From personal experience, dealing with the patient can be at times easy and at times very difficult. In the beginning when we as a family were informed that my father was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer, it was quite a shock to us. As with any bad news, the family had to deal with it as a unit and not as individuals. The only person that had a harder time than the rest of the family was the patient as it is his life that is being cut short and it is him that will go through the pain and suffering.
As the realization set in with the members of the family that it was not going to happen overnight and that the cancer is a process, every body started to handle the patient differently.
The patient also had to accept the finality of things and had to get his mindset right to deal with the inevitable. The patient has been informed that he is close to his expiry date and that must be a bitter thing to deal with. He has to deal with emotions that I can not even imagine and he is taking it a day at a time. 
The family dealt with the patient a lot differently yesterday a lot differently than they did just after the diagnoses. Accepting that the patient is on a path that there is no return, like all of us except we just don't know when, made us adapt a notion that we will all be there when the pain start to take over, when the emotions get the better of him, when he is in need to have something done when he is not able anymore, when he just need someone els to talk to other than his wife, my mother.
Life started to change as the way that my father's health started to deteriorate, although he is currently still mobile and can do his own thing when so required. My parents moved into a pensioners village close to my home where there is a frail care facility and this came as a relief to all including the patient. Now he knows that whatever happens, my mother is taken care of and that she is with others of her own generation, she has the care available should she need it, and they are close to the children as all are within 1 hours drive of the home.
These days I visit almost every day with my parents, but I can see the changes in his health and pain on a daily basis. I can see now a year and a bit after the diagnoses that he has accepted the finality of things but he still battles with some issues. We , as a family are his support structure and that is one of the most important factors that the patient need when he is down.