Two days before we left for our honeymoon, we found out that my beloved father has a rare, incurable and aggressive cancer.
Whilst I have several people in my circle with cancer (which is shocking in itself) including my lovely sister-in-law and one of my best friends, this has hit me the hardest. I feel terrible for both Dad and Mum who have been married for almost 66 years. Terminal illness is bad enough for anyone, but how do childhood sweethearts deal with this sort of thing? How does one spouse go on living without the other?
Dad’s sticking to a “do everything as normally as possible” mode, Mum is being strong and cheery, and I’m currently in a realistic-but-positive, practical mode.
I have started alternating as “chemo carer” with my mother, taking Dad to his weekly treatments at Peter Mac Cancer Centre in Melbourne. But when I say “treatment”, it’s sadly just “slowing things down” rather than actual treatment, but at least it buys him some time to finalise his affairs.
So I’d like your advice please.
Have you or a loved one gone through this? Can you leave some suggestions about how to help someone with a terminal illness. What is it that you’ve found to be helpful and not helpful? Emotionally, practically? What books are useful to read? Blogs to follow?
For example, my friend Yvonne reminded me that they should have their Power of Attorney documents up-to-date.
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