How do I cope with this? Close family friend with cancer

(11 Posts)
BlueCat2010 Fri 29-Apr-11 21:56:02

He is my Dad's best friend, and I have always looked on him as an Uncle. He's always been around in the background and over the past few years have got to know him on an adult basis.

He has lung cancer and is going down fast. I've been to see him today in the hospice and was shocked by how much he has gone downhill in just a few weeks.

There are some practical things I am doing for them, which makes me feel like some use, but otherwise I feel completely useless. My heart feels like it is turning inside out and I can't stop crying.

What can I say or do to help him and his family?

OP’s posts: |
flickor Fri 29-Apr-11 23:29:13

Listen and just be there for them. The next few weeks will be very tough. Call them up as a friendly voice really helps. Just being there will be enough

BlueCat2010 Sat 30-Apr-11 08:35:55

Thanks Flickor. I feel a little better after a good night's sleep - I guess my housework is going to go down to the bottom of the list again, and I'll be going over there as much as I can.

In the meantime I'll crack on and get the things he wants doing done, which will help set his mind at rest.

OP’s posts: |
henrysmate Tue 03-May-11 21:10:33

Hello BlueCat, I'm so sorry you're going through this. But it's really kind of you to be thinking of them and I'm sure your thoughtfulness is aleady much appreciated. There are always heaps of things that need doing if you're looking after someone though, in a hospice or not. If you keep gently offering, they'll take you up on the offer if they need it. Being there and not running away from them will help a lot too, so like flickor said, listen and keep doing what you're doing.

BlueCat2010 Wed 04-May-11 14:09:20

Thanks Henrysmate - the DW has phoned a couple of times with trivial things to say, so I'm hoping she will lean a bit more if she needs to.

Am soooo angry with my Dad for not going to see him though - if I can make it then I am sure he can! Do people run away - is it their way of coping?

OP’s posts: |
MrsMoppet Wed 04-May-11 14:11:20

Yes BlueCat, you're right - people cope in whatever way they can. Your dad is probably feeling very "mortal" right now - losing a friend your own age can be devastating. I'm sorry this is happening to your friend.

henrysmate Wed 04-May-11 23:35:08

Yup, they do. They don't mean anything bad by it I don't think, at least not conciously, but by not joining them, you're helping. Grief is terrible and it hits us all in very different ways. Do try if you can not to be too hard on your dad now though, I'm sure he's very proud of you for doing what he, for whatever reason, hasn't yet.

BlueCat2010 Thu 05-May-11 13:17:04

Thanks for your replies - having never been in this situation before it is really hard to try and deal with!

Good news is the medication is really helping, to the extent that we hope he will come home for a while tomorrow. Am popping over to see him at some point - have got some reading matter that I found that he will enjoy, and I will love reading it to him if he can't do it himself. grin

OP’s posts: |
henrysmate Thu 05-May-11 23:45:08

That's good to hear and a great idea, I hope you have a lovely day smile.

BlueCat2010 Fri 06-May-11 13:49:10

Fab news - he is back home, and I managed to get over and see him this morning. He was almost back to his old self, we laughed and talked about trivial things - we have so much in common I didn't know about!

I hope you don't mind me posting, but it helps to share the ups and down.

OP’s posts: |
MrsMoppet Fri 06-May-11 23:25:01

Glad to hear that he's home smile. Bet he loved seeing you today.

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in