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My beloved daddy is dying. Cant' believe I'm typing this - I feel the need to do soemthing positive - what did others do in this sitaution?

(16 Posts)
lisalisa Tue 31-May-11 13:51:30

My dad means everything to me . I have no brothers or sisters and mum and I are not particularly close. Dad and I have a special bond. He has lived with a slow growing form of cancer for about 6ish years and it has never really troubled him until now. Then a few weeks ago he got a chest infection and the slow growing cancer has - we were told this morning - mutated into something much nastier and more aggressive. If he doesnt' throw off the infection there is nothing they can do to help him.

Even if he does they think he is too weak for chemo.

Poor mum was terribly brave this morning - I have been very stoic and practical till now but broke down when the doctors were telling us.

Right now I feel as if my heart is breaking inside me - the pain feels very real.

I feel the need to use the last few days or weeks productively and apart from spending as much time with dad as I can what else did others do in this situation?

Dad said this morning for first time that he feels he is getting weaker and weaker and just wnts to go home. Is that possible or will they insist on a hospice?

fortyplus Tue 31-May-11 14:02:06

Check out 'Hospice at Home' services - our local one is Iain Rennie. Hospices rely on charity funding so can't always give care to everyone who'd benefit.

Right now you're probably numb with the shock of the bad news - but what you maybe don't realise is that you're already starting the grieving process for the loss of your dad. This can be helpful as you still have time to share a lot of happy memories with him. Sorry if that sounded blunt but you can enjoy the time left with him. My own dad died 7 years ago and it was very raw for the first couple of years. It's really difficult to go through the loss of a parent, especially if you don't have siblings for support. I'm 50 so most of my close friends have also lost a parent by now - I know what a tough time you're facing.

lisalisa Tue 31-May-11 14:15:38

Thank you fortyplus - am thinking to spend as much time a possible with him. I've already been at the hospital all day most days for last 3 weeks which is a bit difficult as I have 6 children one of whom is only 6 months old.

I'll look into hospice at home thank you.

I am in mid forties but seem to be first one of friends in this position

Pekkala Tue 31-May-11 14:31:43

Hi lisalisa, so sorry to hear your news. I lost my dad last week and it hurts like hell. His was an agressive cancer too. I think you are doing the right thing in being as close as you can for as much time as you can - I am glad we (as a family) basically moved in to the hospital with my dad so every time he woke, one of us was there.
One thing you can do is be his advocate and push, push, push to move things along swiftly (eg, if he wants to go home, make sure he gets back there while he's still well enough to be moved).
I understand all patients have the option to go home, but in practice it's a postcode lottery as to whether the nursing care required is available.

lisalisa Tue 31-May-11 22:12:39

Pekkala - thank yuou for your reply and I am so sorry for your loss and in awe of your bravery posting so eloquently and helpfully so soon afterwards.

I would also like to move in to the hospital too but don't think we can as it is just mum and me. Mum is not strong herself and I have to go home to rest of kids an dmy home run business ( which is alreayed falling aapart! )

GollyHolightly Tue 31-May-11 22:20:10

Hi Lisa smile I'm really sorry to hear about your dad, I guess it comes to us all eventually, I lost my dad 14 years ago.

I think the best things that I did in hindsight were to spend as much time as possible with him, made sure that I had said everything that I wanted to say (including any apologies for silly things if you think they may niggle later on) and let him take the lead.

I know this is going to sound rather blunt, but this is his death and you have to allow him to let it happen in his own way, so for example, if you think you know just the way to soothe him don't be upset if he rejects it.

If he's up to talking, do lots of it. Learn things about him that you didn't already know, let him tell you his life story if he wants.

Best of luck, I'm wishing you lots of strength in the coming days/weeks/however long.

I don't know much about dying at home as my dad died in a hospice and my mum in a hospital, but it would probably be worth contacting your local macmillan nurses, they are specifically trained for your situation and will know exactly who to contact to make his wish to die at home come true if at all possible.

ChippingIn Tue 31-May-11 22:23:50

Lisa - I am so, so sorry sad

For yourself I would suggest thinking about all of the things that you would like to know/remember about his life (how he felt when you were born/when he knew he loved your mum/what his favourite thing was as a child/any family history) and ask him, he'll get a lot of pleasure out of telling you as well.

For him - just being there & (as Pekkala said) being his advocate. Telling him the things you remember from your childhood, taking the children to see him.

If you can bring yourself to do it (and haven't already) talk to him about what he will want at his funeral - stressing that you hope it is a long, long way off, but that you want to know you are doing the right thing.

Make sure your parents have their wills sorted - it will be a lot easier for your Mum (and you helping her) if they do.

Allow your friends to help you - when they offer to have the kids, make you a meal - whatever, take them up on it, they want to help and doing stuff like that is all they can do.

