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Life-limiting illness

Wonderful Elderly Daddy - Lung Cancer

18 replies

Mother87 · 09/08/2019 23:33

I know he's had a good innings/is nearly 90/had a good life/always been healthy etc etc... but we're still all in shock today... X-ray results showed area of density/possible mass on lungs - Dr said almost certainly lung cancer (also rapid weight-loss/breathlessness) - prognosis 'a few months to couple of years'... I wasn't able to ask the Dr anything really but dad will have an appointment with Rapid Access Lung Clinic next week or so... Dr already said care would be palliative as it's 'not curative' - would he really know all that or has he just seen this scenario so many times. No options were discussed at all...

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Mother87 · 09/08/2019 23:35

And I feel like I'm going to cry for the rest of my life... sorry

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SprogletsMum · 09/08/2019 23:39

My nan passed away from lung cancer last year. From what I understood there are two types, a fast type and a slow type.
From diagnosis to her being gone was 8 weeks. It was the hardest thing I've ever had to watch happen and despite the hospital trying their best she was definitely suffering.
I would try to speak with the palliative team and get as much stuff in place as early as possible. My nan took an unexpectedly fast turn for the worst and there was nothing in place she had to wait hours for the right drugs to help make her more comfortable.
Big hugs Flowers this sucks.

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Withington · 09/08/2019 23:40

So sorry for you. "Good innings" doesnt really cover the fact no one wants someone they love to be "out". Having had a parent die from lung cancer, I really empathise with how you are feeling right now. We did a nice thing together of videoing her life history- asking questions I never thought to ask, stories about childhood she had never thought to tell and so on. It was a great comfort after. I'm afraid lung cancer is a shitty one - there aren't really any good options. Flowers

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Mother87 · 09/08/2019 23:47

Sproglets/Withington - thank you... yes i suppose i'll ask all my questions as soon as I get to see the 'right' people... And I was thinking of doing a sort of Q&A with him to try and fill in the gaps...thank you for replying

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CallmeAngelina · 09/08/2019 23:53

Hi there,
I am in a very similar situation. My sweet and lovely dad is at end-stage cancer (prostate > bone> who knows where, now) and it's heart-breaking.
We are living our lives on hold, but to think of ending this state of limbo is much worse.
He's comfortable and on a good pain-relief regime, and is pleased to see visitors most days. But he's often muddled (morphine? Or cancer symptom?) and knows he is and worries about it.
Flowers to you.

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notapizzaeater · 09/08/2019 23:57

My DH was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer 3 months ago. It's hard but he is actually doing 'ok'. We have scan results on Wednesday to see if treatment is giving us time.

This bit, the waiting is the worse bit tbh, once you know what you are playing with it helps.

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Mother87 · 10/08/2019 00:41

Callme/NotapizzaThanksThanks- really really rubbish this isn't it... DH is away and i've told him no need at all to 'rush back'/i've got a 'challenging' relationship with one of my DC's 27 and had a trying week and already felt overwhelmed - and now this with my daddy... We were due to go on holiday on Weds... i know i'm waffling but I can't picture any sort of life without him - how DO people go on? Sorry - am not helping anyone am i

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SprogletsMum · 10/08/2019 23:23

I'm not going to lie it is hard without them but time does go on. I'm almost at a year without my nan now, she was a huge part of my life. I saw her most days and I miss her so much. I can talk about her now without getting upset but it did hit me all over again randomly the other day that she's gone.
I can't remember where I saw it but I saw a thing about grief being like a ball in a box and it really resonated with me. Maybe give it a Google when the time comes to see if it helps.

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AlexaAmbidextra · 25/08/2019 00:24

Really feel for you OP. This thread really resonates with me as this was me and my 93 year old Dad last year. He was pretty active for his age and managed to look after himself and his house. He developed severe breathlessness and his chest x-ray showed a mass in his right lung. He had a bronchoscopy and the consultant told me then and there that it was lung cancer. This was in November 2017. Although good for his age he was still too frail to withstand any treatment.

He lost lots of weight and became bed bound in March last year. He knew he was dying and wanted to stay at home so I took leave from work to care for him. I was a nurse which helped. We got carers and I had input from the local hospice at home team and for the final six weeks we had Marie Curie at night. My dear Dad died peacefully one Sunday morning in May 2018.

I was so very sad that it had to end like this for him. After all, when they’ve reached such a great age you want them to just die peacefully in their sleep of old age don’t you? There was no pain though. He just became very very tired and just slept away at the end.

One thing it did do though was give us the opportunity to be close and say what we had to say. We still laughed and talked lots about things we had done and memories we had. He had a hospital bed downstairs and he would shuffle over so I could lie on it too. We spent hours like this, watching TV and talking.

