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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.

My dad has terminal lung cancer

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My dad has been diagnosed with stage 4 terminal lung cancer. He only has six to twelve months to live. I am finding it very difficult to cope. Has or is anyone going through something similar? 

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Hi and a second welcome to the online community

I'm sorry to see that no one in this group has replied to you yet after my friend rily pointed you to this group from New to the Community. I haven't been in your position, as I was the one with cancer, but replying to you will bump your post back to the top of the page where it will be seen again.

While you're waiting for replies you might find this information from Macmillan on your emotions when you're looking after someone with cancer helpful.

Sending a virtual ((hug))

 "Never regret a day in your life, good days give you happiness, bad days give you experience"

What is a Community Champion?

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There are a lot of people on here who have gone through the same thing. Unfortunately, they tend to drop off and not visit as often after their loved one passed away. In my case, my mother passed away this past November after a two and a half year battle with brain cancer. I knew back in 2016 that is was a terminal diagnosis but just didn't know how long she had. 

During those two and a half years, I had lots of time where I grieved mostly in private. I tried to remain strong when ever I was around my mother to give her strength to carry on. Early on we focused on crossing things off her bucket list and trying to make a lot of memories with her and my children (her grandkids) whom she was never going to see grow up. After it was all over with, I'm so happy that we focused on that because that is what carries me through these days. 

Unfortunately, this just doesn't stop when our loved ones pass away. Cancer is truly a disease that affects the entire family. After my mother died, my father took off. He spent a few months at a vacation property he owned and is now hiking the Appalachian Trail (a 2100 mile trail in the U.S.) and I haven't seen him since March. To me, it feels as if I have lost both my parents. I know he is hurting too and just trying to get through life in his own way. Hopefully here in another month or two, he will be back and we can have a family once again. 

My advice is to make lemonade while you can with your dad. Those memories will help lesson the pain when his time comes to leave. Also remember that this diagnosis just doesn't affect him but it affects you and your entire family as well. So don't feel bad if you have to take time to grieve. It is perfectly normal, at least I think it is. 

Best wishes

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Hi my husband has been diagnosed with the same , prognosis anything from 6 months -2 years .. it’s all difficult to grasp and comprehend especially when he actually looks well..

he is 2 cycles into chemo and immunotherapy .. 

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Hi Destiny Rose

Me too. Just found out today they are not going to treat him because of his age (80) and general health. I am all over the place, sometimes calm and accepting and focussed on the practical stuff and sometimes upset and sad. I am trying to focus on today and make the time I spend with him happy and to try and do nice things with him and talk about normal stuff, after all he’s not gone yet so I plan to just love him listen to him and try and enjoy his company while I still have him. Not easy though and I expect the roller coaster emotions will continue...... not sure if that helps or not. X

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Hi. My husband too is in this situation,  after various treatments over past 7 years the oncologist said they  cant offer any more treatment.  That was February,  to be honest he is living a better life not having treatment and spending 3 days a week at hospital. Over the summer We have done lots of things ' making lemonade' as someone posted, however it's a very difficult time, I can see him deteriorating gradually although he has had bad weeks and good weeks it's now usually measured in days.  The oncologist said 6 to 12mths but hubby says he intends to give it a run for its money! 

We both try to stay positive but its extremely hard, I find myself getting frustrated  wondering how I will cope, I'm sure I will as no alternatively really but it does get overwhelming at times. 

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Hi, my dad has just had the same diagnosis. I really don’t know what to do or say to help. I’m trying to be positive but I’m so worried about him. So far he has had one round of palliative chemo. He hasn’t had a bad reaction to that yet but he is in a lot of pain with his back where there is secondary cancer. It’s so hard because he is a fit and active man. Six months ago we didn’t even know he was ill!

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Hi Destinyrose2020

My dad had a lung cancer and gone into his bones diagnosise yesterday.

I dont know what to think,do etc.

Hes not really eating or drinking much at present.

Hes been put on oral morphine to help with the pain. Im really trying to stay positive for him.

Hes got to wait for a biopsy in the next week to determine what treatment he will get.

Im just i dont really know if im honest. Im a 

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Maybe we could support each other if youd like??

My dads been dianosed the same,its so hard to think what to say etc. 

I live with my dad so this is awful for me seeing him not be my dad. 

Im hoping treatment etc will help him and prolong his life 

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Miss Pinkness, I’m sorry to hear about your Dad, it’s really hard isn’t it? I hope he gets some positive news about treatment that can help. I find the waiting for things to happen is really frustrating!

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Hi Soozi 

Thanx hun. It is hard.

I work full time too. And got a couple of days off. But i have friends coming in to be with him. To get the meds in etc. 

But what do i do after they cant!! Im not eating at all,i cant bear it. Its almost like my dad isnt so i shouldnt.

Few weeks ago my dad was walking about etc. Not fighting fit but he was walking. But now he can barely stand. 

Its bloody wrong.

We have a district nurse coming tomorrow,so see what they can offer for him 

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I’m so sorry. You must look after yourself too, you need to keep your physical and mental strength up. Were the district nurses able to help? I’ve just been to see my dad, he is lucky cos he still has my mum. He is in a lot of pain with the cancer in his bones! It’s so terrible for them isn’t it? Take care xxx

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My dad was diagnosed with stage 3 lung cancer in April of this year. We completed 4 rounds of chemo which showed to be responding and then 50 sessions of radio. Three weeks ago he was admitted into hospital with an infection and unfortunately scans have shown that the cancer has spread to his liver and lymph nodes. We spoke to his doctor on thur who sadly told us we are talking months now but he is trying another chemo drug on Thursday to hopefully give us more time. I am trying to stay as positive as I can for us and to stay strong and keeping going for my children (8&14). I’m so scared and I don’t know how to process just how I am really feeling. Praying for a miracle I suppose.

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I am sorry to hear your sad news.  I too have just found out that my mother is in the same situation.  8-12 months for her.  I am not coping very well at all and struggling from day to day with it all. 

I do not know how to cope or what to do to help me cope.

It is hard isn't it, you feel you are grieving but should not because our parents are still here, but it is trying to process it and find some level of normality.

Very hard, if I can offer you any comfort or support it is that at least we are not alone and there are other people who are going through the same and that in itself might be a little amount of support to help us.

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Thank you for taking the time to reply to me. It’s good to be able to speak to people who are feeling the same makes me feel like we still have a level of some sort of normality. 
We weren’t given a timescale really just that she’s talking months, hoping her months is the far end of 12. He seems very confused lately and all he managed to eat yesterday was the yolk of a boiled egg. Im hoping that this is just his body getting used to the amount of morphine. Before this he was never a one for taking any painkillers.

Do you get much help/support from a nurse. We havent had any out yet but my mam is going to keep On at them.

my thoughts are with you x