I agreed that her mother sounded like she was in poor shape and she may not survive a hospitalization. To be honest I too never used the words dying either. The one thing I did suggest was that she talk to her Mom and see what she wanted. These discussions are difficult but in the end, it may give clarity as to what is important to her.
As a cancer diagnosis is given I am sure self-evaluation takes place. Even a scare of a cancer diagnosis can cause reflection. The question is what do you want for the rest of your life. Do you want to spend your time with loved ones at home or would you prefer to pass at an institution? There are no wrong or right answers, it is all what you want. The questions are very overwhelming. Sometimes the end of life is dominated by what is expected by a culture. This is a lot to think about and it can be overwhelming.
If a person can make some decisions prior to these moments it provides some sense of control. We have taken care of patients that are at the end of their lives and have gone as far as making their final resting arrangements. Some of these conversations are hard but with more discussion it allows understanding of what the sick person would like. Often when it is our loved ones we try to change the conversation, ignore the elephant in the room and pretend that the end is not coming. Please try to allow these conversations to be spoken and ask questions. This is the time to allow someone’s ending be the way they want.