Question for family members of cancer patients

arminnie

<font color=blue>Tossed the butter kept the gin<br
Joined
Aug 22, 2003
There is no one answer. I had two long term friends (40 years) who had glioblastoma (brain cancer). One chose to do no treatment and died in a few months. The other did not want treatment but acquiesced to her children's requests and lived a miserable 18 months.

But when my mother was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer she wanted to live every moment - no matter what. She lived for almost 2 years - and loved every minute of it even though it was a horrible downward spiral.
 

leebee

DIS Veteran
Joined
Sep 14, 1999
I'm so sorry you are going through this. Many years ago, my best friend was diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic cancer. She lived 8 months after her diagnosis, passing away just after her 33rd birthday. It was awful, which doesn't begin to describe anything that she faced or went through. However, one thing she said to me has stuck with me for years. She said that the only difference between she and I was that we knew when she was going to die, and how- because, as she so rightly pointed out, we are all headed down the same path. She was a strong woman who helped those of us who would be "left behind" to face up to her disease, its progress, and our eventual loss. I know this might not be really helpful, but I think you should just continue to move life forward. Be yourself, let them be themselves. Don't avoid the topics of illness, treatments, and death as they arise; talk about them just like you'd talk about TV shows or politics. I am so sorry that you have to go through this, but live each day to its fullest, don't be afraid to talk, laugh, cry, love. Take the opportunity to show your BIL, sister, nephew how much you love them, and help out with even the littlest things- laundry, grocery runs, whatever- when you are around. When you aren't send care packages for your sister as much as your BIL, including things like gas cards, Starbucks cards, gift cards to restaurants, etc. It helps to alleviate stress if one doesn't have to worry about the mundane things, and how to pay for them.

ALso.. do they do jigsaw puzzles? It's amazing how a good puzzle can take your mind off things, give you something to focus on!
 

Blackadder337

Mouseketeer
Joined
Nov 5, 2015
I decided to send him a quick video message using Snapchat, which I don't really use (My daughter had to show me how!) . It makes your mouth big and makes you sound like a chipmunk. Apparently when he saw it, he let out a quick chuckle, turned to my sister and said "you're brother's an idiot". So I know for sure he appreciated it :)

I appreciate everyone's ongoing comments and suggestions etc.. I think I mentioned it in an earlier post, but next weekend we will be making the voyage to pick up my nephew, bring him back here and taking him to a local comic book convention. Hopefully he enjoys it :)

BIL had a slight relapse. But is undergoing 5 days straight of radiation therapy to combat the issue. So I guess we'll see where things are next week.
 
  • NurseNoa

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Oct 7, 2017
    I've got cancer now, and I just had a birthday. So maybe I can offer the patients perspective.

    Firstly, we're all dying. Some of us faster than others. For birthday gifts, I'd go with an experience as opposed to an item. Especially if it's a "bucket list" type thing. Skydiving, scuba diving, something like that.

    I personally appreciate black humor, and I love it when people treat me "normally". I hate "puppy dog eyes". I've got little kids too, and it bakes me really happy when people do things for my kids...take them to places I don't have the energy for, etc.
     

    Blackadder337

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Nov 5, 2015
    Hello everyone. OP back. First off, I forgot today is the U.S. thanksgiving when I made this post earlier today. Please do NOT read further until maybe tomorrow or the day after :)


    Some people asked how things are going. I'm sad to say my BIL lost his 6 1/2 month fight with cancer last week. He gave it one hell of a fight, and managed to fight off 2 of his 3 cancer sites. Unfortunately with his body was too run down to manage the last one. But his suffering is over, and perhaps its selfish or insensitive, or rude etc.. But at least now my sister will also have a moment to get some rest too. Seeing the effects of his illness take its toll on her too has been almost as devastating in its own way. But she and my nephew seem to be dealing with the loss as best they can.

    We will be making a trip back in a few weeks to take him to see the new Star Wars movie. That seems to have given him something to be excited about.

