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Thread: Double-Whamy, 2 parents in one year

  1. #1
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    Nov 2017
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    Unhappy Double-Whamy, 2 parents in one year

    This year has been full of firsts for me.
    The first time I moved away from home.
    The first time I attended uni.
    The first time I evacuated my house because of an imminent fire threat.
    The first time I have had a parent diagnosed with cancer.
    The first time I've had both parents diagnosed with cancer.

    I remember being told at the start of this year that the experiences that take place during the first year of uni are life changing and boy could that not have been more right... I wish it wasn't though. Because this year there was one six letter word in particular that had the biggest impact on my life. Cancer. They say that cancer doesn't have a face until it's affected someone you know and in this case, the face of cancer is both of my parents. Both of my best friends. I've learnt this year that both mom & dad aren't completely invisible and despite being positive through both of their treatments I've cried. A lot. I think what I'm truly finding the hardest about this is that on the same day as my dad was told (a couple of weeks ago) that he's recovering, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. Can we not just have a break? I'm also struggling with the fact that when dad went through radiation there was no noticeable change in him apart from being tired. But with mom's chemo, theres noticeable physical changes - like her hair being gone and its hard knowing that she is being affected by these side-effects just like everyone else who experiences chemo is.

    I don't really know what I'm asking but I guess I'm wondering if anyone has had this experience of having 2 parents diagnosed with in a year, or even having parents diagnosed while you're at college and how you're supposed to process and deal with that?

    Thanks
    Holly

  2. #2
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    Nov 2018
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    3
    Hi Holly,

    Iím sorry this is the first answer to your thread and a very late one at that.

    Iím a senior in college currently and my father was first diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia when I was a sophomore. It was right before winter break (Literally, right before. I got the call as I was about to take my last final exam). So thankfully, I was to be home for the next month+ anyhow, and was able to be there with him at the hospital during his treatment and didnít have to worry about school.

    Fast forward 1.5 years, and he relapsed with a more agressive mutation. And, this news came smack in the middle of the first semester of my senior year. And, heís refused treatment and will be passing away in the very near future. Weeks. The very best thing you can do is to talk directly to your professors. Tell them exactly whatís going on and talk about your options. One of my professors excused me from attending or doing any more work for the rest of the semester. Iíd earned my A from all of my hard work thus far. Others excused me from the absence policy, saying that as long as I could hand in all major assignments from home, thatíd be enough. And I was given more time to complete nearly everything.

    I guess the moral is, rather than going to university higher-ups, start with your professors. Theyíre the ones who know your work, how you perform, and what youíre like. Higher-ups do not have that connection to/with you and will be more inclined to do things ďby the bookĒ, probably.

    In my situation, I only had one parent diagnosed. I canít imagine the pain youíre going through/have went through with two. Talk to a trusted prof about your options and donít hesitate to take time off if you need to.

    All best,
    Meg

 

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