said would probably happen. So, unfortunately I know what that means. I thought the hospice nurse was coming today, only to find out that she has told her to only come every other week because she is doing just fine. Not sure my reasoning for writing except that just corresponding with people who get it makes me feel better. I guess I would like to know what, if any, is the next step here? I would think she would need a test to see what is going on even though I doubt she would take any radiation. She is still driving, going everywhere, cleaning, cooking etc. If this is in the bones, we are on a downhill and I just don't know how fast and bumpy the ride will be.