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Dad terminally ill - I'm lost and need help

  • #2
    Registered Users Posts: 81 ✭✭ Vladi_


    Hi everyone...
    My dad was diagnosed with esophageal cancer 3 months ago. It went from "it was caught early" to "it's terminal" so fast. He led a healthy lifestyle, never smoked or drank and was fit so it came as a huge shock. He is now in the hospital, extremely weak, water collecting in his lungs, huge weight loss, still lucid and aware of everything which scares me the most, just thinking what must be going through his head...

    My family is very small (just me and my parents) and we are very close. Also, they live in another country. I just came back from there 2 days ago and going back in a few days.
    It is just so hard for me in every possible way. I have no idea how to deal with this. I don't live in Ireland long enough to have close friends and my support system is my boyfriend (I do speak with my close friends but we don't live close) and he is doing an amazing job but I still feel so lost in all the different and confusing emotions that are in my head 24/7.
    I can barely function at work, I don't eat or sleep almost at all. I have no idea how will i fly by myself. I have a history of anxiety and panic attacks and I'm so scared it will all come back. It's breaking my heart constantly that I'm not there and all the suffering he's going through knowing what an amazing father and man he is. My mum is really strong for now but I'm afraid for her as well.
    I know that this is probably common for anyone in similar situation but it is so new and scary for me and I just feel like I need help asap or I will crack.
    I'm not religious so I can' find comfort in that. Normally I would rationalise things to the point where I can accept them even in very hard situations but this time it doesn't work at all.

    I'm sorry if this is completely incoherent, I've tried.


Comments

  • #2


    Vladi_ wrote: »
    Hi everyone...
    My dad was diagnosed with esophageal cancer 3 months ago. It went from "it was caught early" to "it's terminal" so fast. He led a healthy lifestyle, never smoked or drank and was fit so it came as a huge shock. He is now in the hospital, extremely weak, water collecting in his lungs, huge weight loss, still lucid and aware of everything which scares me the most, just thinking what must be going through his head...

    My family is very small (just me and my parents) and we are very close. Also, they live in another country. I just came back from there 2 days ago and going back in a few days.
    It is just so hard for me in every possible way. I have no idea how to deal with this. I don't live in Ireland long enough to have close friends and my support system is my boyfriend (I do speak with my close friends but we don't live close) and he is doing an amazing job but I still feel so lost in all the different and confusing emotions that are in my head 24/7.
    I can barely function at work, I don't eat or sleep almost at all. I have no idea how will i fly by myself. I have a history of anxiety and panic attacks and I'm so scared it will all come back. It's breaking my heart constantly that I'm not there and all the suffering he's going through knowing what an amazing father and man he is. My mum is really strong for now but I'm afraid for her as well.
    I know that this is probably common for anyone in similar situation but it is so new and scary for me and I just feel like I need help asap or I will crack.
    I'm not religious so I can' find comfort in that. Normally I would rationalise things to the point where I can accept them even in very hard situations but this time it doesn't work at all.

    I'm sorry if this is completely incoherent, I've tried.

    I understand what you are saying and a lot of what you are going through, I had similar experiences with my parents. Hard I know with your anxiety, have you tried meditation? it gives your brain a break from the stress and fear and gives you space in your head to make hard decisions if you need too.

    Has the hospital a councilling service/hospice nurse you can talk too for now? they can be great help, but it's a scary situation and something most of us have to live through and most of us can live through once we find our feet in it.

    It's a hard road you are on, I feel for you.


  • #2


    Bredabe wrote: »
    I understand what you are saying and a lot of what you are going through, I had similar experiences with my parents. Hard I know with your anxiety, have you tried meditation? it gives your brain a break from the stress and fear and gives you space in your head to make hard decisions if you need too.

    Has the hospital a councilling service/hospice nurse you can talk too for now? they can be great help, but it's a scary situation and something most of us have to live through and most of us can live through once we find our feet in it.

    It's a hard road you are on, I feel for you.

    Thank you for your reply.

    I've never tried meditation but it is something I would try.

    Health care system in my country of origin is so bad that I get angry just thinking about that. No support or counselling at all. The way the doctor told us it's terminal...outrageous. (I understand it is their job and something they deal with every day but this lack of compassion was too much. I almost fainted)


