• how do i help

    Asked by becky54 on Tuesday, May 14, 2013

    how do i help

    She doesn't want chemo, she is in denial, she is depressed, she is worried about money, she has up day and bad down days. What to I say?

    7 Answers from the Community

    7 answers
    • CAS1's Avatar

      She is in shock..Give her some time. I read an article that says people over the age of 50 don't want chemo because they remember the horror stories of how Chemo used to be many years ago.if she could see the people taking chemo who still have their own hair and are doing well this might change her mind..See if a social worker from the hospital could talk to her. Take her to see the chemo ward and just take a look. Its a place of hope not death. Remind her that small babies and young children take chemo..That always does it for me.. When ever I feel sorry for myself I think of the little 11 year old boy who was there taking chemo with me..
      There by the grace of God go I.

      I have a girl friend stage IV LC who has been on tarceva for 5 years. Works out everyday and is a full time nurse and a beautiful Blond..

      Give her time to process this huge trauma.

      over 4 years ago
    • carm's Avatar

      Hello, I am an oncology nurse and I also do end of life care. Let me try and answer your question.
      So the first thing is that you must recognize your role in this situation. Caregivers, friends, family and even healthcare professionals are the support system. We tell the patient what they need to know and then let them make the informed decisions. Once they do, our role is to support those decisions. I deal with a large population of gyne cancers and let me say at the outset, headstrong and opinionated indeed, however they know what they want and their aim is true. I always tell them that I will support their choices as long as they choose and not yield. I'll take a hundred that choose over one that yields. If she is making her choices because of monetary concerns, therapies, or prognosis then she is yielding to the disease and it is the disease that is doing the decision making. Then you have to tell her that although you have always supported her decisions in the past, even ones you might not have agreed with, you will not support a decision made in fear or with concerns that should have no bearing on that decision. There are many ways to attack the financial concerns and if you need resources, I have an endless supply. As to the denial, that she alone must come to terms with. If she has a will to live then it is merely living in the moments you are in. No one knows when that last day will be, sick or not, and on that score, she has no more insight than you or I. We should all live in moments, step into one, experience it and then move on to another. Time is man-made, in reality it does not exist so why worry about months days or years that lie ahead in a world of uncertainty when all the glory of this world waits in the moments. You have to tell her that while you do not understand her pain, her suffering, in this moment right now, you are here. Tell her to use you. Tell her what you are feeling, if you are afraid then say so and then ask her how she feels about it. If she says yes, then ask her what you can do to help her. How can I help you fight this? If her goal is not to fight then ask her how you can help her achieve that goal. Whatever they choose is the right choice, there can be no wrong choice as long as they are the ones making it. An island is only an island if you view it from the mainland and death is only a punishment if you see life on earth as the only existence. Once you open the panorama, it can become the reward. Up days and down days only occur to the ones viewing it, to them it is an adjustment as the mind tries to keep up with the heart, but then time moves forward and their aim becomes more steadied, more true. Then finally a goal and you know what they say about a goal, you always know where you are going if you have a goal. This is a hard time for you and that is what you should tell her. No sense in walking around on egg shells when the egg is already cracked. These patients are responsible human beings and can take it when you tell them that their behavior is one that is affecting you also. But remember my friend, this isn't heaven and we don't have to be perfect here, no no not here....just human, thank God for that, Carm RN.

      over 4 years ago
    • Clyde's Avatar

      Totally understand your situation. I would be careful of pushing too hard as she will only push back just as hard. Be supportive, let her know how much you love her but don't give up hope either. See if you can find a survivor she can talk too. Someone who has been there and come out the other side is your best bet to get through.

      over 4 years ago
    • Kathy's Avatar

      There is truth in what CAS1 says. I'm in a survivor group and the older ones have mentioned how awful it was seeing their parents go thru chemo and all. And honestly it seems like movies will show people battling cancer as sickly ill. And though the chemo, etc, was difficult in that I was nausaus I wasn't gagging either. I've had cancer 2 times and both times I initially said I wouldn't do chemo but both times I relented a few days later. Good luck.

      over 4 years ago
    • Vjp2012's Avatar

      I can relate. After watching my mom (ovarian stage 4) endure 7 years of surgeries, radiation, chemo, ambulance rides to ER, I promised myself I wouldn't do chemo if diagnosed with cancer. But, at 44, cancer announced itself. And, I had o rethink my position. It is scary to comprehend everything at first. Just listen and let her know how much she is loved. Remind her that she is still young and has so much to live for. You are in my thoughts & prayers! Hang in there!

      over 4 years ago
    • gwendolyn's Avatar

      The others here have made very good points so I won't repeat what they've said. I will offer that she may be looking for you to acknowledge that the treatments may be harsh at times and offer her empathy. When I was first diagnosed and terrified of treatment that's what I was seeking. The last thing I wanted to hear from my family/friends who weren't going through it was that it wouldn't be that bad. I wanted them to say yeah, you are going through some awful stuff and I will do anything I can to make it easier. It was reassuring when medical personnel and other patients told me it wouldn't be too bad, but I wanted my friends and loved ones to validate my emotions and not minimize what I was contemplating going through

      over 4 years ago
    • MMarie's Avatar

      I know you don't know me yet, however, I'm going to chime in. I do regular "updates" to people in my life and do a lot of writing (yes there is a book in the works). Here is a cut and paste from an update I wrote in December. My friends were grateful for the list and it generated a lot of good honest conversation. The first one about the storm has a special place in my heart and a very tender heart-warming story (let me know if you're curious). I hope the list offers some comfortable and/or comforting options for the giver and receiver.

      I frequently hear that people don't know what to say. Thought I'd jot down some options that, at least sound and feel okay to me.

      I'm here for you till the storm calms.
      Would you like visitors?
      Do you want to do something?
      It there anything in particular you would like me to include in my prayers? (Patience, tolerance and resilience will be my answer)
      How is today?
      This sucks.
      I'm sorry you have to learn about this.
      How is your body and/or mind handling the last treatment?
      Do you want to talk about what's going on?
      I don't like/hate to see you have to do through this.
      Do you feel supported?
      Do you feel heard?
      Are your side effects managed as best they can be?
      Do you feel like you're getting good care?
      Are the people at the clinic respecting you?
      Sounds scary to me. It is scary for you?
      What's on your list that needs to be done?
      I'll bring a meal.
      I don't know what to say. Please know that I care.

      over 4 years ago

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