Scared of my dads illness

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My dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer last year. As part of his in-depth screen they found a tumour on his lung. My dad was otherwise very healthy- walked the dog twice a day (walking for 3 hours per day). He went in to hospital to have the tumour and a section of his lung removed. This has made my dad very poorly, he’s often too breathless to walk the dog and can do hardly any of the activities he was doing before. On top of that he’s having hormone treatment and soon to start radiotherapy for the prostate. 

my dad thinks it’s the ‘end of the road’ for him. He says every day that he wishes he hasn’t had the operation on his lung because he was doing ok. The hormone treatment seems to make him low and emotional - something I’ve never experienced with my dad.

I don’t know how to support him. I’m scared for the further too. He’s my absolute rock! My mum and dad attend the appointments but don’t seem to listen or take in what is being said and then when I ask questions I feel like I’m interviewing them and causing stress- but I’m desperate to know what is happening and what to expect.

my dad has reached 77 without taking any medication or ever being ill and it feels like none of us know how to cope with this. All sad says is ‘I’m alright’ and ‘I’ve got to go sometime’ but nobody is mentioning death and only talking about treatment.

How do I help? How do I manage my own fears. No answers I know!

  • Hi Mandy49.


    I’m so sorry to hear about your dad’s diagnosis and all that he’s been going through. It sounds as though it’s had a really big impact on his life and the activities he’s been used to being involved in.  I can only imagine how difficult it is to see your dad like that, especially when he’s been so healthy all his life.


    I wonder whether your dad has spoken to anyone about how he’s feeling, especially following the hormone treatment?  Please encourage him to get in touch with us to talk about his treatments, side effects and how they are affecting him emotionally.  Our support team are here every day from 8am to 8pm both on the telephone support line on 0808 808 0000 and on live online chat via the Macmillan website.


    We’re not just here for your dad – we’re here for you and for the whole family and everyone’s support is individual and confidential – and it can help to get a bit of support yourself when your supporting someone else.   In addition it may help to have a look at our booklets Cancer and relationships which talks about how you might be feeling as your dad deals with his diagnosis.  It might also be useful to have a look at Talking with someone who has cancer which will help you understand what he’s going through and give some advice on how to listen and talk to him.


    It sounds as though having a bit more information about your dad’s diagnosis, treatments and expected outcomes might be helpful for you. Have you thought about asking if he would be ok if you joined him at his appointments or if you could ask his medical team some questions?  You would also be welcome to chat through what you know and ask your questions of our cancer information nurses who are available on the support line and on online chat from 8am until 8pm every day.


    It's great you’ve joined the Online Community and that you’ve got in touch with us for some advice Mandy49.  Please do stay in touch with us whether just to chat or to ask questions. 

    Yvonne, Information and Support Adviser

    Remember you can also speak with the Macmillan Support Line team of experts. Phone free on 0808 808 0000 (7 days a week, 8am-8pm) or by email.