Hello, my Dad was diagnosed with cancer last year and I will be his carer if he needs chemotherapy. Recently I’ve started to worry how I’ll cope with this. I have a mental health problem and lost my partner last year. My parents were divorced and it’s not always been an easy relationship. Over the last few weeks I’ve been worrying about what will happen in the future.
Welcome! I don’t have direct experience, but a few thoughts.
Do you work? Would you be giving up work to care? Can you afford this?
If the relationship is difficult do you want to care for him? This sounds harsh, but worth a thought about what the reality of care might be? It can be really tough. Would it be better for someone to come in and do the actual physical caring whilst you provide more emotional support? Who pays for this would depend how much savings he has. If less than £23k social service would provide care… Or if he is very unwell he may qualify for Continuing Health Care (free care provided by the NHS). Or often hospital will offer 6 weeks free care when people come out of hospital. What you qualify for depends entirely on individual circumstances.
If you haven’t already it is worth contacting Macmillian as they can offer specific advice regarding cancer treatment and support. Do you know if he has a Macmillian nurse? I know my Aunt had one assigned to her who was amazing.
Best of luck - it isn’t easy. Particulalry if you have been through a tough time already recently. xx
I am sorry about the diagnosis. Side effects of chemo vary, so if you haven’t already had a leaflet explaining what your Dad might be having you could get Macmillan or your Dad’s Oncology team to tell you about his particular treatment.
Then you could plan for what he might need and who will provide it. My DH had a fixed idea that he would carry on as before, so he wouldn’t need extra help. I simply had to over-rule that (because what it would have meant was me doing the lot, since he absolutely could not just carry on) and his nurses supported me in that.
What is it that concerns you most? There’s bound to be someone here who knows about it, if you want to tell us (you don’t have to).
Hi, thank you very much for all your replies, sorry it’s taken a long time to get back to you.
I’ve organised some bereavement counselling which will hopefully help with the loss of my partner and my Dad’s diagnosis.
I also had a talk to someone about my worries of looking after him and he put me in touch with some helplines. He recommended that I shouldn’t spend a lot of time with him for the moment because of the effect he’s having on my mental health.
He doesn’t have a macmillin nurse but I’m hoping to get some support further down the line if he needs chemotherapy. He’s independent at the moment, I’m just helping out with getting him food, looking after his cat when he needs it and I helped him apply for attendance allowance.
It’s been difficult to organise things because of anxiety, (caused by spending time with him!) but think when the counselling comes through it will help with this.