Hi, I am in Lake Macquarie NSW. I havent phoned the cancer council other than to let them know that he had died and that I wouldnt need palliative care help. My family and friends have been supportive but it just feels to me that neither the hospital or the palliative care team are able to offer much support at all to the partner left behind. I was told by the local cancer council before his death that because we were in the private hospital system a lot of the services offered to patients in the public system would not automatically be offered to us. In my experience a lot of this was correct, and I feel we were at a disadvantage. I do wonder if this is still the case. No one has even tried to contact me to see if I am all right and when I spoke to the palliative care team just after his death I was told they did not have any psychological services available. Maybe it is different in the city.
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My husband passed on Thursday last week. He was diagnosed with metastatic kidney cancer in early November. It had spread to his ribs, spine and sternum. It was very aggressive as there was no sign of it in a ct scan taken six months before. His oncologist tried immunotherapy, radiotherapy but it just kept spreading and he was in dreadful pain. Three weeks ago we were told it wasn’t responding and was terminal. I tried to get some support at home as we had no children nor family members close by. This was being organised but he passed away before it took place. Even the palliative care team we were referred to took a while to get to us and we only had an initial consultation then he was admitted to hospital. It felt that no one really wanted to help at the time and I was just left to do the best I could. I was with him for four days in hospital while he fought and struggled with the pain. They did what they could to relieve him. Now I am by myself at home and have called to cancel arrangements made for respite and assistance but no one seems to be interested in helping me...Is there no support for the partner left behind? I asked the palliative care nurse and was told they didnt have any psychologists for our area.
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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.