Brother’s terminal diagnosis


My brother was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer 4 weeks ago. Last week it spread to his spine so it has affected his mobility. He is only 53 years old. I am very close to him and just want to support him as much as possible. Unfortunately we do not live near to each other so this makes it more difficult. I am really struggling at the present time trying to process the situation and being strong for my brother and family. My brother is being so brave and I feel bad about breaking down in tears the whole time. Any tips or advice would be great. Thank you 

  • I'm so sorry to hear this. I know it may feel like theres nothing you can do to help your brother. But just being there for him will make a difference.

    And you will need support. We are here for you.

  • Hi Phylis,

    I'm sorry to hear this.

    Being told you or a loved one has cancer is devastating, and finding out that its terminal is indescribable.

    We are in the same situation with my Dad. He is having palliative chemotherapy and actually doing pretty well, but we know that this will not always be the case.

    I live an hour away and have lots of other commitments, I only visit him and my mum every two to three weeks, which I find difficult.

    Dad is one to bury his head in the sand, he is quite withdrawn and  you can't talk to him about it- he just shuts you down. Prior to this, he was very active and young for his age (diagnosed aged 63, now 65) and hates not being in control. Mum and I feel that we can't speak to him but of course we need to know how to help and to- at some point- begin planning a little.

    He has recurrence following the whipple in 2019 and is on his second line of chemo.

    All I can say is, take it one day at a time. Make precious memories- there will be good days and not so good days- for you too, as it greatly impacts the immediate family- watching on and feeling helpless is distressing, its always on your mind..

    Nobody knows the longevity with these things, he could have several months - all the while he can, go for trips out, spend time together when poss and just be there.

    You're bound to feel emotional, its a horrible situation and its part of being human to feel upset and angry, but try to be strong when you are with him. Its not easy, but seeing you in tears will upset him all the more.

    I send you lots of love, keep us updated when you wish.


  • Thank you so much for taking the time to respond. I am so sorry to hear about your dad. I hope you are coping during this really difficult time. You are very kind and I send you lots of love back.

  • Hi Phylis, how are you doing and how is your brother?

  • Hi

    Thank you for thinking of me. He is now having palliative care as the cancer has spread. He is currently in hospital again with an infection. He has to have regular blood transfusions as the cancer is in his bone marrow. I have managed to spend some quality time with him and told him things I needed just in case the worst happens and I cannot get to him in time. I am currently staying at his house in Somerset to support his wife and daughters.

    to help me I am training for the 10k winter run for cancer research and this is time when we clear my head or have a good cry. I have raised over £1000 so trying to do something positive to help others with this horrible disease. 

    I hope you are ok. How is your dad?

    kind regards,

    Phylis xx

  • Hi there, how are things?

    Dads results from his scan weren't good sadly, his life expectancy has shortened- but in himself, he still feels quite well..taking it day by day.

    Do stay in touch x

  • Hello, how are you ?

     Was going through my messages and keep in my mind who I hadn't heard from in a while- I don't like to pry in case news isn't good but was wondering how things are with your brother?

    Dad is doing ok, though isn't as well as he was 



  • Hi

    Thank you for getting in touch. Unfortunately my brother passed away in February. He went down hill so quickly but managed to get home and then passed away peacefully. I am absolutely devastated and taking each day at a time. I have some fantastic memories and was so lucky to him as a brother. 

    i am sorry to hear about your dad. My thoughts are with you.

    Take care


  • Oh no, I'm so sorry to hear this news. How devastating for all the family. My thoughts are with you xx