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How do I support dad's cancer confirmation?

(13 Posts)
Haggard1 Wed 07-Sep-16 08:51:28

My dad was diagnosed with soft tissue sarcoma 2 weeks ago and had his MRI at the weekend.

It's very big and we've been told not to expect positive news.

My question is this: mum and dad will find out on Friday the prognosis and treatment plan ( if that's applicable) - should I be there to support them (not that I know how)?

I have two small children and work full time and live nearly 200 miles away. I am assuming there will be numerous trips in the near future and I'm even thinking of moving permanently for my mum.

When you or people you know have received a full diagnosis is it better to give them time to absorb it together or is it easier to have company around?

Childcare-wise it would be easier for me to take my 2 year old but I'm not sure if she would be a welcome distraction or more of a hindrance.

Any insights you can give me are much appreciated.

CMOTDibbler Wed 07-Sep-16 09:12:53

I think it depends on your mum and dad tbh - are they the sort to flap and not take anything in (or stick their heads in the sand) or able to ask some questions. They could ask the oncologist to write down all the key points for them so they can read it to you on the phone.

I think taking your 2 year old would be a bad idea - they need time to concentrate on what is going on.

Haggard1 Wed 07-Sep-16 12:53:42

Thanks Dibbler they're pretty level headed and practical people, they face things head on. I do think they're still in shock as my dad hasn't felt particularly unwell, and I think they're in for more of a shock on Friday.

Great suggestion about asking the dr to write everything down.

CMOTDibbler Wed 07-Sep-16 13:02:51

Theres a leaflet from Sarcoma UK here for those getting diagnosed, and it has the questions to ask, and to write in all the details, which would be really useful to print out and take with them.

Haggard1 Wed 07-Sep-16 13:49:39

Thanks again dibbler I've had a look and sent it across.

maisybobbins Wed 07-Sep-16 14:02:13

Hi Haggard, sorry to hear about the rubbish diagnosis. I've been through similar.

Do you know yet whether your dad will be having radio/chemo? If he is you should consider the chicken pox vaccine for your DC. It's free if your children will be around their grandpa a lot while he's going through treatment.

You can support your mum from where you are by helping her with logistics and just being a sounding board. Get them to plan a holiday asap! Don't wait for any crappy treatment to start!

Best of luck with it all.

Haggard1 Wed 07-Sep-16 16:58:34

bobbins thank you! We get the full diagnosis on Friday. They've already had to cancel a holiday as his dr said he needs to be available immediately for treatment. A family member has a house in Spain so they're lucky and can hop over as soon as he can fly again. I'm hoping we can plan Xmas soon.

Also, I'm now quite thankful they had the pox at Easter (although obviously wasn't that pleased at the time).

Thank you for taking the time to respond I'm usually very level headed - but I'm a bit of a wreck at the moment and finding decisions hard!

maisybobbins Fri 09-Sep-16 22:36:53

Haggard how did it go today? Any good news at all? Thinking of you.

Haggard1 Fri 09-Sep-16 23:35:52

bobbins how sweet of you. Yes, we've had good news of sorts. It hasn't metastasised, and they think they can operate to remove it - possibly with radiotherapy afterwards etc.

There's a biopsy to come in the next 2 weeks. I hadn't realised how much waiting there was a different stages and testing before anything begins. That's definitely the worst thing at the moment. My mum and dad are taking the time to fit in as much as they can between hospital visits and we're looking forward to planning a gentle family Xmas.

Thank you for remembering (and posting in the first instance) it's meant a lot. You too dibbler!

Oly5 Fri 09-Sep-16 23:39:45

Oh I'm so pleased it's good news! It's such a shock when a loved one is diagnosed. The fact it hasn't spread is wonderful news. I'm sure your parents would love you to spend time with green now with the kids, even while the treatment is happening.
My mum was not so lucky and it had spread by the time of diagnosis. Enjoy every minute but stay positive. Sounds like they have a good plan for your dad

Oly5 Fri 09-Sep-16 23:40:10

* time with them

maisybobbins Sat 10-Sep-16 09:14:14

Oh that is good news! And a gentle family Christmas sounds like the best treatment your Dad could wish for.

ayeokthen Sat 10-Sep-16 09:18:01

I'm sorry to hear that your family is going through this. My mum was diagnosed last year, and I was lost as to how to help. I eventually just said "What do you need from me? Whatever it is, you have it." Rather than second guessing myself or getting it wrong I wanted her and dad to tell me what they needed and when. It's a horrible thing, but family gets you through the darkest days, I know that's a massive cliché, but I spent years arguing with my mum and her diagnosis has brought us closer than ever.

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