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So, someone you love has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. What now?

Updated on June 19, 2013

When my father was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer in 2004, it was, of course, a shock to us all. Although he was 74 at the time of his diagnosis, he seemed healthy, hale and hearty, and none of us expected to hear that he had six months to a year to live.

Although I'd spent the better part of a decade half a world away, I moved back in at my folks' request to be my dad's primary caregiver, and in the roller-coaster of the next few months, we all laughed, cried, and learned a lot of lessons. I'd like to share a few of them with you.

Ask for the bad news first, and ask for it straight, no chaser. Your doctor will take his or her cues from you. If you ask him, he will tell you. Ask him. You need to hear it. You need to be armed with the facts. Knowing the prognosis will determine the quality of the time you and your loved ones have together.

Face it. Trust me. You don't have a lot of time, and while there's that one in a million case where you beat the cancer, no one beats death. Facing it allows you to make important decisions on how you, as a family, want to spend the time you have left together, however much time that might be.

Allow yourself to freak out. Freak out as a family, if possible. Try to understand that as devastating as a diagnosis of stage four inoperable cancer is, it's also an opportunity to cut the bullshit. To say the things you've been meaning to say, to forgive and be forgiven, to love and care for one another. This is precisely what family and friends are for.

Be Open. Be honest. If you're having trouble coping, talk about it. Talk to your priest, pastor, or Rabbi. Talk to those sharing this terrifying journey with you. Talk to the one who is dying. We are all afraid. Say what you are thinking and share what you are feeling, and you will discover that we are all thinking and feeling much the same way.

Discuss and debate treatment options openly. Not only should you educate yourself and each other and help each other ask all relevant and pertinent questions, but be critical with the answers. Consider seriously whether so-called palliative treatments will really have the desired effects.

Chemotherapy and radiation treatment may or may not extend the life of your loved one. Even if such treatments do extend life minimally, it is worth asking and discussing openly how they will impact the quality of life.

It is quality of life, not quantity that matters. We seem to have been conditioned to judge life by longevity, but in the case of a prognosis of six months to a year, like my father had, the question becomes how best to spend the time we have together.

Be here now. Let go of the idea that hope is in our future together. Hope is here and now, and it's measured not in the future time we have together, but the present moment we share. In ordinary acts of courage. In striving to go deeper into the moment, to share more of ourselves more openly, more honestly, more fearlessly than we have up to now.

Bury the hatchet. If you have issues you've been carrying around, now's the time to forgive and forget. All families have troubles, and personalities clash. If you need to get something off your chest, do it, but do it with a generous spirit. Anything you do out of spite will come back to haunt you.

Simple things mean a lot. My sister came out from California to visit for a week when she found out about dad. Before she left, she gave him a worry stone--no bigger than a silver dollar--and told him, whenever he was afraid or felt alone, take hold of the stone and she'd be there with him in spirit. And that was an incredible comfort to him to his last days.

Accept that life is going on around you. The world will not stop turning no matter how terrible things get. Your kids still need to get to school every morning. There are weddings and funerals and graduations and projects due. Appreciate what time people have to share with you, and understand their obligations.

Live. Continue to live. Encourage your loved ones to do the same. Including your loved one with cancer. Take time if you are a caregiver for yourself. Go to the gym, jog, take a drive, go to lunch with your friends, see a movie.

When in doubt, always go deeper into life. Don't deny or set to the side the extraordinary thing you are now a part of. Share it openly with the loved ones who are taking this journey with you.

Remember: people with terminal cancer are under enormous physical and emotional pressure... They will not always be pleasant, they may sometimes be cruel. On the one hand, as a family member, friend, or caregiver, you have to constantly remind yourself of the extraordinary difficulties they are facing. If you feel you are going to either implode or explode, reach out to a family member, friend, pastor, or caregiver immediately.

...but so are their caregivers. On the other, you have a right to demand that everyone, including your loved one with cancer, treat each other with dignity and respect. You have every right to ask that your loved one with cancer not verbally abuse or mistreat you. If they do, discuss it with them, but do so, again, with generosity and love.

You will have conflicting feelings. That's OK. There's a lot going on, emotionally, especially towards the end. You may find yourself thinking about your life without your loved one with cancer, and this might feel wrong. But it's necessary. You may feel relieved when death comes, maybe even elated. Later you may feel guilty for having been happy it's over. But these are normal feelings. If you need help coping, family, friends, pastors, and social workers can all be of help. Seek them out.