Wishing you strength for what lies ahead. Make it the best you can for him and you’ll be able to look back and draw comfort from that when he’s no longer with you. Lots of hugs OP. 💐

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StinkyWizleteets · 25/08/2019 00:34

I’m so sorry. I hope your dad is keeping well considering.
I had a similar experience with a much loved elderly relative. They lived for 6+ months longer than expected (given few months max prognosis lived for almost a year after dx). The cancer appeared very quickly but some targeted radiotherapy helped control growth for a while. There was no curative treatment offered as relative was too elderly and frail. They passed away at the start of summer and the care they received from the palliative care nurses was amazing. There was very little pain and discomfort and we all had the opportunity to say what we needed and wanted. Age is irrelevant when it comes to loved ones dying, it hurts. I am so sorry you’re going through all this.

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Mother87 · 11/09/2019 09:05

Me again... if anyone's around... a roller-coaster... DF had a chest-infection, seemed like that was the 'only' problem and it may not have been lung cancer after all. Although he's lost so much weight, he came out of hospital smiley/good complexion/eating more & mobile... they talked about a biopsy to find out 'what's going on' but he's been too frail... just 10 days later he's been moved downstairs into a hospital (air?) bed/no real food or fluid for 4 days/in and out of awareness/immobile now... will i ever stop crying - just for ONE bloody second.
I'm 'camping' here at my parents in the same room as him... had a few chats, i keep telling him what an amazing daddy/grandfather he is - that we're all ok/we'll always look after each other...even though thats a bit disney and no we're not always naice to each other all the time...but in the grand scheme of things that he'll be re-united with his mum (in a far off exotic land) and i'll meet him there one day and we'll eat our favourite food and go to his favourite tailors and order more suits (to add to the dozens he has in the wardrobe that i keep going upstairs to smell even though he's still here). Sorry, not easy to always say this stuff irl... how can something that you know your whole life will happen one day - be so shockingly heartbreakingly awful? And i've still got dates pencilled in my diary because we were going to far-off exotic land in November for his 90th and to see the family 'one last time'
He was driving cooking shopping just a few weeks ago... and fixing things in my house and ironing DH's shirts (ex merchant navy - knew his way round an iron sprinkling water from a jug and on a flat table with a blanket the old-fashioned wayGrin)---- Sorry am waffling now...

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TipTopTap · 12/09/2019 19:35

Sorry to see this op.

My dad only made it to 70 but we also told him how loved he was and that he was on strict orders to go and get the drinks in “up there”.

It is heartbreaking.

I hope love sees you through this difficult time.

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Mother87 · 12/09/2019 21:50

Anyone awake... need a big hand hold... things have moved on... palliative care...not long to go... Have I made a huge mistake? Inbetween hospice@home/carers/night-sitters it's just me looking after DF for a few hours (sent DM to mine each night as she's just not coping) Have had to help DF with toiletting - handled quickly/as 'discreetly' as possible... but he's in/out of being lucid... had 'terminal agitation' yesterday and said terrible terrible things to me. I've been told it happens/it's upsetting but 'normal' And tonight for the first time during this god-awful process, i tried to help him to pee in a bottle (been a commode so far/easier to shield the view somehow) and he looked at me in total disgust/shaking his head as to why we're both in this horrifying position... Have i done the very worst possible thing to my very dignified/proud DF by trying to be here every second... I'm devastated

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Mother87 · 12/09/2019 21:53

Am going to die from crying - i feel like i've tortured him and made him suffer knowing i've seen him like that... and i can never make it up to him

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tryingtobebetterallthetime · 12/09/2019 22:07

I'm so sorry OP. I went through a similar thing we my Dad, a strong, vigorous and intelligent man who had his life stolen by a blood cancer. The loss of dignity was so very hard. You are with your Dad and caring for him out of deep love. You have done nothing wrong. Everything you do is important and meaningful to him. I am sure you are a huge comfort.

My Dad was responding to us by raising and lowering his eyebrows until almost 4 hours before he passed. My siblings and I sang to him, songs we had sung as a family around the campfire. They just came to us. We could see they were a comfort.

I am thinking about you and your wonderful Father.

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izzypink · 12/09/2019 22:07

OP I am so sorry you find yourself and your lovely Dad in this position. Be reassured that it is a privilege to look after the sick, and that you love him enough to do this for him.

That said, you could ask the palliative team or carers for a conveen catheter, which would save you and your dad the embarrassment.

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TitsalinaBumSquash · 12/09/2019 22:08

You're doing your best and you love him, in his 'normal' (sorry I hate that word) I'm sure he'd understand and welcome that. His body isn't allowing him to be himself at the moment.
Can you talk to him about some times you've shared together? Or just be there, quietly so he's not alone.
I care for the elderly in their last moments, it's never easy.
Look after yourself and try not to beat yourself up. I'll be thinking of you and your family. I hope yours Dad's time is peaceful.

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Windygate · 12/09/2019 22:42

Just offering a handhold and a virtual hug. Went through similar last year during DF's last few days. It's tough and there is no right or wrong, you are doing your very best and that's okay. Ask for all the help and medication your DF needs to be pain and anxiety free.

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