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My dad was just told he has cancer

melaniep
Posts: 2
Joined: Mar 2002

He'll be 48 this year, and he was told last week he has cancer, esophagel cancer, and that its spread to his limph notes and his liver. I'm his faughter, I'm 21 and away at college. I don't even know what I'm asking, or saying or doing..it's just so hard to see my dad so sick and weak, he lost 50 lbs in 6 weeks, and looks skinnier than I do. They put some sort of tube in his stomache so he can eat and he goes into the hospital on monday to start chemo, or an evaluation to see how much chemo he can handle. I have an older brother who's graduating college this spring, and a little sister who's only in 6th grade. I'm usually the one who pulls the family together, makes every effort to stay strong for everyone, but I'm at a loss. My mom has always been on a guilt trip and she can't accept the fact that she's not to blame, or something of that nature. my litle sister keeps asking if her daddy's going to die, and every time i call home my dad sounds worse, and i've never heard my father weak before, scared before. the doctors said thers not a possibility of removing all the cancer, even after months of treatment or something. I just dont know how to keep together for myself, and my family. i just love them all so much I hate to see everyone like this, and i've worked myself up so much writing this and i don't even know what this is.

mrbt's picture
mrbt
Posts: 46
Joined: Jun 2001

Hi Melanie. My name is Bruce and I am a esophageal cancer survivor. I know how you must feel and what's going on in your life. No one can predict what is going to happen but I can offer some thoughts.

First, treat your Dad as you always have. He wants you happy and smiling. This is very hard but if he knows you are ok this will lessen his burden. He would have walked through fire for you so you need to do the same for him. Any parent only wants their children to be happy and doing ok.

Get the family together and devise a plan to help your Dad. Give each person a task so they can feel involved and helping. If they can't do that then make some rules for how to communicate to resolve issues, etc.

Get help for your Mom. A good friend, Pastor, Doctor, etc. She needs someone to talk to who can help her work through her problems. It sounds like she needs someone strong to lean on.

My father died when I was 12 and my sister was 8. Kids are stronger then you think. You need to talk with your sister and don't hide things from her. She knows how serious this is. Don't scare her but don't sugar coat things either.

I have two sons, 25 and 23, both in college so I can relate.

Life is a maratheon not a sprint. I would suggest that you look into going home and being being with your Dad. If he is going to survive your presence will help his healing and if he going to die you will always treasure the time you had with him.

You can email me directly at "triebold@telocity.com" if you wish.

Good luck, Bruce

bobexyz
Posts: 1
Joined: Apr 2002

Dear Melanie, I just today decided to sign on to CSN and saw your note which is almost a month old but your dad'a situation is so similiar to mine I thought I should share my experience. My story is a good one but I don't want to offer any false hopes because as you know all cancer patients respond to treatment differently.

Three years ago I was diagnosed with esophagial cancer and after the initial tests was told it had spread to the lymph nodes and liver like your dad. The doctors told me it was inoperable and incureable but treatable. I had to have the stomach tube,again like your dad, and then started chemo. The chemo lasted almost a year but the tumor started shrinking after just a few months. That was a rough year and I could not do much of anything except get through the treatments. To make a long story short I was in last week for a six month checkup and the doctor told me he could not even see the tumor on the cat scan. I have felt great for the past two years, play golf 3 times a week, do some traveling and enjoy life.

So I hope your dad is doing better and tell him not to ever give up hope. Miracles do happen and I am living proof of that. I give credit to my doctors and the treatments they came up with but I believe it is only through the grace of God and his healing touch that I am still here and enjoying life. I am not what most people would consider a religious person - not a church goer, etc but I have strong beliefs and I believe that God heard and answered my prayers, and those of others, when I had no where else to turn. The power of prayer is real ! God bless you and your dad and your family.

Bob

johnrou
Posts: 6
Joined: Apr 2002

Hi,
YOur Esophageal Cancer, which had spread to the lymph nodes and liver, you say you had chemo. Would you tell us which drugs and for how long? Also, did you have radiation and then surgery? Yes, God does hear us. Thanks for sharing with us. God bless you and your family. Jeannie

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