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breakingfree
Posts: 12
Joined: Oct 2009

i've never had the chance to talk to anyone about this. my family is the type that pretends everything is ok when it's not. we don't want to be pitied. we want to appear that everything is alright. isn't this the american way? don't show your weakness. but i can't handle it anymore. i need to talk to someone. i've never talked to a psychiatrist but i think i should. but i'm poor and scared to. i don't want to ask my parents because they are already dealing with too much. here is my story. i would appreciate your insight. i value other people's opinions so much more than mine. :[
i am a 19 year old female in college.

my father was diagnosed with cancer in 2001. his cancer has spread from his throat to his back to his hip to his lungs and now to his brain. i found out about that this past summer and i have not been able to pull myself together.
over the past couple of years i think i have been suffering from post tramautic disorder/depression/ and bi polar.... i don't have any close friends at college and sit in my room almost every single night friday and saturday by myself. i don't have a roommate. i don't mind being by myself sometimes. but i get sooooo lonely. no one invites me to dinner and when i do go out with people it's so fake it makes me sick. i'm stressed out constantly mainly because of my dad. he started chemotherapy a few weeks ago and last time i saw him he was losing a lot of hair. whenever i talk to him he asks me when i'm coming home. he goes for chemo treatments near my college and i go and sick with him while the medicine pumps into his veins. he looks awful and feels terrible. he is in stage 4 cancer. and although no one wants to say it i feel that his end is near. i dont know how to cope with this. i think i'm suffering from bipolar disorder because times like this i feel soooooooo sad and depressed and nothing can drag me out. i don't want to see people for days and only feel sorry for myself. i don't go out of my way to talk to people because i know they'll reject me. i'm a beautiful fit girl but even though everything looks alright on the outside it's not on the inside. my family doesn't allow anyone to talk to outsiders about this. my mom told me last time when i was home,,, after i had a crying episode, that i must stay strong for my little sibling who shouldn't see me crying. how the **** am i supposed to stay strong when i barely have a grip on my life. i am a sophomore and have no idea what my major is, my dad is dying and no one wants to talk to me about it none of my friends know--- i hate going home. i know that i have to because 'it's the right thing to do' but it makes me sick every time i see him. i avoid him so it's easier for me when he does pass away. i've already prepared myself for this. and every time i think about it i BAWL my eyes out. besides this, i have no friends in college and the guy i've been dating broke up with me... i couldn't tell him what was going on.. i just couldn't. i don't know whom to confide in. i talk to my mom a lot about this. she knows everything i'm going through but tells me to be strong. to look good. and push through school. i'm losing my grip on life. no one wants me. no one cares about me and if my dad dies.... i don't know what i will do. all of my other problems seem so miniscule to this. everyone else caring about bf/gf drama. and i just don't care... my dad is dying... and no one knows. no one knows the truth.

the one thing that has kept me going for a while is my favorite band. the lead singer suffers bipolar disorder and all the lyrics are about pushing through and finding the light at the end. but there is no light. there is darkness. and failure. and hurt and heartbreak. i'm scared of being recognized in fear that someone will know. i will have spilled the family secret. but i dont want to hold on to it. but if its out will my life be better?
:[[[[[ being miserable.

grandmafay's picture
grandmafay
Posts: 1612
Joined: Aug 2009

Most colleges have a counseling program. You need to see if your school does. If they do, go now. College is hard enough on its own. "Staying strong" is really overrated. My husband lost his battle recently with colon cancer. Both my husband and I were very open with people about his 6 year battle. We found support in places we didn't expect. Contact the local American Cancer Society and ask about support groups. Cancer in the family is very difficult for the whole family. If you have faith, check with your local religious organization. You may have a college chaplain, check that out, too. Seeking help is not a sign of weakness. It is a sign of strength that you can recognize your needs and find solutions. Take care and come here when you need to talk. Fay

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

I am having a hard time figuring out what it is that you are hiding, or hiding from. If it is some sort of stigma associated with cancer, let me assure you that cancer is such a popular disease, regrettably, that it is likely that nearly everyone at your college, from the president through the deans and the professors and your classmates and your friends and the cafeteria crew and the police force and whomever else you come into contact with has had or knows someone who has had cancer.

