Together we will beat cancer


Struggling to cope

21 Nov 2017 13:13

Hi Everyone

My Dad was diagnosed with Kidney cancer in July this year and in August he was diagnosed with lung cancer. At the start of September he was diagnosed with bone cancer in his neck they have given him a timescale of 3 months to live. My dad has now accepted he’s dying. However I am struggling to cope with this overwhelming news. My heads all over the place but I’m trying to stay strong for my dad. My brother and I are doing the best we can but often find our dad shouting at us. This is so hard to take. Any advice? Thanks 

Re: Struggling to cope

22 Nov 2017 18:56 in response to Sunshine63

Hi there ... so sorry bout your dad's diagnosis... it's even harder at this time of year ... all I can say to you at this heartbreaking time is , my mum had a heart attack and was gone before we could get to her ... I just wanted to hold her hand one more time, tell her how much I loved her,  and I was so proud she was my mum ... what I would have given for just one day ... we'd fill it with laughter, tears, hugs, and say everything that's in our hearts ...

You have been blessed with a little more time to say those things and hold his hand on his journey... take that time with both hands and pack out every day you have ... find out if he needs to say anything in his heart ... these memories now will stay in your heart forever ... I'm so glad you have a brother too ... to share the load ... so sending you heartfelt thoughts ... big hug brave lass ... chrisie ❤ xx 

Re: Struggling to cope

23 Nov 2017 11:06 in response to Sunshine63

Hi Sunshine 63,

first of all, I'm very sorry to hear your family is going through such an ordeal at this time.

I'm sure you feel your whole life has been turned upside down. It's wonderful that you and your brother can work together in supporting your father- but it doesn't sound like your father has accepted his fate at all. His frustration and anger are spilling over and he's hurting you, who is already hurting. I don't see a way to take away his grief, he has to come to terms with it himself- there is even a possibility he will take this anger to his grave.

Life isn't like the movies-not everyone dies at peace with their fate. But even though you can't change his feelings, you can manage your own in order to be there for him and your brother without crumbling under the pressure yourself. You need to be strong. Find the things that give you the resilience you need to survive this horrible time. I'm sure you have some strategies for this which have worked in the past. What works differs from person to person. It' s all about energy.

Let me give you some examples of 'battery-charging' things that have worked for me:

-walking or jogging in nature

-listening to music: sad or angry depending on mood (at the moment i'm listening to Michael Kiwanuka's Cold Little Heart on a loop)

-tough workout at the gym

-talking things through with partner/friend, crying, laughing, drinking (not too much though)

-bingewatching favourite tv-show with lots of popcorn

-generally taking care of yourself and making sure you eat right (vegetables,

fruit, fish, etcetera, not just junk and carbs)

-try to get enough sleep, this may mean you have to wake up earlier than you would like to

in order to be tired enough to fall asleep the next evening.


None of these may work for you but they did for me. It's rather hard at times to get moving because you'd rather stay under the duvet (which is fine of course but you'll need to get out from time to time too).

What helps me at difficult times too (I lost my father to cancer, father-in-law is ill now) is trying to help others, like I'm trying to do times I was so sad I felt I was going mad. I felt about as sane and steady as a bowl of pudding. You may feel the same.

But I'm fine, sad but fine, and you will be too. You just need patience, resilience and faith. Perhaps faith in (a) God, or faith in the love you have for your family. This will hopefully help you to cope with your father's angry words too..know that you don't deserve his harshness.

He's mad at life and this is his way of dealing with it. And one more thing- at some point in the future you'll feel that this ordeal has made you better: stronger, more compassionate, more human. Even if you don't feel like that at all right now. At least that's what happened to me.


Lots of positive thoughts for you and your family from the other side of the English channel