New and overwhelmed

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Good morning. I'm Lily, I'm 42. My dad has been diagnosed with untreatable lung cancer, upper right lobe of right lung. We've known about that for 6 months, it's growing. He's also just had another nodule found on his pancreas and they've give him a head scan because he's been getting wicked headaches.

The cancer itself, I kind if expected it to spread. He has severe COPD, liver cirrhosis, chronic alcoholism and has a broken neck from a fall that they cannot fix. He's in agony but doesn't like taking his oramorph and I'm not pressuring him. He's in charge.

What complicated things was that we were estranged and had been for several years. For you d reasons, I couldn't put up with the manipulation anymore. But when I was told he was terminal, it didn't take me too long to reach out. I sae a psychologist first because there was a lot of horrendous stuff from my childhood that's haunted my whole life.

So I have gone from no contact to being his part time carer. I go to him every other day and he's just started cancelling his carers on the days I go. It's nice because I feel like he trusts me and we've been getting in so well. It's been a very healing experience and I will be there for him until his last breath. I'm disabled myself and don't drive, work part time, so I do the 2 hours bus journey each way if my hubby can't take me. Work is flexible so I make it work.

The reason I decided to look for support somewhere is because I realised I havent/can't accept that ge is dying. Other than his COPD symptoms, you wouldn't know he's ill. How do I come to terms with losing him, again. I feel like I already grieved him when we cut contact and that caused me to need to see a psychologist, who im not seeing now. Am I in denial or is this normal. I can't cry. Will it just hit me after and now I'm coping because I have to? 

  • Hi  and welcome to the Macmillan Community but so sorry to hear about your dad's diagnosis and the journey you are on.

    A cancer diagnosis like this in the family can be such a challenging and stressful time but getting support from others who are dealing with the ‘exact same' support challenges can help you a lot.

    This New to Community area is like our reception desk where we try to direct you to the best part of the Community for you to get support. The Community is actually divided into dedicated Support Groups (Discussion Rooms) and when it comes to the practical and emotional challenges of supporting your dad and indeed yourself you may benefit from joining and posting in our 

    Carers only 

    Supporting someone with incurable cancer

    ……. support groups where you will connect with a wide range of members navigating the exact same support challenges.

    To connect with a group click on the “Bold Italic Links” I have created above …… then once the group page opens click in the [ Black - Click to Join - Banner ] that appears at the bottom of the page and this will then confirm that you have joined the group.

    When you are ready……. you can introduce yourself by putting up your very own post by clicking [ + Create new post] or [ + ] in the top right of the group page.

    You can copy and paste the text from this post into your new post.

    It is an emotional time supporting family so you might find this Macmillan information your feelings when someone has cancer helpful as well as this link getting help with your emotions.

    You may find it helpful to call the Macmillan Support Line open 8am-8pm (timings may differ across services) 7 days a week on 0808 808 00 00. This service provides cancer information, practical information, emotional support, benefits/financial guidance or just a listening ear.

    We also have our Ask an Expert section but do allow 3 working days for a reply.

    Talking to people face to face can be very helpful so do check to see if you have any Local Macmillan Support in your area, do also check for a local Maggie's Centre as these folks are amazing and support all the family.

    Please do get back to me if you need further help navigating the community.

    Mike (Thehighlander)

    It always seems impossible until its done - Nelson Mandela

    Community Champion Badge

  • Hi, I’m 42 and my dads been diagnosed today. I’ve had very similar issues with my dad that you’ve experienced and it does lead to a lot of conflicting emotions. Be kind to yourself, your doing a good thing Heart