    So to those that replied, those that sent me messages, and even those that read along with interest, thank you for reading along, thank you for all your insight and compassion. If you haven't hugged your loved ones, or told them what they mean to you, please take a few moments and do that TODAY. :)
     
    Last edited:

    NurseNoa

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Oct 7, 2017
    Hello everyone. OP back. Some people asked how things are going. I'm sad to say my BIL lost his 6 1/2 month fight with cancer last week. He gave it one hell of a fight, and managed to fight off 2 of his 3 cancer sites. Unfortunately with his body was too run down to manage the last one. But his suffering is over, and perhaps its selfish or insensitive, or rude etc.. But at least now my sister will also have a moment to get some rest too. Seeing the effects of his illness take its toll on her too has been almost as devastating in its own way. But she and my nephew seem to be dealing with the loss as best they can.

    We will be making a trip back in a few weeks to take him to see the new Star Wars movie. That seems to have given him something to be excited about.

    So to those that replied, those that sent me messages, and even those that read along with interest, thank you for reading along, thank you for all your insight and compassion. If you haven't hugged your loved ones, or told them what they mean to you, please take a few moments and do that TODAY. :)
    I'm sorry for your loss, BlackAdder. Continue to be there for your sister and your nephew. The holidays may be especially difficult.

    We will also be there for the new Star Wars movie.
     

    AncientSoul

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Oct 21, 2017
    Terribly sad to hear this........and I'm very sorry because I don't know what to say that could possibly help. I try to avoid reading posts like these because I always end up boo-hooing all over the place and just crying my eyes out ---- and this post is no different, here I am getting all emotional. Today is Thanksgiving and this your post does remind me what to be most thankful for ---- for our loved ones ---- both living and deceased, and the privilege and true joy of having had them in our lives. I know you and your family will have a memorable Thanksgiving with it happening so close to your BIL's passing. This Thanksgiving you most certainly should celebrate --- celebrate your BIL's life that he lived here on Earth -- because I'm certain you are thankful of that precious gift he gave your family --- your nephew.
     
  • Blackadder337

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Nov 5, 2015
    Terribly sad to hear this........and I'm very sorry because I don't know what to say that could possibly help. I try to avoid reading posts like these because I always end up boo-hooing all over the place and just crying my eyes out ---- and this post is no different, here I am getting all emotional. Today is Thanksgiving and this your post does remind me what to be most thankful for ---- for our loved ones ---- both living and deceased, and the privilege and true joy of having had them in our lives. I know you and your family will have a memorable Thanksgiving with it happening so close to your BIL's passing. This Thanksgiving you most certainly should celebrate --- celebrate your BIL's life that he lived here on Earth -- because I'm certain you are thankful of that precious gift he gave your family --- your nephew.

    Hi Ancient,

    I feel I owe many of you an apology now. I'm going to edit my post this morning too, so people don't read it today.

    We celebrate our thanksgiving in October. I forgot that today is the U.S. thanksgiving holiday. If it helps, they did have a thanksgiving back in October, and while he wasn't able to eat much, they did have a little get together so no worries about that particular holiday. Christmas 2017 may be tough, but at the same time I can't help but feel a little relieved that it happened far enough from Christmas that it won't be a direct memory.

    My nephew stayed home for a few days but as he's young, thankfully for the moment at least, it isn't really hitting him too badly. He wanted to be back at school, so that's where he is. I mean, he HAD to go back for Hot Lunch Wednesday, and Pizza friday. There is NO WAY he can miss that!!

    There was enough strength and forethought in the last few months that pretty much everything was taken care of and planned ahead of time, so its just a matter of letting everything take is course.

    But take comfort in knowing they've got enough food to last... well.. a LONG time at this point, and they have people around that are watching over them, checking in on them. And as I mentioned earlier, there's a cool uncle that's headed back to see that new Star Wars movie in a few weeks :)
     

    AnnaS

    DIS Sponsoor/Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 7, 2001
    Hello everyone. OP back. First off, I forgot today is the U.S. thanksgiving when I made this post earlier today. Please do NOT read further until maybe tomorrow or the day after :)


    Some people asked how things are going. I'm sad to say my BIL lost his 6 1/2 month fight with cancer last week. He gave it one hell of a fight, and managed to fight off 2 of his 3 cancer sites. Unfortunately with his body was too run down to manage the last one. But his suffering is over, and perhaps its selfish or insensitive, or rude etc.. But at least now my sister will also have a moment to get some rest too. Seeing the effects of his illness take its toll on her too has been almost as devastating in its own way. But she and my nephew seem to be dealing with the loss as best they can.

