Help for my Mom dealing with Dad's terminal cancer
My father was diagnosed with stage 4 liver cancer last week. He was feeling fine until early December, when doctors discovered a blockage in his bile ducts. He got a stent, and his liver function is back to normal, but while the doctors were doing the procedure, they found lesions on his liver, and did a biopsy. It came back positive, and with this type of cancer, there is no treatment.
They won't give him a time frame, but right now he is feeling fine, and his blood work is good. He will be 72 in April. He has dealt with the diagnosis very well. He is a fatalistic person, and doesn't worry about things he has no control over. He has had health problems all his life, and never expected to live as long as he has.
My mom, however, is really having a hard time. They will be married 49 years this October, and he has been retired since 1988. They have been enjoying themselves ever since, taking lots of trips. In fact, they go to Spain every winter, and my dad wants to go again for a short trip since he is feeling good now.
Is there anything I can do to help my mom? Unfortunately, I live 2000 miles away from them. I offered to go visit, but she told me to wait until they decide about their trip. She had surgery last year, and was just getting back to normal, but now she is having trouble eating and sleeping. My dad was taking her to their family doctor to see about getting her a mild sleep aid, or maybe a low dose of sedative just until she comes to terms with the situation.
I am heartbroken about my dad, but I have my own life and family to distract me. My Mom has no distractions, and this has just devastated her. My dad is worried about her. I want them to enjoy the time they have left together, but that seems impossible with the knowledge that he is going to die hanging over their heads.