Struggling with anger

I live with my parents and care for my 85 year old father who has stage 4 prostate cancer with extensive skeletal metastases. It was already stage 4 at the time of diagnosis.
I’m 43 and have previously lived abroad and travelled extensively.
I now feel stuck. I resent dad’s illness and get angry at him for being sick.
Dad is a good person and gives me no reason to be angry. He is not demanding or abusive.
Although dad is 85, his illness came as a huge shock. Prior to diagnosis, he looked about 70 at most and was out walking and cycling up 20 miles at a time. His mind is still sharp and he longs to do the outdoor stuff he always did, but he just can’t. I can’t stand to see him sitting there staring into space. He looks so sad. It breaks my heart, but there’s another part of me that wants him to pull himself together and be grateful that he was able to do all those things for as long as he was. Not many people in their mid 80s are able to do what he’d been doing up until recently.

The guilt of my anger and resentment consumes me, because I know his time is short and I want to try to make the most of every moment instead of being cranky and short-tempered.
I guess I just want to ask if it’s normal to have these feelings.

Thanks in advance.

Hi Rosalie,

sorry to hear about your Dad’s diagnosis and the way it has affected you too. Try and reframe it that you are angry at the illness rather than with your Dad.

Would your Dad be open to a mobility scooter? At least then he would be able to get out into the fresh air and go on ‘jaunts’ again.


It’s time for you to have some counselling, also talk to the prostate cancer charity helpline.
They were really good when my dad was ill.

Hi Rosalie,

I wanted to wish you a warm welcome to the forum. Im very sorry to hear about your dads cancer and the circumstances you find your self in. It seems that you are looking for others to relate to, so I thought that u might want to check out Carer Uk’s “Care for a Cuppa”. It is an online social meet up, and it’s a great way to have a little break if you are able to and spend some quality time talking to people who understand what you are going through right now (PS: there is certainly no obligation to talk during these meetings)
Heres the link if you want:)

Hello, Rosalie. Thank you for being open about your inner feelings of conflict between anger and guilt. I don’t think this is abnormal at all. I admit to occasional irritation when I see my caree struggling to manoeuvre herself out of a chair or across the bed, etc. Thoughts sometimes flash through my mind that she could have avoided this if she had have looked after herself better in the past. I say nothing but she senses my impatience and the mood deteriorates.

One maxim that I live by is that as one gets older, then one becomes less able to do certain things, but other things can take their place. Like your dad, I am keen on cycling, which I still enjoy. However, at 77, with a past health issue, and caring responsibilities taking up much of my time and commitment, I would not now attempt the distances I did in times past. I have taken on newer activities that are less demanding on time and energy. I belong to a lively music appreciation society and am sub-editor of our village magazine, a stimulating and sometimes challenging job.

I look ahead and expect to be able to look after my caree and myself for a good few more years yet. The time may come when I need to consider sheltered accommodation or even a care home. These are not the dreadful places some people seem to think. I can envisage myself being quite content in a care home. No more cooking or house work. Plenty of time to watch TV or read those umpteen books I have had as presents but never had time to read.

So how does your dad fit in with all this? It sounds to me that he is suffering from boredom and depression. He has not found a way to replace the things he can no longer do with new and interesting activities. So can you offer him some ideas? Melly’s idea of a mobile scooter seems worth consideration. Can he join a club relating to his interests or hobbies? Bowlingbun’s suggestion of counselling could be the source of some ideas, as could a general “chat” with the “Care for a Cuppa” group.

Do follow up these suggestions and keep in touch with how your dad is getting on. Best wishes.

The only way things will change is if YOU make them happen.
The only power dad has over you is the power you let him have.

Try to think what would help you most in the current situation.
It might be dad needing personal care, the state of the house, the fact that you are trapped, or you might be afraid of what is going to happen until he dies.
Some people want to bury their head in the sand, I want information so I can plan. There are good and bad points about both.

If you make a computer list of everything, major and minor, making life more difficult that it need be, and then shuffle it into order of priority, and share with us the top three things, we might be able to make suggestions that might help a bit.

Have you been in touch with the prostate cancer charity? When dad’s GP wouldn’t tell me much due to client confidentiality, I rang them for advice. Armed with the knowledge they gave me, I went back to dad’s GP. He was then much more forthcoming, and said whilst he couldn’t talk specifically about dad, he could talk generally about people with dad’s symptoms. He predicted dad would live for 6 months from that conversation, he was just a week out.

He told me dad would manage until the last two weeks or so, then he would take to his bed and never be able to get up again. Again, this was right. Dad spent his last two weeks in our local hospice.

Doctors are in a difficult position, some people want to know, others don’t.