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My Lovely Father in Law


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My Father in law was diagnosed with PC in Sept last year. He was Stage 4 as is the case with many people. He is separated from my mother in law and has been for 15 years He has been the best Grandad to our kids and we've stayed close. He was admitted a couple of weeks ago to Hospital with shortness of breath which turned out to be fluid on his lungs. Although this has been drained we were told that it would come back in days or maybe weeks. It's horrible. We have thankfully managed to get him a bed at the Hospice as his pain management needs looking at. He's also suffering from severe depression and cries a lot. I'm trying but I can't seem to help him.i feel so helpless and useless. I don't know how to prepare my kids because I don't know how long he'll stay with us. He's had chemo but couldn't deal with the side effects and has refused any further treatment. Because of this we are completely in the dark about whether the cancer has spread. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. It's early days at the Hospice but he's already wanting to go home but his condition is worsening and I worry that he won't manage on his own.

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Hello Karen

I'm sorry to hear your news about your father in law. I think you will find that the Hospice will be very good at managing pain and that he will be made very comfortable. Please don't feel helpless or useless as just writing here shows the support you are giving and it's clear from what you say that you care a lot about him.

As those of us who have cared for someone know this disease is very unpredictable and it's very difficult to predict how long someone will be with us. Whilst I ca see that he might want to go home people at the stage you describe really need caring assistance. Just take one day at a time.

I haven't experience of preparing children for what will happen but I know others here do and I'm sure someone will be able to help you.


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Dear Karen

Welcome to the forum but I'm very sorry that you find yourself here.

I'm sure you will get plenty of advice and support, and the PCUK nurses here are fantastic. They are available during office hours: Freephone 0808 801 0707


I don't have any experience of the issues that you're dealing with but I send my very best wishes to you and your family and hope that your FiL's pain can be brought under good control and that he is better able to cope mentally with everything that is going on.

W&M xx

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Hi Karen.

So sorry that your father in law and family are having to go through this. I have only heard good things about patients attending hospices and their management of the symptoms and so he is in the right place but it is hard if he always wants to go home. If he does insist on going home does the hospice have an outreach team who who could help? It may not be suitable if he lives on his own but it could be something to explore with the hospice.

Catherine is right in everything she says and I think 'just take one day at a time' is pretty much how everyone works with pancreatic cancer, especially when entering the no treatment phase.

There are people on here who can advise you but I am not sure they come on here everyday. We also have young grand children we are dealing with but we are not in a similar phase of the illness for me to be able to advice - what has thus far become reality for us does not often marry up with the advice I give to others before we hit the next phase. Until you have been through it, it is difficult to comprehend.

Please don't feel helpless, just being there for him and helping to manage this final phase is everything.


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Hi Karen, welcome to the forum, the place no one wants to be but where you will get lots of support, and a sympathetic ear.I am sorry your lovely father in law is going through this, the hospice will help so much they are truly amazing places, and if he is not well enough to manage on his own, but well enough to come home they will find him somewhere else or support him at home.

As for dealing with children, my husband Trevor, battled this horrendous disease for 20 months, he had an operation to remove his tumour, but then the disease spread to his Liver. When we found out that he would never recover, we started to prepare our Grandchildren. They were Grandson 15, and 2 Granddaughters 9 and 6 our grandson had already asked one of his teachers at school about the disease after some research she had told him that Granddad would have to be very very lucky to survive the illness.

I told the 2 younger girls, that unfortunately the doctors could not make granddad better and that he would die but hopefully not for a long while, so they were prepared. My husband worsened suddenly and was admitted to the oncology unit for a drain fitting, the 9 year old was adamant that she wanted to see granddad, her brother 15 was not sure but they both went in to see him he was badly jaundiced, and in pain but able to speak to them, that was the last time she saw him but our Grandson returned again the next day, that was just a week before he died. The younger granddaughter was on holiday so she didn't get the chance to see him and probably that was for the best. They came home early but live 150 miles away so just our son came up to be with his dad.

It is very difficult and what was right for us might not be right for you, you just have to go with your gut feelings, but I am sure they will have already picked up on how you are feeling anyway. Please let us know how your father in law is doing, take care sandrax xx

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