Life Planning

Preparing for End of Life

Although it is difficult to talk about, your treatment team can help you discuss planning your life with metastatic breast cancer (MBC). Different kinds of specialists – such as social workers, nurse navigators or palliative care specialists who focus on improving quality of life – can help sort through your affairs. Some people find it helpful to have a plan in place, so they do not have to make as many decisions when the time comes.

In the following video, Dr. Nadia Harbeck, an oncologist and breast cancer specialist, spoke to Rebecca, a woman living with MBC, about how she thinks about end of life planning for people living with MBC.

Dr. Harbeck is head of the Breast Center and chair for Conservative Oncology at the Department of OB&GYN, University of Munich.

When it comes to end of life planning, many people think of hospice. Hospice is only one part of end of life planning. There are other things to consider such as estate planning, advance directives (a statement of your wishes for your treatment) and talking to your family about your wishes. Talk to your treatment team or a patient advocacy group in your area for help starting to plan for the future.

Finances and the Future

Finances are one way in which your relationships may be impacted by breast cancer. If you are living it, you know: the bills can be overwhelming. It's important to talk to your loved ones and treatment team about how you will handle finances, not only in terms of future planning but also everyday spending.

In addition to your spouse or partner, there are other people you can turn to for support. A trusted health care provider like a physician, nurse or social worker may be able to provide advice. Most hospitals or treatment centers have financial counselors who can help with paperwork and financial aid programs.

Visit these pages to learn more:
  • Physical
  • Emotional &
    Spiritual Health
  • MBC
    & Relationships
  • Life