• How to cope with knowing that the cancer can't be put in remission and how to help the patient to be at peace knowing they are dying?

    Asked by Dodi on Thursday, April 25, 2013

    How to cope with knowing that the cancer can't be put in remission and how to help the patient to be at peace knowing they are dying?

    4 Answers from the Community

    4 answers
    • ASakryd's Avatar

      I'm in the same spot as you and it isn't an easy place to be. My mother has broken her rosary several times through many nights and procedures. Having them in her hand seems to calm her a little.

      over 3 years ago
    • LindaD@StF's Avatar

      If this patient has a prognosis of 6 months or less (usually any stage IV cancer), call a hospice today! They are the experts at maintaining hope through a most difficult time. If the patient has a longer prognosis, this is the time to refer the patient to palliative care. The word palliative comes from the latin for blanket or comfort, and that is what they do. They blanket you with a team of caring professionals who have the time and skillset to reduce pain, calm the fear, explain the unexplainable.

      over 3 years ago
    • geekling's Avatar
      geekling (Best Answer!)

      Can't? Who says can't?

      Where there is life, there is hope.

      Just because one doctor say "I can't help." doesn't mean no one can assist.

      Miracles happen every day. Has anyone looked into second or third opinions or into alternative methodologies? Give the patient permission to look for his or her own miracle. If you are no longer willing to assist, that is a different story.

      Everyone, once born, is busy growing and then dying.

      We simply don't know when we come to the end of our timeline.

      If there is pain, however, simply try to relieve it.

      over 3 years ago
    • carm's Avatar

      I am an oncology nurse and I also do end of life care. You ask a good question, and one that arouses so much passion in many here on this site. To understand death and accept it you must first know it and embrace it. Many run from this part of life until they run out of road, and then find themselves looking her square in the face. I don't know how your friend is feeling at this moment but I can tell you that we die when we are ready. We choose...never yield to that moment in our lives because it is an act of free will to just let go, to let go...it is beautiful. We all come to that moment where our will to live becomes that will to leave, and I see it so often. Tell this patient that when the time comes to move forward, there will be no fear, no sadness because it is an act that they alone will choose. To take that one true breath as a soul again unbound by the physical limits, to exhale with no bone, skin, no anatomy to stop the flow is releasing and the joy; unrelenting. Death has a beauty unlike no other, she hides her face to us all our lives, but when we come to finally face her, we know her, recognize her, and with joy we follow her because we have done so before. Your patient will remember. Until that time, if you need to open that dialogue with this patient, just ask if they understand their prognosis and then ask how this patient feels about it. Let them know how you feel, if you have fear, sadness, anger. You have to open yourself to them if you want them to open to you. This is the one step in life where there can be nothing less than candor. Before we can be so much more than human, we must be nothing but human to get there. If you need further help, let me know and I will contact you off site. Some topics such as this demand the respect and dignity of privacy. Best of luck to you, Carm RN.

      over 3 years ago

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