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making choices


If you are supporting a young person whose cancer is no longer curable, there will be many areas you cannot control. However, you can help make them more comfortable, talk with them about making choices and give them options. You can help them to have the best quality of life possible.


You may feel that you can’t face these decisions or have these conversations. Don’t forget the Redkite support team is here to help you through this.


Your medical team will also guide you through some of the decisions that may need to be made. These can include:

  • When to stop treatment. This can be a particularly emotional issue, with some people feeling it signals “giving up”. It's an acknowledgment of the situation, and a caring shift of focus toward quality of life and managing symptoms
  • Who to tell about this next stage in the journey, how much and when you want them to know
  • Deciding how much information to share with the young person’s brothers and sisters
  • How to manage work and other commitments
  • Whether the young person wants to continue doing school work, and who they want to spend time with
  • Whether they want to speak to a religious or spiritual advisor
  • What type of palliative care they may want to have and where they want to have it
  • If they want to write a Will or prepare any letters to be read later
  • Whether they want to be involved in planning their funeral
  • Who they want to be there when they die

talking about death

As hard as it may sound, talking openly and honestly about death in a way that matches the age of the diagnosed young person is likely to be one of the most important things you can do for them.


Allowing them to be involved in decisions about how they want to spend the rest of their time, where they want to die, and even planning their own funeral, can help to give them some sense of control. Not every young person will want to talk about these things, but it's important to give them the opportunity.

getting support

Your social worker will be able to provide you with a range of resources to help with the conversations and decisions you’re managing at this stage. If anyone in your family needs extra support, the Redkite support team is here for you.

Last updated September 2015.