My dad has incurable cancer, progressing really quickly

Hi everyone,

We found out just under two months ago that my dad has incurable cancer. It's very aggressive and is now in several parts of his body. He hadn't been feeling well for several months and had been having lots of tests, then we got the diagnosis. It all came in one go, we were told in the same appointment that he has cancer and also that it's incurable and he has weeks to months to live.

He's been progressively getting weaker and is now pretty much unable to get out of bed. He's been in hospital for a few weeks but is hopefully coming home soon, and will be having carers several times a day. The cancer has now spread to his brain which is causing confusion, difficulty getting words out etc.

I live about a three hour drive away but have been staying near my family as much as I can, fortunately my work is quite flexible. I have times where I really struggle and other times where I feel okay, it's a massive rollercoaster. I just want to be there for my dad and the rest of my family as much as possible.

I'm hoping to have children with my partner in the next couple of years and always imagined my dad being at my wedding, becoming a grandad etc. and it's really hard to take in the fact that he won't be able to do any of that.

Sending lots of love and strength to anyone who is in a similar situation xxx

  • Hi and welcome to our community though so sorry to read about your dad.

    Glad to hear about your work being flexible, sounds like a good employer and perhaps suggests they value you too. I think everyone here will recognize the rollercoaster and that some days are ok and others not so much. I remember how at work sometimes it could feel like my life was somehow normal again.

    I know it may seem trite but your dad will be at the events you talk about - in your heart and in your mind. When my mum and dad were both ill we managed to find a lot of information about their youth and made me even more proud of what they had achieved.



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  • Hi Steve, thank you for your kind message Slight smile

    I completely agree with you about feeling like life is somehow normal again when working, I often keep myself busy with things like gardening in the evenings but then it hits me just before bed.

    I've also been asking my dad lots of questions and he's been sharing stories, he's always loved telling me about his past so he's been enjoying that. It's just becoming increasingly difficult due to the confusion and dementia-like symptoms he's experiencing now it's in his brain. I just feel so sad and gutted for my dad that this is the end. He was looking forward to retirement and a slower pace of life.

  • Hi  I am in a very similar situation.

    My aunt has been told she only has months left to live. She was diagnosed in Oct 2021 with stage 4 ovarian cancer which had already spread to several bones and lymph nodes. Recent scan showed that it had now gone to her kidneys.

    I live about 2-3 hour drive away from my family (all I have is my mum and my aunt). 

    You're definitely right in describing it as a rollercoaster, when I'm busy it helps but at night and evenings, she is all I can think about. She has changed so much in the last weeks, looking so mucRaised handsh more frail, which is hard to take. I keep trying to think back when everything was normal, how she looked, jokes she made but I'm finding that very hard to do at the moment. Raised hands

    Just wanted you to know that you aren't alone in feeling how you feel. 

    Sarah xx

  • Hi Sarah I’m sorry for the late reply, and so sorry to hear about your aunt. How are you and your family holding up?

    Thank you so much for replying and as you say, it does make me feel less alone although of course I wouldn’t wish this on anyone.

    As for me, my dad died on the 10th May. We are so heartbroken but when he died it was a relief in a way as he’d become so frail and unable to communicate, he wouldn’t have wanted to live like that. 

    Now it’s a few weeks on and we’ve had dad’s funeral I find my memories of my dad in his final weeks are replaced by memories of him when he was fit and healthy, and it’s so hard to think that person who was so full of life isn’t here anymore. 

    Sending you hugs xxx 

  • Hi, my dad was diagnosed with lung cancer that has spread nearly 3 weeks ago and it’s been a massive shock. He’s in hospital but hoping to come home when they can get his pain relief right. I live 100 miles away and feel pretty useless and my mums mobility is bad. We’ve been told very little and dont know what to expect or whether to even ask.


  • Hi Joanna I'm so sorry to hear about you dad. Your situation sounds really similar to my own, even to the type of cancer and the living a distance away from your parents. Have you been assigned a Macmillan nurse? They would be a good person to speak to about what to expect etc. I hope you're doing as okay as you can be in the circumstances and do let me know if you'd like to chat x