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Dad has cancer. Don't know how to help him

(9 Posts)
Loveallmyboys Sat 24-Jan-15 20:51:23

Dad has kidney cancer. In curable but was taking meds to shrink/slow it down. He had his kidney/tumour removed but it had already spread to his lungs. The treatment did it's job but now he had Gaul stones. Hopefully get that sorted soon... He hadn't eaten properly since end of November and lives on those ensure drinks. He sits alone at home with the dog, smoking. I wish I could spend every second with him but as sn only child with 3 kids(one breastfed newborn) I'm limited as to how much time u can spend there. Especially in the smoky house.
The past few days he seems confused, repeating himself, forgetting things etc. he's quite shaky too. He gets dizzy and even fell over in his bedroom the other day. All this absolutely breaks my heart. My dad has always been my hero and to see him do fragile is tearing me apart. He's become slightly incontinent(diarrhea) too.
The gp prescribed appetite boosters the other day but he hasn't started taking them yet. I get the feeling he doesn't want to. I just hope he hadn't given up but that's what it feels like. What on earth can I do?!

Dollyemi Sat 24-Jan-15 21:10:00

Big hug, I lost my wonderful Dad and it's hard to sit and watch it happen isn't it. Does he have any "palliative care" from the local hospice or Macmillan? I would ring the helpline advertised by Macmillan cancer care, they'll be there to support you. In all honesty he might have given up, particularly if he's in pain and not sought any care to ensure his quality of life is good enough. Just being there for him might be enough but trying to be superwoman is impossible, I've tried it. Ask him what help he might need or he may even be in the mood to tell you his plans are for funeral, care of dog etc. I had those conversations with my dad and found it easier to cope with when he'd gone, knowing I was doing what he wanted. Does he need help with his banking/day to day affairs, shopping etc? Will he allow a cleaner/dog walker to help him etc. the local hospice eventually admitted my Dad and he LOVED it, thought it was like a hotel. Before he was admitted though there was a lot of activities and support available for people living with cancer, in patient or not. The conversations are difficult but there really is help out there if you need it.

Loveallmyboys Sat 24-Jan-15 21:21:29

Sorry for your loss dolly. It's a horrible situation. I know I'm in complete denial of what's happening. It's just too awful to comprehend. Me and mum(they're divorced) do shopping for him(cigarettes and orange juice!), I get prescriptions for him, walk the dog etc.
I'm going to call Macmillan on Monday and ask their advice.
I just don't know what's going on ? His last scan showed hat the csncer had 'Markedly' shrunk, yet he's more ill now than ever. I'm hoping it's the Gaul stones that's causing him problems, and that when that's dealt with, he al least feels slightly better. I can hope...

Dollyemi Sat 24-Jan-15 21:29:33

Great idea to call Macmillan, they were fabulous when both my parents were diagnosed. Is your Dad diabetic? Forgetfulness, dizziness etc could be diabetes or dehydration too. We got my Dad a lifeline pendant which was about £15 a month and was great, as long as your dad isn't too stubborn to wear it. It's that thing they have to call a relative or ambulance if he's in distress or had a fall. I think that was another thing Macmillan helped him get too. Keep your chin up and your sense of humour, we had some real giggles with Dad even at the end, remembering funny stories and quirks etc so the end really was the best bit for him. Great hospice, the right pain relief, flexibility with visitors (we have a huge family, lots of people wanted to come and see him) etc.

DarylDixonsDarlin Sat 24-Jan-15 21:35:44

Sorry you are going through this Love flowers

I lost my Dad to pancreatic cancer in 2013, and we found Macmillan nurses helpful at the (sooner than expected) end. I hope its not the end for your Dad yet but they can still help even at the earlier stages, if you feel able to call them for advice.

Incidentally I had a small baby at the time, although not newborn, and I took her along with me when I visited, is it possible your Dad would not smoke while you're there if you asked him to? In the circumstances it might be worth seeing if you can get your baby to take some expressed milk, as you will probably have to leave him for more than a couple of hours at some point in the near future since your Dad is so very poorly. (there's nothing judgemental or bossy meant in that, just thinking of the practicalities) flowers

Loveallmyboys Sat 24-Jan-15 22:09:58

He has the odd bottle so that isn't a problem but he doesn't really settle for daddy!
Dad won't smoke while the kids are there but it's always in the air. My youngest was very prem and was in icu before Xmas with severe bronchiolitis so I'm reluctant to expose his little lungs to any smoke, old or not.
Yes dad is type 2 diabetic but because he isnt eating, he's stopped taking the metformin.
Not sure if dad would go for the pendant thing. He was a paramedic for 35 years until about 6 years ago so is quite stubborn/proud when it comes to medical stuff.
Just wish I could go and stay with him to look after him sad
Thanks so much for your replies. It means a lot x

DarylDixonsDarlin Sun 25-Jan-15 00:14:12

Bless him. No I completely agree with not taking your little one, in that case, I wouldn't either.

Look after yourself, sounds like you've had a tough time already and this as well sad if you need a hand to hold there's plenty of us here xx

Loveallmyboys Sun 25-Jan-15 08:52:17

I love mumsnet for HH!xx

Dollyemi Sun 25-Jan-15 20:23:59

Hope you get some decent help tomorrow if you decide to call Macmillan x

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