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5 Ways to Help Cope with a Parent who has Cancer


Dealing with a parent who’s has cancer is never easy ad one who is diagnosed terminally-ill you just can not wrap your brain around it. There’s no preparation for the emotional distress you’ll feel at this difficult time.

With aggressive cancers like mesothelioma rising in number, even more families are going to go through this impossible scenario. And the chances are you’ll feel lost when trying to deal with this situation.

These are the five ways to help cope with a parent who’s dying from cancer.

  1. Don’t Assume You Know Anything

As part of your preparation for this, the first thing to do is to assume you don’t know anything. Don’t torture yourself with thoughts that you don’t know how to do this or that you’re going to do something wrong. Allow your emotions to take over and say whatever is on your mind. There are no wrong answers in this scenario. Do what’s in your heart.

  1. Don’t Pretend It’s Not Happening

A parent who’s dying from mesothelioma, full resource on the disease here,  or any other form of cancer has only a limited amount of time left. The worst thing you can do is to pretend that it’s not happening.

You should use the amount of time you have left wisely. Make the most of that time by acknowledging what’s going on and come up with a plan for what you’re going to do about it.

  1. Let Your Parent Make the Decisions

Assuming they’re still in a good mind, allow them to make the decisions. Don’t try to force them to do anything your way. Give over your time and support to them.

Whatever they want to do, do it. The last thing you need is any family conflict at this difficult time.

You should also make it clear to other loved ones that they’re the ones in charge. They’re the person experiencing this so final authority should fall to them.

  1. Demonstrate Your Love

Even though this is the most difficult situation you’ll ever experience, use the time they have to create some final golden memories together.

Demonstrate how much you love them because it could be the last chance you have. Pour out your heart to them. Laugh and cry together because these are the memories you’ll remember for the rest of your life.

  1. Maintain the Peace

Assume that the dying room is a place of love and peace. This applies even if the person is unconscious. Unless your parent says otherwise, keep any family conflict or contentious topics out of the room.

Do what you can to create a peaceful environment so your parent can have the best send off possible. It will increase their quality of life and ensure that their final thoughts are happy ones.

Final Thoughts on Coping with a Parent Dying From Cancer

Understand that there’s no easy way to deal with this situation. There are no plans and what one person did won’t be what’s necessarily right for you.

There’s no denying that this will be incredibly difficult to handle, and you’ll struggle, but just listen to what your heart is telling you and keep a peaceful atmosphere.

Are you dealing with a terminally ill parent?



About the Author

Amanda Acuña an influential Mom Blogger created MommyMandy as an online resource to the parenting community. She has four children and they currently reside in Texas.


  1. I am not currently, but I did over 8 years ago. When mother was diagnosed with Renal Cell Carcinoma. She was Stage 4. It had spread from her kidney to both lungs and her liver. She lived just less than 3 months. It was hard because there was no time to go through the steps. We had to jump in with both feet and start running. Mom’s journey was long and hard and well it scary for everyone. Our main job was to be there and support her. The hardest part was saying goodbye for us, but for her the scariest was losing control and saying goodbye.

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