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Lung Cancer-how do I help my cousin & her family?

(7 Posts)
FuriousGeorge Tue 18-Sep-07 14:22:17

My mum phoned me with some awful news at the weekend.Apparently my cousins Dh has been diagnosed with lung cancer & is due to go in to be operated on tomorrow.sad

We are a close family & were bought up almost like sisters.I just wondered what I can do to help-the whole family is devastated & can't quite believe it.He is only in his early 40's,quite fit & has never smoked.My cousin & her dh were childooh sweethearts,been together since they were 17 & have to lovely sons.I can't believe this is happening to them.

I haven't rung my cousin,as she is likely to be fending off phone calls from his side of the family & trying to cope with the news,but I sent a card,basically saying that we were all thinking of them & if they need anything,babysitters,someone to stop with the boys overnight,to just ring me.

Is there anything else that might help? I hope I'm very wrong,but I always understood that lung cancer doesn't often have a good prognosis?I'd love to be proved wrong.

So if anyone can suggest anything,I'd be really,really grateful.

dissle Tue 18-Sep-07 14:41:55

my uncle was diagnosed, and has been ok for 10 years can be cured of this, depending on the type.

one great thing that a friend did was to give him a bottle of champagne. this was to be put away and saved till the all clear was given..then opened to celebrate.

this was a very positive way of saying look forward, with confidence and hope.
we WILL celebrate the beating of this.

other than what you have already done, i think that practical things will help, picking kids up from school so she can visit, making her meals and dropping them round, offering to take a pile of ironing for her, just think pratical as much as possible.

sorry about this but its not always doom and death.

Tanee58 Tue 18-Sep-07 14:48:56

FG, that is dreadful news. Can't comment on the prognosis, hopefully you will have a clearer picture after he has been operated on. They will have to do lots of investigations to see whether this is the primary tumour (more hopeful) and how progressed it is. I really hope things go well but it will be a hard time for everyone.

I had cancer ten years ago - I found that the family and friends handled it in very different ways. Some not well at all, (my father, who can't handle illness at all, still maintains I didn't have cancer at all, the lump came on from doing too much needlework! hmm). You seem to have done exactly the right thing for now in sending a card, but you might find that they hesitate to call you, for fear of seeming to be a nuisance (I did, and I also felt that I was being boring, if I talked about my cancer).

I would say phone your cousin in a couple of days, to see how she and DH are, and to repeat your offer to help out, and then once he starts treatment, call or visit regularly ditto, particularly the day after he's had treatment. It'll help your cousin enormously to know you're there for her.

FuriousGeorge Thu 20-Sep-07 18:38:30

Thank you both.
Dissle,thankyou for telling me about your Uncle.I went to see my aunt today & told her about your uncle & it cheered her up considerably.I also told her to tell my cousin that there is a bottle of champagne waiting for when her dh gets the all clear.

Tanee58,I'm sorry to hear that you were diagnosed with cancer too,but fantastic news that you beat it! Your dad sounds like mine-he can't handle any sort of ill health at all.Thankyou for telling me about your experience-it was very useful.

My aunt told me that cousins dh was in theatre this morning & she will ring as soon as there is any news.We are all keeping everything crossed that it is easily dealt with.

Thanks again

RubyRioja Thu 20-Sep-07 18:44:18

I know every case is different and people offer support and help. What I foudn v helpful when my mum was ill was

a friend who brought casseroles regularly for dinner as she knew we were not eating properly (during treatment)

and a friend who offered help but brought a small laminated card she made with her contact numbers mobile, landline etc to reinforce that she could help out whenever needed with babysitting. (We spoke in person so often we rarely made calls!)

Hope treatment all goes well,

newgirl Thu 20-Sep-07 18:57:05

you sound lovely and caring

my best friend has cancer and it has rocked me

anyway, one thing she mentioned is that she wanted to talk about normal boring things not just cancer so it is important to treat your cousin like normal as well and talk about news etc

NoviceKnitter Fri 21-Sep-07 10:58:49

When my mum was ill I also found the practical support the most helpful. Lots of her friends brought round meals, which not only saved us cooking but also felt like incredibly loving, caring, positive gestures. I always do this now if anyone ill, or if just had a baby. Also, offering lifts etc just so helpful. When you're going through something that traumatic it's the little day to day things that keep you going. Sounds like you're on the right track and they're lucky to have your support.

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