Use your faith as a light to guide you, not as a shield to hide behind. Whatever your belief system, it should serve you now as a way to experience the time you have together as deeply, openly, honestly, and lovingly as possible.

Religion can sometimes be a form of escape. And that's OK. But if it hinders open and honest communication about what you are going through, it's not helping you or your loved ones.

My family's pastor, a friend of our family whom I have known practically all my life, gave my mother this excellent advice: don't pray for your husband to live. Pray for God's will to be done.

The miracle is the time we have together in this life, however long it ends up being.

Strange as it may seem, as terrible as a prognosis of six months to a year is, it could be worse. Here's what I mean. When someone dies suddenly, without warning, you don't get to have one last trip to the ballpark with them. You don't get to sit and hold their hand and watch Jeopardy! and shout out the answers together. You don't get to tell them you love them, to hold them, to hear the stories they have to tell, to be with them through a momentous passage. To laugh and joke, weep, argue and fuss. To live.

Always remember: this moment is a gift.


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      ROSE 2 years ago

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      mary 2 years ago

      my name is Mary from New York. I've known Alex for years when we finally got together things were kind of weird so we broke up which was in February of 2011 In June of 2012 he and I recently got back together and we were together until march of 2013 which he told me he was not interested in relationship again During that time I changed completely, I wasn't eating,I was sleeping a lot, I wasn't talking to anybody, I cried a lot,I'm so depressed and stressed out that I'm scared I'm going to end up in the hospital because

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      morgan 3 years ago

      My name is Johnson Morgan , and I base in USA...My life is back!!!

      After 2 years of Broken marriage, my husband left me with two

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      Antonio Benard 3 years ago

      Am Antonio Benard i reside in Italy, my wife was suffering from Breast Cancer and the doctor told me that there was nothing that he could do to save my beloved wife. Then a friend told me about the Rick Simpson hemp oil that can cure cancer, i told him that my wife’s breast cancer was in the last stage that i don’t think the hemp oil would cure it and he persuaded me to try it, for the love of my wife, i decided to give it a try.

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      contact: what can i say unto my LORD, all i have to say is THANK YOU LORD.

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      marisa 3 years ago

      I would just like to thank Dr. isaac for all his help and care during the time he cast a spell for me as a HIV Patient he was able to heal me from this disease, i am now positive and i am living health and also my marriage was restored back to me,,I highly recommend anyone to try him and believe in him it truly honestly works,,Thank u so much for helping me in my time of need.. i will be recommending you to my friends and anyone who needs help in their lives Contact him through his email if you need his help (

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      marisa 3 years ago

      I would just like to thank Dr. isaac for all his help and care during the time he cast a spell for me as a HIV Patient he was able to heal me from this disease, i am now positive and i am living health and also my marriage was restored back to me,,I highly recommend anyone to try him and believe in him it truly honestly works,,Thank u so much for helping me in my time of need.. i will be recommending you to my friends and anyone who needs help in their lives Contact him through his email if you need his help (

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      lilian 4 years ago


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      jennifer 4 years ago

      Five weeks ago my Husband broke up with me. it all started when i went to summer camp i was trying to contact him but it was not going through. So when I came back from camp I saw him with a young lady kissing in his bedroom, I was frustrated and it gives me sleepless night. i thought he will come back to apologize but he didn't come for almost three week i was really hurt but i thank Dr. Moon for all he did i met Dr.Moon during my search at the internet i decided to contact him on his email he brought my Husband back to me just within 48 hours i am really can reach this man on his email address via:

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      Harriet Beecher 4 years ago

      I am Harriet Beecher, I live in San Francisco USA, I want to say a big thank you to Dr. Rick Simpson for saving my son’s life with his miracle oil on the 10th of January 2014 from his terrible brain tumor.

      My son Ben was diagnosed of brain tumor last year October 5th 2013, the doctor told me there was nothing that could be done for my son and I was so scared to lose him because he is the only one I got, I lost his dad May 2011 and I was not ready to lose my only son. My co-worker told me about Dr. Rick Simpson cannabis oil and how it helped her dad so I collected his contact and wrote him, purchase the oil and used it on my son, last week we went for checkup and the doctor who told me that my son had few months to live confirmed that my son no longer has brain tumor.

