How can I help my family?

My sister in law has brain tumours which is inoperable and aggressive. She has just had radiotherapy. How can I help my sis in law, brother and nieces through this awful time?

Hello Karen, thanks for visiting our community. So sorry to hear about what you’re all going through at the moment. How is your sister-in-law coping with everything?

It can sometimes feel like a tricky situation to manage - you want to do as much as you can to help support everyone, but you don’t want to be feel overbearing or like you’re in the way when they have an awful lot on their plate.

One good way to handle this is to simply let them know you’re there, and available to help with anything should they need it. One of the most helpful things I’ve heard about from a similar situation is when a friend cooked dinner and brought it round to save the family the trouble. It’s a simple gesture, but one that just took another thing away from the family and meant an awful lot.

It can be the mundane things that you have to continue doing at difficult times that can become quite a burden, so any help with that sort of thing can mean a huge amount.

The help people want or need in situations like this can vary as everyone’s different, but just asking what you can do can go a long way. Even if your help’s not needed at that moment, they’ll know you can be on hand when needed. Just being there to listen to your sister-in-law and other family members can be a huge help too, and quite cathartic for them. You often won’t need to even say much, but a friendly ear to help them get their worries off their chest can go a long way.

Don’t forget too - it’s important that you take time to look after yourself. It’ll be a difficult situation for you to cope with too. Talking about it (either here or with other friends) will really help you personally, if you need that.

My sis in law appears to be coping well and trying to be positive. We are all trying to be positive but at the same time realistic. I have made cake and biscuits which went down well!! I have told them about this site so hopefully they will be able to visit to.

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Cakes and biscuits work in every situation :slight_smile:

Thanks for telling them about the site. It’s only been up and running for a month or so but people are already finding it helpful. There’ll be people around to share experiences and offer more support when needed.

Thanks Karen.

Hi Karen, I too am so sorry to hear about the difficult time your family is going through. I echo what Joe has already said, being there for them is so valuable and practical help such as meals and cakes is very supportive. You don’t say how old your nieces are. Are they still children?

Hi Karen,

Having read your post my feeling is for you all to keep talking. There are going to be some tough times and if you can be open and honest with each other as much as you can things will be easier to cope with.

Take care of you.

Hi Elise, Yes sadly my nieces are only 12 and 14. They appear to be coping really well considering. I hope they have years rather than months left with their mum. We can only hope and see.

Thank you Sarah. Yes we are trying to talk about the practical as well as the day to day. My brother has a wicked sense of humour so we all are able to laugh. Something that we will need in the months to come.

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