Supporting someone with incurable cancer

For carers, friends and families of people with a terminal diagnosis to discuss their emotions about the prospect of losing their loved ones, as well as practical issues about palliative care and end of life.

Cancer progression on the body

Clarabelle37
Posted by

My Dad has rare incurable cancer right now he is his usual self and feels fine .Just wondering what signs I should look for when the cancer takes over ?

We are awaiting a appointment to attend the beatson to meet a doctor about palliative chemo and the hospice visiting this week.

So hard to take in when he's looking and feeling the way he does .

lthenderson
Posted by

I suspect the correct answer is that everyone will present differently depending on the cancer, location and other factors. In my mother's case, she was acting perfectly normal up until we were walking together in a charity fundraising walk. On the last half mile, she started leaning to the left in a pronounced manner for no apparent reason. A couple weeks after that she began losing her balance, the next week she couldn't walk at all and the last week she could barely speak. From that first lean while walking to her death was four weeks. I know several others who have lost their battles to cancer over the years, and everyone of them has been different. 

My advice is that when something... anything abnormal occurs with your dad, to consult your hospice contact as soon as possible. With each new development with my mother, they always came right over with devices or medicines to make my mother comfortable with her new reality. I don't think we could have supported her without their help.

Clarabelle37
Posted by

Thanks so much .

Its like I'm constantly waiting and watching .

lthenderson
Posted by

Yes I know the feeling and it is a terrible one. I distinctly remember making the 40 minute long drive to my mom's house in the morning and wondering what thing she will be unable to do today, and then having to repeat that every day over several weeks. I'm here in the U.S. so I don't know if hospice here works the same way as in England but our hospice was very good at general counseling and just listening to us. Every visit always ended up with us standing on the porch out of earshot of my mother just telling her the emotions and difficulties we were feeling. Although they can't help with our emotions other than lending a sympathetic ear, it did help me a lot just to be able to tell someone who understood what I was going through. Perhaps you can find someone like that to talk too. 

Best wishes