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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Achievements:Topaz Star - 500 posts

    Default What do you do when a family member is diagnosed with cancer?

    Basically, as the title states. Do you rush to their side, give them time to process? Bake muffins and get your child to draw a picture? Try to treat them as normal and wait for them to bring it up? My grandma was just diagnosed with cancer, which is a massive shock as she was fairly healthy.. she is currently at the hospital having further scans and has her daughter (my aunt) with her. She lost her husband (my pop) to cancer about 20 years ago, and has always said she'd top herself if she had cancer (and had actually stockpiled a bunch of pop's medication to do just that, luckily it was discovered and thrown out). I really don't know what to do at this point, hoping someone might have had experience and can offer some ideas?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Achievements:Topaz Star - 500 postsAmber Star - 2,000 postsAmethyst Star - 5,000 postsEmerald Star - 10,000 postsRuby Star - 15,000 posts
    I tend to ask what they need from me. My mum has it and she just continues on with life, she's likely to be ok so me harping on about it or taking pity would likely make her feel worse. A friend of mine has also been diagnosed as terminal. He is young so of course everybody is worried sick and constantly calling him to check on him. I know this is a bit much for him so I tend to wait for him to approach me.

    I think for a lot of people it can be very daunting and we need to keep in mind that every man and his dog will be calling, texting, emailing, popping in when sometimes people just wish to be left alone. In your case I'd call your Aunt and ask whether there's anything you can do for your poor grandma

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Achievements:Topaz Star - 500 postsAmber Star - 2,000 postsAmethyst Star - 5,000 postsEmerald Star - 10,000 posts
    My mum is cancer free now (yay!), but had non-hodgkins lymphoma last year. I basically tried to treat her as normal as possible and helped wherever I could during treatment. She didn't like a fuss being made and I think she liked the fact that I wasn't asking her every ten minutes if she was feeling ok. I tried to act as normal as possible and wait for her to talk about things. She coped really well and we're so glad she's ok!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Achievements:Topaz Star - 500 postsAmber Star - 2,000 posts
    My dad went thru his 3rd operation in 3 years yesterday, to cut out cancer from his liver.

    I think it depends on the person who has the disease as to how you approach it. My dad is one tough cookie, at first it was a shock and he was quite sad. Now, 3 yrs later, he just does what he has to do to stay alive and healthy.

    I treat him the same as I would if he were well, but we have made peace over all the huge battles we had wen I was a teenager. Otherwise we just get on with life, but we give him space when it's obvious he needs time to himself.

    On the other hand, my sisters MIL is terminal, just about ready to go into palliative care. She feelsvery sorry for herself and everyone must act like it's the end of the world. It's not great but that's how we have to be with her. It's a very sad situation.

    The best thing I say to my dad is that he isn't allowed to leave me, and together we will fight this challenge and win.

    Good luck, I hope she is ok

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Achievements:Topaz Star - 500 posts
    When my favorite family member, my cousin, my brother from another mother, my idol and my biggest fan discovered he had cancer I died inside. I didn't know what to do.

    So I told him just that.

    He told me he would fight this and would be back to work next year. I was 6 months pregnant at the time. When my son was just two weeks old he called me to tell me he was sorry but he was never going to make it through this battle but me and my baby were all I needed to focus on.

    5 days later, 24 hours after he met his beautiful godson for the first time, my baby boy, my cousin died aged 40 just 5 months after being diagnosed with cancer.

    Sorry for rambling would you believe it's been 4.5 years since he died and I was just having a moment 5 minutes before reading this post thinking about him! He is always on my mind.

    How are you feeling, are you scared, can I do anything, what can do to make this easier for you, I love you.
    Probably the only things you can do and I an sorry your dear grandmother has to go through this.
    I have lost 3 grandparents to cancer, 2 cousins and an Aunt. It scares me and I feel upmost sympathy for anyone going through the unknown .
    Hugs x


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