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dad just got diagnosed. need advice on how to interact/what to ask him...

Posts: 4
Joined: Sep 2018

so, my father, whom i love dearly but have a contentious relationship with (my sister doesnt speak to him at all anymore :( ) just was diagnosed with kidney cancer. hes not a big sharer. hes also flying across the country and going to see a dr in my area; hell be staying with me. 


im going to support him and be as calm as i can, quite obviously. does anyone have good advice on how to do this? 


also, what should i expect? what can/should i and what shouldnt i ask? whats a good resource for information? i want information but also want to not stress him out more/invade his privacy. im feeling very overwhelmed and was hoping for some solid advice.


thank you. 

Posts: 4
Joined: Sep 2018

also, all i know (his wife was crying too hard to speak clearly) that he went in to get a kidney stone removed and they found cancer in some tube and his kidney and i think another place. and i believe they removed stuff (the tumors im assuming) but got the biopsy results back confirming C a few days later. 


again, thank you. and ♡♡ to everyone. 

Posts: 4
Joined: Sep 2018

and if anyone in hawaii has a good oncologist, thatd be super rad too. 

Manufred's picture
Posts: 241
Joined: May 2017

Seems like there is a lot about your father's condition that you don't know as yet, which is common when first diagnosed.  Try to get a good channel of communication started from the beginning, and try to make him see the importance of sharing information with you and others who care for him.

Everyone here is still alive (with a few sadly having passed in recent days) and we all have a story of how we have navigated our journey through cancer.  Click on my picture to see my profile and read how things went for me.

Kidney cancer is not an automatic death sentence.  There are ways to manage and possibly even cure this disease, so start learning and remain positive.  Give your father whatever hope he needs and don't give up.

Best wishes to all of you,


Posts: 567
Joined: Nov 2013

To the left of this screen, is a blue area titled cancer.org.  Click on Caregiver.  There is very good information available regarding what to say....and much more.  I have found cancer.org to be a good resource.  My personal opinion is to be an attentive listener.  

CRashster's picture
Posts: 241
Joined: Mar 2017

just talk. Don’t act weird, don’t talk different then you normally would. When I first got cancer, I hated that. If he asks how are you doing, say “fine”. Don’t say “How are YOU doing?”. It’s something he’ll hopefully survive, at least for a long while. He’ll talk about this when he’s ready. Love on him. Suggest doing some things together. Enjoy being together. He’s more freaked out then you, but he also wants some normal in his life. Don’t push anything, and you’ll know what to do.

JoeyZ's picture
Posts: 210
Joined: Mar 2018

Totally what CRashster said!!! That's probably the most important thing right now for both him and you!

I would totally, 100% try to talk with his wife and direct her to come to this forum, but especially send her to smartpatients.com. There is a wealth of experienced people and information on that site for patients, caregivers, etc. Those folks can help with every aspect of this. I highly recommend it. If Dad wants to check that out too, all the better.

A LOT of my family members immediately treated me like I am on my deathbed and barely breathing. Truth is, except for some dizziness and fatigue that put me down awhile, I am always up and doing!! I'm not laying around in a sick bed waiting to die. People are quick to assume, though. So just talk normally and everything will come naturally. He will appreciate some "normal."

Good luck to all of you and we're here for you. But please go to smartpatients.com for great and valuable info.

Positive_Mental_Attitude's picture
Posts: 454
Joined: Jul 2014

My best advice is to take everything you read on the internet with a grain of salt.  As someone above mentioned, you don't know enough to know the extent of the problem and what has to be done.  I was extremely lucky- 2.9 cm tumor, removed surgically, and I am 4 years clean with no radiation or chemo/cancer drugs. 

My boys were young (5th grade and 8th grade), and my 5th grader had a very difficult time with it.  My older son was wonderful, and during my recovery, he went with me when I went walking as part of my recovery--that is the best thing you can do for your Dad (and his wife)--tell them that you are there for them to support them in any way needed. 

Sorry you have to go through this.  It is never easy. 

icemantoo's picture
Posts: 3353
Joined: Jan 2010


We were all scared in the begining when we heard those words. I know its hard to talk about, but I like others don't know how to help you unless you share some detais. What was the size of the susoected Cancer and how old is dad?




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