Thankyou for taking the time and expressing your thoughts and feelings. It is a horrible experience to see someone you love with all your heart being taken bit by bit everyday. I am trying to keep in contact with friends, but you feel that you are making them depressed also. It is my birthday next week and I know it will be the last one I have while my Dad is alive. I went to buy him a Christmas card and burst into tears in the shop. It is a dreadful fear of losing my Dad. I just cannot imagine life without him in it. I am terrified about what is to come for my Dad. I just do not want to see him suffer. I know I am waffling on but I dont know what to say. Everyday i get up and wish it is all a dream.I am ok then a mad thought or memory comes into my head and I cry. I really feel everyones loss and thankyou all for your support.
Leaping tech, I agree it feels like a dream/nightmare. I keep hoping I will wake up one morning to learn it was just that...it is hard looking at my dad knowing there is not that much time left. Only months ago he looked so much healthier and stronger.
It is all so scary...there will be a huge emptiness when our dad's our gone but we have no choice but to try to cope. For now I guess we have to try to be strong for our dad's and spend as much time with them as possible.
You are all very welcome. I now feel that I have something akin to empty nest syndrome now that my mum is now longer the primary focus of each and every waking & sleeping moment. I understand so much of what you are all writing. Myself, I had a shocking nervous breakdown 7 years ago and was up to the eyeballs on meds which I weaned myself off of 2 years later - I was living apart from my husband at the time and struggling with two young children after moving to the other side of the world. So... my poor family/parents thought I would never be able to cope with mum's illness and eventual death and would end up back in a psychiatric unit. However, of every member in my family I have coped the best. I had no choice but to pull my socks up and be there for my mum. She needed me to not just be there to care for her but to show her that I could and would cope with all that was eventually to pass. needless to say I would go home at night and crack up but each morning I went back with a smile on my face and had a great day with my mum. She passed knowing that her illness had actually become an incredible learning journey for me. I learnt to be strong, resourceful, to open my mouth and ask the doctors every conceivable question - always ask everything, it really helps to have as few unknowns as possible. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise as my mum passed knowing that I will never suffer from anxiety or depression again. I have faced my worst possible nightmare in the face and survived it. I actually attended my mum's funeral with a beaming smile. It felt great knowing she was no longer sick and suffering, was now resting someplace beautiful, and that I had given her the beautiful gift of my time, my love and care, and the knowledge that I was now as strong as she was. You are all going through the hardest part right now. What comes after is nothing in comparison. My husband likened it for my mum as death by a thousand cuts, never knowing when the end would be coming and just how much more we could all take. It felt as if my heart was being wrenched out each day. If your loved one's illnesses follow the same path as my mum's you will somehow know in your heart when the end is near even if, like me, you could never admit it to yourself. The gradual decline becomes clearer each. Their energy and interest in the world around them begins to ebb ever more. As they withdraw into themselves they also withdraw there energy connection with their loved ones. Your relationship loosens over the final couple of weeks as they speak and interact less. All you can do is care for them. This actually prepares you for when they take that final leap over. For mum she experienced a lot of physical discomfort which they gave her intravenous meds for. these put her into a sleep from which she never woke. She lasted for only 2 days then she just slipped away without a sound. It was beautiful. We were all so happy, which I too had heard people say yet could never understand. Happy she was no longer sick, happy the dreaded moment was nothing as I had feared, and happy that the daily dread we had all been living with was over. I could have cared for her forever if it meant I could have kept her. But as things progressed the quality of her life was such that it was a better thing for her to pass on. It was eventually easier to let her go. We no longer had to see her pain, and she no longer had to see that pain mirrored in our faces. The pain had just kept on reflecting between us, getting bigger and bigger . You will all cope, I have, and I was probably one of the weakest people on the face of the earth. Your journey ahead is huge, but make the best of it. Enjoy your loved ones and use the journey to help you become a better stronger person. Your loved one will then leave knowing they have left you strong, proud and capable of honouring their memory by living the rest of your life well, happily and with love. All the best, and much love, Phillipa.
My mum died of bile duct cancer in 2003, she was 64. She lived longer than they initially said she would (they said 6-9 months after initial dx, she lived 2 years), I miss her tremendously. My father couldn't cope without her and drunk himself to death about a year later.
