Log in or Register to participate in these discussions

Don’t know what to do

Don’t know what to do

Posted by Heartbroken on Oct 7, 2019 11:51 pm

My name is lisa I’m 38 years of age and my dad has been battling cancer for the last six years had major surgery at 70
he has a rare cancer called jelly belly fast forward years later he’s 76 they can no longer operate and he’s been in palliative at home for the last year. He now can not eat anymore and barley any liquids 
he says he doesn’t want to fight anymore and no more Iv either
The drs and nurses say he doesn’t have much time and I’m just having a hard time dealing with this I just can’t bare the thought of never seeing him again or not having him there 
it’s tearing me apart. Any advice  would be greatly appreciated. 
Just  so devastated and heartbroken 


 

Re: Don’t know what to do

Posted by Lacey_adminCCS on Oct 8, 2019 8:23 am

Hi Heartbroken‍ 

Your name really says it all. I remember feeling heartbroken too when I got the call that my Dad was about to pass away. He was told he had about two months to live and passed after six weeks. He had been diagnosed just under a year before. In that moment I tried to take comfort in the fact that he was at home and dying on his terms the way he wanted to. It was the last gift we could give him- letting him go. Cancer had completely changed him and he no longer had much of a quality of life. So we surrounded him and told him it was okay. He passed quickly after all of us had a chance to see him.

The time period after was a bit of a fog. I got through it by leaning on and being with the the other people who loved him. I cried a lot and sometimes it would come on suddenly without warning, waves of grief. Four years later I still miss him and think of him everyday. Today it feels a little less heavy. I know that the most important thing for him is that his family is okay and living life. So I feel like I'm honoring him by living well. It takes time and you will likely need support. Don't hesitate to reach out for that support. Try and go easy on yourself too we could all use a little self compassion.

Six years is a long time. It sounds like he knows what he wants. As difficult as this decision is I'm sure he is thankful to have you by his side. Spend the time that you can with him, you will look back in the future and be so glad that you did. Follow your heart. 

I feel heartbroken for you. Try and take things one day at a time.

Hugs, 
Lacey

 

Re: Don’t know what to do

Posted by Bunniz99 on Oct 8, 2019 8:47 pm

Hi,  
My father had a rare cancer in his spinal cord and suffered for a long time before being diagnosed properly. And since it was wrapped around his spinal cord, not a whole lot of options. My sister and I were estranged from him at the time but we tried to make an effort. He hung on for about 5 years and I don't think we understand how much that took him. Towards the end, I think it had spread to his brain and beyond (not big on sharing information with his kids) and after a lot of fighting with him, I helped him get admitted to the hospital where he finally got some much needed pain relief. One of the last times I visited him, he finally admitted he was not doing well and not sure how much time he had. But wanted to know how long we (his daughters) wanted him to stick around for. He was willing to do what he could so we could be comfortable with him passing. We knew that we could not do this to him and he was not being fair to himself so after a lot of talking, he realized that we were giving him permission, so to speak, to pass. And we both told him that right to his face with smiles. The next day, he went into a coma and was gone a few days later. I am sure telling us that was not easy, admitting he was in pain and essentially asking for permission to go. It was very hard. And 15 years have passed and I still think about him a lot. Of course, getting my own personal Big C diagnosis brings a lot crashing down.  It is hard. It takes time. Go easy on yourself. Remember him lots. Don't be afraid to get help mentally. And don't forget to love him. Show him lots of love. Go and see him. Hold his hand. Talk to him. Reminisce. You will be glad you did. It will help. So cliche, but you will get through it.  Take care.

Bunniz99

Re: Don’t know what to do

Posted by Cynthia Mac on Oct 8, 2019 9:28 pm

Heartbroken‍ , my heart goes out to you, and I am crying with you.

When my Dad was diagnosed with a recurrence of his lung cancer this past summer, it took a long time for me to find a place of acceptance. Truth, there are still days when I’m not there.  My Dad has a rare, aggressive form of lung cancer that has metastasized to his liver.