I dare say you would have a harder time finding someone who does NOT know someone with a cancer experience than the other way around.

I would also propose that you not perform a self-diagnosis, vis a vis the 'bi-polar disorder'. As Fay indicates, there are very likely to be professionals at your college or university who are trained to assess your symptoms and thoughts and to then provide TREATMENT best suited to you. Some guy in a band, best intentions and all of that, is not the one to sing you into happiness.

If talking about cancer is a stigma, I cannot imagine what the thought of seeking therapy would be like, but I must agree with Fay that this is the best course of action for you, breakingfree. In addition to whatever help you might receive (free!) via your educational institution, there are any number of enterprises designed specifically to provide such emotional support during these times.

This is a brief list, but a place to start:

Cancer Care, a non-profit org., offers free support and counseling for cancer patients by oncology social workers. They have face-to-face counseling and counceling on the phone. Support groups on the phone are available too and are moderated by an oncology social worker. Call 800-813-HOPE. They can also give you info about financial resources. Check their website: www.cancercare.org

Gilda's Club - www.gildasclub.org - they offer free social and emotional support. Not sure if they may have financial information but check it out just in case.

Live Strong - www.livestrong.org - offers one-on-one support.

American Cancer Society (here) can also give you financial, support, etc. information available in different cities.

Best wishes to your dad and his family.

Take care,

Joe

breakingfree
Posts: 12
Joined: Oct 2009

he just got put on hospice care today. i went to the appt with him.

on monday i went to my college's counselor and told my story. it was extremely relieving and i have felt much better. i'm still not ready to tell anyone of my friends or anyone for that matter even though this has taken such a toll on me. i don't know how to bring it up. i asked my dad and mom why we don't talk about this openly and they told me it wouldn't be right to burden other people with our own problems, but i think this is a little bit bigger than just my 'own problem'. i have a ridiculously hard time focusing in school and when i don't have crying episodes i just feel guilty.

here are my main concerns:
1. i am very selfish. i don't ever want to go home on the weekends to visit my family because my house makes me so sad. my dad has rashes all over his body and looks awful. all i do is sit with him or take 20 minute walks. he has absolutely no energy and it just makes me that much sadder to be around him. i know he misses me terribly and always asks me when i'm coming home, but it's just easier not to see him even though i know he's going pass sometime soon.
after i found out he was in hospice today, i cried a lot. and my dad cried too. that made me even more sad. i've never seen my dad cry in my life. and he told me that that was life. and we need to make the best of it.
i feel that my parents don't want to make this such a big deal in other people's lives. but i need some outside support. the counselor guy was extremely nice and helpful i feel like i could really trust him but i'm so scared of being judged... or treated differenlty by my friends or peers because they know. who do i tell? whom do i confide in??
that is all for now. i have a HUGE exam tonight which i need to attempt to focus on before i fail out of college too.

thanks for your response.... it was extremely sincere and i appreciate that someone is willing to take the time and respond to me. .......

mr steve
Posts: 286
Joined: Sep 2009

If you don't spend time with your Dad now you will miss him even more if he passes. Take the time to go on the 2o min walks if that is all he can do sit down on a park bench and just talk or go to your old fishing hole or hunting spot or where ever you spent time together. If the people you know treat you differently the they are not your friends a now is a good time to find out so you know you can't count on them.

grandmafay's picture
grandmafay
Posts: 1612
Joined: Aug 2009

My husband just died from cancer. We had a 6 year battle with cancer before that. From the beginning we shared with our friends, family, and church family. Since his death, many people have actually thanked me for being so upfront with his diagnosis, treatment, etc. They said it gave them permission to share. They considered my husband inspirational. Some people even came forward to share their stories about cancer. The love and support everyone gave us was amazing. One thing I learned was that most people want to help and be there for you. Try sharing your concerns with just one person and see how that goes. I think you will be surprised. Someone close to you at school may already be wondering and worried about you. Go back to see the counselor. Also, Hospice is there for the patient and the family. Ask them for help.
About seeing your Dad, our sons are very grateful that they saw their father often. They got closer to him over those last 6 years. Today they have happy memories without regrets. I know its sad to see him as he is now. He knows that, too. Just be sure you tell him you love him. Send him notes from school. Cry if you need to. Go when you feel you are able. You are not alone. We are here. Fay

breakingfree
Posts: 12
Joined: Oct 2009

i was admitted to the hospital for alcohol poisoning last night. i don't remember anything that happened.
i feel like my life is spiraling out of control.

mr steve
Posts: 286
Joined: Sep 2009

You need to find someone at your school that you can talk too. before your life does get out of control. It is a long dark road to come back from it's best to stop now befor you go too far.

