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Topic Newly diagnosed

Are you newly diagnosed with cancer? Read our series of blogs with information about cancer and its treatment, how to take control of its side effects and tips to help you to focus on wellbeing.

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Family member with terminal cancer

Started by Anonymous on 20 January 2018 at 04:08

Hi, as an employee of the NHS, my family appear to think I know everything about cancer.  A family member has been diagnosed with bowel cancer and secondary stomach cancer and terminal.  He is receiving treatment for a short period to prolong life and help slow things down.  Unfortunately he doesnt listen to my advice and have had to attend hospital for a blockage albeit not cancer related.  Hopefully this has been sorted.  However, what should we expect from terminal bowel/stomach cancer, where can I find the information on what to expect near the end.  I however hope that he outlives his expected life of 12months and is with us for longer.  Can you suggest an information source.  Thanks.

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  • Picture of SusieQ
    From SusieQ  
    22 January 2018 at 10:36
    Edited on: 22 January 2018 at 10:37


    Being a health care professional can complicate things sometimes, emotionally and practically. Many of us can relate to what you're going through - the feeling from everyone else in the family that you will know all there is to know about cancer.

    The skills you do have will help translate much of the medical talk, into lay person terms, and know how the hospital/NHS system works. The disadvantage can be that you want to be both professional, yet a caring family member too - two hats - so it's important to look after yourself too.

    There's a range of resources which you may find helpful, for someone with advanced bowel/stomach cancer. We have a cancer information resource - Maggie's Cancerlinks, which will guide you to sources of information which are up to date and relevant.

    There's a range of topics which may help in your family member's situation:-

    Living with advanced cancer

    End of life care - (For the future...not now, but useful to read through and prepare)

    Support for carers

    Financial help for carers

    You asked about what the next year might be like and what to expect, and in truth, it varies from person to person. It depends on his response to palliative treatment, and how the cancer advances. It's likely he'll get more problems with his bowel or stomach - and may lose weight/appetite over time.

    In his particular case, it might be worth speaking with his specialist nurse or doctor (with his permission) to find out more how his particular cancer progression will develop - what to watch out for, and when to call for extra help.

    On a practical note, he may be entitled to specific benefits because of the life limiting nature of his cancer. You can always message Tom (Tombenefits) for further advice? Additionally, his nutritional needs may be a problem with his stomach and bowel being affected. The hospital are likely to be giving good dietary advice, but if you need any additional nutritional input, you could liaise with CarolineH (Our online nutritional advisor).

    I'll get in touch with you, to say 'hello' and see if there are any specific questions I can help with? In the meantime, you'd  be very welcome to drop into one of our Maggie's Centres for support for him, you and the family.

    Warm wishes



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