Question:

What is a good way to relieve the stress of a terminal cancer patient's remaining time?

Terminal Cancer: Getting Affairs in Order

Sometimes, cancer cannot be cured or stopped (remission). In cases like this, depending on how long the person has had the cancer, how much it has spread and where it is located, the terminal cancer patient usually has some time to get his or her affairs in order. The sooner the affairs are in order, the easier it will be to live with terminal cancer—the terminal cancer patient and the caregivers will not have to worry what might happen when the patient dies.

Though the terminal cancer patient and the caregivers may not feel up to doing this, as everyone may be dealing with emotions and feelings regarding the diagnosis, it is in the best interest of the terminal cancer patient and his or her family to make sure everything is in order. If things are in order, when the time comes, there is much less to deal with, and the family and friends can attend to their feelings without having to worry about other arrangements.

Things that should be taken care of ahead of time, if at all possible, include:

  • Funeral home selection
  • Prepayment of funeral expenses, if possible
  • Obituary information
  • Funeral wishes
  • Church selection, favorite passages/hymns
  • Cremation or burial
  • Cemetery plot
  • Memorial contributions (favorite charity or organization)
  • Will, bank accounts, attorney, pension plans, retirement funds, life insurance
If everything is prearranged soon after the diagnosis, when the time comes, everything will be much more organized and the stress levels will be lower for all involved, including the terminal cancer patient, as he or she can live easier during the his or her last days, months or years.

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