Scared of watching dad get worse

One of the things which make dad’s end stage cancer the most difficult is realizing that it can only get worse at this point. He’s bedridden in the hospital and we don’t know how much more time he has. He’s able to speak, although he’s losing his voice and his pain is still manageable, but it’s getting worse every day. He has bed sores all over his legs and they are getting harder to treat, he gets a mild fever every night and his bone pain is getting stronger and stronger.
Me and my mother visit him every day - we don’t know if he has days or months to live and we don’t know how much worse it’s gonna get.
I am scared of watching him suffer, I don’t even want to imagine the pain and discomfort he is going trough right now, let alone when he’ll be at the absolute end of his life.
He doesn’t want to accept that he’s getting close to death and he keeps getting angrier at me, my mom, his doctors, the world…All he talks about is how bad everything is and, not to sound insensitive, it still isn’t that bad. I am scared for him and what follows, I don’t think he’s mentally and spiritually ready to cope with what’s coming.
I tried showing him some breathing exercises to help him trough the pain, but he’s so resistant to any kind of help that he discarded them as something stupid. I truly believe that at this point, he expects to magically be cured or else he’ll keep resisting his condition and disregarding every other little form of help.
Me and my mother feel frustrated with him, but under all of that frustration is great sadness and fear that he’ll suffer greatly as everything progresses.
I don’t know how to help him and I don’t know what to expect in the following time.
Any kind of advice, personal experience or just a nice wish would be immensely appreciated.
Thank you so much.

Dear Bisrera I’m so sorry for what you are all going through. I watched my darling husband pass, he was only 60 and that bloody C disease took him. I understand your pain.
Sending you strength
Julie x

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Hi Bisera, 6 years ago I watched my beautiful, funny, strong, talkative, youthful Mom become bedridden, unable to walk, and on a trach. The dreaded lung cancer took over her body in a matter of a few months. Like your Dad, death was inevitable. I sat with her day and night and did what I could to comfort her. I was by her bedside the night she died, and I will be forever grateful for that. I understand how hard it is to watch someone you love slipping away in such a cruel manner. Day by day, it slowly breaks your heart.
Anger is a normal reaction in their condition, as they experience pain, discomfort and lack of control, it is understandable. Try not to take it personally. I would suggest allowing him whatever he is feeling, this is his journey. Just continue to be there, showing your love. I am sorry for what you are going through, and I relate to the feelings of hopelessness and despair. You and your Mom will need to support each other through this, as my sister and I did when our Mom was dying. You will be experiencing so many different emotions that accompany “Anticipatory Grief.” You must take care of yourself during this trying time (I somehow forgot to do that, so I speak from experience). Please continue to post. We are all here for each other. Sister2 X

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I too watched my wife in pain, but from dementia and oedema. It’s heart breaking to sit and see this happen. But your dad needs you both and no matter how difficult he may be he needs love and caring. He may be fighting and that often makes sufferers angry with themselves and the world, and that can include loved ones. Please try not to look too far ahead. When the time comes nature takes over and almost everyone passes peacefully. But at the moment a day at a time is needed. You are scared because you feel you may not be able to cope emotionally. You will. We all did or do. It’s very hard, but we do manage somehow in spite of the pain. If you are inclined to prayer then pray for him. It often helps in passing. I’m not particularly religious, but I did appreciate our local Vicar coming and saying a prayer over my wife an hour before she died. Any form of comfort should be used if it brings just a little relief. What more can I say, or anyone say? It’s a very personal thing when in your situation, and emotions can really be difficult to bear. The people on here know and understand, so please come back and unload and let us know how things go if you want to. Blessings and a hug.

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I know exactly what you are going through. I nursed my lovely husband alone 24/7 through C and can relate to what you are watching your dad go through. My usually easy going husband became demanding, angry, rude at times. Not my Brian. I couldn’t seem to do anything to ease his pain or make him comfortable. He spoke to me as he had never done before and it did upset me.
I chose to talk to my husband about things that he enjoyed (or at least had), we talked of the future, what we would do when he got better (which I knew he never would by this time). I learnt to laugh at his remarks to me and tease him and above all I continually told him how much I loved him and always would. I suppose I went into denial that I was losing him Towards the end he was rambling and I just humoured him, held him. I will never know if this attitude helped him but it certainly helped me to get through this tough time. When he passed I was alone with him in the early hours of the morning. He was quiet and immediately at peace. If anything I felt relieved his pain was over. Of course the reality hits you afterwards and you and your mum will need each other for support.
I prayed for strength to cope and to be able to lift him and look after him as he wanted no outside assistance and afterwards I asked god to take care of him…
Stay with this forum, it really does help to be able to express your feelings and no one judges, they just try to help.
My thoughts are with you at a difficult time. God bless

