What to expect…?

It just seems to be getting prolonged. It’s horrible to even think about him getting worse but at least it would be over. How long could this continue? 

My (33) dad (85) was diagnosed with lung cancer in December 2020 (although he most likely had this for a good 6 months prior) and, whilst the first year/18 months was pretty 'OK', the last 6 months have decreased, rapidly, although luckily I suppose, he’s still hanging on. 

I'm am only child and torn between, supporting my dad, helping my mum (68) and looking after myself (and my own family). I don't know HOW to juggle all of that on top of my daily (professional) job.

it’s just conflicting thoughts in my head about wanting to prolong his time but also to know when it will be over so I can finally deal with this mental/emotional burn out. It almost feels selfish to ‘worry about yourself’ in these circumstances.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.

  • Hi AdamK

    First of all I’m sorry you are in the similar situation most of us on this forum find ourselves. It’s not a place anyone would choose and it’s a scary and frustrating time for everyone involved. 
    My husband has inoperable and incurable lung cancer and it’s exactly a year since his diagnosis and like you with your dad I want to have him here with me and his family for as long as possible but I also wish we knew exactly how long we have left. I also feel selfish and guilty about my fears and the sadness I feel every day but can’t show because I feel I should be strong for him. 
    I find this community helpful because it’s a place where I can express my feelings without guilt and know that there are countless others on here who understand, can offer thoughts and aren’t judgemental. I have no really helpful advice but just wanted you to know you are not alone and all the thoughts and feelings and worries you talk about are absolutely normal in this situation.


  • It sounds like you and your Mum need help, starting now. Looking to the future that need will only increase.

    What I did when I was in a similar situation was go onto the local Council website and look for social services. You want the Adult Social Care department. They should be able to organise the help that you will need - that's what they are there for. In an emergency situation they can even organise NHS nurses to start visits to help and support while the Council gets its act together, which can take weeks. It's better to get onto their books at an early stage before you need too much help because then they will be all set up ready if things get worse and you're less able to cope.

    kind regards,

  • I would see a therapist or psychologist if possible. Sometimes just talking about your fears with a professional can help evacuate all the feelings that you keep inside while trying to be strong for the family.

    Why not contact the MacMillan professionals on the forum here, who can probably advise you about the best place to seek specialised mental health support for a cancer carer/family member ?

  • That's really useful information. Do you know where to find them on the forum? 

    Thank you everyone else for your comments too, they've all been really helpful.