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nisa
43 Posts
Hi, I have been deal with my Dad’s diagnosis of kidney cancer. He had his kidney and a 15 lbs cancer mass removed back in November. All was going well and they said no more treatment was required. He had a fall this past week and after yet another CT scan, we have been told there is cancer in both sides of his brain. I am devastated and in shock. I am not sure how to process all this. To top it all off with COVID, and I live in a hot spot, I can not spend time with my Father. I am heartbroken and not sure how I can properly support my parents. I am typically very active in my parents lives but have not been able to see them since first diagnosis. I feel trapped and like I should be doing more. We live an hour apart. I talk to Mom often so been in the loop with all that is going on. 
7 Replies
Brighty
6286 Posts
nisa‍ I'm so very sorry for you and your family.    My heart goes out to you.    What you are doing now...just keep doing it.    Be in touch, ask what they need and you can possibly  arrange  for grocery  or meal delivery...from a delivery service or neighbour. ..cleaning crew to help with house hold chorse if allowed now....a neighbor  to check in regularily ... be involved with the health  care team.... perhaps  3 way calls if allowed....as well  if your parents  know how to zoom you can set up zoom meetings and have meals together  that way,  play games  together  on zoom if your father  is up to it....maybe even send care packages  to your parents with things you know they might like.    Books ,magazines. ..art...etc.     and for you....do you have  anyone to support you or be there for you?  Someone to talk to might be beneficial or a 'social distanced 'walk with a friend might help you get things off your chest as well as have someone  else to bounce more ideas off of.   Please let us know how you are doing.    
Trillium
829 Posts
nisa‍ - so sorry you have this shock of a brain cancer diagnosis for your dad. It must be so hard for everyone in your family. I cant add to the wonderful suggestions from Brighty‍ except to give you some links you may find helpful. Keep talking to us. We are here for you. Try to ensure your parents are connected with the social worker at the cancer clinic your dad is associated with. Also Cynthia Mac‍  was a caregiver for her dad with cancer and will add her experience here for you too. Hopefully we will hear from some of our newer caregivers about what helped them.

All of these caregiver programs and webinars are free. I have taken the https://ontariocaregiver.ca/scale-program/ which is for caregivers (non-paid non-professional) of any kind. For example a friend, family member or neighbour. It was so good for me at the binning of my sons journey with testicular cancer. His dad also had brain cancer.
 

Caregivers Taking care of ourselves

https://www.cancer.ca/en/cancer-information/living-with-cancer/caregiving/taking-care-of-yourself/?region=on

 

https://cancerconnection.ca/discussions/viewtopic/35/57052#coping-with-a-parent-s-diagnosis-

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

Warm hugs
Trillium
Whitelilies
845 Posts
nisa‍ Hello and welcome to our caring community....I am so sorry to hear about your dad.......of course your family is in shock......it is shocking to hear this....yet once again.....
Some terrific ideas were mentioned above......
I know you live an hour apart.....are you able to  "see" your dad, from a small distance?  ie he sits on porch, and you are "with him"...6ft apart.....I understand hot spot....I do.....but keeping distance is following the rules, and you can "see him". If apartment....can you simply be there and "wave"....just seeing him, will bring you joy, and him as well.
Make a huge bristol board, with loving words to show him......Plan your calls.....so that he can look forward to the 6pm call.....make notes of his medical journey....so you can have input too.

Many hospitals have a care team/oncology....mine had a Psychiatrist/only for Oncology patients and their loved ones......you can make an appt and talk (all free)...they can give sage advice. (social worker too, on the care team.....Dietician too, in case he needs foods supports).

My dad has colon cancer.  He was 88 when he found out/last year.  He is now 89.
I too am on the colon cancer journey.......

Please know we are all here, for you, your dad, your family.
We understand.

Keep sharing,
Whitelilies
Cynthia Mac
2928 Posts
Hi, nisa‍ , I am sorry to hear about your dad’s diagnosis. I was primary caregiver for my Dad over the course of his journey with lung cancer. I understand what it’s like to believe everything’s going along fine then “bam” — sudden news hits you and knocks the wind right out of you.

Dad was in the middle of his 2-year immunotherapy program when the pandemic hit, and that also happened to be the time when I was returning from a trip I had booked before his Mets were diagnosed the previous summer. The province went into lockdown just 8 days after I got home, and suddenly, my “break” got extended, because I couldn’t even visit him, let alone get him to treatments. As you’re finding out, that put a whole different level of stress on an already tenuous situation.

You’ve had some good suggestions already, so re-read those posts when you get some time.

What are your strengths?
Are you good with technology? If so, you can pick up their computer and put Zoom on it for them, and write them out a step-by-stop instruction card.
Are you a good organizer? If so, you could create a book for your dad so all his health records can be kept in one place.
Are you someone who can “drill into” a situation, and piece together clues? If so, you could research questions they could ask the doctors
Are you a good baker? You could make a nice batch of banana bread, lasagna or other freezable dish to save your mom cooking.
In short, If you can draw on your strengths to do things for your parents, it will keep you from having to reinvent a wheel.

Do you have a good line of communication with your mom? If so, you can have a little heart-to-heart to find out exactly what she needs — maybe all she needs is some flowers for a pick-me-up, and maybe you’ll need to drive out to do a door-drop of groceries. Maybe you can arrange to have your dad’s meds delivered to the home to save her having to step away from your dad. 

My experience has shown that I can get a lot done when I can channel my anxiety and worry into tasks that will move the situation along.

Please come by when you hav a chance, and let us know how your and your Dad are doing.
nisa
43 Posts
Good morning,

Today Dad is going to met with the radiologist and getting an x-ray done. I talked to him last night and he is in good spirits. I was telling my Mom that I will be going to be COVID tested then isolate till results are in and want to visit after that. She is not comfortable with the idea. I am hoping she changes her mind and will go through with testing and isolating. I have not actually seen my Dad since August and need to see him.  I am frustrated with all this covid restrictions, going through this. I am typically a strong support for my parents and visit often during the fall and winter when they are not at the cottage.  I did talk to my Brother yesterday and get his opinion on how Dad is actually doing, he is a brutally  honest person and I wanted his opinion. Now, my bother and I have not talked like I would like in years, he has grown distance so this was a big move on my part by calling him. I was sure to Thank him for stepping up since I cannot be there all the time to help. I live an hour away from all of them, he lives 5 mins away.  I did send parents instructions on how to install Zoom on their computer. I am a bit worried the camera I bough them years ago is not going to work so may have to purchase a new one and have it sent to them. Steps forward...

Thank you for all your suggestions and kind thoughts. I am glad I found this support.
nisa
43 Posts
Well we got some bad news. The cancer is also in his lungs. The radiologist wants to start radiation right after MRI. That is scheduled for Sunday. I am scare, nervous and a little angry. I am getting Covid test tomorrow so I can hopefully see my Dad soon. Not sure how much more I could take right now...
Tizzie 2020
40 Posts
Hi nisa‍, I am so sorry to hear about your Dad's condition.  I can understand your feelings of fear and frustration, especially in these days of the pandemic.  Remember that you have always been there - and been strong, for your parents.  I'm sure you will draw on that strength again and support them in the best possible way.  You are already doing things like reaching out to your brother to be kept in the loop and getting tested for Covid.  In the meantime, it sounds like your Dad's treatment plans are going ahead as quickly as possible, which is a positive thing. I hope it wont be too long before you're by their side once again and helping with your dad's treatment and recovery!  Hugs.       
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