Cancer can make its ungracious appearance in a life and bring with it a fatal diagnosis at any age to any kind of person. Once the shock and the tumult of emotions subside, for a lot of people, it just leaves a lot of questions. Questions about how they’re going to cope, how they’re going to live, and how they’re going to prepare for what comes after. There are no answers that can help anyone prepare for the end. But there are steps that can be taken in the right direction.
Dealing with this news in isolation isn’t an emotionally healthy choice for anyone to make. If your loved one is suffering from cancer, it’s not your place to inform others without their consent. However, it might be worth suggesting that they do so and making it clear that there is nothing wrong with asking for help. Effectively receiving a death sentence is already a very isolating experience. They don’t need it exacerbated by keeping themselves cut off from those who could offer emotional support and very real, practical help in coming to terms with the end of life. No-one should be left alone to cope with a development like that.
Assuring some quality of life
Despite any kind of prognosis, we can’t tell exactly when our condition is going to deteriorate. No-one can know when they’re going to wake up one day and find out that they can no longer dress themselves, no longer prepare their own meals, or no longer provide their own transport. It’s important to talk about options for care and assuring some quality of life.
If a loved one can help with those responsibilities, then that’s a very loving and selfless thing to do. However, there are professionals in cancer palliative care who could help as well. After all, not only those with cancer but the members of family and friends around them suffer from it as well. It’s understandable if they aren’t able to cope with the responsibility themselves.
Setting affairs in order
One of the things oddly surprising about dealing with the end of life is the amount of administrative work that comes with it. This isn’t only about ensuring that a last will and testament is in place and that life insurance is ready to be collected upon death. There are a lot of documents that are going to need to be collected when it comes to setting legal and financial affairs in their place. Bank accounts are going to need to be closed. Mortgage and loan documents and tax returns need to be collected.
Power of attorney might need to be assigned. Proof of identity and relationships will make many of those legal and financial affairs go through a lot easier. If a loved one can provide any help in putting together all of those, then it can take away a lot of unnecessary stress when facing the end.
People deal with the news that they’re going to die in all sorts of different ways. Processing the emotions if it is all about having the support of loved ones and fewer things to stress over. Hopefully the tips above help you or your loved one get to that point.