Thank you, all of you, for your responses. I was at work last night and realy a mess. This is about my grandmother, and I feel...well, I'm going between crying uncontrollably to total shock and feeling numb. It looks like I'm going to visit her (she lives out of state) this weekend. I took care of a lung CA pt in nursing school, and this is bringing back very vivid memories- coincidentally, he also had the same type of CA with a tumor that was pressing on his spine (his was AIDS related, though, not that that makes a lick of difference). He became paralyzed from the nipples down, and on my first clinical with him, he was coherent and conscious, but within a week he was completely out of it, and had begun mimicking memories from his childhood (ie, eating an ice cream cone with his father, etc.). He died shortly after that, and I'm just trying to make sense of all of this now, you know? Apparantly she's known for about four years, but didn't want treatment of any kind because of her age, which I totally understand and respect, but I wish I had known because I would have made more of an effort to see her sooner. I don't know...she just sounded so happy in her letters and on the phone...I had no idea. I spoke to her on Christmas day and she was telling me how she had decided she wanted to live to be 100 and then, bam, I get a call that she's been hospitalized. I called her hospital room and she thought I was my father. Anyway. I feel wierd talking about this on here, because I'm not one to spill personal stories (unless they're good for a laugh...ha...), but I really needed to know some valid information. The doctor told my aunt that she won't have to go back to the nursing home, so I'm assuming he meant that she'll be going into hospice, which I don't know anything about. All I know is at the nursing home (despite her telling me they treat her great) she wasn't getting great care, and hopefully at the hospice she'll get better care (I mean, isn't that what hospice is for? Damn, all my nursing education has just gone out of my head.) She's on telemetry right now, but with the pneumonia and the phlegm (the MD said it's hardening in her lungs right now and she can barely breathe) I'm worried she's going to be put on a ventilator. Do they vent patients who've signed a DNR? Also I'm wondering about the nutrition- I mean, obviously the idea is to just let her die peacefully and pain free (my aunt is non-medical, and had no idea if she's getting pain medication, but if she's not, you can bet I'm going to throw a hissy fit that the entire state of North Carolina will be privy to), but does that mean they won't feed her? I have no idea how this works. She hasn't eaten but a few bites in weeks, at least two to three weeks, and vomits up everything she puts in her mouth, including OJ and milk. I have to go lie down and sleep now- just got home from work. Thank you again. I appreciate it, I really really do.