Hi everyone. I'm looking for advice or experiences anyone has had around supporting a loved one facing the last stages of their cancer battle and their loved ones to have painful and difficult conversations.
My mum was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer 9 years ago and has been in constant treatment since then, keeping it at bay. However the Drs are starting to run out of treatment options and her health is inevitably declining with every treatment and new cancer spread. I'm 29 and an only child and so I feel a lot of the emotional responsibility for caring for them both through this. My mum and dad have always had difficulty talking about or planning for her death and neither of them have ever seen a psychologist or counsellor, but now we are faced with the likliehood that these are her last months to a year. I want to find ways to start and support the conversations they need to have about palliative care, what the end looks like, what life might look afterwards. Even writing this is making me tear up and so I too need support to process what this means, though I at least have been seeing a mental health professional during her illnesses.
Basically, what have people experienced as positives and negatives about these conversations, how the health system can be of use, what are the things that we need to think about? I'd like to find a way to start these conversations happening before decisions have to be made under even more stress and emotion.
Thank you in advance for anyone who can share their own experiences or advice on this painful topic.
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