I am not sure if you read my post on Nxx about what happened to my dad but I lost my dad on Thanksgiving a little over 2 weeks ago. His prognosis was 2 to 3 months and he lived exactly 3 months. My dad was my everything and I was his. I was his only daughter and the youngest of 4. I am his little girl always and forever but I cant take that I dont have him around anymore to tell it to me. To tell me he loves me and is proud of me. I wake up every morning and for 3 seconds, I dont remember anything. then it all comes back to me. I wake up in the middle of the night and cant sleep thinking about how much I want him back and the truth i think is that this feeling will never go away. I miss everything that used to annoy me the way dads can be annoying. Making sure everytime I leave to go out the door I have pepperspray in my purse and that my car is running fine and has enough oil and fluids, making sure I have everything I need, calling all the time just because they want to make sure im okay. I wish I could stop this pain from ever happening to you or anyone going through this. It is the most unfair thing in life to have to watch someone you love die. I have also like you always ccomparing the way i could have lost my dad. Asking if it would have been easier through an accident or this cancer. And there is really no easy way. My dads doctor told my dad that this should be viewed as a blessing when we were leaving the hospital going home on hospice care. He said that no everyone has the chance to share whatever time they have left with the people they love and that love them. But honestly he was so sick from the toxin build up in his body from liver failuar that he could not communicate with us so that one week when we came home from the hospital was filled with us trying to keep him here with us. Getting him to eat and drink, trying to make him stay awake to talk with us, to try to say just one word. The only words he never forgot to say though were I love you. I would kiss him goodnight everynight and no matter how out of it he was he always said i love you back. So I guess even though its so hard to see it as a blessing maybe it was in a way. Just to be able to hear those words everynight. His doctor also told me and my mom it would be a peaceful way to pass away. That with liver cancer most patients just go to sleep one night and dont wake up, no suffering. But the whole 3 months he suffered. And I slept in his room with him his last night and I can tell you he suffered. if you want to hear more about it I am willing to share. That is one question I kept asking myself the whole time, every minute after another is how much longer?.. that question is the worst question of all. I have never lost anyone before. Never lost a friend, grandparents died when I was young so I dont remember, and never even been close so it was so hard to not know what to expect. But like everyone else is writing and you know yourself, spend time with your dad. Say things you are afraid to say. Get real with him. Tell him how scared you are and how you cant imagine life without him and how you dont think you can go on. My boyfriend gave me that advise. I took in an one week before he passed we were in the hospital and were alone so I just started crying and tol dhim how scared I was and how amazing he was and how much I love him. He wiped my tears away from my face.
I know its easy advice to give than to actually do because it means talking about death with the person who is dying and it just makes it all to real but what you get is strength from eachother and the rest of the time you can look eachother in the eyes with nothing but love instead of those unspoken words. This is a nightmare and one that will be with us for the rest of our lives, but dont let the nightmare haunt the moments you still have.
Thanks Mel for your great post. I will have to read it over a few times as I am feeling so tired right now from the stress. I will follow up with some questions, likely tomorrow, so hope you do not mind answering.
I just cannot seem to talk to my dad about what is about to happen. Also, I am not sure he wants to talk about this as it is all so scary and unbeliavable to us. I know he is afraid of what will happen but by talking about it I think I will just scare him more. He tries to keep his mind on other things so I wonder whether I should try talking about things you said you spoke to your dad about.
This is all so surreal, a horrendous nightmare. I wake every hour at night with streams of thoughts about my dad, his pain, how things will be without him, etc. It is so brutal but yet when I go to his place I see him there, alive, talking and even at times laughing-my mind cannot grasp what is going on (how can he be sitting here, talking, watching tv, etc. yet at the same time dying-I cannot comprehend this).
You are lucky as you have other siblings. It is just me and my parents. I wish I had siblings that could help carry this burden... Also, I have never lost anyone close to me before apart from my grandfather but I was only a small child then and didn't understand anything.
I want to speak to him about all our past problems, about what is going to happen, etc. but I am afraid, yet it is probably best we speak about difficult things while we still have a chance as perhaps later I will regret it. Watching me or my mom cry only makes it more difficult for him but I cannot talk to him about such things without crying...
While you were going through this with your dad, how were you able to continue going to work, etc. I find going to work to be so meaningless compared to the gravity of what is happening-it really puts things into perspective. How we spend our lives worrying about the meaningless, spending energy on things that do not warrant any attention to then realize what the really important in life is all about.
I also wonder whether I caused the cancer given that my dad was always stressed by worries about me and my problems over all these years. We had a strained relationship because of me so I now really worry that maybe his cancer is because of me. I can't live with this thought as I love him even though i never really showed it all these years. I feel so egotistical now; how I regret not having been a different person to him all these years.
If I could I would trade places with my dad-he is a much better person than I. He deserves to live, not I.
Sorry to hear the bad news. I just recently lost my mom on november 27th to liver cancer. It was a long year. I watched the strongest person i know deteriorate before my eyes. I didnt want to believe what i was seeing. There is no advice i can give you for what your going through except spend every minute with that person and to treat every day as if it were their last. I did everything with my mom and made her comfortable for her last days.. I miss her so much and would do anything just to talk with her for 5 more mins. I wish you the best of luck and stay strong for yourself as well as your loved one.
