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How to tell others you are terminally ill?

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sunnyflies
LIF Adult

Member since 9/09

1757 total posts

Name:

How to tell others you are terminally ill?

Don't read this if it might upset you, but I could really use some advice.

How do I tell my grown children that I have pancreatic cancer and probably a year to live, according to a famous cancer hospital? I simply have not been able to find the words.

I have been holding off until I get the results of all of the tests, but I already know that I am stage 4, inoperable and what that means. Tomorrow I will probably be given the results of a PET scan taken on Friday at another hospital by a doctor I went to for a second opinion. It won't change the prognosis, though it may suggest that palliative care rather than some chemo may be my only option. I can deal with dying, as long as I have pain management. What bothers me enormously is how this is going to affect my DH and grown DD and DS.

DH is devastated. He has been my rock through diagnosis, but we have not been able to figure out how to break this to our kids. How were any of you told about a family member's illness and pending death? What would you suggest might be the best way to talk to them? How do we broach the subject?

Thank you all very much.

Posted 8/30/15 11:29 PM
 
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WannaBeAMom11
LIF Adult

Member since 1/11

7391 total posts

Name:
Name

How to tell others you are terminally ill?

Have them come over without little ones and just tell them. No matter how you tell them it's going to be devestating and there is no way to sugar coat it.

I.am so incredibly sorry. Cancer is a big fat a$$hole.

Posted 8/30/15 11:31 PM
 

LI-Joy

Member since 10/07

2910 total posts

Name:

Re: How to tell others you are terminally ill?

I don't have an answer, but I just want to say I'm so sorry. I'm very sad to read this. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Chat Icon Chat Icon Chat Icon Chat Icon Chat Icon

Posted 8/30/15 11:36 PM
 

justbeachy
So close....

Member since 7/07

2899 total posts

Name:

Re: How to tell others you are terminally ill?

My heart just sunk.

I don't know you, but my heart hurts for you and your family. I am so sorry and will keep you in my prayers.

Do they know you've been ill? Or will this come as a shock? You said they are grown. If i were in your shoes I'd hold a family meeting and walk them through the diagnosis/prognosis. Allow them to ask questions. Be as strong as you can be for them, but allow yourself to grieve.

Look into therapy options for both you and your family. I don't know much about those options but i imagine the hospital will have support group and/or therapy suggestions.

I will be thinking of you.

Message edited 8/30/2015 11:37:10 PM.

Posted 8/30/15 11:36 PM
 

PhyllisNJoe
My Box Is Broken

Member since 6/11

9108 total posts

Name:
Phyllis

Re: How to tell others you are terminally ill?

I think just like you said it here. Give facts and let the rest just flow. There is no easy way to hear that your parent is sick and there's no way they will recover.

I am so sorry. I wish you peace and quality time spent with loved ones during this time Chat Icon

Posted 8/30/15 11:37 PM
 

MichLiz213
Life is Good!

Member since 7/07

7979 total posts

Name:

Re: How to tell others you are terminally ill?

Posted by PhyllisNJoe

I think just like you said it here. Give facts and let the rest just flow. There is no easy way to hear that your parent is sick and there's no way they will recover.

I am so sorry. I wish you peace and quality time spent with loved ones during this time Chat Icon



I agree.

I'm so sorry. You and your family are in my prayers.

Posted 8/30/15 11:44 PM
 

cj7305
=)

Member since 8/05

12278 total posts

Name:

Re: How to tell others you are terminally ill?

My heart hurts so badly for you and your family. I can't even begin to imagine dealing with this but like others have said, there is no easy way. Honestly I think you need to do it as soon as possible. Then enjoy every minute you can..which I pray is a long time.Chat Icon Chat Icon Chat Icon Chat Icon I don't know you but will be sending positive vibes your way. Please keep us posted.Chat Icon Chat Icon

Posted 8/30/15 11:45 PM
 

Lara&Aidansmommy
For mom i miss u ETC ILOVEU

Member since 3/07

13921 total posts

Name:
ETC I LOVE YOU

Re: How to tell others you are terminally ill?

Posted by WannaBeAMom11

Have them come over without little ones and just tell them. No matter how you tell them it's going to be devestating and there is no way to sugar coat it.

I.am so incredibly sorry. Cancer is a big fat a$$hole.



I agree. This fukking sucks. Your children will be devastated. But make the most of the time you have left all together as a family. Maybe all of you take a nice vacation.

Posted 8/30/15 11:46 PM
 

babydreams21
LIF Adult

Member since 12/12

3655 total posts

Name:

How to tell others you are terminally ill?

I'm so sorry.

There is no good way or right way to tell them. I would say have them over and just tell them. Do it sooner than later so you can make the most of the time you have left with them.

Life is so unfair.

My father died when I was a kid and it was so hard. I knew it was a possibility because he was sick but it was shocking.

You are in my thoughts an prayers.

