My brother is dying and I'm petrified

On Feb 6, 2018, we lost my dad to cancer. My brother was my rock - nobody else could understand the pain as well. Fast forward to the exact same day this year, Feb 6th in the same hospital my dad took his last breath, a large tumour was found on my brother’s brain. He was 51 years old (now 52) and in the short time since diagnosis, he has gone downhill. In the last two weeks, he has lost his sight and his ability to walk. The cancer has spread to his spine and they told us there is nothing more they can do and that the chemo will now finish him off quicker so he should stop it. I am petrified. I know what the grief was like when I lost my dad who was our best friend. It took me until quite recently to accept my dad’s death (you never get over it) and now this. My big strong brother, a Major in the Army, a wonderful husband and father to two teenagers. I can hardly breathe with the panic of not having him around. My mum is in a residential home with a rare brain disease (PSP) she went very downhill after dad died and I have one other brother. I just feel like my foundations are falling apart - and I can’t believe that this time five years ago, we were all fit and healthy.

I don’t know if I have the strength to do this all over again - and I want the diagnosis to go away - or to wake up from what feels like a really, really bad dream. My heart aches for my niece (14) and nephew (18) who are just so young to be losing their dad, I was 40 when I lost my dad and it was awful. Cancer is just the pits.

Grateful for any advice.



I’m so sorry to hear this bless you liza

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Sending you hugs I’m so so sorry :pensive: xxxx

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What you are experiencing is utterly overwhelming. I am so sorry. There are no words that can describe your pain, it is indeed a waking nightmare.

I hope Macmillan nurses can help, I found them wonderful when my husband was dying. I found medical professionals gave me valuable calm support. Also how about talking to the Samaritans, again I found their quiet gentle listening was a huge help.

I hope you have someone to talk to, just to express your feelings safely to. It is a terribly lonely place you are in right now. Somehow just believe you have the strength inside, step by step, to come through this darkest of times. Xx

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Hi > i just found this liza and i can totally relate. I lost my brother 3 days ago. He died on life support having dialysis. He was absolutely fine a week ago! Up laughing joking. What makes this harder is he was the best uncle to my 2 beautiful babies. My eldest is 5 my youngest is 2. They adored him. He did everything with them. And since my dad passed 5 years ago hes been my rock. Wel my entire families rock. I cant fet my head round losing him and dont know what to do. I dont like how im feeling. I keep seeing his face, i keep being reminding how well and happy he was before this. It haplend so suddenly. Im literally broken , im struggling to be a mum even though i have to be . I keep remembering my childrens relationship with him and its made it so much harder and now christmas is just around the corner, i just bought his christmas present which i jusr stare at and fill up knowing i wont get to give it to him. Life is cruel and it makes me not want to carry on. I just dont have a choice cause i have kids. Im so sorry you are going through this and losing any family member close to you is hard. Just make sure you are there every step of the way so you dont feel any regrets. The pain is unbearable and you must focus on the people who grieving with you to make things a little easier for eachother . Again im so sorry , im here if you want to chat xx


I’m so sorry to hear this. Isn’t it awful? Sadly my brother went rapidly downhill not long after my first post. I was with him when he took his last breath along with his wife and their children - it was harrowing and comforting all at the same time. We all held each other, held him and cried. He was 52 and it was just brutal.
For almost two months I went into this hyperactive, adrenaline driven, almost maniacal state where I was proving to everyone that I was strong, that it was not my husband, my dad or my son - but just recently - ALL the adrenaline wore off and I realised that he was my big brother and I was never ever going to see him again. The tears roll thick and fast every day but though I’ve got some counselling help, lots has changed since he died. I’ve moved back to the UK permanently after six years in France, I’m just about to change jobs, my partner is staying on in France for a while (a joint decision) our pets are divided - he has the cats, I have the dog and it’s all a bit much :cry:
I know how you feel - though I don’t have kids but I’m investing my time in his children now and that is why I’ve come back.
When I’ve been crying so hard for my brother - I’ve wanted nobody else but my dad. Life is cruel isn’t it? To have lost not one but two main anchors in our lives so young.
I’m sending you a virtual hug. Mind yourself and I hope you’ve plenty of people to give you a big, real hug too. It can be very, very lonely.
Also hear to listen and thanks for reaching out xxx


Thank you Rachel. Sadly Jonny passed away on October 1st. He seemed to go off a cliff first with sight and mobility and then he was going back to some very strange times in his past. He went to the hospice at around 4pm the day he died - I got there at 5pm and he died around 7pm. I now know what they mean by the death rattle but actually it was very peaceful. He held his breath and released three times but then on the fourth there was no release. The hospice staff were amazing.
It was a very surreal experience and as I said to the lady below - I went into a completely maniacal, adrenaline fuelled state for almost two months - but I’ve crashed now. Hundreds of tears a day but weekly therapy.
Thank you so much for your kind words - I really appreciate you reaching out to me.
Liza xxx


Thinking of you. I agree, cancer is just the pits. Sorry for all the terrible things that have happened to your family xx

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I just came across this site after a Google search.
I learned earlier this evening my elder brother (age 61), i am the youngest of three brothers, following Cancer treatment for some four years, is in a terminal stage following its spread to the brain. He is currently in hospital very ill, and his wife was told by his oncologist that there is nothing further that can be done. He could have weeks or at best months left.
He has three adult children, and his middle daughter whilst travelling with my brothers wife to the hospital rang to tel, me the devastating news.
I have to say i am utterly devastated, and cant begin to imagine how I will deal with the situation in his remaining time, and of course after.
I am very old fashioned in that i have incredibly out of date views on men getting upset, but upon learning the situation, i have been crying almost uncontrollably with a million thoughts and memories filling my head. I cant see how if i see him, i will be able to control my emotions in front of him.
I am desperately confused, and as I say desperately upset! My wife is being verysupportive, but of course unless you have been in this tragic position its difficult to feel the absolute desolation and sense of loss…
I am in a desperately bad place, with seemingly no light at the end of the tunnel…