Helping my family deal with my cancer

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Helping my family deal with my cancer

{Quick diagnosis summary; Back in April, I had my first seizure with an unknown trigger. The follow up MRI a month later showed no changes but 3 weeks ago an MRI showed significant changes and I was diagnosed with a blastoma in the right side of my brain. The biopsy confirmed it most likely originated from previous cancer treatment I had in the past. I start radiotherapy today.}

I've just come to accept this fact. My doctors haven't said anything about survival rates/prognosis to me but I know median survival is about 1.5 years and probably less for me due to my med Hx. I didn't even think I'd survive my relapse of ALL back in 2011 to be honest.

The main issue for me is that I'm really worried about is my family. ❤ They're so supportive and we're all so close. But they're too scared to cry in front of me and when they do they just keep apologising to me. My dad never usually cries.

I'm also not exactly sure how much my brother (he's 18) knows, we didn't tell him the extent of the tumour, but he can see how its affecting my left arm movement and I'm pretty sure he knows more than he lets on.

It's so heartbreaking and painful to see them this way. It isn’t their fault I am sick. They're not expected to be able to make everything better. I just want to know how to help them.

-How do I/can I to try to spare them from some pain?
-What am I supposed to be saying or doing?

(sorry if this is posted under the wrong topic, wasn't sure exactly where it'd fit)

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Frequent Contributor

Re: Helping my family deal with my cancer

Hi skyward,

 

 It looks like you have a great opportunity to bring your family along with you on your journey. 

 

Encourage your family to express what they are thinking and feeling - let them have a cry, but only if they are hugging you at the time. 

 

Then get get them involved with enjoying whatever time you do have left. Go out for bushwalks or picnics or whatever tickles your fancy. But show them that you are content with whatever fate throws your way, as long as they are there to help you when you need it in the same way that you are there for them. 

 

Even think about developing a stand-up comedy routine and get them laughing with you rather than crying behind your back. 

 

So help them to enjoy life as best you can and celebrate the love which abounds among you all. 

 

Let us us know how it goes. 

 

Best wishes,

Rick

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New Contributor

Re: Helping my family deal with my cancer

Thanks so much for your reply/advice Rick 🙂
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Occasional Contributor

Re: Helping my family deal with my cancer

HI

I am certainly no expert in this field but from my experience of dealing with terminal cancer for the last 6 years is this.  For family I have decided to just be upfront and explain everything.  The first time I kept alot to myself and I found it only made it more difficult for me.  I had to watch what i said all the time.  I found that eventhough its hard and there are normally lots of tears, that in the long run it was better.  Your family can't fully help you if they are not fully informed.  I know my family were quite hurt when i kept things from them.  Hard conversations but better in the long run.

For smaller family members we name my portable chemo bottle "Libby" and Libby comes to visit each fortnight and is medicine to help me stay healthy.  Thats all they really needed to know and they accept that.  Hope this helps

Roselee

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