Posted 8/31/15 12:10 AM
 

LIRascal
drama. daily.

Member since 3/11

7285 total posts

Name:
Michelle

How to tell others you are terminally ill?

I'm just in disbelief, I am so so sorry. I want to help you make this less painful than it already is, and I'm not sure how. If you can offer some type of "wish" that you would like to do as a family together, maybe it will make it a little softer on them (like I hope we can rent a big house on the ocean together as a family)
Chat Icon
Losing a parent is devastating, but so much more difficult when it happens suddenly. I went through it last year. I always said that I'd rather have carted my dad from doctor to doctor across the country than to have him pass as he did, in the blink of an eye. There are so many advancements in technology and treatment now that can keep you with your family so much longer. I hope that these work for you and keep you with us, too. Chat Icon

Posted 8/31/15 1:23 AM
 

MrsG823
Just call me Mommy.

Member since 1/11

5570 total posts

Name:
S

How to tell others you are terminally ill?

There is no easy way to tell your children. It is probably best to talk to them in person. Start out by giving them the facts. I can say from person experience hearing someone you love is going to die is shocking and being told in a straightforward manner helps. My heart goes out to you. I hope you and your family are able to enjoy each other as much as possible in the days to come. Do not delay telling your children--allow them to spend as much time as they can with you.

Posted 8/31/15 1:37 AM
 

SusiBee
. . . . .

Member since 3/09

8268 total posts

Name:
S

Re: How to tell others you are terminally ill?

Posted by PhyllisNJoe

I think just like you said it here. Give facts and let the rest just flow. There is no easy way to hear that your parent is sick and there's no way they will recover.

I am so sorry. I wish you peace and quality time spent with loved ones during this time Chat Icon



This is excellent advice.
My heart goes out to you, I am so sorry, I just don't know what to say.

My mom told us when her cancer was diagosed, I was 36 at the time but still, it's mom. When it came back, she hid from us that she would die from it. I think that I would have understood the treatment better that it was not meant to cure.

When you need help IRL, please reach out to us.
There is a reason why "families" is part of this site's name.

Wishing you lots of love.

Posted 8/31/15 5:59 AM
 

MrsB12614
LIF Adult

Member since 4/14

1986 total posts

Name:
Mrs

How to tell others you are terminally ill?

I am so so so sorry for you. First off prayers for you. Second one of my very close friends for years her mom was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in November 2010. She passed in October 2013. Like you her children grown- sort of we are young and my friend just turned 25 when she passed. Her parents were divorced and her dad was always extremely supportive. Anyway- and not sure if you have the ability to do this but what my friend and her mom did was took the opportunity to enjoy life rather than be sad. They picked up and went to Europe for 2 months and saw the world spent time together and lived every opportunity they could. Almost like a bucket list.
I would be straight forward with them with facts first and foremost but also take this time to truly slow things down a bit and go see things and enjoy things big or small. In the end this truly helped my friend and her mom. There was nothing they hadn't done together and while she won't be here for my friends wedding one day or children they truly experienced more than I probably ever will. There's no right or wrong way to go about this and you do what makes you comfortable however I do believe in not sugar coating anything associated with the diagnosis so they can prepare themselves as well. Lots of prayers and positive vibes for you

Posted 8/31/15 6:30 AM
 

Kitten1929
LIF Adult

Member since 1/13

6040 total posts

Name:

Re: How to tell others you are terminally ill?

I am so sorry Chat Icon I don't have any advice but I will pray for you and your family. I wish you peace and comfort Chat Icon Chat Icon Chat Icon

Posted 8/31/15 7:08 AM
 

Dolphinsbaby
My 3 little guys!

Member since 12/10

2933 total posts

Name:

Re: How to tell others you are terminally ill?

I am so so sorry. I can't even imagine. My heart is breaking just reading this. Just be open and honest. Definitely don't sugar coat anything. They will probably fall apart and that's ok. Let them. They will probably be angry. That's ok. If the hospital has therapists or social worker (they usually do for this sort of thing), I highly recommend going as a family.

As pp suggested, ask them what they would like to do now-family vacation, maybe a long weekend somewhere, whatever, as long as you are together.

We had a close family member with lymphoma pass away in 2008 (DH's aunt- but they were extremely close. She was the first person he told when he was going to propose to me). Her cancer came on strong and quick and we had no idea how severe it was until the end (she was gone within 6 months). She kept a lot of it from the family because she didn't want us to suffer. But that was so much worse. I wish we would've know everything from the beginning. DH still has a lot of anger about this and has made it clear to the rest of the family, God forbid this happens to anyone else (unfortunately cancer is rampant in his family), that they are open and up front and we deal with it as a family. Not left to pick up the pieces at the end.

Sending prayers to you and your family. I will light a candle at church this week for you.Chat Icon

Posted 8/31/15 7:14 AM
 

july4mrsO
Happy boy!

