Module summary


I felt cheated. This wasn’t what we had planned for our lives together. Our grown daughter was ripped off, and her (eagerly hoped for) baby was cheated of its grandfather.

Here are some of the key points covered in this module:

  • When a diagnosis is first received, the person and everyone in the family are likely to experience a variety of thoughts and feelings. Everyone’s experience is unique.
  • Common emotions that families experience include fear, anxiety, anger, guilt, hope, guilt, and grief.
  • Some of the different reactions family members experience include disbelief, denial, and a need for closeness and intimacy.
  • A major source of anxiety for the person who is ill and their family is the sense of uncertainty, often related to how the illness will progress and when death might occur. Anxiety can impact people in different ways, even members of the same family.
  • Living with a life-limiting illness may bring anger for the person, the caregiver, and the family. However, the anger may be a secondary emotion. You may be feeling something else that comes out as anger.
  • Current roles held by different family members may shift and change when there is a life-limiting diagnosis.
  • Some ways families can manage their emotions include talking to someone, focusing on the things they can control, staying flexible as a family, and working toward accepting the changes.