Support for children and teenagers
Many hospices and palliative care teams have counsellors who can help you talk to children. We have more information on finding support for children, including a list of organisations that can provide support.
Everyone deals with difficult news in different ways. You may not want to talk to family and friends about dying at all. Or you may worry that your family will find talking about it too upsetting, or struggle to come to terms with the news that you are dying.
These can be difficult conversations. But being open and honest about your feelings and wishes can be comforting to you and your family. For example, you may feel less worried about the future if your family know how and where you would like to be cared for. Some people worry about being a burden to their family, or losing their independence. Talk to those close to you about how you would like them to support you. If there’s anything you would rather they didn’t do, let them know this as well.
If you find that you’re having to update lots of people about what’s happening, you could ask one person to share information and updates with the rest of your family and friends.
If you have young children or teenagers in the family, you may worry about how to talk to them and how much you should tell them. For most children and teenagers, it’s best to be honest and explain to them what’s going on. You may feel you want to protect them, but even very young children often sense when something is wrong. They may get more worried if they are not told what is happening.
It can help to speak to their school, as schools can provide support for children. Schools also find it helpful to be aware of what’s going on at home, for example in planning school work, or if the child’s behaviour changes at all. Students can talk to their college or university, who can provide support and help with their workload.
Your doctor and nurses can answer any questions you or your family have about your pancreatic cancer. They can also help you think about what care you will want in the future.
Ask them any questions you may have, and talk to them about anything that is worrying you. If you find talking to your doctor or nurse about the end of your life difficult, these suggestions may make it a bit easier.
Let your doctor or nurse know if you’d like a relative or friend there with you during conversations.
“Some people want to talk about end of life and they want loads of information, other people don’t want to talk about it. My mum didn’t. She didn’t talk about her end of life at all really.”
Published April 2021
Review date April 2023