Steve

sue Siwek
Posts: 281
Joined: Jun 2009

i can't believe that the hospital didn't insist that you stay and have counseling. listen to me, you need help! ask for it! it is not a sign of weakness to admit that you need help it is a sign of strength. my husband has had brain cancer and parkinsons for 10 yrs., i have been his sole care giver. our 4 adult children and their wives and children help but is mostly me. my husband and i have both had counseling over this. please, please, go to your college health clinic and fess up! ask for their help and you will get it. ask to be put on an antidepressant i am and it helps, and cut out the drinking or at least tempor it. i am worrying and thinking about you let this site know how things are. get busy, go see a counselor!

grandmafay's picture
grandmafay
Posts: 1612
Joined: Aug 2009

OK, now you have had a warning. Please, get help now. Alcohol won't solve anything. You need to see the counselor now. They are there to help you. You are dealing with more than you can handle on your own - more than most people can handle on their own. Help is out there. Only you can ask for it. Do it. As a mother, I am really worried about you. College is important, but if you can't handle it right now, do what you need to do to heal yourself. Fay

tiny one
Posts: 467
Joined: Jan 2009

I hear you! I feel you crying out, wanting this pain to stop. In order to heal, you have to feel, to hurt. There is a moment of darkness, that we make a decision to end the pain or to get up and try to get better. It's hard to do, I know because I've been there quite a few times. For me I chose to do an outpatient program. Now when I look back on everything I see all that I would've missed. Know this, you are ultimately the one in charge, only you. With help the pain gets more manageable and ceases. I still have my dark days, the days that I fight to stay here on earth. For me it's thoughts of my one son and husband that keep me here. It is sometimes a day to day struggle. Please stay here with all of us.

grandmafay's picture
grandmafay
Posts: 1612
Joined: Aug 2009

Hey, we haven't heard from you in a couple of days. How are you? Just don't forget we care. Fay

breakingfree
Posts: 12
Joined: Oct 2009

so my mom was shocked. pissed. and now just straight up worried.
i think i'm doing ok.. but not really. i know that last week was stupid. and i shouldn't have done that but i think it should have happened too. i skipped my counseling appt today because i didn't want to bring this back into my life. if it's hidden it doesn't exist. i haven't seen or spoken to my dad since last wednesday... when i found out about hospice. i could hear him coughing in the background when i talked to my mom.
i think i'm going home this weekend. i guess to spend more time with him. i just feel that forgetting and cutting him out of my life is the easiest thing to do so i don't have to suffer. he has basically lost all life in him. why should i always make myself sad by being around him when we don't do anything. every time i even think about him i begin to feel sad.... like now..... i just don't know which way to swing.
what will be easiest? and how the hell am i supposed to face my mom and my dad... after my alcohol stint. this upcoming weekend will just be miserable if do go home. :[
so all in all nothing has changed... i'm just in an ok mood because i havn't been around the situation and havn't had to deal with it. yup that's me at this point. i don't know what's coming next in my life. i want to turn my life around but classes are just so damn hard and i don't have the focus to study hard.

grandmafay's picture
grandmafay
Posts: 1612
Joined: Aug 2009

Now, I'm going to sound like the Mom I am. Call the counselor and make a new appointment. The hurt, anger, and helplessness you feel is not going away. You may think it does, but it doesn't. My husband ended up flunking out of college when his father died. He was able to go back and finish, but he found that not dealing with his grief didn't help in the long term. You will never forgive yourself if you don't go see your father. Since Hospice is now involved, call your local Hospice. They have programs to help those of us (family members) who are dealing with cancer and will be left behind. It is really hard to deal with the death of a parent no matter how old you are. They know that and can help. Your family sounds a great deal like my husband's. His mother refused to talk about his father's death. That just made it harder on everyone. I can't emphasize enough how important it is that you get help. Take care and hang in there. Come here as often as you need. Fay

Barbara53's picture
Barbara53
Posts: 659
Joined: Aug 2009

Yer name says it all. Don't you wish you could break free?

