Help / guidance

Hi All,

my mum was diagnosed with an extremely rare and aggressive type of cancer (ACC), it has been respected twice but has now come back and is inoperable as there are 9 tumours. She declined invasive chemo and stopped her oral chemo 3 weeks ago but has been admitted the last few day in severe pain and scans have shows rapid growth in the tumours since her last scan as well as a number of new tumours. She has returned home today now that her pain is being managed well as she is clear about wanting to die at home. My questions is, I’m acutely aware there are lots of things I need to say to her before she dies but have no idea where to begin or even how I would say any of it without being utterly overwhelmed. Are there any good resources you know of that will help me to consider all the things I might regret not saying or asking her before she dies? I’m thinking I may have to write her a letter as I am likely to struggle with tears. Sorry for the long message.

  • Hello O-clare

    I'm sorry to hear about your Mum's diagnosis and that she is now entering the final stages of her life. Undoubtedly this is an incredibly difficult time for you both and I hope that you are being well supported by your local palliative care team. 

    It's understandable that there are things you want to say to your Mum whilst you have the opportunity. I think that many people would feel overwhelmed by emotion during those difficult conversations and it's natural that you feel you may struggle with tears. There's nothing wrong with putting things in a letter to your Mum if you feel that you may be able to more easily tell her all the things that you want to say. Putting things in writing might also give you time to make sure that you've included all the points that you feel are important, or are not important for you to say. 

    You might find it helpful to have a look at the information on our website about caring for the carer when someone is dying. If it would help to chat things through with one of our nurses you're welcome to call them on 0808 800 4040, Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm. 

    I hope that the two of you are able to say all that you need to say to each other. Keep in touch here on the forum if it helps to have someone to put down how you're feeling. We're here to listen and offer any support we can. 

    Thinking of you both at this difficult time, 
    Cancer Chat moderator 

  • Thank you Jenn, it’s been a super tough few days, I’ll have a look at those pages and am considering attending Maggie’s as we have one locally, I’ve taken my mum a couple of times over the months but may see if I can go to speak to someone. Thank you for your kindness x