Support from afar

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Hello  My dear sister has been diagnosed with secondary brain cancer and has asked to be taken home.  Care is on the way and daughters in attendance.  She would rather that I didn't visit but I am sure that there are useful things that I could send to cheer her up, along with letters.  Can you please offer any practical ideas for someone who has the side effects of a stroke down one side?  Thank you.

  • Hello

    Thank you for your message  . My name is Jessica, I’m a Cancer Information and Support Adviser.

    May I say first of all how sorry I am to learn of your sister’s diagnosis and how this is impacting you all. I can hear this is difficult for you in terms of wanting to offer support to her, to be able to visit and see her face to face, but equally respecting her wishes at this time. I’m so glad you’ve got in touch to discuss this further with us.

    I’d like to talk through a couple of pointers which you might find useful.

    On our Macmillan website, we have some brief information about Coping with the changes that a brain tumour and treatment can bring. This might help you to consider what your sister may be facing in terms of the practical and physical side of things, which could then lead to some ideas about the areas you might like to offer support with. 

    You may also wish to speak with our specialist Cancer Information Nurses here on the Support Line who can discuss these effects in more detail; they are available to contact on 0808 808 00 00, selecting option 1 then option 3. Lines are open 8am-8pm seven days a week. You can also email or use our online chat to get in touch with them.

    We also have a web page which discusses How to support someone with cancer.

    I wonder if it may be worth you reaching out to a specialist brain tumour charity for more specific support?
    Brain Tumour Support would be one such example; they offer a wide range of help and information as well as their support line.
    Brainstrust has a particularly useful section called Someone I know has a brain tumour as well as a helpline if you wish to contact them.

    I’m conscious there is a lot of information already listed and I don’t wish to overwhelm you, but there are a few of our booklets I have linked below which might be helpful for you as well:

    Cancer and relationships

    Talking with someone who has cancer

    How do you feel you are coping with this situation  ? I’d like you to know you are more than welcome to contact us to talk things through; if you feel overwhelmed or just need a listening ear, we’re here for you. You can call us on 0808 808 00 00, or you can email, or use our online chat.

    I do hope this information is useful for you, and don’t hesitate to get in touch if you need anything further from us at all.

    Best wishes

    Cancer Information and Support Adviser

  • Thank you Jessica.  I will read your information further.  If I understand it, my sister may become quite erratic, and trying not to "rock the boat" from afar is a challenge that I think that I can understand. 

  • Hi

    You’re most welcome   I do hope the information has been useful for you.

    It can be a difficult balance to strike, but if you would like to understand more about how this may affect your sister, as mentioned above it may be worth chatting with one of our Cancer Information Nurses. Feeling more prepared in that way may help you support her more fully.

    You’re welcome to let your sister know she can contact us too, if you think that might help her? You can pass on our Support Line number which is 0808 808 00 00. Lines are open 8am-8pm seven days a week.

    Please do keep in touch with us and let us know if you need anything further.

    Take care and best wishes

    Cancer Information and Support Adviser

  • You are very kind.  Thank you.