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Dealing with cancer

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
I know I've talked about this in chat before. I've put it in this forum because I want to focus on the relationship side of things, rather than the medical side.

But the relevant details - my dad has cancer. It can't be 'cured', it can only be controlled with treatment. But eventually it will become treatment resistant. The stats aren't terrible, but it's something like a 1/3 chance of living for 5 years (past diagnosis).

It's hard because everything could be fine you know? He could be one of the lucky ones and live for another 10+ years. So part of me feels stupid for even worrying about it at all.

But then I feel so terrible for being so far away (7 and half hour journey) if things do get worse. I don't manage to get home very often during term time, and my holidays (apart from summer) aren't very long. We had a pretty shit relationship growing up - and I went for months without talking to him sometimes. And I just wish I could be a better daughter now :(

I want him to know that I'll be OK without him. That I'll be happy and that I'll be looked after - but that's not really the case right now. He really got on with my ex and I almost feel like I've let my dad down by no longer being with anyone. And I know this sounds really selfish and stupid - but I've been to one wedding since the diagnosis and although I was really happy for my friend, I found it so hard thinking that my dad might not be around for my wedding, see my kids etc etc.

I don't really know what I'm asking.


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    littlemissylittlemissy Posts: 9,972 Supreme Poster
    Yanno, I could've written your post. Two years ago my dad suffered a massive stroke. It should've killed him. He is now confined to bed, fed via a tube, can't speak, can't move one whole side of his body. However, he is still alive. I live hundreds of miles away from him. I feel terribly guilty that I am so far away from him, and my mum, who is his primary carer.

    Our last conversation before he took ill was a massive argument. And I will never know if he accepts my apology because he cannot respond. My 3 year old is scared of him because she doesn't understand and he will never be able to hold any future grandchildren. He, like your dad, is also a time bomb - he could die at any moment. And it's hard.

    What I'm trying to say is that I understand - the guilt that you are feeling, the worry and the mixed up crap that is going on in your head. If you want to chat about it then feel free to pm me. It's so hard to explain how ou feel about it all sometimes. And to make others understand what you are feeling is mighty difficult too.

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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I lost all of my grandparents to cancer at a relatively young age. So much so I even ended up with an adopted Gran who I always used to pop in and see how she was when I could. As I was relatively young when I lost my proper grandparents, I felt at the time that it was devastating. Though when I think back about it, it was that I missed them loads and loads and didn't really understand someone being poorly, or seeing them suffer. I think I might have found it harder had this happened here and now, so in some respects I'm lucky to have good memories unaffected by the trouble of worrying about someone changing or being ill. From what my parents tell me about my grandparents, was that near the time they passed, my grandparents were the ones who actually worried the least as they had come to some form of acceptance about themselves.

    I know it might not help talking about my past in here, but I just wanted to mention that I can kind of understand what you are going through. I have an adopted set of grandparents (one of my mates) who always send me short bread and such like for my birthday and christmas. With working down south I always worry about not being able to make it up in time if they are ill, wondering how long they are going to hang on. Both are quite ill, and whilst I accept they are not blood family, I've spent endless hours swapping stories and such like, feeling very much connected. All I can say is that there are people here to talk to, and as tough as it might be, we are here for you.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I don't have anything massively useful to add - but just some thoughts pulled together from the wonders of life experience.

    Just because everything couldn't be fine - doesn't mean that you won't worry. Some people may well find it hard to understand that, but it's one of those features in life. We are programmed to worry about others, especially those we are close to. It's how the human race keeps itself going. Equally, that doesn't mean that you should worry about him all of the time. You need to keep your life going, and I'm sure your dad would like to see you getting on with your life rather than worryin about him the whole time.

    Yes, you live a long way away. But, that can't be helped, and you can be close to someone without being physically near them, or even speaking to them all the time. My brother and I are good friends, and very close. We can easily go a month at the moment with no communication at all - but it's just like we've never been apart when we do catch up. That will work the same for you and your dad. Besides, if you have gaps, then it's much easier to pull proper news together so you've got something to talk about other than how well or otherwise he might be.

    You will be ok without him, because your parents have raised a fantastic young lady. But, however brilliantly you're doing with everything in life your dad will never ever fully believe that. So don't worry too much about the impression you're giving him. In his mind you will always be your daddys little girl, and he will want to look after you and protect you forever from the big bad world. So keep looking after yourself, but don't think that you'll ever have a hope of persuading him to think that you'll be ok without him. He's your dad, and in his world protecting you is one of his reasons for existing. Handy really, because you can cross it off the list of things to worry about it.

    Having ill parents sucks. I can only imagine having ill parents who might die sucks significantly more. But they raised you in a way they are probably proud of, and they brought you up to be an independant young lady. I remember back when my grandfather was ill when I was a little kid. We were due to be going away on a family holiday and he was definitely on the way out. He was adamant that him being ill should have no impact on our plans - he'd brought my dad up with the aim of having a good life, and he was insistent that his health shouldn't get in the way of that. When one of my uni mates mum had a stroke during term time, I got a lecture along similar lines from her dad - he was sure that her mum would far rather know she was doing what she was supposed to be doing at uni rather than travelling back and forward the whole time. Equally, holidays were for some fun as well as spending time at home - so some of us were tasked with making sure she did that.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Thank you very much guys :) Not much to say really apart from thanks :heart:

    Littlemissy I'm sorry to hear about your dad *hug*
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think part of it is that I've been on placement in the delivery suite - so lots of emotional families welcoming babies into the world. I think that's what has got me thinking - hopefully won't be worrying and overthinking quite so much in the next couple of weeks. Got a wedding invite for the summer. They're not a really close friend so not sure if I'll go. Just feel ultra guilty about that.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I don't have anything helpful to post, but when I was 6 my dad was diagnosed with cancer, I didn't know what that meant at the time..I just thought he needed some medicine and he'd be better, Which in time the cancer went and he wasn't the same again, but then when I was 13 it came back and its now terminal, I remember sitting down with him and discussing university with him, I said to him "when I go to uni I'll be moving out of this city what are you going to do you'll hardly see me for 3 years" to which he replied back with "I won't be alive" I'd totally forgotten.

    I think we just have to make the most of what little time we have left, I have a book and its called dads quotes, Its full of random things he would say or random songs he'd burst out singing when I was growing up. My dad like myself is extremely random and would come out with the most randomest things which is the sort of things I started to write down, almost like a memory box.

    I'll be moving 150 miles away from him soon and I won't becoming down to visit. So I understand how hard it is. I sometimes sit and think about all the things he's going to miss out on, But then..who says them things are going to happen anyways? Who says I'm going to get married..have children.

    But whatever happens your dad know's he's your little girl and he'll always watch over you.

    Big hugs
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