Hi, I am looking for any tips or advice people might have to support my dad (72y) with his recent diagnosis. It seems he may have given up a bit. Dad was diagnosed in February this year with oesophageal cancer. Since the initial diagnosis there have been seemingly endless complications. He had lost a huge amount of weight in the past 6 months but more recently he lost another 6kg in two weeks and now weighs 50kg at 6ft tall. He now has a tube feed put in because eating was too painful. He was also diagnosed with a fungal infection on his lungs and last week was hospitalised with pneumonia. Now on top of everything, last week Doctors have found another type of cancer on his liver. They are still not 100% sure whether the cancer on the liver has spread from elsewhere or is a new type. He was supposed to start radiotherapy last week but the pneumonia has pushed that back. Dad is understandably devastated by the news about the new cancer on his liver but my mum and I are becoming concerned about his mental health. For the last few weeks he has not been able to keep up with all the different tests and procedures that he has had done. Mum is concerned that he seems to be taking no interest in what Doctors are saying about treatment plans or any of the procedures. He is also not talking much and doesn't engage well with conversation. I completely understand that he must be feeling so unwell and scared and likely very depressed. However it is quite difficult to hold a conversation of any length and he certainly isn't telling us how he is feeling. He always says "not bad" when we ask how he is although it is clear he feels terrible based on how he looks. Does anyone have any tips or advice about how we can support him and try to help him open up a bit?
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Cancer Council NSW would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we live and work.We would also like to pay respect to elders past and present and extend that respect to all other Aboriginal people.