      I am so over whelmed and full of joy, I feel like shouting to the whole world, I just got my joy back. Am so grateful Sir, thank you so much. God will bless you Sir.

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      sonia gregory , 4 years ago

      Warm appreciation to Dr. rick simpson for curing my Breast cancer with cannabis oil. I really appreciate your help in bring back my lost life with the help of his high quality Cannabis Oil, i am so grateful to you Dr for all the love and concern that you showed me and i would keep on giving my testimony about your Cannabis oil and how is cures Cancer within 90 days of treatment. it just like a Miracle that has happened to me with full recovery from cancer and i am free from Cancer. Thanks be to God Almighty for sending you my way Dr, i hope and know that you would keep on putting smiles on world at large with this great medication. for all solution to cancer and other diseases.

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      Becky 4 years ago

      I am Becky by name. Greetings to every one that is reading this testimony. I have been rejected by my husband after three(3) years of marriage just because another woman had a spell on him and he left me and the kid to suffer. one day when i was reading through the web, i saw a post on how this spell caster on this address, have help a woman to get back her husband and i gave him a reply to his address and he told me that a woman had a spell on my husband and he told me that he will help me and after 3 days that i will have my husband back. i believed him and today i am glad to let you all know that this spell caster have the power to bring lovers back. because i am now happy with my husband. Thanks for Dr. Okoro. His email:

      Dr. OKORO NUMBER: +2348053209149

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      john 4 years ago

      Am john from Germany I never believe i will see 2014 and it is with huge pleasure that am sharing my testimony about my breast cancer which just got cured within 3 months of treatment with the Cannabis Oil of high potency in THC and CBD content I bought from Dr. rick simpon. i wouldn't have believed that i would someday share my survival from Breast cancer with anyone else on earth, because my oncologist gave me 5 months to live and enjpy my life.

      I bless that faithful day i went online in search of help and i found my helper Dr rick simpon who gave me all hopes, love, care, sensitiveness, kind, understanding and above all with Wisdom behold my thoughts which he assisted me with and helped me to defeat my stage 4 breast cancer that had almost sucked life out of me. I will also like to use this medium to appreciate Dr.rick simpon : for his care, support and of course his cannabis oil because i would have been history if not for you My greatest Saviour Dr. rick simpon

      Thanks you so much Sir and God will bless you more.

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      ANDREW PANA 4 years ago

      My name is Andrew Pana of California. In May. of 2012 my wife was diagnosed with terminal cancer at the age of 38. The doctors could give her no hope. She did have chemo and radiation, the doctors thought that could prolong her life for a little while. In September of 2013 she done surgery, that's when they found out that the cancer had spread to her lymp nodes in her left hip area and couldn't get it all with the surgery. Now it looked like 2-4 months is all she would live. It was a very aggressive form of colorectal cancer.

      While searching through the internet, my wife and I found so many testimonies on Rick Simpson healing oil, The Rick Simpson hemp oil for "health" is medicine. So i ordered the miracle oil for my wife and she started taking the hemp oil medicine every day. "GOD'S NATURAL MEDICINE".

      It was two years before the doctors finally gave me a good report concerning my wife's condition. It was certainly not an overnight miracle. glory be Jesus and the great man Rick Simpson who God himself sent to help us in our lost time (health) Mr. Simpson, God will continue to be blessing you all the day of your life Sir!

      He revealed to me that all hope are not gone concerning my wife health So I, must keep my eyes focused on Him and His Medicine and not on the storm of cancer all around us (the doctors reports, test results, the pain, what other people said). He is so faithful to His Promises! There were so many different things that happened during this time and afterwards but this is the story in brief. I give Jesus my Lord all the glory and praise to Rick Simpson the founder of hemp oil for healing my wife's stage 4 cancer.

      A special thanks to you Sir, brothers, sisters help me thank this man of truth and courage because he is my hero. You can reach him with this information ( or maybe call him at +447031996738 ) you brought my joy back to life not just only that you save my world with your miracle inspiration, you are inspired Sir. My wife is now cancer free because of you( AM GRATEFUL SIR.)

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      Anonymous 4 years ago

      Hello viewers all over the world am fred monica, I want to testify of what solution center do for me. i was having a very notorious and serious sickness called HIV i contacted these infection from my ex husband and was very in lost of hope i never believed i was going to be cured until i meant these great man called solution center who God send to help me cure my sickness . just a few moment with these great man he cured my infection i want you to know that all hope is not lost until every thing is done if you also have these following infections contact these email now.