I have a daughter in college, and she had a bad semester a couple of years ago. It was hard picking up the pieces, academically speaking. What can you take an Incomplete in? It's usually better than an F on your GPA, especially with required courses. When you take them the second time and do well, the Incomplete disappears.

I guess I'm saying that I don't think it's realistic to perform in school and deal with your father's death at the same time. So, if you can scale back to courses you know you can pass, maybe the seme$$ter won't be a total loss.

Sticking with someone who is dying is difficult, but what they really want is a bit of company, not being alone. When you go home, is there a friend or neighbor's house where you can sleep where you won't hear the coughing? You need rest to do this hard job.

Your age is a hard time of life under great circumstances. You over alcohol'd to deal with the pain, my daughter used to cut herself. It gets better. This is temporary. Say it like a mantra.

breakingfree
Posts: 12
Joined: Oct 2009

i saw him this weekend. and it wasn't as bad as i thought it was going to be. he gets sicker and sicker every day though so i feel like i need to come down and see him as much as i can.

i feel that he is extremely depressed and awkwardly quiet... he doesn't care that my sisters and i are rowdy. he just sits there patiently and watches tv. he is on oxygen full time now. and often can't catch his breath. i'm kind of putting this in perspective for myself. it's realty.
my mom and i talked for a little bit and she started crying at one point because i know she is dealing with the biggest burden having to always take care of him. and even though she and him say it will be ok. we all know it's not going to be ok the only way out is death.

right now i'm watching the tragedy that happened in texas. it really makes me sad for those innocent people who are struggling.
:[

i feel that i cannot live my life normally because i have this on shoulder. i feel needed to go home and miss out on college. i hate school. i can't quit because i'm scared i will stop my motivation even more and might never go back. i need to finish. i can't just stop. what would i do....
btw. my dad STILLLLLLLLLL goes to work. with his oxygen and his shortness of breath.
just so he doesn't have to sit at home alone.

i'm going back to my counselor on friday and i'm actually really looking forward to it.

grandmafay's picture
grandmafay
Posts: 1612
Joined: Aug 2009

I am glad to hear that you are going to the counselor. It sounds like you have made some real progress in dealing with this difficult time. I'm not going to tell you to quit college. That's a decision you will have to make. Talk it over with the counselor. It is difficult to go back if you quit. Both my husband and I did that. As I said before, my husband flunked out after his father died. He chose to go to a community college closer to home for awhile. I quit because of some health issues and went to work for awhile. We were both able to go back. When I quit I was able to just withdraw from my classes without penalty because of the health issues. I know that our college also allowed this for serious family issues. Explore your options. Then make the best decision for you and your family.

You're right about your mother getting hit the hardest. Caregiving is very difficult. She must live with your father's cancer 24/7. She sees his deteriorating health every day. I've been there, and it's tough. You can be there for both your parents without being physically there. Our sons called us regularly. One son sent emails almost every day. A friend sent us post cards that just said she was thinking about us. Those things really helped. Hang in there! We care. Keep in touch. Fay

breakingfree
Posts: 12
Joined: Oct 2009

hi barbara,
I wanted to thank you for your post. A few weeks ago I was confident that I was going to finish the semester, but I didn't. I took several incompletes to be here with my dad in the hospital. I didn't really know what incompletes were and I kept thinking about your post actually when the time came for my sister to pick me up and take me from my university to the hospital. Everything is kind of up in the air right now, I don't know when I will finish or what. Things are really hard right now for me. I'm having a really hard time dealing with everything and especially the university. But I wanted to let you know that your suggestion was actually quite helpful. I didn't know I had another way out. IT helps to write stuff down.
Thanks.

breakingfree
Posts: 12
Joined: Oct 2009

I still can't believe I did something so stupid. My mom was worried so much. I've never done something like this before and I can't believe I put my life on the line like this. It's embarrassing to read this. :[

bluerose's picture
bluerose
Posts: 1089
Joined: Jul 2009

Hello Breakingfree, First of all I want to tell you I love your name you use on here - especially with all you are going through and I want to tell you that I think you are already a very strong and perceptive young lady given the fact that you know what you need to do for your own good - break free.

