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Help for son and his siblings

(99 Posts)
Jankwrs1 Tue 27-Oct-15 12:21:41

My 17 year old son has cancer. We were told this week that it has spread to his lungs. He is likely to decline further treatment as he does not want to prolong our pain. He has a twin brother and slightly older sister. They are all very close.
I don't think he has very long so these are the things I am doing/helping him with: I have put money into his account so that he can choose and order Christmas presents for his sister and brother (he asked me to do this and he wants to choose lasting things like jewellery); I have started a journal that I will give to his twin, describing these last times between them; his sister and I are putting together an album of photos of family and friends- his sister has asked his mates to send her ones of them all together. Hopefully we will be able to show him the album and then his brother can keep it afterwards.

His sister has also discussed the tattoo that the three of them were going to get when my son was first diagnosed. Obviously he will not get it now but her and other brother will (he will get when 18). Something that shows the love between the three of them.

Apart from discussing his funeral wishes, is there anything else at all I can do to help his brother and sister, and him through this. We (including his dad) are all supporting each other. I just don't want to have missed something, please.

Parsley1234 Tue 27-Oct-15 12:31:07

That all sounds beautiful sending you lots of love and strength x

Jankwrs1 Tue 27-Oct-15 12:33:59

Thank you, Parsley. I know I don't need extra pressure but I do want to try my best for the three of them.

ImperialBlether Tue 27-Oct-15 12:39:18

What a heartbreaking time for you all.

flowers

lunar1 Tue 27-Oct-15 12:43:11

It sounds like you are doing everything you can for all of them. So sorry you are going through this.

Jankwrs1 Tue 27-Oct-15 13:16:00

Thank you Imperial and lunar. X

WhamBamSpam Tue 27-Oct-15 13:19:41

Can you video the three of them together? I lost my brother a few years ago and I would give anything to hear his voice. Even better if he was speaking to me.

WhamBamSpam Tue 27-Oct-15 13:20:02

Ps I'm sorry for the pain you and your family are going through. xx

hesterton Tue 27-Oct-15 13:22:55

Could you discuss with him recording his voice? Film a message for them if he wants to do that? Talk together about what he would like them to contribute to his funeral?

I am so sorry you are going through this.

hesterton Tue 27-Oct-15 13:23:25

Cross posted with whambam - sorry.

Twitterqueen Tue 27-Oct-15 13:23:42

how about some music? playlists on his iPod that he might like to listen to when he's feeling rough.

As well as an album, one of those digital photo frames close by his bed so that he has an ongoing slide show of you all.

So very sorry flowers

PotOfYoghurt Tue 27-Oct-15 13:25:55

I'm so sorry this is happening to your family. You all sound so close, and I hope that that helps you heal.

I'm a twin, and I would like to leave a letter or a card for her to read at a special birthday (perhaps their 21st?) or something for her to read at a time later in her life when she is under stress or worry. If the roles were reversed I would treasure something that had been written by my twin (or indeed other sibling) with the intent that I would read it some time after she had passed.

I wish you and your family all the best there can be in these circumstances. What a kind son you have raised.

YoureMyWifeNowDave Tue 27-Oct-15 13:27:10

Have they designed the tattoo? Maybe you could get a copy drawn on paper and framed for your son to have with him so that all three of them will have it?

CMOTDibbler Tue 27-Oct-15 13:47:22

If you contact your local childrens hospice, they will be able to help you all to find ways to cope.

Would your ds like the tattooist to use sharpies to draw the same design on him when his sister has the permanent one? I'm sure they would do it in the circs, then all three could have the design together

Jankwrs1 Tue 27-Oct-15 14:23:30

Thank you everyone for these suggestions. Great ideas that I do not have a clear enough head to think of myself. Hesterton whambam I really like the idea of a voice recording. I have bits on my phone but something each just for his brother and sister would be really good.

Twitter thanks. We have one of those frames so I could set that up. At the moment he is still able to be taken out with mates but I think his mobility will decrease quite quickly as he is already getting short of breath and can't walk far. We have been told that teenagers are special and can be slightly different to children and adults with cancer in that their bodies can mask symptoms for a long while and then they can crash very quickly.

Yoghurt a letter each is a brilliant idea and something they would treasure. Youremy they are nearly there with the design . Thanks for the suggestion. And Dibbler I certainly wouldn't have thought of the sharpie idea. I will look into it.

Thank you so much. I am making notes. This is very helpful at such a rubbish time.

Wtfmummy Tue 27-Oct-15 14:29:17

I am so so sorry to read this. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

I can't really offer anything but wanted to let you know that your post touched my heart.

When my MIL was dying she wrote birthday cards with messages in for each of the family that we had when she passed away. It was very special. Everyone took their cards and read them privately and then shared them with everyone else - just seeing her handwriting was nice. I think a voice recording would be beautiful flowers

ChinaSorrows Tue 27-Oct-15 16:10:09

Help your DS write letters or cards for his siblings for birthdays, wedding, first child... Milestones.

The sharpie tattoo is a beautiful suggestion. So clever.

Have you contacted Macmillan or a local children's hospice? They should be able to support in ways other people can't even think of. Helping your DS to plan what he wants when the time comes too.

Sending you my thoughts and prayers.

Stinkyfeet Tue 27-Oct-15 16:28:01

Thinking of you and sending you and your family strength for the time ahead.

Jankwrs1 Tue 27-Oct-15 19:58:05

mummy and china I do like the idea of cards/letters for significant milestones. I think my son will think that's a very good idea too. He has always been a rock for his ten minute younger twin and will like to think he can still be around him for significant times.

He has a Macmillan nurse through the hospital. I am seeing her tomorrow to find out what the service can offer us as a family and indeed, what other help there is out there.

Thank you Stinky and all of you for your support; it's really helping me focus.

Hellenbach Tue 27-Oct-15 21:38:14

You are doing all the right things. It's so important that there is honesty about dying, what a great mum you are x

Jankwrs1 Tue 27-Oct-15 22:51:07

And what a great wife and mum you are, Hellen. flowers

BewitchedBotheredandBewildered Wed 28-Oct-15 00:18:19

I'm so sorry that you are going through this Jankwrs1, I can't imagine how you must feel.

You are obviously a wonderful mother, your honesty and love leap off the screen, your children are very lucky to have you.

I was going to say the same as China, and am so pleased to see that you like that idea and that you think your son will too.

Apart from it being a wonderful idea for your son and daughter to have messages for their future, it would be a very positive thing for your poorly son to focus on.

Biggest hugs for you sweetheart flowers

sugar21 Wed 28-Oct-15 00:48:44

So sorry that you are going through this, such a horrible time. I wonder if the tattoo could be done as a temporary one for your lovely son. Not sure if it would be suitable because of his illness but a friend of mine had a sort of drawing on her arm, it was done with the same stuff as Indian ladies have at their weddings. Bit tired now but I willl ring friend and ask for details
Sending you and your family ( not sure shat the right word is) a big hug.
I lost a child so can sort of emphasise.flowers

FlumptyDumpty Wed 28-Oct-15 01:07:14

OP, I am so sorry for you, your son and the rest of your family flowers

You have some lovely ideas already. You mentioned your son would like to give his siblings some jewellery. I recall seeing some jewellery available on etsy where the maker creates name necklaces in the handwriting of a loved one. Perhaps he would like to get his sister a silver necklace with her name on in his handwriting?

I will try to find the shop concerned and post a link in case he is interested.

FlumptyDumpty Wed 28-Oct-15 01:09:49

OP, if you go to www.etsy.com and search for handwriting jewellery or handwriting necklace it will bring up various shops who can make something bespoke.

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