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      Arnold Paul 4 years ago

      I am Arnold Paul, I was diagnosed with Lungs Cancer and was told by the Doctor that the cancer was in the last stage.

      My Doctor told me i have few months to leave, but he told me about the Hemp Oil and said it's going to do a lot in saving my life from this terrible disease, He introduce me to Rick Simpson and said he would be able to get me the Hemp oil wherever I need it since he is the

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      I contacted him and explain it to his understanding and he delivered the oil to me in UK, after three Month of taking this Treatment there has been rapid improvement in my life, I am very overwhelmed and loss for words. I want to shout it out to world that am cured from cancer. I can't believe I'm able to jump and move around again. Thank you lord for your natural marijuana hemp oil and Rick Simpson

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      gone because your doc said so, be strong, courageous and fight it. There is a cure. Rick Simpson email is or give him a call +447031996738

      Thank you Sir, I will always be grateful for your good work and services rendered..

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      Ron Evance 4 years ago

      Hi I'm Ron was told Monday I had stage 2 extensive small cell lung cancer was happy until my doctor said that was bad it has moved to my bones and she thinks to my brain with treat 10 to 13 months without treatment 8 to to to 10 months I have decicded I don't want any treatment I have a 3 year old little girl Bella and I want to enjoy what time I do or don't have with her not running back in forth to doctors and treatments I've seen the bronchoscope I have read the results I have heard all the what I need to do And my mind is made up I wish I could make my wife understand this but I can't I need her support not her dictatorship I'm ok with this I have had an awesom life I'm 46 I just want to enjoy my Bella. Thanks for listing

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      Miss Mitchel 4 years ago

      My Mother that was at the point of death with cancer of the Breast in his final stage is now back alive and she is so healthy now. Thanks to Dr. Steve that sold the Hemp oil for us that we used in curing my Mother cancer with the period of 90 days.

      Once again i want to thank Dr.Steve for his wonderful Hemp Oil we are now happy family with my mother back alive ,strong and healthy. you can contact Dr Steve on his email: for more help.

      Miss Mitchel

      from Brazil

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      cecilia 4 years ago

      Hello everyone in this forum, My life is back!!! After 8 years of marriage, my husband left me and left me with our three kids. I felt like my life was about to end, and was falling apart. I contacted A spell caster called Dr Laco I explained all my problem to him . In just 3 days, my husband came back to us and show me and my kids much love and apologize for all the pain he have bring to the family. We solved our issues, and we are even happier than before you are the best spell caster Dr laco i really appreciate the love spell you castes for me to get the man back to my life i will keep sharing more testimonies to people about your good work Thank you once again. you may contact him via ( you are in any problem you can contact this man for help he is always there in his temple to help you solve your problem Contact Email is (

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      Lucy 4 years ago

      I dated a guy for about six months, I totally feel happy whenever i am with him. We got along great never fought but one night, i had much drink on me and then got a little jealous and then embarrassed him in front of his female friends, Because of that he broke up with me right there. For the first week i tried to do everything in my power to get him back but all were in veil. Till a friend introduce me to this great man called Dr.Grant of I was surprise when Dr.Grant told me that my lover will come back to me within 3 days. But the good news is that my lover is really back to me now all thanks goes to Dr.Grant. Contact Dr.Grant on

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      Blaze 4 years ago

      I am testifying on how Dr upesa help me to bring back my ex-husband who left me 2 months ago i got his email on the internet on an article how he had help so many people,so i emailed the Dr and tell my problems to him and after that day he gave me assurance of 4days,to my greatest surprise my husband came back to me in third day of contacting him,i want to say a very big thank you to for all his help..

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      Deborah Cox 4 years ago

      This post bring a lot sadness, there is nothing prayer cant do, i have gone through situations in life but after prophet dibia prayed for me. Things have taken a new phase. I am very happy, if you need him to pray for you, you can contact him via his email, I am sure he can help you out. Good luck...

