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Dad Going Downhill :(

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Hi Everyone

I know I havent posted or been on the site since October when my dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He had been doing well right up to Christmas.

He got a sore knee just after Christmas which turned out to be gout and with his mobility problems he went into the hospice for respite. Since he got out, you can see him going downhill. He keeps getting these confusion spells. Last night myself and my mum were up til 4.30am, he was very aggitated, restless and couldnt settle. He were in and out to him. It happened the Friday so the hospice nurse had made a record for them to ring today and tomorrow.

My mum told her about last night. She was great. She got an on call doctor to call out and he subscribed Xanex to calm him and also a sleeping tablet. He actually slept 5 hours today but when he woke up he was all confused and it took us a while to get him back in the bed.

Is this aggitation normal with cancer, is it a sign he is nearing the final stage?

I myself have changed or grown might be a better way of putting it. Sometimes its just sitting with him, holding his hand, fixing his hair. Just basically looking after him and showing him how much I care for him. He even said to my mum today, he didnt think I had that nursing ability in me :) He has latched onto me. He calls me his nurse. The other day when I was at work, my other sister was down in the house and he kept asking for me and referring to me as his nurse :)

I'm trying to be calm and strong for my mum. She got a bit upset and one stage last night, she told me today just having me there last night for support was what she needed and then she calmed down.

The hospice nurse is going to try and get a bed for him early next week. The danger is because of his mobility, when he gets confused he keeps trying to get up and he wants to go down and we cant let him.

Has anyone experienced this, is this usual with cancer?



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Dear Geri,

I remember your post about your dad being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. I am so sorry that he is not doing well.

It sounds like you are with a hospice team now and they should be able to help you with making sure your dad is comfortable and with little pain. There is so much the team does that can help both your dad and your family. The team can answer questions you have.

How wonderful that you sit with your dad and just be with him ~ this alone will put him at ease. It is not unusual that a very ill person latches on to one person and depending on how much medicine he has may be the reason he thinks you are his nurse. Your mother must be very comforted to have you there with her.

Please take the time for yourself during this time. I hope you can talk with the hospice team for they will be able to help you understand what is going on with your dad and they offer support for you, also.

I will keep you and your family in my prayers.


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I'd ask hospice these questions, if it's normal. My mom had dementia and they didn't want her getting in/out of bed by herself, or falling, they got her a "spoon" bed, has a bit of a dip in it, helped keep her from rolling out, also put a pad on the floor, might want to ask them about that if you're worried about him falling.

It's so neat that you are such a help to your parents, and a reassurance for both of them.

Anne is right, it'll be important for your mom and you both to have some time for yourselves, maybe you can take turns with him or get someone in to relieve you? I took care of my MIL for nearly three years while she was bedridden with cancer and it was really hard for me to have time for myself or time alone with my family...in looking back, I wish we'd gotten someone to relieve us. When they're clamoring for you because they think you're the only one who can do things right, it's important to remember that if you don't first take care of yourself, you won't be able to be effective for them.

This is a time that is very demanding of you, but also a very special time too. You will look back on and remember these close times together. I, too, will keep you all in my prayers.


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Thanks Ladies, I appreciate that :)

The hospice nurse rang today, their admissions meeting is tomorrow so hopefully she'll be able to get him in. He needs to be medially assessed now. It has drastically gone down since he came out of the hospice with his sore knee. He does have a chest infection so we dont know if its something else and maybe if it is, they can sort it out or it could be the actual tumor.

One of my sister's took my mum out for coffee and cake today and my other 2 sisters came down to help in case he got into that confused state. We have learnt over the week that it does take 2 people to sit with him to stop him trying to get up.

I'm thinking of going back to my ballet classes, that way I'll get a bit of a break and one of my sisters offered to stay on a thursday evening until I get home.

The way he is at the minute, we're looking at weeks not months before he passes. We're hoping he gets a bed early this week. The hospice havent been too great. Before he was discharged, we had a meeting and they promises this and that, one being a carer to come in through the health service but that didnt happen so basically my mum is the main carer.

While my mum and eldest sister were out, myself and my other sisters all agreed that if this time they try to discharge and we dont feel he's well enough for home, we will refuse to take him home.

I will update once I find out what happened at the admittance meeting :)

Thank you for your thoughts and kind words xxxxx

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Is there someone you could talk to at hospice higher up, a supervisor? I had great experience with hospice with my mom, but my friend Jim had bad experience with them, so it must depend on who you get. Maybe you could get someone else assigned to him?

I'm glad you'll get out and do something enjoyable for YOU, that is so important! Besides, I think it makes us better caregivers, more patient and calm. When my mom was at the dementia care facility, they made sure there were always two people to handle her, and she was under 70 lbs! Just easier that way. I'm glad your mom got to have a break, and all of you are helping, that's terrific!

Do let us know what you learn...good luck!

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Dear Geri,

I am SO sorry for your loss of your father. My heart goes out to you, your mother, and for all who love him. May God hold you tenderly, and give you comfort.

Blessings and lots of warm hugs,


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I am so sorry. There are no words, I know, that can help...just know that we care and our prayers are with your family.

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