I want to wrap a shield around you to protect you from this awful, awful thing you are going to have to go through - but I can't. Just be with him every minute you can, so long as the kids are cared for it doesn't have to be by you right now if there is another option - they will be fine.

really really really big hugs x

Blondeshavemorefun Tue 31-May-11 23:13:20

lisa - so sorry to hear your sad news, but least you can say your goodbyes/collect some happy memories/videos/letters you may want him to wrote for your dc

agree a will is essential and def ask what your dad wants for his funeral - sounds morbid but easier to plan knowing what he would have wanted

lots of love at this difficult time - i hope you have some good frienfd/dh who can support you through this heart breaking time xx

georgie22 Tue 31-May-11 23:30:06

Lisa - so sorry to hear about your beloved dad. If he wants to go home that should be feasible. Has he seen the palliative care team in hospital? If not it may be helpful for them to become involved for support for the whole family and also to refer to the community team if he is going home. Involvement of occupational therapy and discharge liaison is essential if he needs equipment and a care package - they are usually a great help and should be able to get things sorted fairly quickly if necessary.

It's understandable to feel as you do, especially as you and he have a special bond. We all know we will lose our parents one day but this inevitability doesn't make it any easier to deal with. I think it's important to spend time being with him; if he wants to talk he will. Hope you have someone who can ease the pressure you must feel from the responsibilty of your children and allow you to spend time with your dad. If you need any advice or want to rant PM me (I work professionally in this area so have supported people in your position).

trumpton Tue 31-May-11 23:31:01

I also say ask about hospice at home. The doctor told my Dad that he could stay in the hospital or go to the Hospice or go home . My Dad asked me if he could come home ( He had lived next door to us for 16 years ).. I was terrified but we had a wonderful few weeks and the Hospice team and GPs were truly terrific. The blessing of our time remains with me.
My thoughts are with you and your family.

Workieticket Fri 03-Jun-11 21:15:41

Hi,
I'm in a very similar position to yourself, my dad has been given a 'few weeks'. He wanted to come home and now is after arranging for a hospital bed & other things he needed to enable him to be at home. He has carers coming in 3 times a day aswell as the district nurse. My mum, sister and I really didnt know what to do for the best but the joy on his face when the paramedics brought him home made us see the right decision had been made. Hope you can find the strength to get through this horrible time

trumpton Sat 04-Jun-11 09:40:46

Workieticket my heart is with you and Lisalisa . It was wonderful to have my dad at home. Enduring memory of him on terrace 3 days before he died waving his stick and directing many small friends and relations in Easter egg hunt and happily accepting the stash of chocolate they gave him. Still loved and remembered Grandad Tom XX

havealittlefaithbaby Tue 07-Jun-11 19:40:26

So sorry to hear that. My mum died if cancer 3 years ago. It sounds a bit strange but my family and I trained and ran a 10k for cancer research while Mum was palliative. It helped to do something productive and we raised lots of money (felt like kicking cancer where it hurts!). It also gave me head space while I went out running.
I agree.seek out help from.hospice at home and social services.

Lisa, I am so sorry - we went through the same thing with my mum last summer. she was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer and sadly died 4 weeks later. She was in a hopsice for 2 weeks but she did come home to die which is what she wanted. The hospice were fantastic with helping and yes they will let dad go home as long as they know he has the appropriate care and they will also come and see him at home. My mum was visited every day by either a hospice or gp nurse to change her morphine driver, to give her a wash and stuff like that.

I went up there as much as I could. My heart goes out to you, I remember the ache I felt, the absolute desperation that she was ill and suffering and I couldnt help her. Just be with him as much as you can, thats all you can do.

Thinking of you xx

christie2 Fri 10-Jun-11 11:27:34

God Bless. It is a tough time. My Mom and sisters and I nursed my Dad along with visits from a nurse at home until he died in his sleep, also from a cancer that could not be stopped by chemo anymore. My advice is just be the way you have always been. My experience is people die as they lived. For my dad it was watching the nightly news, and when he was too weak to get up, reading the political news to him and sitting quietly with him and talking about the grandkids. Resist the urge to be different or cram all your love into that short time left. Just be with him and be yourself. Let him know by your presence that you will be ok and you will look out for your mom as that is likely on his mind.

SpareRoomSleeper Fri 10-Jun-11 12:46:37

Lisa, I am very sorry to hear about your dad. My dad passed away two weeks today, and the pain is unimaginable if you have never been through it yourself. So I know what you are going through.
Try to spend as much time as you can with him, and ask him little things that you never have, if you can, about his childhood or past. This is one thing I regret the most. so make sure you dont have any regrets whatsoever. Celebrate the goodness in his life, and be there for your mum, and let her be there for you.

Thinking of you xxx

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