At some points reading your message i thought I was the one writing it. It is the hardest thing i have ever made myself do in my life is talk to my dad about it. The difference i think though about where your dad is at now, it seems, and where my dad was at when i talked to him. When I finally got the courage to try my dad was 1 1/2 weeks away from death. He could barely stay away enough to even answer a simple question like how are you, or do you want to sit up in the bed? The doctors came into the room to talk with us every morning and my dad tried to react to what was going on around him but just couldnt. Staring off into space even when someone was talking to him, sleeping but with his eyes open. There were one 2 moments that my dad came "back" to us. It was the last day we were at the hospital a week before he died. And the doctor came in and told us he had 2 days to 2 months left because his cancer had spread. My dad seemed to be staring off into space but it wasnt until the doctor left the room that I saw he was crying. I thought at first "oh my god whats wrong?" because he had just been so unresponsive to everything going on and being said around him. But then I knew. He had heard and understood what just happened. And I just broke down with him. I hugged him and held him and he held me. I took that moment where he was "back" to tell him how much I love him and how scared I was. Boston1 it is the hardest thing you will probably ever have to do but while your dad is still "there" you need to tell himm everything your feeling. I didnt want to talk to my dad because I didnt think he wanted to talk about it either, but the truth is everyone is scared. Your dad is scared. You and your mom are scared. But someone has to be the one to go first. And for your dads sake and your own dont let the chance slip by.
I do have 3 other brothers but I will tell you, they werent there helping me for the 3 months my dad was sick. It was just me, my mom and my dads brother and sister. I was supposed to leave to go to grad school when my dad got sick. I had already quit my job and was 2 days away from flying oversees when i took him to the hospital when we found out what was wrong. Since the day I took him to the ER for vomiting and stomach pain, I stayed at home with him. Just me. My mom had to work since my dads income wasnt coming in anymore. I know how hard it has to be going on with life, while all the while your life is stopping at the same time. I know how angry you must feel for having to work, my mom felt the same way the whole time. Its unfair that when you or someone you love gets sick, work and financial issues become a part of the burden too. Life should no be like that. I am not sure if FMLA might work for you and I know it just protects your job and in no way makes sure you are finacially okay during the time, but maybe some time off to spend with your dad would be something to consider. I know there would have been no way I could have kept working, or going to school if it hadnt happened at the perfect time. And perfect is an awful word to use but he was addmited to the hospital 2 days before I was to leave to go to europe to study for 2 years! I am not religious in the way anyone would concider someone to be religious but I believe someone was looking out for us.
And No you did not give your dad cancer! It is not in any way possible, no matter how much stress or trouble you were for him. If causing stress on someone gave them cancer, No one in this world would make it passed middle school. I hope this doesnt sound mean, because it is not at all intended to be mean. You can try to twist it around in your head as much as you want that your dads sickness is in someway related to your behavior or things you said or did to cause him pain and stress, but when it comes down to it Boston1, cancer is just the evil of all evils. Sometimes it happens to people who have no reason to get it. We know Smoking can lead to cancer, but not all smokers get cancer. We know genetics play a role in someones risk for cancer. In my dads case he had HEP C which caused his liver cancer and he didnt even know how he got HEP C. Your feelings for casuing his cancer are all the more reason you should force yourself to talk to your dad. Tell him that is how you feel. Every parent-child relationship has its bumps in the road. I had one with my dad when I was in my teens. But thats just human nature. Dont let your ego get in the way of mending your relationship with him. the whole saying "Its never too late.." is stupid in a way because it could be too late.
I was up the other night for 2 hours crying. I went to bed and couldnt fall asleep. I kept seeing my dad in my head sick, in pain and it made my heart physically hurt like it was trying to drop out of my chest. And even know writing this it is hurting so bad.. I am not saying by talking to your dad everything will be better, that you will have said everything you needed to tell him and even after the worse has happened you wont regret anything. I tried to tell myself that and just the last few days I realize that even though I talked to my dad about it, there are so many things I wish I would have said too, and things I would have done differently while I was taking care of him. And that is just the way it will be I guess, but At least the things I said to him are a few less things I will have to regret not having said now. My dad was the best person I knew. I would give anything to take his place.
I wish I could take this away from you. I just wish that no one would ever have to go through this. I hope you have not been offended by anything I have said and I really hope. I just know what it is like to be at that point you are at, and not knowing at all in the world what to do. I hope that thing things I have said from my experience have helped you in some way. Again please ask me anything you want. Anything you can think of.
Firstly my prayers are with you.It is really weird as ur thread topic was almost what i was thinking as i was about to post here to ask for help.Just last week i was told by the liver specialist treating my dad that he has liver cancer and it is about 12 cms, so very large.They could not operate and do resection due to its size and hence chemoembolosation was performed with the hope that that will shrink the tumour and if possible try and resect it after couple of months depending on how things fan out.I just detailed out what has been done to him in case it helps you.
With regards to dealing with the situation i am exactly the same as you.I just cannot cope with even the thought let alone think of the final consequence.The doctor did not give any definite timeline, but i am taking if the chemoembolisation is not working then it will be very difficult.As of now i dont want to think of that,After 2 weeks they will do scans again and can more definitively tell me how things stand.I have been crying uncontrollably and finding it very hard to cope.But i am trying my best to be strong.
Don't think about the time-limit i would suggest.That was making me lose hope too easily, too soon.My dad needs me right now and I need to be strong to be there for him.
It would be nice to hear about ur dad's progress.Don't lose hope.