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      Emily Smith 4 years ago

      My husband had stage four lung cancer has been cured within the Rick Simpson Hemp oil. My husband has been through chemo 3 times, but this time his condition

      was getting worse that I was afraid it will kill him. When a friend of mine directed me to Rick Simpson at: where I could

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      and cure it completely, I never believed the story, but today, with thanks giving in my heart, My husband lungs cancer has been cured within the Rick Simpson

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      You can contact him through his email:

      I'll keep thanking him because he is God sent to save my family that was at the stage of collapsing all because of my husband cancer.

      Emily smith, United State of America.

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      mr morgan 4 years ago

      i am Mr Morgan i live in England i was cheating on my wife when i get effected with hiv aids i also effected my Innocent wife too, one day i came and across a post called drwonderhealersolutiontemple so i contact the mane he told me that i will have to provide some items before his temple and i give a trial now am heal with his herbal treatment all great thank to him his a wonderful man i will like you all to reach him in case you have any problem relating to sickness. reach him on

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      michele 4 years ago

      thank you for this. it broke my heart open in all the best ways.

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      Ivy 4 years ago

      I just received a call and my father-in-law told me that my mom-in-law passed away hours ago... It is the worst Friday the 13th of my life. My heart was broken :(

    • profile image

      Ivy 4 years ago

      It was last year, February 2012, when my mother-in-law was diagnosed with breast cancer stage 4. I was totally shocked because the doctor told me that her case was terminal. They advised her to have her chemotherapy every two weeks. It was really hard for the family to see her pain... She lost her hair and she lost her weight too.

      She' s a strong person and wanted to live long for us. I know most married women don't get along with their mother-in-law but our relationship is different. We are very close, I love her and she loves me. She was there when I gave birth to my baby... I will never forget that day. She never left my room even for a single minute. She supported me all the way even if she was nothing feeling good because of her chemo.

      A year passed and my baby had her first birthday. Mom-in-law was all excited, she even cooked some food for the party. It was in June this year, 2013... She looked ok, finally finished her chemo and now having her receptin treatment. Everybody saw the glow in her eyes. She looked really ok until two weeks after the birthday, she felt so week. It was the mid of July when she couldn't even stand up. We took her to the emergency room in the nearby hospital, after all her tests, the doctor told us that her cancer metastasis in her brain. Now her brain has a lot of tumors... It really broke our heart!

      She was confined in the hospital for a week. The doctor ordered radiation to improve her quality of life. Me and my brother-in-law, together with my one year old baby, took her to her radiation everyday for 3 weeks. It was so hard seeing her in that wheelchair! She couldn't stand up unless I pick her up... Tried to control each tear that I shed each time I bring her to the clinic. Had to be strong so she wouldn't see my pain. I was her strength at that time.

      It was 3rd week of August, 2013 when she finished her radiation therapy. I was able to talk to her her two doctors, together with my husband and brother-in-law and asked them what we are expecting. Both of them told us that she's not getting any better and that chemo will have no effect to her anymore. We told them that she wants to go to the country where she was born to see her other children and relatives... Her oncologist told us that if she wants to travel, better do it now before it's too late. We got her and my father-in-law plane tickets right away and they flew the last day of August. After they left, the house was filled with sadness. My baby kept on looking for her grandma. Everyday she was knocking at her grandma's room. I couldn't tell her anything because she wouldn't understand at all....

      She was able to travel ok and saw her love ones back home... Was hearing good news about her for a week... We even chat thru skype and she looked ok and happy... I was relieved, I was happy seeing her with those bright eyes and big smiles.

      It was just today when I received a call from my sister-in-law saying that my mother-in-law is getting weak, couldn't stand up anymore, couldn't remember her in an instance, and can't barely open her mouth each time they feed her. I could hear my father-in-law crying in the background. My mind flew and suddenly I couldn't understand what she was telling me so I gave the phone to my husband. It was a very sad moment for us.... Our hearts were broken...

      It's past 12midnight now and I couldn't sleep so I grabbed my ipad and I stumbled in this site. Thank you for this article, thank you for letting me express how I feel right now. Sorry I kept my story too long, pardon me. It really helped me out... I know that not all readers will understand me, accept my apology. I just want to let everybody know that it is hard to accept when your love one is terminally ill and it is hard to cope up specially when that person has been so nice to you and you love her/him with all your heart. All we need is to be strong because, somehow, somewhere, someone is getting their strength from us. God bless everyone!

