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Can’t find any hope
TayTaythor
4 Posts
Hello, 
my father last year was diagnosed with colon rectal cancer. For whatever reason they could not stage his cancer and said it was to complex to stage as they didn’t know. In his CT and MRI they said they found some spots on his lungs but they weren’t worried and they were super small, PHEW it didn’t spread. 

in September he has his full rectum removed and he did amazing! His recovery was extremely flawless I was absolutely shocked! The doctor shook his hand and said congrats your cancer free! 

Three months later he has a scan that they are now concerned about the spots on his lungs and he needs to come in. They said the spots are now 6 mm and they still couldn’t give us any answers. A surgeon said he can remove the top half of his lungs so biopsy them but my dad was like uh no. They also said there was a spot on his liver they knew about the whole time but didn’t want to upset us more. 

he is starting chemo again this Friday to see if the lung spots go away. The original nodule
on his liver was diagnosed as a cyst and now they are not sure. I am a funeral director and I see these things everyday. I’m not sure why but the first time I heard about the cancer I felt so much hope and this time I’m planning his funeral in my head. I am trying to hard to remain hopeful but in my head it has spread and there is no hope. My dad seems to be in good spirits but we are getting the run around and no one seems to know what is going on. I am stressed beyond belief and dealing with grieving families everyday has been a nightmare. I apologize for my bad grammar as I am typing this while crying. 

I am asking for advice on how to stay hopeful? I feel like I have no one to talk to in regards to this as I am the one telling everyone to be hopeful and I can’t practice what I preach. 

thank you all for reading and I hope nothing but healing and good health to all 

Love Taylor 
5 Replies
SQLC
9 Posts
I am sorry to hear what you are going through. My husband also was told after chemo and surgery that they were able to get all. Then, three months later an MRI revealed that they didn’t get it all. So he is back on chemo and maybe more surgery.
,
I only know what works for me. That is to try not to think into the future but rather in the moment. Sometimes when I do let my mind wander I know that we will not be that elderly couple pushing the cart down the grocery aisle, but I try not to go there too often. I do have days where I am sad and cry but I try to have my cry and move on. My daughter is going through a messy divorce with two small children so I know how hard it is to be hopeful at times. Just put one foot in front of the other and keep going. I hope this helps.
Kuching
218 Posts
TayTaythor‍ I am sorry for what you are going through.  Such a letdown after he was declared cancer free.  BUT - the liver cyst could still just be a cyst.  And the lung spots are still small - I have one that’s 25mm, discovered 18 months  ago, and I’m still doing fine.  So there is no reason to give up hope.  

I never heard of having part of a lung removed just to do a biopsy.   There are better ways!  Also, has he had a PET scan, or just CT and MRI?  Because a PET scan will be more likely to show whether these various lumps are actually cancerous or not - as I understand it, it measures glucose levels, which indicates something is going on (or not), rather than just taking pictures.

Keep in mind that, in your line of work, you only get to see the non-survivors.  There are plenty of survivors out there too!  Hang in there!
TayTaythor‍ 

Polyanna hope. I sense the deep despair that lies behind your words. As a funeral director I can only imagine what it is like to be around death all day but then when it comes knocking on your on family's door, the reality of it settles in.

I find though that hope is a strange thing. There is the rah rah "Things will get better" hope. But I find for myself that a deep sense of "It is what it is" is much more calming. Realistic acknowledgement of the situation, then assessing what I can do. and taking action go a long way to providing a sense of stability.

One of my friends calls death "a gravity problem. There isn't much we can do about gravity. It is there and it works in a certain way. The trick is to learn to work with it. Death is like that. It is certain. One of the few things in life that is. I think hope is the same way. Creating hope in the face of death requires learning to work with that reality.

So I take breaks. I focus on some things for me. I do find that talking with others helps though it takes special people to be able to talk about death with. I find myself looking for ways to make memories for those around me.

Thanks for sharing your struggle. May you find peace in the midst of it.

Angus
Trillium
829 Posts
TayTaythor‍ - I remember all too well how happy my son and his doctor as well as myself were, when the Dr shook my sons hand and said congratulations you are cancer free. The relief was tremendous. That was 4 months ago and it seemed to be much easier just doing our recent follow up appointment but with that nagging fear still in the background,  about the spots and that all may not be fine.

I’m so sorry your fathers follow up tests were not all fine and that he and your family has found yourselves once again facing chemotherapy and many unknowns. Although my son was all clear on testing a few weeks ago there has been other problems with his health that started since chemo ended. Yesterday was his birthday and his nurse from his care team called me to say that his cognition has declined and I need to assist them with him getting blood work done etc. His heart rate is still high after a second med trial to control this and his blood pressure is too low. He is now being referred to an internal medicine doctor to try and sort this out. I did not know what an internal medicine doctor was and had to look it up. So it seems we too are back on the train that started with testicular cancer but may end up somewhere else again. I have cried and have to think about it this way: This is life. Some people like my son have had more hardships to deal with than others but it is how life is for some people and those that love him do the best we can to help ease his burden and suffering. That is the best we can do but we still have to live our lives in such a way to also be there for others that we love.

Losing a parent is very difficult. You can imagine what it will be like and feel the pain when they are sick and you worry about how awful it will be when they do die but the pain is much worse than you imagined. A parent is someone who has deeply known you,  longer than anyone else in the world. They have been there to guide you and protect you and you know you can go home for comfort anytime you need to. When your parents die it is a great and painful loss. I lost both my parents in the last few years and I think I will always feel the pain from the hole in my heart.

May you find some peace and comfort in your days ahead.
 
Trillium
829 Posts
Hello TayTaythor‍ - Here is a quote from the CCS diagnosed cancer guide on hope and if you have not seen these links you may find them helpful:
https://www.cancer.ca/en/cancer-information/living-with-cancer/your-emotions-and-cancer/?region=on

Hope

Hope is the feeling of wanting something to happen. Some people find it easy to be hopeful – it helps them cope with the hard things happening right now. But you might find it hard to find any hope in what is a tough experience. And that’s OK. You don’t have to pretend to feel a certain way if you don’t.

Hope is very important to many people with cancer and their loved ones, but it’s also important to keep a balance between realistic hope and false hope. Having a realistic picture of the future helps you make better decisions about your treatment and any long-term plans you may have.

Caregiver guide:
https://www.cancer.ca/en/cancer-information/living-with-cancer/caregiving/?region=on

https://www.cancer.ca/en/cancer-information/living-with-cancer/your-relationships-and-cancer/adult-children-of-parents-with-cancer/?region=on

A thread about having a parent with cancer 
https://cancerconnection.ca/discussions/viewtopic/35/57052#coping-with-a-parent-s-diagnosis-

Warm hugs for you and your family
Trillium

 

 

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