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how do I cope - my dad is going

(148 Posts)
yorkiemom Tue 26-Aug-08 08:16:02

My dad has pancreatic cancer, which has spread to his liver, we found out in January.

We thought we would have longer. At first he responded well to the chemo, but a recent scan showed that the tumour in the pancreas has shrunk, but the one in his liver has grown rapidly.

My dear lovely dad has lost about 5 stone, and it kills me to see him looking like a skeleton. Within the last few weeks he has gone down hill, and I fear this is it. I feel like my heart is being ripped out of my chest, and my legs just won't hold me up.

I am one of eight children, and my youngest sisters are just 13 and 15, and still think dad will get better, so I have to be strong for them.

I just can't believe this is happening, this time last year everythink was ok, and my dad was moaning about his job, which was normal!!!

I'm sorry to ramble on, I think I just needed to get this off my chest.

Flower3554 Tue 26-Aug-08 08:21:42

Oh yorkiemom, I'm so sorry. My dad died of lung cancer, many years ago now but your description of your dad brought memories flooding back.

It's so painful to watch a loved one go downhill, my little sister was only 7 when dad died and she kept saying "is daddy getting up today"


shabster Tue 26-Aug-08 08:23:26

Oh sweetheart I cant imagine how you are feeling.

My mum and dad are both in their middle 70's and I dread the day when they are not around.

Will be thinking about you all today.

BloodySmartarse Tue 26-Aug-08 08:51:39

oh you poor dear woman
i have nothing useful to say at all, i am so sorry, but i wanted to say that i feel for you and im so sorry you, or anyone, has to go through something like this.
my own dad had a scare recently and the fear and horror was quite intense.
i sincerely hope you and he find some peace soon and wish you the strength youll need to live with his loss.

onlyjoking9329 Tue 26-Aug-08 09:03:57

cancer is very cruel and steals things bit by bit. You just get used to the changes then something else gets stolen away, it is very hard to watch them getting worse but there is a sense of relief when it is over both for them and for others. spend as much time as you can with him and family make some memories they will be your to keep.
Sending you peace.

yorkiemom Tue 26-Aug-08 10:02:20

Thank you so much everyone.

The really heartbreaking thing is I don't know if my dad realises this is it.

I have just spoken to my mum to see what sort of night he had, and he has said this morning he thinks he may be dehydrated, and is going to ring his macmillian nurse.

Its very strange some moments I feel like I can't stop crying, and the next I feel completely numb.

nickytwotimes Tue 26-Aug-08 10:05:38

Yorkie, how awful for you and your family.
I lost my Dad after a (thankfully) very short illness. It is so hard to lose your Daddy. sad

onlyjoking9329 Tue 26-Aug-08 10:09:37

it's not strange to feel like that I still feel like that, your mind is processing so much stuff the feeling numb protects you a bit.
Can you talk to the mac nurse? They are there for all the family, she will be able to talk to him, sometimes the person with cancer doesnt want to know what lies ahead the mac nurse will respect that but it might be helpful for you and your mum to know.

shabster Tue 26-Aug-08 10:21:17

The feelings you describe Yorkie - they are so normal darling - they are feelings of grief and helplessness. Please dont take this the wrong way but I envy you the chance to tell your Dad how much you love him and the chance to say Goodbye. That will mean so much over the coming years.

I didn't get the chance to say goodbye to my loved ones and it still sometimes drives me to despair that I couldn't.

shabster Tue 26-Aug-08 10:22:51

...also just wanted to say that OJ is (unfortunatly) an 'expert' on this subject. Good to see you here OJ xxxx

rubyloopy Tue 26-Aug-08 11:24:06

Message withdrawn

yorkiemom Tue 26-Aug-08 19:39:58

Thank you so much everyone, its bee3n a really strange day. After speaking to our lovely mac nurse this morning, who was very good, but realistic, and told me this could be it.

Have had a good hour, just me and dad this afternoon, where he said he is determined to go to hospital tomorrow for bloods, and then Thursday to see the consultant.

I asked dad if he really felt up to this, he said he will try his best (so long as I push him in the whelchair !) because he wants to re-start his chemo !!!!!

I really hope, if this is what dad wants they will go with this. I really don't think my dad thinks that this is it, he wants to have some steriods, and chemo.

Perhaps if dad still has some fight left in him then this is good.

He even ate the pineapple I fetched him, which is really amazing!!

I left dad tonight in a really good mood, and feel not quite so bad at the moment.

