Years of smoking, even though he quit 30 years ago, has caught up to my uncle. His daughter, my cousin, is an only child and is devastated. Her parents divorced when she was a child.
I do not have full details, it maybe on his lung or liver, it is inoperable and the prognosis is bleak, they are going to try chemo. He lives about 5 hours away (ferry ride), my cousin is about 3 miles from me. He also lives in a Covid hotspot and travel in and out of the area is limited for at least the next two weeks.
After telling his daughter, he is not taking her calls any more. She is putting on a brave face and has only told 2 people, not even her son yet. I reached out to her last night, at that point I only knew he had had a biopsy, I did not know the results were back. She was glad I got in touch.
My family does not really have any experience with cancer. Our Granny died of Chronic Leukemia 28 years ago. My step Dad died of cancer 2 years ago this month, but it was very quick, diagnosed in October, died in November.
My Uncle was on the news in the summer for single handedly putting out a forest fire. An incredible feat for a 80+ year old man. Of the 4 siblings, he is the last one we would expect to get sick. He has been a weight lifter his entire life, he is very fit and strong. His full head of thick white hair is his vanity.
My question is how do I best support my cousin? We are not really close, but we are family and my family steps up in times of crisis. I have already suggested contacting our local Hospice organization. I know they offer counseling to families before and after death.