Coping with change and loss

Finding a way to cope with knowing you are dying can depend on many factors, including your age, whether or not you have children, your relationships with a partner or family, and your cultural or spiritual beliefs.

Everyone will find their own way at their own pace. There is no right or wrong way. For some, learning more about the physical dying process can make it easier to cope. Others find it helps not to think too far ahead, but instead to focus on a month, a week or even a day at a time.

    − Holly Webber, ‘Living with death’, The Observer, Sunday 19 June 2011

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Finding hope

When you’ve been told that you’re dying with cancer, you may find it hard to feel hopeful. While it may be unrealistic to hope for a cure, you can find hope in other things, such as sharing some special times with those you love.

Studies of people dying with cancer show that people’s hope can be maintained when their health professionals:

  • involve them in decision-making, especially about palliative care treatment options and where they’d like to die
  • reassure them that any pain and other symptoms will be well controlled.

Maintaining a sense of control

When people learn that they are approaching the end of life, they often feel like they’ve lost control. One way to maintain some control is to make decisions about your current and future medical treatment, and to tidy up unfinished business.

Finding a balance between knowing you are dying and still trying to live as fully as possible is sometimes called ‘living with dying’. This may mean focusing more on the present. You may find that some days it’s easier to achieve this than others.


Loss and grief

Other losses and changes happen throughout a terminal illness – loss of work, loss of social roles, loss of friendships, loss of connection to community, and loss of independence. A dying person often needs to spend time grieving for these losses.

You might also experience anticipatory grief, reacting to the impending loss of your life. People often grieve for events they won’t be around for, such as marriages, graduations and having babies. People without children or a partner may mourn the lost opportunity to have these relationships or experiences.

Gradually, you may feel less able to do things or you may lose interest in activities you previously enjoyed. For many people, this is a natural part of coming to terms with death. It may make you feel sad and very low, but you may also move towards a sense of peace.


Click on the icon below to download a PDF booklet on facing end of life.


    Facing End of Life

  • 1 MB

Printed copies are available for free - Call 13 11 20 to order

Instructions for downloading and reading EPUB files

Apple devices

The iBooks application must be installed on your Apple device before you can read the EPUB.
Different ways to download an EPUB file to your Apple device:

  • email EPUB files to yourself and transfer the attachment to iBooks.
  • copy EPUB files into DropBox (or a similar service) and use the DropBox app to send them to iBooks.
  • open EPUB files directly from Mobile Safari and open them in iBooks, where they are saved automatically by downloading the EPUB from the website.

Need more help? Visit: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4059

Kobo

To download an EPUB file to your Kobo from a Windows computer:

  • download and save the EPUB directly onto your desktop.
  • connect your Kobo to your computer using the USB cable and tap “Connect” on your eReader.
  • select “Open folder to view files” to view the contents of your Kobo.
  • navigate to where you have stored your EPUB file in “Finder”, in documents or downloads, and drag and drop it into the Kobo window. You can now disconnect your Kobo to read the eBook.

To download an EPUB to your Kobo from a Mac:

  • download and save the EPUB directly onto your desktop.
  • connect your Kobo to your computer using the USB cable and tap “Connect” on your eReader.
  • open your “Finder” application.
  • select “Kobo eReader” from the listed devices to view the contents of your Kobo.
  • navigate to where you have stored your EPUB file in “Finder”, probably in documents or downloads, and drag and drop it into the Kobo window. You can now disconnect your Kobo to read the eBook.

Turn on your Kobo and your EPUB will be located in “eBooks”, while a PDF will be located in “Documents”.
Need more information? Visit: http://www.kobo.com/help/koboaura/response/?id=3784&type=3

Sony Reader

To download an EPUB file on your Sony Reader™:

  • ensure you have already installed the Reader™ Library for PC/Mac software
  • select the eBook you want from our website and click the link to download it.
  • connect the Reader™ to your computer.
  • open the Reader™ Library software and click “Library” in the left-hand pane and select the eBook to view it.

Need more help? Visit: https://au.readerstore.sony.com/apps_and_devices/

Amazon Kindle 2nd Generation devices

EPUB files can’t be read on the Amazon Kindle™. However, like most eReaders, Kindle™ 2nd Generation devices are able to display PDFs. We recommend that you download the PDF version of this booklet if you would like to read it on a Kindle™.
To transfer a PDF to your Kindle™ via USB cable from your computer or Mac:

  • download the PDF directly onto your computer.
  • connect the USB cable to your computer’s USB port, and the micro USB end of the cable to your Kindle™. Note: the Kindle™ won’t be available as a reading device while it is connected to your computer until it has been disconnected.
  • open the Kindle™ drive and several folders will appear inside. The “Documents” folder is where you will need to copy or drag the PDF to.
  • safely eject your Kindle™ from your computer and unplug the USB cable. Your content will appear on the Home Screen.

Kindle also provides a Kindle Personal Documents Service that allows users to send documents as an attachment directly to your eReader. For more information on this service, visit http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html/ref=help_search_1-1?ie=UTF8&nodeId=200767340&qid=1395967989&sr=1-1
For more information on accessing a PDF on your Kindle™, visit www.amazon.com/manageyourkindle, log in to your account and click on Personal Document Settings.
Need more help? Visit https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=200375630

Android and PC

You can also download and open eBooks on Android devices and PCs with appropriate apps or software installed. Suitable eReader apps for Android include Google Play Books, FBReader and Moon+ Reader. Suitable software for PCs include Calibre and Adobe Digital Editions.


This information was last reviewed in January 2017
View who reviewed this content
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Cancer information

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