When we are faced with huge challenges in life we are not meant to carry those burdens alone and there is NOTHING WRONG with people realizing you have issues. There is nothing to be ashamed of, life happens and sometimes we need help getting through patches.

I agree with one of the people who responded to your posting, I would look into the counselling section of your university. They are confidential I am sure and you will be able to get a counsellor there no doubt who you will be able to confide in and look to for guidance as to what your next step should be in dealing with all your grief and stress. Are you spiritual at all? You could always go to the church of your choice too, around campus or on campus, and speak with the minister there if you are more comfortable with that? There are places to go like these where you won't have to pay for help - the above two are starts and they, from there, will guide you if they feel you need further input elsewhere. I'm sure that they will, so just start there.

You asked at the end of your posting if your life will be better if you shared your story?
Absolutely you will feel better just getting the story out to a professional but the decision to tell your family you are in counselling is up to you. Maybe wait and ask the counsellor how to handle that too before you have that talk with the family, just an idea.
Get the counsellors input on that too, first session perhaps, he/she will better know what to do in that regard if you are so worried about spilling things to someone out of the family.

I don't see that you are thinking in any way that is out of the ordinary for grieving but I do think that you absolutely need to share with both with a professional as I described above and with this site which is very helpful as so many on here have been where you are in many of your challenges.

You need to get this out FOR YOU, everyone grieves differently and maybe the rest of your family don't need to share but, YOU DO. Do this for yourself and for your future as you still, even in all of this right now, need to continue your focus on your studies and that won't be easy. In life we often have many balls to juggle with troubles and issues and we have to learn how to do that with the minimum of disruption to our psyche and daily life.

Please keep us posted on your progress, you should like a young lady who is wise beyond her years in recognizing that she needs the help, many don't and pay the price. All the best in your first contact with the counsellor at school, do keep us posted. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Blessings, Bluerose

breakingfree
Posts: 12
Joined: Oct 2009

Thank you for your post. I DO NEED THIS FOR MYSELF. I know I need this for myself.

grandmafay's picture
grandmafay
Posts: 1612
Joined: Aug 2009

Just wanted to check in with you. I hope you saw the counselor. Let us know how you're doing. Fay

breakingfree
Posts: 12
Joined: Oct 2009

Sooooo
1. I went to the counselor again, and this time I didn't cry very much. We had a normal conversation just about life. I think I'm past the point of going to the counselor now. I don't know if I have anything to talk about with him anymore.

2. I told someone. Actually I told a few people.
I told 1 friend about a week ago. I just spent 20 minutes and told her everything that I was going through and she was really considerate and I really felt that I could trust her. We were outside so I didn't have the chance to really break down even though I still cried. This was the first time I'd told someone what I've been longing to tell.. It felt good.

I then told my Biology Professor and met with him to catch up on work that I missed from missing multiple lectures--> due to my alcohol/hospitalization stint and times when I would go be with my dad instead of attend class. He was very rude about the situation and I was very upset afterward. He told me that I should just let go. If my dad has accepted that he is passing then I should too and I really need to focus more on my studies. I'm riding a c+/b- in that class. He kept going on and on about how 'is modern medicine really worth it?' you should feel lucky he's made it so far. I felt very frustrated because I really was making an effort to turn my studies around and I felt that he didn't see this as such a big issue. He simply told me that I need to not go home so much and accept the fact of what is going on. I was very polite during this entire time but when I walked out I really felt like I should have stood up for this. The thing is, my dad has NOT accepted he's dying. He's still alive obviously. My prof blatantly wanted me to accept the inevitable and I wasn't prepared for that at all. I was expecting sympathy instead of 'pull your **** together because your dad probably doesn't want you to do so poorly like you are in your courses.' At the end of the day though I know he's right. My studies have suffered a lot because of this and no med school is going to be alright with me getting shitty grades. I know that.... I just have to keep playing the teeter totter. I'm staying here this weekend and going home for Thanksgiving break Wed-Sunday next week. Maybe I needed this slap of realty, because I've been feeling so sorry for myself lately.

