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Dealing with fathers cancer and the inevitable..

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Hi, not really sure where to start.

My father was recently diagnosed with cancer of the lung in the past month. It has spread and the doctors have advised its pretty much terminal now. Doctors are suggesting without treatment we are looking at 6 months and with treatment maybe 2-3 years. I suppose its all relative to the individual recieving the treatment.

Me and my older brother have taken it upon ourselves to goto each doc / hospital appointments. I've started seeing my father more than usual and trying to maximise the time we have left...

I can't really cope with the time frames the doctors have given us and have anxiety thinking about it.

I am the youngest of 2 brothers and 3 sisters. My elder brother commited suicide when i was 12 years old (am now 27) and have mental scars from his death. I can't help but feel like i want to burst into tears anytime i mention it even though its been well over a decade....

Now this with my dad, sometimes at the chemo appointments or consultations with the oncologists i am fighting back tears. I hold it all in as don't want dad mum or dad to see me upset - dads in very good spirits despite the severity of the situation.

Seems like its a waiting game, in my dreams all i can see is despair and heartbreak. I dont really want to feel the grief, or the impending grief which is due to come. I dont want to feel like i did when my brother died.

How does one deal mentally with this?


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Sal, You deal with this all by talking about it. You talk to your dad about how he feels and how you feel. You get professional help if you need to, and you talk to all of your family and friends. Honestly, talking about it will help. How are your siblings dealing with this?

I watched my dad die a slow death, and it was so hard. But we all talked about it, and I used the opportunity to get to know my dad in a deeper way than I had before. Ask your dad about his life, his dreams, his hopes, his greatest success, his family--just talk with him.

We will be here for you,


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Hi Sal

My Dad was diagnosed with cancer too. In the beginning I went to doctors appointments, and it just sort of became normal. Dad was on chemo, and he handled it pretty well, even though he lost a lot of weight, and there were times when he had reactions to the medication. This last year was more difficult. He went through 2 surgeries, and me and my brother were there in the hospital to help. We were there every day. We helped him through his rehab and got him back home where he wanted to be.

This last year I would not trade for anything. It was hard to see him sick, but really gratifying to be able to bring him a treat in the hospital of a favorite snack, or downloading a movie to watch, and then talk about later. He told me that it was rare to get to know your children as adults, and that he was lucky. He said this the week before he died.

We never really talked about his death, but there were definitely times when I was teary in front of him. Honestly, I think you can be strong without feeling you have to hold it in at all times. 4 days before he died I told him not to worry. That we got him through things before, and this was just a little set back. He looked at me like he wasn't so sure.

I would not trade this year for anything. Yes, I wish I had more time, and I wish he was still here, but I am so appreciative that we were able to spend so much time together. Cancer is terrible, and it is hard to live with it day after day, knowing what is to come, and watching someone in pain, but if he didn't need my help I never would have been so close this last year, and never would have had what I had with my dad. Real quality one on one time. So important.

Being able to help him might be a different kind of grieving than your brothers passing. My dad's passing was my greatest sorrow, but also being with him this last year, and when he really needed me to help him pass was my greatest joy too.

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