    • Wayne Hood profile image

      Wayne Hood 4 years ago

      Hello my good friends please do not see this strange cause it my life story

      about my healing, i was having HIV for good 6yrs. Things were not working

      fine for me due to my health status i know longer have friends know lover

      it even takes time before my family co-operate with me due to this i tried

      all possible means i can to get this devilish sickness out of my body i

      went to hospitals churches and other heath organization but all remains the

      same till yet i never gave up cos i was not born with this illness so i

      decided to take it over to the internet to see if i could get remedy, on my

      search i saw a testimony of a woman, she said she was also having a

      terrible sickness for over 3yrs but now she is healed i was surprise at

      first when i saw her test so she wrote a name Dr Salumbo and also

      gave his email

      id so i mailed them which is ( i told them

      about my problem and after the processes he told me that am healed but i

      never believed he told me to go and confirm it from the hospital were i

      have been taking treatment still i never believed also although he gave me

      evidence that the sickness was gone.

      Finally i decided to go for check up and to my surprise my doctor said the

      sickness was know longer there with thought of joy i started shearing tears.

      My friends today am now married bless with 2kids, so if you have any

      sickness kindly email ( sir i will forever

      remain in you debt.

      Thank you sir am grateful

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      Wendy 5 years ago

      My boyfriend has cancer bones,lungs,bladder...etc. I am divorced and live alone here with my 15 year old son in germany my 18 year old daughter has moved out already.My heart calls to him too support him he is at the moment in hospital and has been for a while with other related problems.......He has asked me to marry him I have agreed as I do love him........Here is the big heart rensch I have to leave my son here in germany as he dosen´t want to leave ...he will then live with his dad which he finds´s my feelings of loosing everything now boyfriend.....and children......Can someone help with advice.......thanks

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      Pat 6 years ago

      I was reading and reflecting back to when my husband was going through with his colon cancer. Everyone was calling and coming by and checking on him. It took my nephew to say to me one day "Auntie, I know everybody is asking about Uncle John and making sure he is ok. I just want to know How are you doing? Who is taking care of you?" This is when I had my first cry since we had found out about the cancer. I am saying this to say to everyone, check in on the caregiver too. We need to be taken care of also. NO ONE knows what we go through and sacrifice when we are taking care of our love ones. Please let's not forget about them. :-)

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      lina 6 years ago

      THANKS FOR SHARING THIS WITH US , i m 23 years old and we discover that my husband has a troat cancer stage 2 , i dont know what happened that doctor told us they cant do anything for him now , 5 month chemo and now they said he had an infection which took the body and 3 month left, i dont know how can i live my life without him, we just marry and nearly 8 month we love each other alot and i dont know how can i face this night mare...

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      upset daughter. 6 years ago

      My mother has just been told she has lung cancer,shes had a ct scan and lung test and needs more tests,shes devastated and as we live together im trying my best to stay strong,we dont know much else right now many more tests yet,but the specialist already told me its cancer,theres a mass on one side and a nodual on the other,my father passed 21yrs ago and i know hes waiting for mum but it still so very painfully sad for me and my family,god bless all of you out there going through this ,were living a terrible knightmare.x

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      heartofsaddness 6 years ago

      just found out a couple months ago my dad has stage 4 lung cancer and hes' in so much pain the docs gave him 12 to 15 months but dad says he can feel the cancer eating away at him and he knows he won't be he last as long as he was told, i lost my best friend my brother almost 3 years ago never got the chance to say goodbye or tell him how much i love him, i know the pain i feel but what i cant imagine is what my poor mom is going thru..dads looks like the perfect bill of health he wont lie when he hurts bad but know matter what he tries to keep that sence of humor and smile on his face, I try to be strong for my family but at times i just jump in my car and head to the lake and just cry.. I know that there is an after life waiting for us but saying goodbye till we meet again is just the saddest words ever, i pray for any and everyone going thru difficult times. May Gods love surround you and his peace fill your lives forever amen

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      country girl 6 years ago

      i have stage 3 multiple myloma...lots of pain and anguish ..drs say no one can say how long i will live..i am so weak.. my faith in God is all i have..these messages help me to understand everyone feels fear and needs support from family and friends. thanks for posting.

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      Meerkat95 6 years ago

      Technically, it's Christmas Day.. It is 2:12am. I haven't gone to bed yet, so it still feels like Christmas Eve. I found out a few days ago that my father is dying of terminal cancer. We've been estranged for many many years and Christmas Eve was the first time we've spoken since 1997 or 98. I can't remember, frankly.

