“What’s the point?”


My previously fit 80 year old Dad was diagnosed with metastatic  prostate cancer at the end of June after suffering with sciatica for 8 weeks and it getting the point where he could hardly walk. This was the cancer spreading to his spine and compressing his spinal cords. He was treated immediately, once the cancer was discovered, but now lives with substantially reduced mobility, cannot walk unaided and this once proud man is dependent upon Mum to do a lot of things. For trips out, either me or my sister have to take them as they can’t manage the wheelchair. We both work full-time. 

Today I went to see them and Dad was very low. He didn’t look ‘right’ but said there was nothing physically wrong. He said he didn’t want to get up in the morning. He hadn’t wanted to get out of bed. He asked “what’s the point?”. He looked at me, his eyes were so sad and empty it broke my heart. He just kept saying “l’m fine”.

I’ve talked to both of them about accessing talking support but they won’t. They are of the stiff upper lip generation. 

At the moment, Dad’s treatment has stopped the cancers from growing or spreading further and we are really grateful for the time we have been given. I just don’t know how to respond to him when he asks “what’s the point?”.


  • Dear lacy weather, I am sorry to hear of your dad’s diagnosis, I can imagine accepting  the loss of his independence has been very difficult for him and it will take a lot of adjusting, hence his low mood. However its still possible to give him a reasonable quality of life, I would ask him what are the things that matter to him the most and then figure out a way for him to still have those experiences. It’s important for him to have things to look forward to, otherwise yours thoughts can get bogged down by all the treatment and hospital appointments. Having a routine is also very important no matter how restricted your movement is, as it keeps the mind busy and helps to motivate you through the day. I understand their reluctance to seek support, they are probably old school in this respect, but that doesn’t stop you seeking advice on their behalf from carers uk if you need any help in the future. I hope this helps in some small way .

  • Thanks Jane.

    I certainly will ask him what are the things that matter to him. I will also try carers uk. Thank you so much for the suggestions. 

    Kind regards,