I told 2 more of my friends just because I felt like I was being fake with them. ALways hanging out and pretending everything is alright and then sort of going through a depression all by myself when we split.

Today, I told my anthropology professor, and for the first time I didn't cry.
I feel that the more people I've told the more stable I've become with this. Simply because others know. I don't have to hide from it or lean on it anymore all by myself.

Then I talked to my mom. She has been constantly texting me telling me she loves me and telling me she misses me and wants me home, but I also really NEED to focus on school.
I can't afford to pause my life because of this.
I know this is selfish... SO SELFISH... :[ but I just can't. I wish I had had this little bit of strength a few weeks ago so my grades weren't as shitty as they are right now. I'm pulling a C+ in one course, C+/B- in another course, B- in another course, and an A in English.

Last time I spoke with my dad was yesterday and he was asking when I was coming home.
Next week is Thanksgiving. I'm worried that I will not have this will to work after I go home and resee everything that is going on. My other professor said I can def raise my grade to a B, maybe a B+ and possibly even an A- if I really work hard.
It's been 2 weeks now since I found out about hospice. I think talking about it has REALLLLY helped me and I sincerely regret not having talked about this with at least a few of my close friends of the past couple of years- when all this **** started.
I really have been suffering all this by myself because I didn't have the guts to go against what my parents were so subtly enforcing. I felt that I had to behave exactly like them... when really I was just hurting myself. :/// Randomly crying even in high school and really not confiding in my friends.

At this point I've told those whom I really trust here at the University and some profs because I felt that I needed to really confront them and tell them that i've been missing class and don't know whats going.
The fact that I live an hour from home separates me from this situation and i havn't had to deal with it until someone calls or contacts me.
I guess we'll see after thanksgiving.

I don't know if I want to tell my friends from back home. I feel that I am back to standing on 2 feet for a little tiny bit anyway and maybe still having my outlet even though I probably won't spend THAT much time with them over break, will at least still be there for me.

Now that my head is a little bit cleared, I really want to thank you people for being there for me. I honestly didn't know where to turn to a few weeks ago. I couldn't talk to my mom about this because she was so caught up in the moment. I felt that I HAD to tell someone or I would just not be able to make it myself. I'm sure this is just a pocket of hope I'm experiencing. In fact I know that I will probably cry multiple times when I see my dad next week..... happens every time I see him because he looks so awful. But at this point I really appreciate all the advice. I am just trying to figure this whole mess out with myself and I guess writing it down is the best outlet I have so far.
I love you guys. Really.

I'll let you know any new developments. For now I'm going to go study for my Biology exam so I can hopefully do better on Monday's exam.

THANK YOU! xoxoxoxoxoxoxo

grandmafay's picture
grandmafay
Posts: 1612
Joined: Aug 2009

It sounds like you are moving forward. Thanksgiving may be hard but you can do this. Your dad may look bad, but his love for you is still there. Try to look beyond the body to the person inside. Boy does that sound preachy and corny, but it worked for me. You are not being selfish to want to keep your life together and do what you need to do. I'm glad you are talking to your friends about what is going on. I'm sure they appreciate your honesty and want to help. Remember professors are just people. Some are understanding and caring. Others are not. You might want to keep the counselor option open even if you don't think you need it.It doesn't hurt to have a back-up plan. Take care. Write when you want to. We'll be here. Fay

breakingfree
Posts: 12
Joined: Oct 2009

my dad was taken to icu this morning because he couldn't breathe. whenever i've talked to him on the phone... he would just say it's difficult for him to talk...
my mom says he has pneumonia. he is not going home. there is no time scheduled for him to go home. i want to go home. but i have finals this week. :[[[[[[[[[
i'm really stressed out.
i don't mean to complain. i simply want to update you on what just happened. i think i'm handling this better than i would have had i not started talking about it before. my 11 year old sister has breakdowns all the time now. my 2 sister and my mom spent the day in the hospital today.
that is all. :[

Barbara53's picture
Barbara53
Posts: 659
Joined: Aug 2009

I'm so sorry to hear of this terrible time for your family. You have done what your dad wanted and stuck with your commitment to school this semester -- great job! In a few days you will be finished and you can go home, just like he wanted. He knows you can't be two places at once.

