Help for lung cancer patient with no family

I have a good friend who i have known over 20 years. He lives on his own.  He was treated for bladder cancer 5 years ago and it has returned but has only had a tiny growth. He  has just been treated with radiotherapy for stage 4 lung cancer at age 75.

This has left him very short of breath, tired, no appetite and with very little mobility and pain in one arm.

Unfortunately i am the only person who visits or helps, he has no family at all and is a bit of a loner with the i will be ok attitude but i can see he is worried sick. 

I am trying my best with support but am struggling as i have two children and a very busy job. I am helping with hospital appointments when i can, housework, meals, shopping etc but he is receiving so many letters, appointments, phone calls and is getting very confused. Although he writes all these down he has the lung doctor (who can be very abrupt) telling him not to worry about his appointments for the bladder as the lungs are more important. We have turned up to appointments that have been arranged when i have been present only to be told we have turned up on the wrong day.  He recently got sent for a scan to check out a pain in his arm/shoulder but couldn't lay on the table because he was in so much pain, been sent away with morphine but no other solution.   I am so frustrated with it all and he is getting so angry that he is thinking of stopping any further treatment.

I have no problem as such helping with all the practical things but the emotional support and company i am really struggling with both time wise and mentally draining. 

I am hoping you can advise me if there is anyone else i can turn to for help.  I am doing what i can but am struggling to get my head around it all. Is there any support out there that will maybe send someone out to him that can just sit and have a chat and give him a bit of company and a bit of advice and comfort. 

  • Hello Adnama and welcome to the Cancer Chat community.

    What a lovely thing you are doing for your friend. I'm sure he appreciates everything that you are doing for him but supporting someone with cancer can be very tough so it's very important you take some time to look after yourself as well.

    I'm sure some of our members who have supported others on their cancer journeys will share their experiences and advice with you soon but I do hope this list we have about what support may be available at home to your friend will help.

    You may also be able to get further information and advice from Carers UK but if you'd like to talk any of this through with one of our cancer nurses, you can contact them on 0808 800 4040, Monday - Friday between 9a.m - 5p.m. They're very easy to talk to and will do all they can to help.

    We're thinking of you Adnama and sending all our support your way.

    Kind regards,

    Steph, Cancer Chat Moderator