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I need to help but how?

(11 Posts)
ddrmum Wed 07-Feb-18 21:28:29

I have just been told that my younger sister is terminally ill - she has 2yrs max. That fucking disease 😢 How can I help her & her family? I feel so useless & devastated for her & her family. She's the most intolerant person I know and the world's worst patient. She seems so calm. Our mum is in bits and her husband is in shock. I'm trying to keep it from my young kids who adore her. How does anyone do this? Sorry, I just don't know where to turn for practical advice or for anything else. Just want to scream.

1234hello Thu 08-Feb-18 18:08:28

So sorry to hear this, so unfair. flowers

Are you local to your sister?

I’ll pm you.

Welshgirl40 Thu 08-Feb-18 18:15:26

McMillan are an amazing resource for this. They have forums for people who have cancer, and also for the people who love them, and care for them. There was always someone there for me at 4am when I couldn’t sleep, and was having a hard time with not finding enough help for them: pointing you in the right directions, or simply holding your hand, albeit remotely. Due to some very recent knowledge I’ve been told, I have a feeling I shall be back into their forums again. It’s other people going through what you’re going through, so there’s true empathy there, with practical help.

mommybear1 Thu 08-Feb-18 18:36:01

I am so so sorry to hear your news thanks. One thing that helped us when my mom was dying / passed away was routine. Family helped get us organised re shopping and spending time together cooking and doing hobbies that meant we had something to cling on to afterwards. We also did lots of actual memory making (as much as we could squeeze in) things like ad hoc photo shoots in the local park, last minute weekend get aways and lots of family time.

1234hello Thu 08-Feb-18 19:16:02

If it’s cancer, I believe maggies centres are good - and support family members too. You’ll need to keep well and strong yourself to be able to look after your sister where you can.

Or other local charities, depending on your sister’s illness and needs.

Organising some treats and trips to make happy memories for you all.

redexpat Thu 08-Feb-18 19:27:18

Google comfort in dump out.

Also, I think you should just ask her and her dp what you can do to help. Offer money for a fabulous family holiday together?

Also if they have children have a look at winstons wish for when the time comes.

Really sorry youre dealing with this x

sleepingdragon Thu 08-Feb-18 19:50:42

Does your sister have children? Make memories together; and get to know her children well (if you dont already), so you are better able to be there for them in the future and have memories to share with them about their mum.

She might want help to prepare things she wants to leave for her partner or children, if you have the sort of relationship where you can offer this?

Winstons Wish also produce a booklet called As Big as It Gets, about supporting children whose parent has a serious illness. It is really useful ( including for yoir children) and has info about talking to children and activities to help children express how they are feeling.

I'm in the same position as your sister, with incurable disease. Its a rollercoaster for everyone. The 2 years prognosis is an average, many people live longer than this (including me), but many people also pass away sooner. The best advice I was given was to get everything in place early (letters, memory box, will etc), just incase I go quickly and so as I get more unwell I can spend time with people I love not trying to write and organise things.

1234hello Thu 08-Feb-18 20:02:38

Yes yes to comfort in dump out.

Very sorry to hear that this is happening to your sister and her family and you.

Regarding your own children (and any other children in the family, including your sister’s if she has them) - it is best to be fairly honest, Macmillan have useful information on what/how to explain to children.


ddrmum Thu 08-Feb-18 20:44:13

Thank you all so much for your kind messages and helpful tips. I've spent today with my mum - she's in shock but also in bits. The plan is to make memories and for her to keep well for as long as possible. She had a brain scan today so we'll see where that takes us all in this awful journey. Her children are adults so they're trying to deal with it as best they can but it's a struggle. I'm going to try to keep things 'Happy' for my younger ones who, as children do, will be asking non stop questions about death. I'm not ready for that yet. Not sure anyone ever is, just wish that I didn't have to 😔 Thankyou again & I'll get looking at the suggestions made x

redexpat Fri 09-Feb-18 16:00:08

How old are your dc?

Ds (6) has Goodbye Mog and Badgers Parting Gifts but I think the latter is more for NT kids of school age. Have a search on mn there are a few old threads about explaining death to children.

ddrmum Sat 10-Feb-18 06:36:00

Red - my dc are 9 & 11. The eldest is due to go to secondary school in September so it's tough enough for them. It doesn't help that their dad is a nasty piece of work who has been causing problems for the last couple of years so they've had to deal with that too. I can only shield them from so muxh when they're forced to have contact. Thanks for your suggestion & I'll also check out the McMillan website. One day at a time eh?

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