    We will be making a trip back in a few weeks to take him to see the new Star Wars movie. That seems to have given him something to be excited about.

    So to those that replied, those that sent me messages, and even those that read along with interest, thank you for reading along, thank you for all your insight and compassion. If you haven't hugged your loved ones, or told them what they mean to you, please take a few moments and do that TODAY. :)
    I am sorry to read this today. My thoughts and prayers with the family. Know a little too much about the beast :(
     

    elaine amj

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 26, 2012
    So very sorry to hear of your BIL - kudos to you for being there for your family during this time.

    My DH is going through chemo treatments for cancer right now and our friends and family have been absolutely amazing. The best is when they make sure our kids can have some semblance of normal lives. They have been driving my kids to activities when needed. One friend took my kids out for dinner last Saturday. On Monday, I was in the hospital with my DH and it was my mother's birthday. She was staying home with my kids during this time so we ordered dinner delivered to them. One of my friends saw my post wishing my mother a happy birthday and decided she would go buy my mother a birthday cake and drop it off. She's never even met my mother! So amazingly sweet and generous. I was so happy she was able to do something for my mother I wasn't there to be able to do.

    So keep on doing what you're doing. Check in on your sister. Try to help with practical tasks when possible. Take your nephew out as much as possible - it means so much to kids to have other adults take an interest in them and spend time with them.
     

    AncientSoul

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Oct 21, 2017
    My nephew stayed home for a few days but as he's young, thankfully for the moment at least, it isn't really hitting him too badly. He wanted to be back at school, so that's where he is. I mean, he HAD to go back for Hot Lunch Wednesday, and Pizza friday. There is NO WAY he can miss that!!

    There was enough strength and forethought in the last few months that pretty much everything was taken care of and planned ahead of time, so its just a matter of letting everything take is course.
    But take comfort in knowing they've got enough food to last... well.. a LONG time at this point, and they have people around that are watching over them, checking in on them. And as I mentioned earlier, there's a cool uncle that's headed back to see that new Star Wars movie in a few weeks :)
    I am so glad to hear this -- sounds like the nephew is coping well and doing awesome! What a lucky boy to have that cool uncle taking him to see the next Star Wars movie -- and he will need that cool uncle as a male role model in his life.
     
  • limitdis

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Apr 7, 2014
    Ty Bollinger. Read his book. Listen to podcasts with him. My uncle's ex-wife had stage 4 ovarian cancer back in the 80's. Doctors gave her a few months to get her affairs in order. They refused to accept that, traveled to mexico and florida to learn all they could from alternative medicine (this is back in the 80's mind you), and eventually she beat it. Cured. Mostly she did extreme juicing...including garlic and ginger in that juicing.
    Remember that cancer depends on glucose fermentation to survive. Starve the cancer. Cut your sugar intake out completely. Personally, I'd go ketogenic. Our body can surive quite well off of fat for energy, but cancer cannot.
     

    Blackadder337

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Nov 5, 2015
    Hello all, OP again with a follow up.

    Christmas 2017 was tough. It didn't help that just about our entire family had bad colds, and my sister and nephew had stomach flu as well. That made it extra tough to feel "festive". We all munched a little, but for the most part we just sat at the table passing around the kleenex and Vick's vapo rub. Once we got past the holidays though (as it was only a month after BIL passed), the life rebuilding stage began.

    They have tough days and good days, but they are ok financially, and theyre both back at work and school and evening / weekend activities etc. So they are slowly but surely building a new "normal" for themselves.

