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Thread: Just found out father has cancer, not sure how to deal?

  1. #1

    Just found out father has cancer, not sure how to deal?

    I'm in my mid-20's and I just found out my father (mid-50's) has cancer. I don't know how to handle this situation. I have known people whom have had cancer, but that was either when I was very young or they were not relatives of me.

    I feel like at my age, I should be able to handle this situation, but I don't know what to do. I'm scared. I've had a pit in my stomach for days. My boyfriend and I have been dating for 3 years, and I can't even tell him what's going on. I can't bring myself to do it. I also don't know how to talk about it. Do I tell my friends? my boss? my professors (i'm in grad school) So that they know, I will be dealing with some pretty serious issue and maybe absent or pre-occupied?

    Right now, I want to go out with my boyfriend and tell him in person. But, I feel as though I should be spending time with my dad, even though I feel somewhat uncomfortable in his presences.

    Is this a normal way to feel? Am i acting immature for my age?

    I've never had to deal with anything like this before. I'm not sure how to feel or act. Opinions, advice are welcome.

  2. #2
    Hi, I can relate, because I am in a similar situation.I as well just found out (last month) that my mom has cancer. I'm 28. She's 51. I would tell your boss so you can be excused from work when you feel necessary. I would tell your college, for the same reason. As for your friends thats up to you. I'm leary about telling people. Its on a person by person basis, if I feel like telling them or not...usually not. If you really love your boyfriend then you should tell him, so he knows why you are a bit disconnected from the relationship...and doesnt think its because of him...because you will probably be acting different. Even if you dont realize it. Sorry about your situation. It really sucks. And I hope your dad does okay w/everything he is and will be going through. The best way to act-is positively. Try to keep negative thoughts out of your head...though sometimes you just cant help it. I think everything will work out the way it should...and I'm trying to enjoy every possible moment w/my mom. Just take it one day at a time. I hope that helps a little.

  3. #3
    Experienced User
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Hi, Meg 317:
    It is completely normal to feel the way you do. A diagnosis of cancer is a scary and difficult thing to face, whether it be you or a loved one.

    I, too, am a grad student and I would suggest contacting (email is probably fine) the Office of the Dean of Students at your school to inform them of your father's illness. A formal notification from them to your professors will ease your worries about having to tell them personally if you do not wish.

    Does your school offer any kind of psychological support? Where I am, we have an excellent counseling center where students can go at no cost if they have the school's health insurance and if not, at a minimal fee if they are enrolled. They have professionally trained staff who are there to help clients cope with the feelings you are having. It really helps to have a somewhat objective audience (as you might have found since you joined the forum).

    I know you will find a way through this difficult time. It is very normal to be emotional, scared, freaked out. I am sure your boyfriend loves you very much; put yourself in his place. Wouldn't you want to know if something such as this happened in his family? He should be there for you just as you would be for him. Stay strong, and know that it's okay to be upset and distracted.

    My thoughts are with you and your family.

  4. #4

  5. #5
    Regular User
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    United Kingdom
    Hi, sorry to hear you are going through this difficult period. There is no "normal" way to react to hearing a loved one has cancer. It is something we are never prepared for. Alot of the emphasis is on the person who has had the diagnosis of cancer, with family and friends being sidelined. Personally speaking, ( I was diagnosed with breast cancer 2 years ago at the age of 31), I found people were tiptoeing around me and frightened to say things, I would so much more appreciated them being honest with me and saying how they really felt. I went for counselling, not long after my diagnosis and I continue to do so, so I feel I have really had alot of mental healing which I needed, but my poor family, I can see they still struggle with all what has happened.
    It is a horrid predicament to be in but you need to talk to people including your boyfriend ! and please dont be berating yourself thinking you are being immature, my father who was 57 when i was diagnosed has barely mentioned my diagnosis to me in almost 2 years, not because he doesnt care, but he just cant believe it has happened to his daughter and as i said isnt doing much talking.
    Be kind to yourself and be there for your dad.

  6. #6

    Just found out father has cancer, not sure how to deal?

    Hello Meg317,

    I too just found out that my dad has cancer about three weeks ago and that there is nothing the doctors can do for him. After being in hospital we (my sisters and I) took him home and dedcided to make him comfortable and to make every second with him count. He knows that he has cancer and his faith is so strong that he has accepted this. He is not angry or aggressive.

    I know how you feel but you need to talk to the people around you. You would be surprised at how understanding and supportive they can be. The last thing you need right now is to hold back on your feelings and not talk to anyone. My thoughts and prayers are for all the people who have loved ones or are in the same siuation as us. Talk to your dad and let him know how much he means to you.

    Take care and God bless


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