End of life concerns
The end of life is a difficult and emotional time for you and your loved ones.
Planning for this time can make it easier to deal with. There may also be a number of practical things you want to arrange.
Dealing with emotions
You and your loved ones may have feelings of disbelief, anger, distress and hopelessness. These can be overwhelming, and it can be hard to know what to say and do. It is important to realise these feelings are normal, and there are people that can help and support you.
Not all emotions at this time are negative. Knowing that you are near the end of your life allows you to say goodbye to family and friends. Some people find great comfort in sharing time with their loved ones.
Palliative care is very important at the end of life. The palliative care team can help with managing symptoms, providing support and counselling, and answering questions you may have.
Many people want to put their affairs are in order before they die. They may want to be sure their family is cared for properly, or to reduce the number of things left for their carers to deal with. Putting your affairs in order can be difficult, but it often provides a sense of relief.
People also like to leave some memories for their loved ones, like photos, videos or letters. This is particularly important for parents of young children who want to leave them messages for the future.
What should I expect?
Everyone is different, but most people want know how much time they have, and what it will be like. Doctors may not be able to give exact answers but they will be able to explain what commonly happens.
Many people are concerned about what symptoms they will have. The palliative care team can provide information about this, and explain what treatments there are to control symptoms.
In the time before dying most people slip in and out of consciousness. For many people, dying is a very peaceful experience.
Other resources we recommend
Cancer Council Mon-Fri 9am-5pm13 11 20
Breast Cancer Network Australia1800 500 258
Advance care planning Mon -Fri 9am-5pm1300 208 582