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How to include friends/family without them visiting?

Guest Frantastic

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Guest Frantastic

Hi there. I'm looking after my mom, who is at home while undergoing chemo. She's very weak and tires easily. She doesn't want any visitors and doesn't want people spending anymore money on flowers. I've been taking all her phone calls.

She is a wonderful woman and has many friends and family who would like to talk to/see her.

I told mom that we should do something for these folks, but what? I have a feeling that these people will really regret not being able to see mom before she dies. She's doing OK now, but we are looking ahead to that eventuality.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you!


p.s. most of these folks don't have email/internet.

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Hello F.

Very hard to tell what could be done

as we don't know much about your Mom,

stage, dates, kind of chemo etc, etc,

from that and a bit more details about

what your mother liked to do in the past

with these friends and family, we may be

able to give some suggestions.

And here we don't write about death as the

next step, cheer up there is time.


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Hi: I am just guesing becuase I don't know any details about your mom's treatment etc., but you say your mom has a lot of friends and family who want to see her. She must have been an engaging socialable person to have so many friends. Perhaps she is depressed. Has she any medication for depression? Most of us on this board have been depressed at one time or another and many of us take antidepressants to manage, I take lexapro myself.

Don M

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She will have some good days once her treatment is done. For now, kindly tell her friends that she needs to not be around people while her counts are low, etc. Tell them as soon as she is up to it you will have everyone over for dessert or something.

I actually just received a similar e-mail from a friend of mine that just had premature twins. She explained that because of their fragile health (only one is home at this time) that they would appreciate people staying away until both girls are home and healthy etc. It was done in such a way as to not offend anyone. Good luck.


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When Mom was in the hospital for several weeks years ago, and she couldn't have visitors, we had family members, friends, church buddies, etc. send in cards. The staff was nice enough to let us post them all over the room--even hang some around her bed. Especially if wshe is at home, you could hang some from all over.

It made Mom see that she was loved (she was literally surrounded by well-wishers everywhere she looked), and each person played a "part" in her happiness.

Good luck!

:) Kelly

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Hi -

It is hard to say since we do not know where your mom is in treatment...yet I can speak to our experience. My mom was an *extremely* social being with tons of people wanting to come over. As she gt weaker, it was too much pressure on her as she felt like she needed to be "up" for visitors, asking them how they are, chatting about lots of things, etc. The best advice we received from our minister and hospice was to "close the circle" as she became weaker...people understand if you tell them she is simply too weak and that you will tell her they called, etc.

You have to remember that it is not your job to make sure her friends see her, etc -- it is your job to make sure your mom is as comfortable as possible.

Cards and well meaning letters are great...promise her friends that you will read them to her...perhaps you can also help your mom craft some responses which you write (once again don't know how strong your mom is.)

Keep us posted on how she is doing. There are so many of "us daughters" on this site who have been through all phases of caregiving.

With love,


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My Mom felt the same way, but after she recognized that she was depressed and accepted help (anti depressants) she was more accepting of visitors and gifts. Also she is past the vanity part (no hair and not enough energy to get a bra on and the house tidy).

My mom had to retire, she was worried that her days would be lonely or that she would be a burden to me and my Step Dad and that we would feel abliged to be there all the time. Now that she is so accepting of visitors, I am able to get more time to take care of my own business, and I don't feel as stressed when I want to spend time with her but have other importnant things to get done.

I hope that eventually you won't have to turn the friends and family away. They want to connect to her as much as she will need them.



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Hi F.,

My Mom also did not want visitors...I ahave no answers, I just told her friends she was asleep or not feeling up to a visit and I would update them on her condition. Its hard because people truly want to visit but if your Mom says no its no, right. Best of luck to you.


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Guest Frantastic

So many responses so soon! Thank you very much all for replying, especially those who wrote about their moms. What a great little community. Do others, like me, feel isolated?

I'll post more about my mom's situation when I get more time.

Thanks again.


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Dear F.,

I agree that if it's depression, medication might help. It's not uncommon at all for cancer patients to be on anti-depressants. If that's not what it is, then as hard as it is, you just need to tell people that she doesn't want visitors or flowers.

I had to do that with my husband. He absolutely did not want visitors, even when he was feeling good. He didn't want people feeling sorry for him and he didn't want people to talk to him about it at all! He had a lot of friends, too, but he was not a sit down and chit-chat person even before his diagnosis.

He was a do-er, and always had to be moving and doing things. He hated small talk. I just told his friends and family those facts, as gently as I could, and they respected it. As he got worse, I did manage to think of some ways to sneak in his sister without him knowing it was set up. She understood his wishes because she knew his personality, but it was absolutely KILLING her to not see him. She just "stopped by" one day with a dish of his favorite jello/cream cheese recipe because she thought he might need to fatten up a little. Tee hee! It worked. He sat down and visited with her, and he actually enjoyed them time.

Good luck with this one - it's a tough one to deal with.



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I have to agree with the other here I think your Mom just might be depressed. Maybe ask her MD what he thinks, I'm sure he would agree and give her something to help her feel better. I'm sure alot of people with LC get depressed my Dad did and after he got meds he was alot better.


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