I can't say how grateful I am for all your responses, and I really feel so sorry that their are so many of us in shit situations, but again people take the time to respond- thanks xx

Thanks OJ I hope you and your kids are doing ok, when I watched my dad eating pineapple tonight it made me think of your Steve, bless him.

dizzydixies Tue 26-Aug-08 19:47:10

yorkiemum am so sorry to hear about your dad, I've just lost my mum after 6yrs of fighting cancer, she passed on 23rd july sad

I have no marvellous words of comfort and for that I'm sorry, please enjoy your time together & I'm sure he'll know how much he's loved. take all the help and advice you can get from the mac nurses, they are true angels and let him keep fighting on, he sounds like a trooper smile

yorkiemom Tue 26-Aug-08 19:53:56

dizzydixies, I am so sorry about your mum. 6 years of fighting is a long time, she must have been very brave.

I hope my dad knows how much he is loved, he has 8 childrens who love him so much, and don't want to loose him.

I don't know if this is a normal feeling, but I feel very angry, I want to blame someone.
After being a catholic for 35 years, my faith is being truly tested.

Minniethemoocher Tue 26-Aug-08 20:30:04

yorkiemum - so sorry to hear about your Dad - I lost mine suddenly last year and have a certain amount of regret regarding the things that I should have told him, but never got the chance...sad Feeling angry is normal, sometimes I still feel angry that he died but other people (who I don't care about/love didn't....)

dizzydixies - so sorry about your Mum, it is so hard to lose a parent, I hope that you get all the support and understanding that you need.

dizzydixies Tue 26-Aug-08 20:45:30

yorkie anger is completely normal and perfectly understandable at this time

I am frankly furious blush mum never smoked/drank lived dangerously a day in her life and battled against 6 cancers - we're now testing for genetic problems for the rest of the family sad

am embarrassed about my anger as am angry at her for giving up he fight and leaving me so soon before I had dc3 (there is only a week inbetween her passing and dc3 being born), am angry at myself for being angry and being selfish in missing her - she was in pain and is now in a better place and during her funeral service I was angry at the minister and everything he was saying about God having a plan etc etc

I am however, reassured that this is all normal and will pass in time hmm

am sure with the support of you and all your siblings your dad does know how you all feel, hence his desire to keep fighting

minnie thank you too

I never meant this to be about me blush I only wanted to show my concern and support for yorkiegirl

catinthehat Tue 26-Aug-08 20:54:13

(Dizzy, I think Yorkiemom is a different poster to Yorkiegirl - I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong)

dizzydixies Tue 26-Aug-08 20:55:31

good gried blush thats even worse, was trying to show support for OP and have now called her the wrong name


yorkiemom Wed 27-Aug-08 08:44:37

Don't worry dizzydixies, Its no problem.

My dad has never smoked, or drank alot either, it just does'nt seem fair.
I think what you say about feeling angry makes alot of sense, it must be normal, and will hopefully pass.
I really hope you testing comes back ok, and my thoughts are with you.

I feel very worried about what the consultant will say tomorrow, and what the bloods will show.

dizzydixies Wed 27-Aug-08 19:46:06

will keep everything crossed for you and your dad for tomorrow

Minniethemoocher Thu 28-Aug-08 09:11:36

yorkiemom - thinking of you today.

The anger is very natural, the ferocity of it does pass, but I am afraid in my case, I still question why my wonderful Dad was taken and yet others live on.....

aleene Thu 28-Aug-08 09:37:27

Yorkiemom, I am also losing my dad. It is stomach cancer and was only diagnosed 5 weeks ago. He could go this week or last 6 months, it has been a real rollercoaster of ups and downs since he took ill. He is in hospital and has not been out of a bed in nearly 3 weeks but he is trying not to give into negativity, as he said yesterday. It's so hard.
How are you today?

shabster Thu 28-Aug-08 10:23:16

Oh girls - Im so sorry for your sadness. Make the most of every minute - say the things you feel in your hearts - our parents know we love them but shout it out to them - over and over. I will carry you around in my thoughts and heart xxxx

Minniethemoocher Thu 28-Aug-08 17:10:59

aleene - so sorry to read your sad news, I can only echo shabster - tell them you love them, while you still can.

Love is what matters, and love remains when our loved ones are gone and it is what keeps our precious memories alive.

I had to agree to turn my Dad's life support machine off - I did it because I loved him so much, and I knew that he didn't want to suffer any more - it was the hardest thing that I have ever done.

Thinking of you.

spudmasher Thu 28-Aug-08 17:36:14

Oh Aleene and Yorkiemom, my heart goes out to you.
I lost my dad to bladder cancer a month ago and today should have been his 66th birthday.
Just be there as much as you can, say everything you have to say.
Try to stay light hearted and positive.
Support in any practical way you can.
Bring lots of things like funny pictures that the children have drawn.

I have to say although I am desperately sad, my overriding feeling about my dad dying is one of pride. He was at home for the last three weeks and he died peacefully at home as he wanted and we looked after him really well.It really was a journey as you describe with ups and downs but I can honestly say we shared the most beautiful moments of tenderness in our whole lives. I will treasure the memories of those last few bittersweet weeks forever

Your fathers both sound as though they are fighting a brave fight.

Cry as much as you want to.

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