Dad has advanced Lung Cancer. - The Roy Castle Lu...

The Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation

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Dad has advanced Lung Cancer.

rammie6 profile image
13 Replies

I am looking for some advice please. My 79 year old Dad has stage 4 LC which is no longer treatable. One lung has collapsed completely and the other has cancer in it. Over the last couple of weeks there has been a noticeable deterioration in his health and appearance, he is dreadfully breathless with any exertion at all, even walking to the kitchen and he can barely manage to wash himself. He says that he feels as though he is going to have a heart attack because he cannot breathe. His appetite has diminished ,he is losing weight rapidly , his coughing is worse and he is tired and going to bed earlier. He has already amazed us all by surviving for 15 months after being given just 5 weeks, but I can see that things are now going downhill. When symptoms are like this and worsening are we looking at a few months or is it more likely to be weeks now? Thank you in advance for any help x

13 Replies
miasam profile image

We can'tsay how long becouce it can be months or weeks you don'tno for shore .Have you good the palliative team in to help at home they will help with washing give him medication to help with any pain or discomfort he is in and they will give you any support you might need they will also answer any questions you have .they are really good I lost my husband to lung cancer with brain mets. 6 months a go and they was lovely so please speak to your doctor or doctor at the hospital or your Macmillan nurse you have .to see what they can do I know this must be very hard for you I found the not knowing harder then the knowing hope you at the help you need x

rammie6 profile image
rammie6 in reply to miasam

Thank you and I am very sorry about your loss to this evil disease. At the moment he is getting no help because he won't ask for it, but I rang them yesterday for which I will probably be moaned at.😟

Tcam profile image

Sending Hugs 🤗

RoyCastleHelpline profile image

Dear Rammie6

Sorry to hear of the recent change in your Dad's health, and how distressing this must be for you all. As you know , no-one can give a time, however the GP/ Cancer care team will be able to guide you through your Dad's decline in health and what to expect.

If they are not involved at present, do arrange a home visit today to have your Dad's breathlessness assessed as they may be able to provide oxygen and assist with his overall care.

If you wish to discuss anything you can call us on our free nurse led helpline number on 0800 358 7200

Kind regards

The Roy Castle Support Team

Jmc8 profile image


Sorry to read about your dad & this awful disease. It’s hard as you are so worried about their physical health & decline but don’t forget to say the things you need to. I lost my mum nearly a year ago to cancer. On the day after we were told it had spread everywhere (only 5 days after being told it was cancer) the Macmillan nurse told me it would only be 2weeks to 3 months. Mum sadly passed away 12 hours later with a heart attack - so much better for her but a huge shock The reason I’m telling you this is as hard as it might be please don’t think about timescales just say & do the things you want to say now together. Mum & I talked on the day she passed away & said a lot of the things we needed too but there was loads more I wanted to say / ask (like hymns for her funeral - that was so hard picking as it was only 3 months after my dad’s funeral). I wanted to record her voice for her 5 year old grandsons that she adored but sadly didn’t have time.

Sadly with cancer you never quite know the timescales but please don’t let it stop you having the goodbyes you both need.



jonnyd01 profile image

Sadly i can only repeat the above......make sure you say all you need to say to each i lost my wife to lung cancer only 13 weeks after being diagnosed...age 44....i realise that so much goes unsaid as your dealing with whats in front of you and you think tomorrow

rammie6 profile image
rammie6 in reply to jonnyd01

Thank you and I am so sorry for your loss x

rammie6 profile image

Thank you to all who have offered support. Dad has been put on a low dose of Morphine, but it is clear that he is going down hill. As it is hard to say a lot to his face (he's not really one for being too sentimental) I have written him a letter saying all the things I want to say before it's too late so I appreciate the reminder to do this. I am struggling with it all as I lost my Mum to Bowel Cancer in 2011 and am myself a survivor of exactly the same Lung Cancer that he has. X

Polly0494 profile image

Hi Rammie6

Sorry to hear about your Dad. I hope you get the help you need to be able to support him. It’s so important for you as you can’t do it all. Try to focus on the things you want to do, we call it making new memories. My mum was diagnosed last week and we are waiting for a visit from our local palliative care team, due tomorrow. There’s no treatment options. Mum has become very confused and is ‘hallucinating’ / having very vivid dreams about family members who we lost years ago. I am not sure if this is normal and if it’s a sign of further deterioration. She’s been on a morphine based pain relief medicine for nearly 3 weeks. Take comfort from the people in here you can talk to and take care.

rammie6 profile image
rammie6 in reply to Polly0494

You too and thank's the most difficult thing in the world to do isn't it? I only lost my Mum 7 years ago and within a year I was diagnosed with it,now in remission and then a year later my Dad who hasn't been so lucky. He has never smoked..not even one cigarette. The hallucinations could be due to the morphine, it affected my Mum like that, but it did worsen as she deteriorated. Any time you need a chat I am here xx

rammie6 profile image

Further to my earlier post Dad sadly passed away yesterday evening. The deterioration at the end was rapid and we only got to the hospital an hour before he died. Only 3 hours earlier he had been eating ice cream and watching football with was that fast. He fought a very brave battle exceeding the original prognosis by 18 months. He wasn't good for the last 5 months, but tried hard not to let it get him down. Despite knowing that this was going to happen at some point it has still come as a real shock..I can't take it in and will miss him dreadfully. RIP Dad xx

Sparkym05 profile image
Sparkym05 in reply to rammie6

So sorry to hear this, it's heartbreaking to see we had similar with my mother in law we had 18 good months then the deterioration was rapid. Take comfort that you had that extra time with your Dad and it is hard right now but in a few months you will remember him as he was and not the ill version of himself. Not a day goes by I don't think of mum but it is at least happy thoughts these days - make sure you and your family take advantage of the bereavement services offered and when things settle down take a holiday, you must have had similar the back and forth, the stress of results and scans and you need time out with your family or friends to get back to some normality. Take care.

JanetteR57 profile image

So sorry to learn about your dad. It doesn't matter how prepared we think we may be when these times come, often we are not.... we all grieve in our own ways and need time to come to terms with the situation. I do believe that as long as we keep our memories and think of the people with love in our heart, they are still with us.... take care....thinking of you at this sad time.

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