There must be something I can do to help
October 13, 2013 6:22 PM Subscribe
Is there anything I can possibly do or say to ease my Dad's emotional suffering caused by his terminal prognosis?
posted by anonymous to human relations (25 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
My Dad has stage four cancer. He is now spending most of the day in an armchair or bed, too tired to read, too tired to talk much, though he is sometimes strong enough to watch a movie with the rest of the family, mostly for our sake. He is not in physical pain but just doesn't have the energy to enjoy anything he used to enjoy. Part of it is the cancer but Mom and I think a huge part of it is the crushing sadness and fear. He talks a lot how he'd like for it to be over already, and how he feels useless and broken, and how he feels the cancer growing. When he says this, I usually hug him and tell him I love him... and it feels so empty, and unhelpful. I visit with him every day, and he always asks if I'm going to be there tomorrow, so I hope these visits do bring him some comfort but I wish there was something, anything, I could do to make it less horrible for him. He insists he's not depressed and doesn't believe antidepressants could help him. On the other hand, a few times something happened to cheer him up and he was like a different person - with lots more energy, speaking in a strong voice, smiling and even joking - for a few hours to a day.
Hospice is coming on Monday and I have already made plans to see a psychologist by myself to ask for advice. Not sure how helpful that will be though.
I know what he needs is hope - but what exactly can a person hope for when their body is failing them, and it's only going to get worse?
If anyone can offer any advice, especially if you have been there, I'd be very, very grateful.