      I have forgiven him (and only today did I do that) for abandoning me and being a dead beat dad. I guess he's got his own ghosts to attend with.

      I am now grieving for the father that I will not get to know.. I feel so horrible for not speaking to him all of these years. I have never really talked to anyone who knew they were going to die.

      He was so happy to hear from me... I can't get his happiness and shock out of my head. I have been crying off and on all damn day.. I am supposed to see family tomorrow/today for Christmas but I am not up to it..

      I am so full of sorrow....

      Good night.. and Merry Christmas.....................

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      Jennifer 6 years ago

      I was really touched and comforted by the stories here. I just became a full time care giver for my father back in March of this year. He was diagnosed with a brain tumor at the age of 77. We have learned some valuable lessons along the way. Keep your eyes on the Lord Jesus. He gives us comfort and faith to face every difficulty. He enables us to keep the joy. Be upbeat around your loved one because this helps him to be upbeat and to share more. Enable him or her to have things to look forward to because this makes them happy. Share feelings together and enable each other to express their thoughts. Finally, if you find yourself getting too stressed as a caregiver then take a break. I am finding that due to spending too much time with my father that I am getting angrier with him because I am frustrated when I want him to do some exercises that will help him and he complains that he wants to go down stairs and sit and do nothing.

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      doris JONES AGAIN p.S. 7 years ago


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      DORIS JONES 7 years ago


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      Mark J. 7 years ago

      How right you are. Mom, Take Aunt candy to Vegas and let her play high limit. Y'all know she loves to gamble. I'm sure that is something she has always wanted to do. I love Aunt Candy. Live life to your fullest. Love Mark in Washington.

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      Carrol 7 years ago

      Thank you!!

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      yvonne 7 years ago

      my husband has stage 1V lung cancer.and it has spread elsewhere..The problem is my husband is loosing his voice and can onky whisper now...this is driving him mad...and has terrible outbursts of frustration and anger...generally towards me..Thats not the problem) and on top of i have noticed he is having difficulty swallowing..and makes the most loud noises that seem to come from his burping but worse...Doctors cannot do anything for his voice...Is there anyone out there who has experienced this with a loved one and was or is there any remedy for it?...I am constantly feeling useless..watching my husband gradually deteriate ....

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      Jennifer 7 years ago

      I love whoever wrote this. Needed it today.

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      Chui 7 years ago

      It's really hard to read this blog you wrote... Because I know you're right...

      My boyfriend was diagnosed with a brain tumor on March and his prognosis is 2 years at best. He was left with severe sequels of how the tumor manifested itself... He can't move the right part of his body and can't talk, but amazingly we've figure out a way to communicate... We love each other so much and I want to believe there's a chance for us, a chance he gets better (because he can with therapy, not from the cancer but from the paralysis and speech), a chance to have a life together and do what all the normal couples do. The problem is that sometimes he feels so depress, he doesn't want to do anything, doesn't like it when he feels someone stares at him and it's hard for him, with his new limitations, to enjoy life. He wants to do really hardcore physical therapy once he finishes his chemotherapy treatments and I'm all for it. I mean it's part of the illusion.

      I don't know how to stop this horrible pain I feel because I can't do anything... I'm in my last year of med-school and I know the only thing that could actually save him is a miracle...

      But still, when we are together, not going out for the reasons I told you before, we have a great time, always, of course we've had our fights but I can't even remember the last one... We live like in this cloud of illusions, reality far away from us and we are just happy... The problem is when I have to face reality and accept that the tumor will probably show again really soon...

      Sorry I wrote so much but I just don't know how to stop hurting, I don't know how to be ready when he leaves me, I don't want any other man, I don't want to love anyone else and it's effing frustrating to know it will never be, us will never be... Will never get married with him, will never have his children...

      And then comes faith... It's funny that your pastor said to your mother what my mother always tells me... But I always pray for God's will to be that my boyfriend stays here on earth... I want to believe a miracle is possible but at the same time I get what you say and I don't want to hide myself from reality...

      I'm sorry to write this huge letter... I don't even know why I did... I guess I just want to hear what someone who's have something like this happened thinks...

      Thanks so much for your advices...