  • #2


    Hi,
    just read your post and want to let you know that you will get through it OK.
    My Dad developed leukemia when I was in college and he never drank, smoked etc.
    He was a great Dad and went through hell with his treatment. He died just as I finished college when I was 23yrs.
    My Mum was brilliant and carried the show but she ended up with a stroke just before he died. She is in a wheelchair in a nursing home.
    I have three older brothers who were useless. Do not get caught up in the fact that you are an only child and thinking that if you had siblings that it would be easier. I had three and they never helped out.
    I have friends who now are going through similar situations with parents seriously ill and dying and they are left to manage the situation.
    Just because a family may have a lot in it does not mean they will pull their weight.
    As I read you message I remember thinking back of the my stress and heart ache watching my Dad get sick and not being able to do much.
    It really is his journey and all you can do is be there for him and support him and your Mum.
    I found Bach Emergency Essence was amazing for my anxiousness. I could not sleep right and was eating all the wrong foods.
    It is such a stressful time on you all. Go easy on yourself. Take each day at a time. I know it is hard but just stay focused on putting one foot in front of the other.
    I cut myself off from everything and everyone apart from my boyfriend. When my Dad did die, I became a different person and felt lost. in hind sight I do not regret spending so much of energy on my Dad but I had to rebuild my life after he died, make new friends, hobbies and my boyfd and I broke up.
    My Dad and I never spoke about his illness and his looking death until the day before he died.
    I was in the hospital and I knew that I had to tell him how I felt.
    I told him I loved him and thanked him for all he did.
    To this day this little chat has eased my heart and I so glad I did this with him. I advise you to have this chat- it will be difficult and yes yo will probably cry but it is healing for both of you.
    He is dead 14 years now and life has gone on.
    You will get through this. Everyone goes through the experience of death of a loved one- you just have to me mindful of your feelings and allow yourself to feel them. DO not bottle them up - cry when you feel you want to cry. It is better out than in!
    Perhaps write, skype to your parents on a designated couple of days of the week.
    This will help them plan and have something to look forward to.
    Do not worry about the whole religious thing.
    I was brought up a strict Catholic and I do not practice mass etc.
    We do not need organised religion to be a caring person.
    Most of the people I have met in my life have been non religious and yet spiritual.
    They are caring, well meaning and loving.
    I trust that I am looked after and this helped me alot.
    My advice is not to get worried about the religious thing- you are a loving daughter who loves her parents. Simple.
    Do not get guilty- all will be well.
    I wish you peace and stamina throughout the next while. You will get through it OK.


  • #2


    Sorry for you all. You may find it beneficial to speak to someone from the Irish cancer society. Just speaking to someone who understands what you’re going through will help you enormously. https://www.cancer.ie/information-support


  • #2


    I feel very sorry for you. It must be so frightening and upsetting. I send you my very best wishes.

    I recently witnessed my Father in Law dying. It was a profound event. I know you are not religious but I have gained strength from seeing him at peace and smiling as he passed away. I now fully believe we go to some better place - and that our love, our spirit, our presence lives on forever.

    Our love for each other is all that is important. He knows you love him and he loves you. That love is everlasting.


  • #2


    Vladi, so sorry you are so distressed. You have been given some good advice here, I cannot say much more than that, except to add that if you do feel overwhelmed go to your gp, they may feel it is appropriate to offer you some mild medication to help you through. You will get through it though, you will find strength you did not know you had, if only to support your mother who is carrying the immediate burden.

    It is natural to be anxious and upset, but try and continue your life as normally as you can, and do not doubt that you will be able to fly over to visit your parents when you need to.

    Don't forget that a written letter, just chatting about the kind of things you would discuss if you were there, is a wonderful way of keeping in touch. For the older generation especially it is more personal than texting etc, and a letter in the post is a small gift that will be appreciated.


  • #2


    Thank you all for your advice. It means a lot to me.

    I'll be going to my country next week and I hope I won't be late. :(


  • #2


    Vladi_ wrote: »
    Thank you all for your advice. It means a lot to me.

    I'll be going to my country next week and I hope I won't be late. :(

    I wish you peace and strength . You have it within yourself to be strong , its in there when you need it most


  • #2


    My dad passed away yesterday.
    I didn't get to say goodbye.


  • #2


    Vladi_ wrote: »
    My dad passed away yesterday.
    I didn't get to say goodbye.

    That is very sad. I am sorry for your loss. I hope you can find peace and believe he knew you loved him.


  • #2


    Vladi_ wrote: »
    My dad passed away yesterday.
    I didn't get to say goodbye.

    I am so very sorry to hear that . He knows you were thinking of him .


  • #2


    Vladi, I'm so sorry to hear about your Dad. I'm also so sorry that you couldn't be there to say goodbye, but it's often the way it is, even if you just live in another town. You clearly loved him and cared about him very much and he knew that. You and your Mum are in my thoughts at this hard time, feel your emotions, love and support each other as best you can. I hope you will find comfort in your memories of happier times with your dear Dad. RIP


  • #2


    Vladi_ wrote: »
    My dad passed away yesterday.
    I didn't get to say goodbye.

    Sorry for your loss.


  • #2


    So sorry to hear that Vladi, take care of yourself, and go and support your mother. Don't dwell on the fact that you did not say goodbye, that happens in so many cases - you can be in the same room and not really say goodbye. The goodbye was in your heart and he had his own road to follow. Try and remember the best of him and the good times.


  • #2


    Vladi_ wrote: »
    My dad passed away yesterday.
    I didn't get to say goodbye.

    I am so sorry. He is with you always.


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