    They have a few plans for the summer but to my delight, they have booked a trip to WDW for October. Apparently BIL had hoped do the trip a few years back but life got in the way. But towards the end, he made my sister promise to make the trip. So I believe they are staying at POP Century.

    So this post has a sad start, a much sadder middle-end, but I'm now pleased to say its on its way to a happy ending, and where better than the "happiest place on earth"!!

    Happy Thursday everyone! :)
     

    Nsaudra

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Feb 7, 2018
    I am so sorry you have to go through this, I really thought I couldn't do it. My son was digonosed with a rare brain cancer. He was in high school and a tough time to get cancer.
    The positive is it really brought our family closer. Closer to God closer to each other. And taught us to be thankful for all the little things. As far as birthday gifts. Chemo is rough I say a gift basket of things to make him happy. Hard candy and gum, soft socks for treatment, button Jammies, also really liked the man book as my son called it "journal" and my son loved beanies. Some people prefer hats. I have seen people go years when they are told months.
    Lots of love and prayers sent your way
     

    Blackadder337

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Nov 5, 2015
    Hello all, OP here. Its been a while so I thought I'd give somewhat of a happy update.

    Its hard to believe its been almost a year and a half since BIL passed. All those "firsts" were tough for my sister and nephew but thankfully my sister managed to dig real deep and keep going. There were a few setbacks with my nephew, sleeping habits, eating habits etc.. but over time, with some counseling and other things, they've made their way to their new "normal". One of BIL's last wishes (I have since learned he asked for this the day/night he passed), was that she take their son to Disney World. This past October they did just that, and while my sister admitted Disney "just isn't her thing", it definitely worked wonders for my nephew. They decided to go on a Disney cruise this past March too, where he also had a blast.

    He gave up the Marvel movies right after his dad passed, but I think that was because it was going to see them was "their thing" but he's slowly been catching up on the movies since then.

    He's back to normal in school, hanging out with friends and all that stuff that kids do. My sister is back at work, adjusting to the single mom life, but otherwise doing well. I think for her learning how to be a dad has been a real challenge, but our dad and myself try to help out when possible.

    So there you have a quick update. Started super sad, got much worse, got slightly better, and still getting better each day :)

    For those of you going through something similar, directly or indirectly, you have my deepest sympathy. Once again and as always, thanks for taking the time to read along!
     

    Nsaudra

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Feb 7, 2018
    Hello all, OP here. Its been a while so I thought I'd give somewhat of a happy update.

    Its hard to believe its been almost a year and a half since BIL passed. All those "firsts" were tough for my sister and nephew but thankfully my sister managed to dig real deep and keep going. There were a few setbacks with my nephew, sleeping habits, eating habits etc.. but over time, with some counseling and other things, they've made their way to their new "normal". One of BIL's last wishes (I have since learned he asked for this the day/night he passed), was that she take their son to Disney World. This past October they did just that, and while my sister admitted Disney "just isn't her thing", it definitely worked wonders for my nephew. They decided to go on a Disney cruise this past March too, where he also had a blast.

    He gave up the Marvel movies right after his dad passed, but I think that was because it was going to see them was "their thing" but he's slowly been catching up on the movies since then.

    He's back to normal in school, hanging out with friends and all that stuff that kids do. My sister is back at work, adjusting to the single mom life, but otherwise doing well. I think for her learning how to be a dad has been a real challenge, but our dad and myself try to help out when possible.

    So there you have a quick update. Started super sad, got much worse, got slightly better, and still getting better each day :)

    For those of you going through something similar, directly or indirectly, you have my deepest sympathy. Once again and as always, thanks for taking the time to read along!
    Thank you for the update, For us too time makes things get easier... Knowing there are still milestones ahead please know you have my prayers and well wishes.
     

    elaine amj

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 26, 2012
    Thank you for the update...so happy to hear your sister and nephew and adjusting to their new lives. It is hard but looks like they have done everything possible to make things better.
     

    AnnaS

    DIS Sponsoor/Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 7, 2001
    Thank you for the update. Nice to hear your sister and your nephew are adjusting. One day at a time.
     


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