The day I took my first step toward acceptance was the day I  said to the sky, “If his treatments are meant to work, please make them really work, and when his time comes, please allow him to have the highest quality of life he can have.”  I hope I can live those words when the day comes that I must.

The dilemma is that we don’t want them to go, but we also don’t want them to have a poor quality of life.

We have a lady on the site called Kims1961‍ . She has done a lot of work and study in the area of palliative and end-of-life phases. I have tagged her to see if she can offer you some solace.

Please come here to share whenever you need. There are people here who truly understand what you are going through.

Re: Don’t know what to do

Posted by Treepeo on Oct 8, 2019 9:43 pm

Hi Heartbroken‍,

I am so sorry to hear about your Dad.  My mother had stomach and bowel cancer.  After surgery, they gave her six months to live.  I was devastated, because we were extremely close.  But what I did was spend as much time with her as I could.  She also reiterated her wishes, which was to let her go when she said it was over.  And that is what we did.  She said she could feel her body shutting down and she didn't want any more pain, so we kept her medicated and she eventually passed peacefully.

I know how hard it is to watch your parents decline, and to know that their time is very limited.  But you have been a real support to your Dad all this time, and he knows you love him.  That is so important.  Hold his hand, tell him you love him, and just sit quietly with him so he is not alone.  And go ahead and have a good cry when you want to.  You need to acknowledge your own feelings as well, and give yourself permission to express them.  You are important, too.  My heart goes out to you.

Re: Don’t know what to do

Posted by Kims1961 on Oct 8, 2019 11:38 pm

Heartbroken‍  So very sorry about your dad. You have some excellent responses and I hope you are feeling the support from here.

My mom was given a cancer diagnosis and died 10 days later. It was so hard and I so wished we had more time with her. This experience started my own interest in death and dying.  When i was diagnosed with cancer, it became even more important that i know what will happen.

It sounds like you have a special relationship with your dad.  It also sounds like he trusts you enough to let you know his wishes.  Although difficult, it is an honour to be able to travel this journey with him. Such love.so hard.   Is he still at home? 

Do you also have other support with family? friends? Reaching out to others can help.  I'm sure it will ease your Dad's mind to know that you will be ok...sad for sure, missing him-absolutely but that he also gave you a life to live.

There are some good online resources on death and dying. 
Ted Talk - What I Learned About Life from Death:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZ-LI68xS8g

http://www.mygrief.ca/

https://www.hpco.ca/acp/

Grief is love pouring from our eyes.  Seek support as you need it.  Family doctors, social workers, grief groups all can be of assistance when you may need that support.  You are not alone.

Thank you for posting.  Please let us know how you're doing.  Kim

Re: Don’t know what to do

Posted by Runner Girl on Oct 9, 2019 9:40 am

Heartbroken‍ ,

I am so very sorry that you find yourself in this ever so difficult position.  Losing a parent is a very difficult event.  Know that he has fought the good fight for a number of years now, he is a brave soul.  And you are a brave daughter who will no doubt support her father in his last days and miss him terribly when he is gone.  I send you strength.

I have been heartbroken several times already in this life.  My younger sister died when she was 16 in a car accident in April, 1986.  My younger brother died when he was 17 in a car accident in August, 1986.  My dad died in May 2013 after being diagnosed with lung cancer, he refused treatment.  My mom died suddenly and unexpectedly from untreated diverticulitis in January, 2018 - this was a crushing blow for me and I'm still dealing with the grief as my time to grieve was cut short when I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in May, 2018.

As you go thru this difficult time know that we are with you and here to support you.