Pat xxx

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Oh Goodness Pat, that sounds heart breaking. It’s OK, I feel like many others here, a big wave of empathy and a bond between us all. This is the worse experience we will ever have. Even our own demise will not be so painful. Many people toward the end get sad at leaving; others get difficult to say the least. But is it them? It is said by some that the Spirit leaves the body some time before death if death is imminent. Although my wife had dementia she still recognised me to the end, thank God. It took a lot of courage for you to stand by someone you love and hear them be so difficult. Was it Brian or just the earthly body? Difficult to know, but I have heard of this so often. You prayed and asked God to take care of him and He did for sure. I honestly believe, an opinion not shared by everyone, that they do go to a better place, but because we can’t even imagine another dimension no proof is available. Us moderns want proof for everything, but there are some areas in life and occurrences for which there is no obvious explanation, but they exist for those gifted people who can see beyond our normal sight.
You have such an open and honest view of all this, and you sure help me when I read your posts. But that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it. Help, support, guidance, all come into it, but the most comforting thing of all is the love and empathy that comes through. This common bond certainly brings folk together. Take care and Blessings.

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Jonathan, thank you so much for your kind words. I just felt that I had to mention what my experience had been because it’s so upsetting and frustrating to see someone you love acting so out of character. I didn’t understand at first. I even told him off once or twice for speaking to me so rudely. How guilty does that make me feel now.
I must admit to crying as I typed it as it brought it all back but if we can offer help and support to someone with our own experience then we are doing what I feel we are meant to do on this forum.

I was told by a spiritualist friend that Brian was being well cared for and in a happy, and joyful place. I truly want to believe this because he is a nice gentle person.

I lost my faith for a while after Brian died because I had prayed for a long time that when it was his time he would be spared pain. He did suffer and asked me why it was happening to him when he had never hurt anyone in his life. It broke my heart because I couldn’t answer. He professed to have no interest in religion yet I found a crucifix and prayers in his wallet. I carry the wallet and crucifix with me all the time. I couldn’t pray for a while but slowly my need for prayer is returning. I find myself sitting in a church (I go in those that are open as I walk) and having a ‘chat’.
There is certainly a bond, we all understand.
Pat xxx

Thank you so much for the kind words Julie, they mean the world to me.
I am so sorry for the loss of your husband, may he rest in peace.

Sending you love,

I felt every word you wrote, thank you so much.
It is comforting to know that there is someone who understands the pain and is here to offer compassion.
I have been trying to take care of myself, as well as encouraging my mother to do the same - these days I have no time for activities which are not important.
I used to feel bad for withdrawing and taking time for myself, but now there’s this feeling of anger towards anyone who keeps pushing me to hang out.
It may sound self-absorbed and insensitive, but these days it angers me to see friends who’s only problem is whether some guy texted them back…So I guess, like my father, I have a lot of anger as well.
I feel safe in this community and I feel understood and I am so grateful you took the time to reply to me.

Sending you a lot of love,

My deepest condolences on the death of your wife Jonathan. May she rest in peace.
Thank you so much for these kind words and for reminding me that at the end of the day, we all find a way to cope.
I am so so grateful I now have a place to come back to and just get everything off my chest in a place where everyone has felt/is feeling the same kind of pain.
It is truly beautiful that even in the worst of times, there is a community of people willing to give some of their time to offer a kind word.

Hugging you back,

Thank you Pat.
You’ve shared an incredibly personal and emotional story with me and I am so grateful.
Thank you.
Your words have touched me very much and I feel like you’ve given me the softest hug.
I am so sorry for the loss of your husband. May he rest in peace.

So much love and gratitude,

I felt it is a difficult road that you and your Mum have to walk with your Dad. They change, probably caused by the pain and drugs but it is confusing and hurtful at an emotional time for you. I wish I could say more to help you but words are so inadequate. God bless Pat xxx

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