Starting the conversation

Your care team might bring this conversation up with you first or it may come up naturally. It may not be something that you’re ready to talk about when it is first mentioned and that’s fine. You can come back to it another time.

If you do feel ready, some of the things you may like to consider could include:

  • What kind of medication you’d like for pain control and to relieve symptoms
  • If there are any treatments you don’t want to receive
  • Where you would like to be cared for
  • The people who you want to be with you
  • Who will make decisions about your care if you’re unable to communicate your wishes
  • What information you want or don’t want to be told about your condition
  • Any special things you’d like, such as spiritual or religious beliefs

You might find it hard to talk to your family or friends about what will happen in your final weeks. Some people might avoid the subject as they don’t want to acknowledge what’s happening.

Telling loved ones about the kind of care you want or don’t want to receive can be very difficult, especially if they don’t understand what will happen or disagree with you. However, talking about this in advance means that they will know what to expect and can support you better.

Reviewed September 2015. Next planned review 2017.