Your mother will be counting on you to help with your sisters, and I know you will come through. Every family has issues, but it's obvious that yours is held together with love. Good luck on your finals, and travel safely.

grandmafay's picture
grandmafay
Posts: 1612
Joined: Aug 2009

I'm glad you came back to post. I was getting concerned. I'm sorry you are dealing with this particularly during finals, but you've come so far. You can be proud of yourself. I know your parents are proud of you, too. This is one of the toughest things a family can go through. You will be home soon for winter break. I know it won't be an easy time for you. Just tell your dad you love him and hug your mom and sisters tightly. My thoughts are with you. Take care, Fay

breakingfree
Posts: 12
Joined: Oct 2009

so it has been 8 days now since he was admitted to icu.
after the first couple days he was improving significantly and was even writing to us messages he wanted us to decipher. the last couple days have been a nightmare. he is completely sedated and doesn't recognize what is going on. Today he was extremely fidgety and when my mom asked him if he wanted us to leave, he said yes. It has been so painful watching him suffer. We were all so hopeful after a few days that things would improve, but the cancer is too much. I know I'm not ready to let him go. I love him so much :[
but it's killing me to watch him be so drugged up and literally tide down in bed. He is suffering and there's nothing we can do about it. The doctor said there is no way to stop the inevitable. We can either let him live like this or pull the plug. I don't think we have the heart to kill my father. It should not be my choice when he passes away. It might be selfish to keep him on life support to keep him alive for us, but taking anothers life is not something I think my mom nor us could deal with.
Please pray for him. He is an extraordinary man. and I know everyone says that about their special people, but he really is. He never never NEVEr did something for himself before he put me or my sisters ahead of himself. I hope that I can one day make as big an impact in another one's life as he has on mine. I love him so much. I don't know what I'm going to do when he's completely gone. He was my strenghth and confidence. i talked to my dad about personal decisions I didn't talk to my mom about or anyone else. He always knew what to say and suggest. and as dumb as it sounds, he was always right. It's going to be so hard soooooooooooooooooo hard to realize that he is gone. simply gone. I don't know how I will move on and live my life along others who have not been affected. How am I supposed to go back to school and sit through lectures and be so happy when my heart is shattered. It's going to be so hard coming home. Knowing that he's not there. I can't be strong without him. Whom will I confide in now? This is so hard. soooo hard. Never in my life have I felt this heartbroken.

grandmafay's picture
grandmafay
Posts: 1612
Joined: Aug 2009

This is one of the hardest things you will ever have to go through. Somehow, we do find the strength to go on. Sadly, we have to play the hand we're dealt. Your father taught you to be strong. It sounds like he has set a wonderful example for all of you. I won't tell you that any of these days will be easy. I will tell you that at some point you will need to say good bye. The hardest thing I ever did was tell my husband that it was ok for him to go; that I would be ok. That was his main concern, and I'm sure your father is the same. They worry about how we will go on without them. Your father will always be with you through his love. For now, when you spend time with him just tell him you love him. Talk about the good memories. Do what you know in your heart he would want you to do. Life is not fair! Cancer sucks! Fay

bluerose's picture
bluerose
Posts: 1089
Joined: Jul 2009

One comment you made in this last post really stood out to me and that was the one where you said that someday you hope that you will make a difference in someone else's life like your Dad did for you and I can tell you that reading through all your posts and your tough journey with cancer you have made a difference in the lives of many who are reading your posts. You are an incredibly strong, brave and intelligent young lady for one so young. Life is not fair, as was pointed out in another posting here, and you have had to deal with an awful lot for one so young but you have done it with grace and truth. You have shared your true feelings, which is a very healing thing to do by the way, and it absolutely looks like you have learned a great deal along the way.

Your Dad I know would be very proud to see how you are handling all of this PLUS your studies as well, that is simply amazing and I think that the old addage 'we are only given what we can handle' sure rings true here. You have been handed alot to deal with and you are doing it and I know that you will continue to do so.

