My Gran has terminal brain cancer. She was diagnosed just over a year ago now and has managed to last, so far, two months longer than we thought she would. She's had two rounds of surgery and treatment but has decided that is all, given that every time she does it, her side effects get much worse. I've done my best to come to terms with the fact that I'll be losing her very soon, but I find it really hard to go see her, or even to speak to her on the phone, because I don't have much to say (just because daily life is boring for me) and she finds it difficult to hold conversation. At this stage, we're just trying to keep her as comfortable as possible at home and making as many memories as possible. The problem is, 2 of her kids don't put in the effort to visit her very often, and now I'm being targeted as needing to step up to the plate, as her grandchild from one of the two children, and to do more things with/for her. But I don't know if I can handle it. She's my rock, my support for anything and everything, and it's so difficult to see her declining. I can barely handle being with her for more than half an hour to grab a coffee, let alone hang around for longer to help my family do other household things, or to give my aunt, who is her carer, a longer break. But the pressure still seems to be falling to me as one of the only local grandchildren, and I don't know how I can express my difficulty without them feeling like I'm shirking the responsibility, or that I feel like it's okay to put most of the burden on other family members.
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My family did something that's kind of ended up being similar, but it wasn't intended to. My Gran is the center of our family and it shook our world to find out she has terminal brain cancer. But my family has opted to be very open with all medical information and to do as much as possible to spend time together with her and make joyful memories that we will cherish later. Behind that, though, we each have one or two family members plus partner/friends that we go to as our outlets to talk to and try to understand our feelings. I think it's important to find at least one family member who you can agree to be completely honest with, which goes both ways, of course. I picked my aunt, who is caring for my Gran primarily, and her daughter, my cousin. Maybe if you find at least one person you can feel honest with, that will help you work through your turmoil.
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Cancer Council NSW would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we live and work.We would also like to pay respect to elders past and present and extend that respect to all other Aboriginal people.