Member since 5/10

2867 total posts

Name:
Jess

How to tell others you are terminally ill?

I am so terribly sorry. My heart goes out to you and your family.

My mother is terminally ill. She and my father sat me and my brother down at a family dinner, with our spouses. No kids. And she just told us the diagnosis, straight out. They talked to us about the plans they had made with their house, wills, power of attorney, etc. We all hugged and cried. There's not much you CAN say in that moment other than the truth. I know it will be very difficult for you but it has to be done and it will be ok. It's better that they know.

I wish you and your family peace and love during this very difficult time. I'm so sorry.

Posted 8/31/15 7:23 AM
 

ANewDayHasCome
Love multiplies, not divides

Member since 11/12

14481 total posts

Name:
Me

Re: How to tell others you are terminally ill?

I'm so incredibly sorry. There are no words.

As someone who lost my mother to cancer I unfortunately can relate to this situation. I had just turned 27 and my mother just turned 58 when she was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. At the time I wasn't in reality. Even in the end when she was under comfort care (similar to hospice). From the time she was diagnosed in October to her passing only 4 months later in February we did not talk of her dying. Deep down I'm sure my mother knew that was the end, but as for me and my father...we were fighting and didn't let our minds go there.

I never once had any conversations with my mother. I wish I did. I wish she wrote me letters to have in my life. A life had only just started. I wasn't yet married, hadn't even met my now husband then. Hadn't had children, I now have two beautiful girls.

As for your dh, look into cancer care for free counseling..individual or group. Support groups at your local jcc.

Take a trip. Build memories. Write letters. Take lots of video. Give lots of hugs. Chat Icon

Posted 8/31/15 7:34 AM
 

busymomonli
Resident Insomniac

Member since 4/13

1962 total posts

Name:

How to tell others you are terminally ill?

I'm so very sorry. The only advice I have is to tell them everything, don't sugarcoat it. My dad passed when I was 18 and had cancer. My parents made a decision to not give us all the details when he was going in for surgery because they didn't want us to worry. But he never recovered and died shortly after and I was devastated, but mostly angry that she didn't tell us everything.

I like the pp's idea of a family vacation or beach house to spend time as a family.

If there is anything we can do to help, please let us know.

Posted 8/31/15 8:00 AM
 

Hofstra26
Love to Bake!

Member since 7/06

27915 total posts

Name:

Re: How to tell others you are terminally ill?

I don't have any advice but I am so, so incredibly sorry to hear your news. My hearts breaks for you. Chat Icon Chat Icon Chat Icon Chat Icon Chat Icon Chat Icon

Posted 8/31/15 8:42 AM
 

CAH127
LIF Adult

Member since 7/07

1694 total posts

Name:

Re: How to tell others you are terminally ill?

I am so deeply sorry. Chat Icon Chat Icon Chat Icon Chat Icon

Posted 8/31/15 8:44 AM
 

Mushesgirl
Too blessed to be stressed

Member since 4/09

6571 total posts

Name:

Re: How to tell others you are terminally ill?

Prayers for you and your family.Chat Icon Chat Icon Chat Icon

Just don't wait, spend all the time you can with them. If I could have one more hour with my father..

Posted 8/31/15 8:48 AM
 

mommy2B3
2 boys 2 girls!!!!

Member since 7/08

3324 total posts

Name:
M

Re: How to tell others you are terminally ill?

I'm so so sorry. I think it's best to be honest as quickly as you can (meaning time frame) just because I would want to have every minute I could with my parent.

I also wanted to say, depending on the age of your kids, I know you said grown, but I was 19 when my mom told me my grandmother was dying, and I was in denial. I visited her etc but not nearly enough as I wish I did, so please allow your kids to grieve as they should, but if you see one holding back more than the others, maybe reach out more. I'd give anything to just redo how I handled everything.

I wish I had something better to say, but just enjoy each day with your loved ones, and I will be keeping you in prayer.

Posted 8/31/15 8:56 AM
 

TnDM10
LIF Adolescent

Member since 2/09

781 total posts

Name:
Teri

Re: How to tell others you are terminally ill?

soo sorry Chat Icon Chat Icon Chat Icon

Posted 8/31/15 8:59 AM
 

StaceyWill
It's a girl!!!

Member since 6/10

21487 total posts

Name:
Stacey

How to tell others you are terminally ill?

I am SO, SO sorry this is happening...My heart is just broken in two.
My advice - tell them as soon as you can. There's NEVER an easy way to say anything related to sickness/death, but once it's out, it will be a weight lifted off of YOU.
I wish you peace.

Posted 8/31/15 9:00 AM
 

JennCo
My greatest joy is my baby boy

Member since 1/07

2772 total posts

Name:

Re: How to tell others you are terminally ill?

my heart is so heavy for you and my thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family.

Chat Icon

Posted 8/31/15 9:12 AM
 
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