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Sister has stage 4 cancer - how to help when living far away?

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#1 chocymoose

Posted 12 October 2016 - 10:34 AM

Hi all,

My dear sister was diagnosed with a rare sarcoma earlier this year, unfortunately it had already advanced and is stage 4 with limited treatment options.

I live about 10 hours drive away, any ideas on how I can help when I am physically so far away?? I feel useless and so sad.


#2 Hattie

Posted 12 October 2016 - 10:38 AM

Oh Chocy, I'm so sad to hear this, your poor sister.

My cancer was stage 3c at diagnosis, but I have many friends in my cancer support group who are stage 4.

My suggestions based on their experiences would be:

* if at all possible, go visit her - this would be my number 1 recommendation and I would try to move heaven and earth to make it happen.
* if not possible to visit, then can you chat to her via Skype?
* send her a gift basket of something she'll love - eg really luxurious body creams or fancy candles or chocolates - something really decadent that you know she will really enjoy
* put together a scrapbook or album of photos and memories of the two of you and send it to her

Again, I'm so sorry you're in this situation. Cancer is a b*st*rd.


Posted 12 October 2016 - 11:55 AM

I would plan to go visit her as soon as you can.
A bunch of flowers is always good.

Do you have family that are close to her and can fill you in what is happening?

#4 mum2brodie

Posted 14 October 2016 - 03:58 PM

I have stage 4 Bowel cancer.  I think the best thing you can do is call her every week.  If you can afford to go and visit her (but not stay with her as that would be too much added work for her).  I would advise to do it.  Not all Stage 4 is terminal. I am still here after being told at Christmas that I was terminal.  

Are they able to offer her any immune therapies.  That is what I am on and it has put me into remission.

Try and not google too much in away to help her.  Don't suggest alternative things like Bicarb therapies etc.

Just be there and listen to her.  Maybe send her some nice soft Peter Alexander PJ's.  A hamper of organic fragrance free skin care goodies.  Chemo can really knock your skin around.

There is still hope for her.

#5 MooGuru

Posted 14 October 2016 - 04:24 PM

One thing that I saw a family do was that they bought a nice (but relatively lightweight) note book in which they wrote thoughts,  letters, photos, pictures cut out of magazines etc and then sent it to the child in hospital who then wrote in it and added whatever she wanted and then sent it back (include a stamped self addressed envelope). It went back and forth regularly and seemed to be a highlight of her day whenever her mum brought it in (we were in the next room and could hear the excited squealing. If DS had been older I would have loved to do something similar)

That was a child though communicating with friends and siblings with support from well parents so it may be too much for her?

ETA - it might be therapeutic to capture some memories for you too. Even the ridiculous ones like finding a picture of Tom Cruise and reminding her of that horrendously embarrassing crush she had on him etc. Sorry just imagining what I would write to my sister.

My thoughts are with both of you.

Edited by MooGuru, 14 October 2016 - 04:27 PM.

#6 Not Escapin Xmas

Posted 14 October 2016 - 05:20 PM

I would just try to get there. Sarcoma is awful (mum died from it about 3 years ago). Failing that, set up Skype or FaceTime and just 'hang out'.

#7 my*xmas*kiddies

Posted 14 October 2016 - 05:32 PM

Im so sorry OP.

Aside from the regular phone call and visit when you can, perhaps set up a weekly or fortnightly grocery delivery-it doesnt have to be a huge shop, basics and easy meals, or a fortnightly or 3 weekly cleaner to go to her house to ease her load?

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