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by Abigail Van Buren

Mom Who Has Fought Cancer for 12 Years Ends Chemo

DEAR ABBY: I have had cancer for 12 years. This will be my last year. The chemo treatment was getting stronger and making me sick longer. I told most of my siblings that I decided on no more chemo. The doctor warned my daughter eight months ago that there will be no stopping the progression of my disease.

My daughter has a lot on her plate right now, finding and buying a house, getting a new job and planning her wedding for next year. I have tried to help her plan for my death, but it only upsets her.

I feel great and better each day since I have been off the chemo. I have a positive attitude about the short future that's ahead of me. So how do I tell my daughter this is my last year? -- LIVING AND LOVING LIFE IN NEW ENGLAND

DEAR LIVING AND LOVING: I'm sorry about your prognosis. Few people welcome the idea of their parents' passing, but it is a subject that needs to be discussed.

A way to get the message across to your daughter would be to call a family meeting so that she will have emotional support when she hears about your decision. Announce that you are feeling better than you have in a long time because you are no longer having chemo, and make clear what your wishes are in the event of your death.

Right now your daughter is understandably focused on herself. Do not expect that she will take the news well, and be sure to have your plans in writing so there will be no confusion among family members later.

Read more in: Health & Safety | Death | Family & Parenting