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The Beginning of the End...

Ekm824
Posts: 1
Joined: Nov 2006

Hi, I am 22 and my father was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma in June of 2004. I attend college about seven and half hours away from home, and today my family is contacting Hospice. My family, my dad mostly, will not let me come home until I finish the quarter. I am in my senior year, and all my dad ever wanted was to see one of his children graduate from college. Seeing as he will not be able to do that, I am trying as hard as I can to get through this difficult time. However, all I can do is think of all the wasted moments I miss being so far away doing homework and taking tests than mean absolutely nothing to me right now. I do not know how much longer he has. He told me the other day he cannot hold on much longer, but he is trying to hang on until the end of November so that we can all celebrate Thanksgiving *in the hospital no less* and with his death looming--I just don't know how to possibly focus on anything right now. If anyone has any experience with multiple myeloma, or losing a loved one, please contact me. I just need someone objective to talk to.

Thank you, and best of luck and prayers to all of you and your familes!

E

CanadaSue's picture
CanadaSue
Posts: 339
Joined: Apr 2006

Hi,
So sorry to have to meet this way!

My husband has colon cancer, and my brother-in-law was just dx with multiple myeloma.

Is there any chance that you talk to your professors and make arrangements to take a few days off? Or is it possible for you to fly home for the weekend?
I know how hard it is to concentrate on most things, when you are so worried. One thing I have learned is not to put anything off.

You can e-mail me here if you want to talk further!

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Sue

TereB
Posts: 288
Joined: Apr 2003

Hi E, I am sorry for what you are going through right now.
You mentioned that your family was contacting the hospice now. When was your father declared terminal?

I have been battling a rare cancer for which there is no cure since 1987. My friend died of cancer while her son was in college. Over the years I have learned to see many things in a different way. When I started to have metastases, I tried to make my kids have a normal life while I was in the hospital, I thought that was the right thing to do. It not always is, it is important not to forget that your family has feelings that you need to respect even when you are trying to spare them any pain.

I can understand your father insisting that you finish the semester. Your going to college is very important to him and I probably would have said the same thing to my kids many years ago. At the same time, how are you going to concentrate on your studies when you are worried about what is happening to your dad?

This is not just your father having cancer and being in treatment with the possibility of getting well. I think it is important that you go see your father especially since you do not know how much time he has left. When you are terminal, there is going to be a time when there is physical pain which is usually treated with morphine so your father might not be completely "conscious" all the time. Also, towards the end many terminal patients lapse into small commas. This is why I think it is important that you go see you father now and not put it off.

Like CanadaSue said, go see your dad even if it is only for a week-end. It will be time well spent and something that neither one of you will regret and after you dad passes you will be more at peace with yourself knowing that you had some time with him.

If you want to talk to me, email me here.

You and your family are in my prayers.

Hugs,
TereB

soccerfreaks's picture
soccerfreaks
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

Sorry to hear about the way things are going. I had a similar situation, way back in the mid-70s, when I was the first in my family to attend college - six hours from home - and it was discovered that my mom had breast cancer. It was my dad insisted that I stay in school, that I not come home, that there was nothing I could do to help, so I might as well stay where I was, etc. All of the common sense arguments not to return home during that time, even when she went into surgery. I did as told.

Fortunately, my mom survived for another 20 years before ovarian cancer and ultimately a return of her breast cancer in her brain. I now know that I would have felt horribly for a very long time had I not been there and she had passed away.

In the latter instance, in a situation like yours, apparently, where a terminal situation had arisen, I put the brakes on everything else and went home, now 2,000 miles away. I ended up making that trip three times. The first two times, she recovered by the time my plane touched down, and my dad attributed it to knowledge that I was coming. It gave me two more opportunities to spend time with her. And when she passed away during the third trip, I was glad that I was there for the "false alarms".

I agree with the two other posters. You should talk to your professors, and maybe to a guidance counselor, too. Seek ways to alter your schedule and maybe postpone things at school without penalty or financial hit. One thing I've learned is that you cannot get back time. Once spent, it is irrecoverable.

Best wishes. You will make the right decisions. I am sure of that.

lfondots63's picture
lfondots63
Posts: 823
Joined: Jan 2006

Hi E,

I'm so sorry to hear about your dad. I have stage 3 colon cancer and helped take care of my father. My father just passed away in Sept from Prostrate cancer. I agree to talk to your conselor at college to see if you can take a few days off. I'm sure they can get your work for you to take along so you are not behind. You don't want to regret not seeing your dad in case anything happens. My sister actually had a fight with my dad right before we rushed him to the hospital. I still feel bad because I didn't have a chance to get in one more hug before he passed away. You are no good at school if you can't concentrate and I'm sure that they will understand. You also need to be around your family during this time. This will help you and them get through this. E-mail me also any time here. HUGS to you and your family. I will keep you in my prayers.

Lisa F

terato's picture
terato
Posts: 384
Joined: Apr 2002

I lost my brother in '94, my father in '98, and my mom two months ago. The fact that I am also a cancer survivor myself doesn't help, especially when I am scheduled for an MRI of the brain for Tuesday to try to get to the cause of my repeated headaches. I spend most of my weekends on the couch just watching television because the activity of the week leaves me drained. I have a pile of unraked leaves on my lawn that I just don't have the energy to do anything about. The concerns of most people seem rather petty, and they are! However, bad times are like kidney stones, they will eventually pass, albeit, painfully. Honor those who have passed by doing what they would have wanted you to do. Make your life, their living tribute.

Peace and courage,

Rick

irenedy
Posts: 5
Joined: Sep 2006

I know what you are going thru...i am also 22 and my dad has been in hospice for a few weeks now. i dont go to school anymore, but i am in my first job and whats going on with my family affects everything around me from work to relationships. if you ever want to talk, email me at IreneDy@gmail.com

LOUSWIFT
Posts: 371
Joined: Aug 2006

I'm so sorry for your Dad and your family. I too had cancer NED for now but as a Dad I would tell you how much pride we Dads take in the accomplishments of our sons and daughters. Why is hard to explain until you become a Dad. My advice is give your Dad what he wants more than you being there for him. I have often thought how hard it would be for me having my family around watching me die. See him if you can but maybe weekend but don't let him think that you interupted something he takes so much pride. Your father sounds like a good Dad a man of honor and commitment to his kids. Focus on what is important to him. I too was the first to graduate from college and although both my parents died young 49 and 58, I feel them around me all the time. I hope I make them proud of me. I know you will too.

jeanette7
Posts: 19
Joined: Nov 2006

i have lost my mother and deather within twoand ahalf years. is your father still in hospice?

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