My Dad is dying but keeps asking me when he's going to get better - not sure what to tell him?

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My Dad had two glioblastoma tumors removed in April. Long story short, he is fading now. He's home and on hospice. He has never addressed the fact that he is dying and has asked me twice now, in recent weeks, when is he going to be better? I don't know how to answer him.

I've danced around the issue a couple of times, in that I've asked him about the afterlife and does he believe there is one. But I've not asked him directly if he knows he's dying and not sure I should. He hallucinates a lot now and I am worried that if he hasn't addressed the fact that he is dying himself, that my questions will be unnecessarily upsetting to him.

Do I just humor him? I can say, "Soon, Dad," without lying. What have others done in this situation?

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Tell him that you don't know when he will get better but that everything will be all right. One way or another, so it will. And make sure he knows to tell you if he needs to be made more comfortable. And try not to worry too much about giving him the right answer: some questions don't have an answer, and that isn't your fault.

I think if he wanted to face that he is dying, he would ask you that directly. So, if later on he does, tell him the truth.

I'm so sorry for what you're going through.
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My husband has never asked when he is getting well....he just says, I think I will be better in two weeks. This is hard for me. Hospice gave me a book that tells some of the things to look for and "going home" is one of them. Lately, my husband is on a "train ride". He asked me why he was in a bed on the train and I told him the family got him an upgrade to a Pullman. He was pleased. Then he wanted to know how he would know when to get off. I told him that when I traveled, my aunt and uncle were at the station to greet me. He has been "chatting" with dead relatives. I told him that when he sees his mother, dad and grandmother, that it is the station and he should get off. This was hard, but not as hard as the next question. "Will I be able to walk off the train." I told him yes....then I went out of the room and had a good cry. This is not easy, but this site is very helpful where you find people who are going through just what you are. God bless you and lots of hugs.
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When I was caring for my dear friend 6 month (no time off 24/7)with Cancer whom with Hospice care was visit him every other day for about last 2 months of his life... He knew that his life is ending at anytime,so he asked me to set up appointment/arrangement with Catholic priest... I did, so Farther came to visit him. my friend passed very peacefully a month later..... Can you ask your dad,he is wishing for the church member to visit or would you like to contact with Priest/ Farther...? I do feel for you.
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I'm new at this... but why do I get the feeling dad should know he is dying... I sure would want to know. And if he is in denial about it, but keeps asking, I would keep saying so until it sinks in, only then can he be prepared to face the hereafter. Isn't it robbing him of his opportunity to get right with others and or God if he is cajoled into thinking he is okay when he's not? I am not trying to be mean or insensitive or whatever.... I just think when it comes to death, a person needs to be as aware as possible.

Of course, I'm a Christian who happens to have the gift of faith and I do believe in the hereafter, so it's easy for me to say.... "Oh my goodness... he needs to know and to be thinking about what it means!" No desire to be insensitive here at all....
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Does he really need to know his prognosis? Will it make a difference? My ex, also a glioblastoma multiforme patient feared aging and death while he was healthy. It was kindest just to remind him we (his friends, family, and I) were all together in the fight, no matter what. CyberHugs to you.
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I would just tell dad the kind, evasive answer.
Whatever it seems will calm him in the moment.
If he needs to hear words of hope, find some even if it's a therapeutic fib!
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I tried holding back the tears while reading your post, but it hurt too much. So I let them flow.

My father, after the hospital told me there wasn't anything else they could do, asked me the same question. I couldn't lie to him, so I said "No. So I'm taking you home." He asked me how long he had, and I said "Maybe a month."

He was gone a week later. The last words he said to me as I bathed him were "Thank you."

Your father knows. Just hold his hand and pretend it doesn't hurt.
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I would say "I'm sorry Dad, we're doing everything we can to help keep you comfortable". You might follow that by asking if there is anything he wants you to do for him.
You don't say how old your father is or if he has any other health concerns or previous dementia, so it's hard to be specific. What has the doctor told him, what was his original prognosis? If he has been fighting for a cure has he been specifically told that the treatment has failed? Hospice should be offering you some guidance in this.
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I'm thinking that the oncologist at some point probably told him there was nothing more to be done and that he had xxx amount of time left, so he has always known, he just chooses not to believe. And it sounds like denial is typical of your father, I like to describe it as "if I don't look at the tiger about to bite my a** it isn't really be there". Just try to do whatever seems right to help keep him comfortable, both mentally and physically.
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I agree with sandwich. Hope without overdoing it...does anyone really want to know/face the knowledge of their last days when there is nothing to be done? I don't see how the reality will help him at this point. So provide comforting words like "we all certainly want you to get better too and are doing everything we can", rather than a blatant lie like "yeah you're getting better" . It's all in the degree, but it sounds like mentally so important for him to hold on to some level of optimism. Best to you
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