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Staying positive with a terminal diagnosis

18 Nov 2016 23:11

Hi all

My dad was diagnosed with stage 4 terminal cancer last month. His prognosis is 12 months and that's if the chemo works to shrink the cancer.

I understand the need to be positive and to be strong for my dad. I also know I should treasure the time we have left and not to grieve before he's gone.

That said, I really struggle to be positive and to have hope given the reality that he isn't going to get better. It feels like there is very little to be positive about and a whole host of reasons to feel angry and upset.

Does any one have any advice?

Thanks in advance


Re: Staying positive with a terminal diagnosis

19 Nov 2016 01:27 in response to RachelH

hi rachelH,   my dad is grade 4 terminal too,   i understand what your saying completely, it is hard,  but, try to tell yourself , that you will help him survive as long as he can, to the max,    be positive about that and extra time,  and trying to get him past the ,  amount of time they have told him, and  makeing everything you can special,  even if its just haveing a meal or tv movie together... thats what were doing, i guess its the only thing we can hold onto,   sending love,   cococat/rach

Re: Staying positive with a terminal diagnosis

19 Nov 2016 04:48 in response to RachelH

Hi RachelH
Sorry to hear about whats happening to your dad.

Im on the terminal side of the discussion so i don't know if this would apply to you, but for me the only way I attained a positive outlook of my predicament is when I accept the idea that death is a natural part of life.

I imagine that there were many many people who experienced what im experiencing right now, and that there will be many many more people in the future who will follow the same path.

It made me realize that I was never alone, that I was never cheated, that in fact, everything is normal and nothing is out of place. Its just like accepting that everyone will grow old, or that every good trip will eventually end.

It helps me focus on whats happening now, helps me realize that "this is how it feels to be still alive at the moment".

Re: Staying positive with a terminal diagnosis

21 Nov 2016 09:22 in response to JoyfulofJourney
In response to the last post I felt I had to say that I agree fully with the comments. Death is a natural pathway through life and we all come to face that journey at some point. I feel it is important to support our friends and family in the way we would like to be supported ourselves. Regards to all

Re: Staying positive with a terminal diagnosis

23 Nov 2016 11:25 in response to RachelH

Oh Rachel,  Please do not get caught up in the 12 months thing, they don't know and if chemo works well for him, the outlook will be different.  I refused to enter into a prognosis discussion with the consultant because as Mark Twain (among others), said "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."

My dad (with exactly the same as yours) is starting chemo today (hopefully), and I am keeping the faith that this 1st round of chemo will knock this ****** back!!!

Re: Staying positive with a terminal diagnosis

23 Nov 2016 20:32 in response to RachelH

Hi Rachel,

My best advice is not to pay too much notice to the 12 month prognosis. These predictions are based on the average patient and none of us are average patients. By definition 50% of results will be above and 50% below any average. There are too many variables for these figures to be anything better than an educated guess. A patient's age, fitness levels, state of their auto-immune system, how their body reacts to their chemo and how the cancer reacts to the chemo all have an impact on the results.

I would hate to raise any false hopes, but I was given a very similar prognosis to your Dad back in October 2013. I was lucky enough to react unusually well to my chemo - it could easily have gone the other way, but it didn't. Don't give up hope too soon. Be realistic but bear in mind that statistics prove that these dates are wrong far more often than they are right.

Best wishes



Re: Staying positive with a terminal diagnosis

23 Nov 2016 21:30 in response to RachelH

Hi Rachel. 

I am in a similar position to your father, with secondary liver cancer. Terminal prognosis was given but I did not want to get into timescales with my specialist. I assumed it was 12 months or thereabouts but I am on chemo and Herceptin now and reacting well to it. I do try and keep active and fit by going swimming and to gym etc....and being very positive also makes a hell of a difference. My aim is to keep going for well over a year or two perhaps longer...and why not. Ultimately the time will come but not without a good fight!! All of the best for your father Rachel. Regards Simon.

Re: Staying positive with a terminal diagnosis

28 Nov 2016 20:45 in response to RachelH

Hi rachel

my dear father was diagnosed with unknown cancer in the liver / bile duct area and secondary on his liver and lungs last December, so was palliative,he sat through chemo Jan - June until he had a couple of complications which they were unable to solve and he sadly passed away on 3 rd Sep. My father did not want to know the prognosis nor did we.

throughout his whole diagnosis and treatment , although I was very angry with the world I treated every moment as his last so made as much happiness and positive thinking as I could, which helped him when I was with him, I made sure I grieved away. I made him soup etc with nutrients in it as I believed it helped him a little, and I think what helped me stay positive is that I continuously read researches into the diesease and made my mind believe in hope. 

I take with me the fact that I had a good 9 months extra with my dad and done everything he wanted or needed. 

One day at. A time is what I used to say to my dad

take care

Re: Staying positive with a terminal diagnosis

9 Feb 2018 18:19 in response to JoyfulofJourney

Your words are beautiful and helpful to me. 

Re: Staying positive with a terminal diagnosis

15 Nov 2018 20:55 in response to northern232001

I've a diagnosis that means the cancer i had in my bladder has spread,been told by my doctors and nurses to forget the time and dates prognosis, We're all different and no one NO ONE knows the future. Just stay positive and hopeful. Am going through the shock period myself and often in tears, but MUST STAY POSITIVE one day at a time.  I'm telling myself as much as you friend. Love and hugs through the ether xx