Managing End of Life Care

Your guide to managing practical and emotional issues during this difficult time

Coping with your feelings

If your loved one’s cancer reaches a terminal stage (i.e. when it stops responding to all treatments), your doctor may want to talk to you and your family about stopping treatment and beginning end of life care. The decision to stop treatment is an immensely difficult one, and you are likely to feel many different types of emotions at this time

shock and sadness

Even if your loved one has been battling cancer for a very long time, talking about end of life care can come as a big shock to you and your family. You are likely to feel extremely distressed, tearful and upset.

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Overwhelming confusion

Initially, you may not know what to do and be unable to think clearly. You might find it hard to accept your situation, even if you know that your loved one is getting worse.

Guilt

You may feel that you could have done more to help your loved one.

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Anger

You may feel a powerful sense of anger – at yourself, your clinical team and those around you, or at the situation you find yourself in. If can be extremely hard to see normal life going on around you when your own world has changed so much.

It is important to remember that the feelings you are experiencing are completely normal. It can help to talk openly with your family and your clinical team about how you are feeling, and lean on them for support with decision making.

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