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Question
Posted by: Gracie | 2010-02-25

I dont know how to deal with this ....

My sister has 2nd stage Leukemia. She is extremely depressed because of the illness - she feels very sick after the chemo and radiation treatment. She has told my mother that she feels like committing suicide as she cannot handle the pain anymore. I have tried speaking to her and encouraging her to speak to a counsellor, but she just shrugs it off. I don''t know what to do anymore .. I have told her that I am there for her should she need to speak to someone, but it does not seem to help!

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Such illness, and the treatment, ca indeed be depressing. Having worked for years in these fields in different countries, I believe it is lousy medical practice not to involve a counsellor, perhaps from the Cancer Association, in the treatment from the start ; and not to involve someone from the hospice / palliative care programme, from the start, to advise on symptoms control. It is rare that pain canot be controlled, though sadly not rare for doctors working in such services not to know how to control pain and other symptoms.
One o the reasons I emphasize the involvement of such allied experts from early on is so that it is seen as a proper and standard part of treatment - sometimes the person with cancer or other serious illness may fear that calling for the hospice, pain advisor or counsellor is part of a death sentence, signallying that the End is Nigh, rather than realizing it is an important part of treatment, to improve the quality of life, and maybe even its quantity.

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Our users say:
Posted by: cybershrink | 2010-02-25

Such illness, and the treatment, ca indeed be depressing. Having worked for years in these fields in different countries, I believe it is lousy medical practice not to involve a counsellor, perhaps from the Cancer Association, in the treatment from the start ; and not to involve someone from the hospice / palliative care programme, from the start, to advise on symptoms control. It is rare that pain canot be controlled, though sadly not rare for doctors working in such services not to know how to control pain and other symptoms.
One o the reasons I emphasize the involvement of such allied experts from early on is so that it is seen as a proper and standard part of treatment - sometimes the person with cancer or other serious illness may fear that calling for the hospice, pain advisor or counsellor is part of a death sentence, signallying that the End is Nigh, rather than realizing it is an important part of treatment, to improve the quality of life, and maybe even its quantity.

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