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.

A good day

Posted by

Funny how small things make a really good day. My partner who is realistically in his last year of life  went away with a friend on holiday in uk. Has had two good days watching boats and eating and able to taste  lobster oysters and all the seafood they can. Sounds relaxed and contented. Very different from last weeks agony opiates & despair. So I m cheerful because today they're enjoying what they are  still able to do.

We do better giving each other a bit of space and are kearning to make room in our relationship for cancer as the uninvited third party that unfortunately is going to call the shots. But in the meantime can't let it rob either of us completely, and getting taste buds back after head and neck radio is a real bonus.

I'm better for two days on my own and  have learnt to back off a bit and try and contain my worryand urge to fuss (he's lost 7 stone this year).  So today we've got cancer in third place. 

Posted by

So pleased for you NellieJ.

I arranged friends to spend time with Julie for weekends, gave her a change of company and gave me some respite.

Hope you feel recharged and love the fact that you have slapped cancer into 3rd place!! Brilliant.

Posted by

8 years on Thursday I was given my incurable diagnosis. I have just had a lovely overnight away with my daughter and some dear friends. My husband who is my main carer has started playing golf once a week with friends to give him a break. I realise I am very lucky and cherish every minute of doing what I can when I can xx

Meg Mac
Posted by

Hi NellieJ

Its wonderful to hear these stories and how even small things can make such a difference.

It gives me hope for my Dad who has Pancreatic cancer, he is having palliative chemo but is doing very well despite a poor prognosis.

My daughter gets married next June and I am trying to focus on getting him there - it may be pie in the sky but it’s keeping me going for now.

Thankyou all, you’re amazing!


Posted by

Heartening to hear others  and helps me appreciate hanging onto tiny things.  I'm also content in third place a fair bit of the time. My partner and cancer have so much to sort out with each other that I need to make sure I give space to him coming to terms with dying, probably before  the year is out.  

Today is a good day because he has a friend over talking motorbikes not cancer. 

Posted by

Another good day.  The end is getting closer - we now have hospice at home nurses and are doing end of life planning and he's getting weaker. However, yesterday was another good day. Having not been out for a couple of days he felt strong enough to go out on his motorbike (me on my vespa scooter). An old friend of his popped in and they rattled on about nonsense. Positive planning about getting life insurance and death in service work paperwork done, just enough to feel organised without it being too morbid, and it is helping him to know that he is trying to leave things orderly for me.  And on top of that he's building a viking long boat model which is some Nordic thing they did sending people who die out to sea in a burning boat. I am astonished and in awe at his dignity and courage in facing death square in the face. Cancer defiantly in third place yesterday and today, even though it is going to end up with in first place with the gold.  

Posted by

Hi Nellie,

So pleased to hear about a special day you have had.

People spoke a few times about Cancer winning and beating Julie (she passed away in January) - but I disagree...

It took her life but nothing else - it tried to beat her down with awful treatment, left her little body somewhat mutilated with operations, gave her pain and all of that - but it never took her dignity, never took away from her who she was and wanted to be - the best Mum, the best Daughter, the best Partner and the best Friend.

Sounds to me like your hubby is going to deny cancer the victory it seems to crave and I for one salute him!

Every blessing to you both and use your camera all the time.

Much love.


Posted by

Sussex, thank you and I have mixed feeling about the winning/loosing/battling terms.  Your posts are very touching and heartening that people can come to a point of accepting what is going to happen without giving in or feeling a Looser.  There is still anger for him and resentment towards the living and tears when he thinks about me and his boys.

There is  fear for me about how and when he is going to die.  He did joking suggest that he practices dying and pretends to be dead around the house to give me a few rehearsals -  I nearly found that funny it was such a shocking idea.  I do apologies if that upsets anyone. 

What astonished me is that he can put some of the raw emotions aside and  still be curious about what it will be like and wants to experience it  "I've never died before and I wonder what it will be like."  A big factor is that he has decided that in the last couple of days he wants to be in the hospice as we had a tour and he felt "safe to let go there when the time comes".  Plus there are people there that know what they are doing.  His job is to be good for a long as possible then let go. 

He used a phrase that he feels like hes getting ready to off a high place but it wont hurt and he wont feel the landing. 

We have been told that the most likely way is that he will go into liver failure and maybe then go fairly quickly so every day and week is  a bonus. His son is due to get married 21 Oct and they have been told it is unlikely that he'll be here then. 

I do find the anticipation tricky and  I seem to have made myself cry typing this.  

Posted by

Hi your hubby sounds like a lovely man and so pleased he is able to do things and have a good chat with you you my hubby has head and neck cancer had radiotherapy chemo got all clear came back few months latter had a lot off surgery ..came back in march now in his skull ..been on immunotherapy but not doing to well and out off hospital and in hospice for pain management's all so very hard Was just wondering if your husband gets a lot of secretions as mine is really bad with them ..struggling to breath at times but he says he still has a lot of fight ...x