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Telling the patient

Posts: 1
Joined: May 2002

Hi, everyone..my mom had a lung removed in 1996, a metastatic tumor removed in 2000, a recurrence in January of this year and had stereotactic treatment for that. Now, she's got hydrocephalus, a spot on the remaining lung, and a grim prognosis.

My problem is this...my dad doesn't feel the need to tell her of her prognosis, my sister concurs, but my need is keen...to tell her is to give her the dignity of her own prognosis...as well, it would be foolish to think that she DOESN'T know. It is my opinion that she does, but no one is talking to her.

Of course, this is not my call to make, it is my dad's...he just got the advice from a social worker which supports his call. What are your experiences in this area? It is fast approaching (doctors think beginning or end of summer) and it is a keen need for me to talk to her and allow her to talk to us...

Many thanks for your help, in advance...

Posts: 105
Joined: Nov 2000

What a terrible dilemma! I would feel much the way you do. Still, I don't know your family, and can't tell what's best. My own mother was told, but I'm not at all sure she really registered the fact, at least until it was very late.
I'm always a little uncomfortable giving advice, though I seem to give a lot of it anyway. For what it's worth: Maybe you can give your mother an opportunity to talk about this by talking around it? Nothing can stop you from letting her know how much you love her, or from saying anything that you want her to know. Including, actually, the prognosis, though that would cause a lot of trouble your family probably doesn't need. You might also be able to talk to her about how you feel about the illness, without referring to its eventual result.
What I'm trying to say is that maybe you can somehow let her know that you want to hear whatever she has to say--give her an implicit opening to talk about her own feelings and fears.
Just a thought.
Good luck, and warm hugs.

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