The diagnosis and the verdict of Advanced Cancer is indeed a bitter pill to swallow. It is normal to not know what to say to someone with advanced cancer or to worry that you’ll say the wrong thing. But the most important thing is not what you say, but that you are showing you care. Some families talk openly about these sorts of things, while others don’t. There is no right or wrong way to communicate. But studies show that families who talk things out feel better about the care they get and the decisions they make.
Even as you hope for an unexpected recovery, it may be useful to discuss that the future is uncertain as avoiding important issues only makes them harder to deal with later. Talking over your concerns can bring comfort to all involved. You may find that you and the patient are thinking the same things or very different things thus making it even more important to get any thoughts or concerns you have out in the open. It is important to be supportive of whatever your loved one wants to say since it is also critical for them to process thoughts and fears in their own way.
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