Our family is falling apart since my dad was diagnosed with terminal cancer

DEAR DEIDRE: OUR family seems to be falling apart since my dad was diagnosed with terminal cancer.

He visited the doctor about a persistent cough, and weeks later they diagnosed him with stage-four lung cancer.

He’s been positive, trying to make the most of family time during lockdown.

But my mum hasn’t been coping well at all.

She’s 56, Dad’s 62 and I’m their 23-year-old daughter.

Mum hits the booze every afternoon. She’s also taking antidepressants and codeine for a leg injury, which means some nights she can barely speak.

If we try talking with her about her habits, she just shouts. She thinks we’re judging her, when we just want to help.

Seeing the impact his health has had on Mum is affecting his mood, too.

This isn’t how I want him to remember his last few months.

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DEIDRE SAYS: Your mum is blocking out her fears with alcohol. But she will regret not making the most of your dad’s final months.

When she’s sober, gently talk to her about how worried you are. Ask her to help you plan some lovely family times together.

Ask her to contact Drinkline (0300 123 1110) who can help.

I also recommend that you contact Macmillan Cancer Support (macmillan.org.uk) and join their online community.

Connecting with other families in a similar position may provide some comfort for you all.

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