You have been an inspiration to me, a 22 year survivor of cancer, so you see it matters not how long you have been on this crazy planet but how you handle the bumps in the roads as you travel through it. I am honored to have corresponded with you and shared in a small part in your journey.

You and your family are in my prayers. Blessings, Bluerose

breakingfree
Posts: 12
Joined: Oct 2009

Hello again
I wanted to share some sad news. My father passed away on Dec 27th, 2009. These past couple of weeks have been extremely hard for me, but I feel alright enough to post something on here. After I read your posts above, I cried a lot because it helps a lot to know that people care. I've felt so alone in this whole journey over the past years and finally it's over. When I'm not crying, I know that he is in a better place. I know that he's in a place with no pain and looking over me and that helps me get by. The funeral was the hardest thing I have ever gone through in my life. So many people---so many strange faces. I actually came back to school for the semester a little while ago and finished some finals that I missed. Being with others has really helped me alot instead of being home alone and only dwelling on what just happened. It all seems so unreal. I feel that I will come home and just see him come from around a corner smiling telling me everything will be ok. I'm sad he won't be here with me for the rest of my life. He won't be there for me when I graduate college. He won't be there for me when I get married. :( I'm sooooo sad because of this. I've always envisioned him by my side along all these milestones in my life and I can't believe that it simply won't come true. That's the part that hurts me the most-- That I won't be there for him when he's old. I didn't see him retire. I didn't see him enjoy his retirement life. I didn't get to spend time with him adult-to-adult. I've always just been daddy's little girl going to school. :[ I know that I now more than ever have to finish what I started which is the main reason I didn't even consider skipping a semester. I've started completing some courses from last semester and somehow this semester is going well so far anyway. It's been hard. and it will be hard. Going to the cemetery is weird and I feel so out of place. I'm not supposed to go there for years. My mom has gone every single day and as hard as this has been on me, I feel that she has suffered so much. She loved him so much and he loved her so much. She was by his side always. She never ever left the hospital and was always in his room with him making sure he was getting the best treatment possible. While I haven't found peace yet, I feel that I am in a weird little place right now. I know what I need to do and I know how I need to do it and I know that my daddy will be there with me to do it. I'm just so heartbroken he won't be there with me along the way. Thank you for your prayers and good words. They have meant a lot to me. Rereading some of my previous posts, especially my initial one has really shown to me that I've at least moved on from my state of desperation and loneliness. Now that everyone knows, so many people have been so supportive and helpful. I'm just in a different place now, trying to find inner peace with this whole situation. God bless you all.

mr steve
Posts: 286
Joined: Sep 2009

Hugs and prayers to you and your family and may God bless you.

grandmafay's picture
grandmafay
Posts: 1612
Joined: Aug 2009

I am so sorry. Losing our fathers is hard even when we are older. I can only imagine how hard it is when you are younger. Yes, our heads tell us that our loved ones are in a better place, but our hearts just feel the hurt and loss. It sounds like your father raised a strong young women. I know that you will continue to make him proud. Your mother also sounds strong. I rarely go to the cemetery because I don't believe my husband is there. I did put a wreath on his grave at Christmas, but I haven't been back. Thinking you'll see your father in places is very common for many of us. Grief takes many forms, and each of us grieves in our own way. I'm glad you are with friends. Take good care of yourself. Fay

bluerose's picture
bluerose
Posts: 1089
Joined: Jul 2009

Please accept my deepest condolances on your Father's passing but as you said he is certainly in a much better place now, free from all the pain he endured here on earth. I am a believer in the after life so I believe that he is watching over you and yours.

You asked the question 'it is over or is it?' It happened not very long ago so you will go through all the stages of grief in death and dying and as long as you don't get stuck in one of the stages like anger or denial then you will come out fine. You have the support of your family and counsellors and friends on this board and at home and that support will get you through, no easy shortcuts I'm afraid in grieving. Grief counsellors are very helpful in this kind of situation or maybe the counsellor you have already deals with this too, hope that is the case.

I just read your posting about your Dad's passing so sorry I am late on the condolances. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Blessings, Bluerose

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