New & Worrying

This is my first post.

Just found out today my elderly dad definitely got lung cancer. It's a tumour in his lung. We have been to a respiratory clinic, they are now referring him to oncologist. He's had PET scan & bronchoscopy. Apparently has spread to lymph nodes in neck but nowhere else. He hasn't smoked for over 45 years. They said treatment will be radiotherapy. The doctor who told us said they had a meeting to discuss best treatment for him, they don't want to give chemo as may be more traumatic than the illness, also said they can't just cut it out or take it away. We asked if they can tell us what stage it is, but we were told it will all be explained by an oncologist at future appointment. My dad is the sole carer for my mum who has dementia. She is confused about his condition in that most of the time she pretends all normal with her when in fact she is very muddled most days, very very angry at life in general & a nasty side to her personality has become "normal" He does everything for her & having to force them to accept carers has become a huge stress in family. He almost not allowed to become ill-we had to stress to her that he may be wso tired from radiotherapy he cant look after himself, never mind her needs. I feel I need to know exactly what stage/outcome he can expect, but hard waiting for another appointment. This has been about 3 months timescale from his only symptom which was breathlessness that wouldn't go away. It's very stressful trying to look after both of them as they are just in denial of everything. Have already had a social services urgent review & they declined all help offered.

4 Replies

  • Perhaps you might be better talking to macmillans or perhaps your g.p.

    They are going to need help, I know they are probably trying to be independent but try to get help if you can. Xx

  • agree with last comment. Phone the lung cancer specialist nurse to get more information and explain the situation. Part of their role is a holistic assessment (ie to look at all the ways in which the cancer is affecting your dad and the family not just physically) and they can refer you on to other services as well. Shame they have refused all help at the moment but that may well change in the future. Best wishes.

  • Thanks, just found out the specialist nurse allocated to him called him yesterday & will see him Tuesday at an appointment she has booked for him with an oncologist. Will wait to see how that goes & consider calling her. We also have spoken to private carer to try to employ her in a softly softly capacity for my mum so we can lessen the burden on my dad. Small steps in a positive direction. Thanks for suggestion, it's just such a difficult time when your worst fears come true.

  • Welcome to the forum where it is a great place to find support and encouragement as you can already see by the great response from jillygirl and jackie46

    So sorry to hear about your Dad and the circumstance with your Mum. Such a difficult time for you all. It is great you have been in contact with the lung cancer specialist nurse and am sure she will be able to guide you to where best to get help and support that your family mayneed.

    When you see the specialist on Tuesday, hopefully It may be a little clearer the prognosis and the treatment plan that is suggested for your Dad

    Your softly softly approach of a private carer is a great idea and perhaps be good for your Mum and Dad to slowly get used to the idea and build up from there.

    It may be helpful to call Dementia UK Helpline on 0800 888 6678 , they provide specialist nurses (Admiral nurses) who can advise and assist families. I have placed their website below.

    There is also aged UK -

    For information and advice, call 0800 678 1174

    For all other enquiries, call 0800 169 8787

    It is important you look after yourself and receive as much support as you can. The Maggies centres provide practical, emotional and social support for those who are living with cancer and their families. or tel. 0300 121 1801

    We have a nurse led helpline number if you wish to discuss anything on 0333 323 7200

    All the best

    The Roy Castle Support Team

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