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  • Coping



    1 reply

    I don't even know where to start as there is so much to say. I guess top of the list is how does someone cope when they know death is going to come sooner rather than later? My mum has stage 4 glioblastoma and has had the op at Christmas followed by radiotherapy. This was followed by a scary time when her brain swelled and we thought we were losing her. An increase in medication levelled things out but now she has a headache again and is losing use of her hand. In a lot of ways she has already gone. The flame has gone out and she is scared, she isn't ready to die. The day to day care has been taken up by my dad but this is breaking his heart because he had always thought he'd go first. Part of me wants to stay away because no news is good news but whenever I go to visit and help I am absolutely distraught weeping by the time I come home because the whole situation is so sad. I don't know if I should help more or continue sporadically popping in to maintain a positive outlook for their sake more than my own. i know I will lose both of them as dad's health is not good at all and I have already had glimpses of how this is breaking him. Mums starting getting her affairs in order and is clearing out rooms and passing on old toys and the like. Furniture and bits have gone of to the auction house and I suppose this is a natural process. We still need to talk about her wishes for her treatment in the final weeks or days but I don't feel able to talk to her about it and I just hope the doctors or nurses do. When she went down hill with her brain swelling we felt so lost. The district nurse never came, the GP was hesitant because she's under the doctors at the hospital. Sorry just having a sad day. The waves of emotion are like a rollacoaster ride and today's been a bad day with mum crying.

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  • Support

    Hello Sarah


    I am sorry to read you are going through this.


    Supporting a loved one through a terminal illness can bring intense emotions at times and this can be especially so when they are going through treatment. Of course it’s understandable that you are finding things difficult, or as you say ‘waves of emotion like a rollercoaster ride’, but please allow me to reassure you that it’s alright to feel this way, it’s alright to cry, it’s alright for family to  feel ‘scared’.


    On the other hand it is good that your mum is putting her affairs in order, it is giving her some control over the situation so it’s important that she does what she needs to do. You are quite right when you say that this is a ‘natural process’.


    You say that you still need to talk to her about her wishes, this is an important stage for the both of you, and of course I can appreciate how difficult this conversation will be.

    It may help you to start the conversation by looking through some of the information in our planning ahead booklet which you can find here:


    On our Marie Curie website there are some publications which might benefit you at this time, such as ‘Being cared for at home’ & ‘End of life’ guide if you wanted to take a look:


    Sarah, if you want to talk to us here on the Support Line then you are more than welcome to do so. Call our Free phone Support Line on 0800 090 2309, or drop us a line on Web Chat.


    Best Wishes



    Marie Curie Support Line

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