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      angela 7 years ago

      thankyou so much i have read this and feel much better. my father in law has just been told that he is terminally ill with stage four lung cancer that has spread to his neck and lymph system and this is scary. i know every one eventually dies but i want him to experience quality of life until the end. i will take this advice thankyou.

    • carrie450 profile image

      carrie450 7 years ago from Winnipeg, Canada

      This post has enlightened me a lot. It's excellent advice. Thank you for posting it.

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      Suzanne 7 years ago

      Today reality hit me, one of the most important people in my life, my grandfather, has been diagnosed with stage 4 liver cancer and spots on his lung. I don't know how to deal with this …. I just cry all the time and feel soooo lost. I lost my Father, Grannies and a grandfather before, but they were all unexpected deaths (and that was hard to deal with), but I have never had to watch someone I love, get sick and die …. how does someone cope with this? Your words mean so much and made me realise that we MUST make the most of the time we have with him and make new memories that will help when he's ill and then not with us any more. I just hurt so much.

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      Vicky 7 years ago

      My father was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer on 19th May 2008 and the doctor informed him he had at most 3 months to live. My dad passed away exactly a year to the day he was diagnosed on 19th May 2009. My life will never be the same without him. It was the hardest year of my life seeing my father dying of this horrible disease. It was so nice to read your article which I found to be most helpful. As time goes by they say it gets easier but it doesn't. I miss my father so much. One thing that can never be taken is my memories and my dad will continue to be a part of my life until the day that I die.

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      KB 8 years ago

      A few days ago I found out a friend was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. It is hard to write down my feelings because there are so many. This friend is an amazing person who has done so much for so many people. I want to help her and her family but I honestly don't know what to do.

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      8 years ago

      What was first thought of as some bacteria or infection was a few weeks found out to be pancreatic cancer in my grandad, then today, they did more tests and found out it's terminal cancer in also the stomach and liver. Mum was crying. I haven't cried at all because it's very your loved one can be in a terminal stage before they knew they were sick...

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      peter bakulinskyj 8 years ago

      thankyou for taking the time to write mother has been diagnosed with lung cancer,an aggressive type as well.I cry and feel terrible as my father died 4 years ago and i feel so scared of being alone.i have friends but mum has asked me to keep it quiet as she dont want pity and the tilted head comments,which i do understand.

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      michelle 8 years ago

      I found out six weeks ago that my healthy strong mother has stage four lung cancer. She does not want to know her prognosis just what she has to do to beat it. Only my brother and I know. She doesn't want anybody to know and feel sorry for her. She is so postive and strong its amazing. This past weekend though the chemo has her down. It is the bardest thing in life to watch someone go through this.

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      Jen 8 years ago

      I'm not sure if you ever check this posting anymore but thank you for your courage in sharing. We found out a few days ago that my healthy, hearty and hale father has terminal cancer. My parents can't accept this yet and are hoping for miracle cures. My dearest hope is that the doctors can find a way to prolong his life but still allow him to keep his dignity in this process. I have been blessed to know him.

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      Cody 8 years ago

      I'm 18, and I've been with my girlfriend for almost a year and a half, and we love each other more than anything, and I'm so scared that she might not make it. I couldn't picture my life without her and it's so hard. We just lost our son. And now I am not even sure how long she has. We made plans to move in with each other and marry, finish college and grow old together. And now it seems like all is lost. Thank you for this post. It does help cope a little.

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      fiona 8 years ago

      What about the Iman??????????????Fastest grwoing religion in the world is ISLAM ALHAMDULILLAH!

    • profile image

      fiona 8 years ago

      What about the Iman??????????????Fastest grwoing religion in the world is ISLAM ALHAMDULILLAH!

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      Marcus Anderson 8 years ago

      im 13 years old and my grandfather is terminly ill. i cant coap with it. i cry off and on. any suggestions?

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      9 years ago


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      cindi 9 years ago

      As an adult, this is my first experience dealing with a loved one that is dying. Today will be my last visit and I wanted guidance. Sharing your thoughts and comments gave me the strengh to prepare myself and my daughter - (her grandaughter) Life is a gift - every moment counts.

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      jannyrose 10 years ago

      Thank you so much. We heard tonight that my brother in law is terminally ill. It's hard to know what to say or how much. But you have good insights to this time that we will all share. I wish society as a whole would be more open about this most natural and inevitable time we will experience. Death is still whispered about and not spoken of in direct terms. That's sad. Thank you for sharing!