Family with Cancer

Hello there,

I’m hoping that this topic can help all of us who are going through/have been through a close family member having cancer.

We found out last week that my mom has cancer that is very progressives and seems to be quite aggressive. We are waiting on an official diagnosis yet for those wondering.

I’m hoping to engage members in sharing things that helped and/or hindered how you dealt with this, how to preserve your memory of your loved one before they are gone, how to help them get through the day to day activities, how to cope mentally, etc.

1 Like

@Krisann-Lectka I’m so very sorry to hear about your mom’s diagnosis. Cancer is one of the scariest words someone can ever hear. My family has heard that word too many times. Thankfully, most of them have come through it - sadly not all.
The best advise I can offer is to find out what THEY need or want. I tried to stay out of the way unless I was needed. When my mom was diagnosed at 75 with breast cancer, I did things like cook meals and freeze them for the times she didn’t feel like cooking or eating - made it easy for Dad to warm something up. I did laundry, dishes, cleaning - but only on her terms.
Cancer has a way of making the patient feel as though they no longer have control of their own body - so it is important that they still have control in other areas of their life.
There were little things like - straws - if they are going through chemo, it is very important that they stay hydrated - and you drink more with a straw than without.
Surround them with things they enjoy doing - books, magazines, crosswords, knitting etc - you never know what might make them feel better at any given time.
Also consider posting notes on the door for times they are not up to company - a polite message that this is not the best time but thank you for thinking of us. Having company when you are not feeling well can be very draining o the system. Drop off cookies or candy for them to offer guests when they do feel like having someone over.
Continue to reach out to your support system as well - the best thing you can do for them is to take care of yourself.

Thank you those ideas, I will do my best to do what I can but unfortunately I live several states away and just came back from maternity leave 2 weeks ago so I a have no more allotted time under FMLA. I will be doing my best travel back and help when I can though.

@Krisann-Lectka I totally understand the distance thing - there are a lot of other things you can do - here are some ideas:

  • Does your mom like any sports teams? I contacted the main office of my mom’s favorite team and explained the situation and they sent the most amazing care package for her - she was over the moon

  • chemo angels:
    https://www.chemoangels.com
    They send cards and little gifts to the patient

  • and definitely check out this site - free care packages and assistance Free Cancer Care Packages | Cancer Care News

Also, the American Cancer Society has something they call the Navigator Program - it can offer information and assistance ranging from transportation to available resources in the area.

Hope this gives you some options for helping from a distance. I’m here if you have any other questions or just need someone to talk to.

Patti

I’m so sorry to hear this! When I first found out my dad had cancer I couldn’t help but think the worst. I couldn’t help but think of the cancer winning the battle. It took a little while to get myself out of the mindset and remind myself how strong my dad is and that he’s capable of winning this battle. I also took it one update at a time. I wouldn’t think ahead past the next update. Otherwise my mind would run a mile a minute exploring all the possible outcomes and scenarios. Take it one update at a time, one day at a time, or one minute at a time if you have to. Remember to be present in the moment and don’t let the thought of worst case scenario loom over you and disrupt your present moments

I’m so sorry to hear this! We are here for you and will be praying. Any updates?

Wonderful advice and I think all our minds wander when we get news like this. Great perspective!