Runner Girl

Re: Don’t know what to do

Posted by LPPK on Oct 9, 2019 2:05 pm

Heartbroken‍  I am sorry to hear that your father is near the end of his life. Learning about and going through the end of life stages (https://www.crossroadshospice.com/hospice-caregiver-support/end-of-life-signs/)   with my father during the last 7 days of his life was a privilege I am thankful for. I was able to take that time off work to be at the hospital with him.  The thing that helped me the most was being in the room with him along with my brother, sister in law, husband and myself where we reminisced about his life, being a father, grandfather and great grandfather.   Tears were shed; sometimes from sorrow but also from laughter at the many things that made up my father's personality. Just being by his side, even after he slipped into a coma, helped me to say goodbye. 

I hope you have the chance to sit with him during his last few days.
 

Re: Don’t know what to do

Posted by CentralAB on Oct 9, 2019 3:37 pm

Heartbroken:
My name is lisa I’m 38 years of age and my dad has been battling cancer for the last six years had major surgery at 70
he has a rare cancer called jelly belly fast forward years later he’s 76 they can no longer operate and he’s been in palliative at home for the last year. He now can not eat anymore and barley any liquids 
he says he doesn’t want to fight anymore and no more Iv either
The drs and nurses say he doesn’t have much time and I’m just having a hard time dealing with this I just can’t bare the thought of never seeing him again or not having him there 
it’s tearing me apart. Any advice  would be greatly appreciated. 
Just  so devastated and heartbroken 


 

 
Thank you for sharing this with us. Id be willing to bet this topic will now help others as they come to this site looking for help/support. When my Dad died, we only had about a week's notice, and people from out of province had to decide weather or not to come, as it was a challenge for some to drop everything and come running. The biggest question most people had when they got to the hospital for that "final" visit, was "What do I say?" "I dont know what to do when I go in there." I didnt know the best thing to say, so I just told them what I told myself....say it whatever way its in your heart. Tell him what you need to tell him. He can still understand you, even if he cannot respond, etc. This "advice" I gave out really helped everyone during those difficult moments.

BTW, there is a book from Kindle you might appreciate called "Awake At The Bedside." it has a lot of very helpful perspective in it.

Re: Don’t know what to do

Posted by Scostley on Oct 10, 2019 1:01 pm

I am so sorry that you are going through this. It's difficult to see our parents suffering, especially at your young age. 
When my mom was sick I started asking her questions about when she was younger and her thoughts as she got older, had a career, married and had children. Then I wrote down her answers and made a book with the questions and the answers along with pictures. We worked on it together and were able to give a copy to the rest of my siblings and their kids her last Christmas with us.She loved answering further questions that came up about her life. Now the younger generation has an idea of what an amazing grandma they had. 
I don't know if your dad is still able to have these kinds of conversations but I know that it helped my mom distract her from the pain and I think gave her something to look forward to. I wish I was able to do the same thing with my dad. I was only 29 when he passed.  
Sending you prayers and strength to help get through this. 💗

Re: Don’t know what to do

Posted by Smashley on Oct 12, 2019 7:04 am

I’m so sorry for what you’re going through. It’s not easy watching someone you love so much “give up the fight” even if it’s not related to cancer. 
I have cancer and so I see the other side of it. I have brain cancer and eventually I will loose function on the left side of my body. I could end up in a wheel chair and need care 24/7. The thought of one of my family members going through this I cannot live with. Maybe it sounds selfish to hope the cancer grows into my brain stem and I pass before my family is tied down looking after me.As a parent myself I do not wish my kids to see me unable to take care of myself, nor do I want my kids’ futures to be all about my care. I don’t want to be remembered that way. I’m sure your father has his reasons and they likely run much deeper than you think. I know you think the way you do because you love him and he is likely thinking the things he is because he loves you. It’s a strange kind of love but it is love! Sending love and prayers to you. 

Re: Don’t know what to do

Posted by SLM on Oct 12, 2019 9:02 am

I am so sorry for what you are going through.  Know that you are not alone.  Seek solace knowing that your Dad knows how much you love him.  It is reciprocal.  Cherish the days that you have with your Dad.  Have no regrets.  Tell him what you want him to hear and know he feels the love around him. 

Take care of you and your family.
SLM