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Advice needed on how to talk about this!

kelgov
Posts: 2
Joined: Dec 2003

My father, 75, has had kidney cancer and recurrent bladdre cancer. A few weeks ago he was diagnosed with MDS (bone marrow cancer. It showed up at a "low grade" but his blood counts are dropping despite Procrit. It looks as though things are progressing rapidly. An MD friend of the family suggested to me that we have 6 - 12 months tops. The thing is neither my father or mother have been told this. I don't know where to begin. Will it make his depression worse? If all of his affairs are in order do they really NEED to know? His affairs are in order on paper perhaps, but what about mother? And I have an adult brother who cane barely care for himself due to some mental issues. His care after they are gone has never been discussed. My parents are in complete denial. I am scared of what is happening and what will happen and how to handle it all. I want my mother to live with us but she migh not agree and feel she needs to care for my brother and stay with him. (He is in hs 30's and quite capable to work etc. if he took care of himself and took meds...)
It's just overwhelming. I admire all of you that care for others. I have started a notebook of Dad's treatments and will try and get to every Dr. appt with him ( I have small kids, so it's not easy). I'm just not ready!

lovingsis
Posts: 1
Joined: Feb 2004

Dear Kelgov,
I wish I had some set in stone steps for you to follow. I have been where you are and know the uncertinty you are facing. My brother passed away from cancer just two months ago, and he was in denial about his condition until the last 18 days. Even then he refused to say his Good-bye's to me. My best advice to you is to enjoy each day you have with your father. There are so many things in the future that we can worry about, and it only zaps our strength. The future will be there when you arrive, just do what you can for today. I know it sounds cheesy, but it's true. Your dad probably knows the severity of his condition, but is probably not telling you to protect you. I look back now and realize my brother knew he was dying long before I did, but he knew how important finishing college was and didn't want to worry me. When the time come the difficult things will be talked about. Until then love your father and cherish these last months, they will remain with you forever.

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