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Is there hope, or else how do we go on

aveenam
Posts: 11
Joined: Nov 2009

My name is Aveena and currently live in Mumbai I recieved news today that my dad is terminal anything between 6-8 months. It strated as colon cancer diagnosed mid novemeber which they were suppose to operate on 24 November only to discover it has now spread to the entire liver and bones. The doctors say they will only try to make him comfortable nothing they can do. I feel helpless, angry, sad, mad...My family are all in South Africa and I am away from them so I feel guilty too. I have a 8 week baby that has not seen grandad (nana) yet. I am looking for hope. Doctors say 6 months, do I be realistic and face this or be optimistic and deny this as a certainity and focus energy to find a way to make him live longer.
I worry also for my mum she is a kind and sensitive soul has does she survive this and be strong. How do we cope. Anone out there with any words any signs any hope.
My dad is only 62 years, my gran is even still alive at 87 and my mum is 54.
AVEENA

sue Siwek
Posts: 281
Joined: Jun 2009

all i can say is to urge your family to take your father to a teaching hospital. there they will have the latest treatments and his best chance for survival.

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

Aveena,

My father survived prostate cancer only to die of stroke. My plastic surgeon is still practicing years following a pancreatic cancer diagnosis. Where there is life, there is always hope.

Love and Courage!

Rick

grandmafay's picture
grandmafay
Posts: 1622
Joined: Aug 2009

First, let me say how sorry I am that you have received this news. My husband passed away in Oct. after a 6 year battle with colon cancer. He was 63. He wore a bracelet that said hope until the day he died. I always tell people that if a dr. gives you a set amount of time, find a new dr. They don't know. They are only guessing based on statistics. People are not statistics. They may be right or they may be wrong. Encourage your parents to get a second opinion if they haven't already.

Now for the second part of your posting. How does you mother survive if your dad dies? We just do. We are stronger than we think. We hurt and feel like part of us is gone, but we do go on. My husband and I were married for 42 years. I wake up each morning thinking of him, and I go to bed each night with him in my heart and mind. I have a strong support system, but that doesn't lessen the hurt. Yet, I do go on. People have asked me how I keep my spirits up and I tell them. For 6 years my husband fought cancer with a death sentence over his head. For much of that time he kept his smile and sense of humor. He tried to help others, and reached out to many. He made us laugh more often than cry. His secret was pretty simple. He said he woke up each morning and decided that he was alive so it had to be a good day. I try to do the same. I don't always succeed, but I try. He taught me strength. Some days, hours, and minutes are hard. I have given myself permission to grieve and do. I don't cry every day now, but I cry often. Like I said, though, we are stronger than we think.

My best wishes and thoughts to you and your family. Even if you can't be there physically with your parents, try to be part of their support. Call, email, or mail notes regularly. My sons have helped me more than even they will ever know. Take care, Fay

marywest's picture
marywest
Posts: 135
Joined: Sep 2009

You have heard he has six months, I dont' think you could ever stop hoping. Your heart and care will be with him to the end. When is the end? Don't know. I wouldnt' stop searching for answers, these posts have good ideas and grandmafay has some excellent loving and caring words. All of us need to treat each day by doing our best, we dont' know what will happen tomorrow. Today is the day to tell him how much you love him. Emails, or letters, however you can. Life is a walk, one step at a time, when you pray ask God to direct your steps, and he does that by giving you a thought or an idea, or he will send someone to you and the words they say or a word could be an answer on where and what to do. Physicaly or medicaly there may be things we can't do, but we can always pray we can always tell someone kind words. I am thanking God for you and your family and enjoy your sweet little baby, thats the most I can do for you.

pattynonews's picture
pattynonews
Posts: 176
Joined: Aug 2009

Yes Ms Faye we have to hold on to hope, that is pretty much all we have some days, Im doing alittle better well I should say until one of Jack old ( so called friend ) told me last night that Jack is dead and I need to stop living like he is,here, she said I need to read the bible and I would know Jack spirit and heart died with him, needless to say I got a little loud with her and told he never dispect Jadk like this, But anyway I still have to live on hope and the spirit of Jack, I sat there and read all the cancer blogs and it I am so glad I did it, It took me back to all the good times we had, And you were so right Faye the second month has been a hard one
take care sweetie

Kathi811
Posts: 1
Joined: Feb 2010

Your words touched my heart deeply. My heart is greiving now as we recently received the news my husband's cancer has recurred. I am not sure how to go on living with this news and all the fear I feel for the future.

Your husband sounds so special and I do wish I knew you better and could give you a hug. Thank you for writing all you did. You must be a very special and loving person and I can imagine how much you miss your husband after 42 years. I finally found the best man I could imagine 7 years ago, my soul mate (married him 2 1/2 years ago) only to think I will lose him to cancer.... I am still spinning with grief.

Kathi

aveenam
Posts: 11
Joined: Nov 2009

I thought my note would just go into some void your responses alone have been a miracle and sign to me. It has given me some courage to be stronger. I have resercahing about pain management both medically and alternate methods. What has your experiences been with this?

I had not thought about a second opinion is it worth it, how different can the diagnosis be, maybe the life expectancy only would be different? WHAT DO YOU THINK?

GRANDMA FAY a special thankyou to you.
Aveena

grandmafay's picture
grandmafay
Posts: 1622
Joined: Aug 2009

My husband lived longer than expected due in part to a referral and treatment at a university cancer center in our state. His choice was to buy as much time as possible, to live each day as it came, and make memories with his friends and family. Even if the diagnosis does not change, you will know that you have done what you can. Also, different treatments may improve both quality and quantity of life. If your father does not want to seek a second opinion, though, that's his call. Fay

aveenam
Posts: 11
Joined: Nov 2009

My dad does not want a second opinon. My brothers and sister convinced him to try this hydrogen peroxide oxygen supply thing. When he finally agreed I was excited seeing new hope and was happy but he is know more angry cos he felt really sick puking and going to the toilet and maybe also at himself being hopeful and expected a miracle of sorts. He has started giving his personal items away, i guess some way to deal with what he is experiencing. Mum just trys to be strong giving mechancial report back to me but I can hear her pain. At least my brothers an dsister are with them an I will join soon.
How do ou know when the end is near? I am trying to get to my dad but legalities are holding me back (no passport for 3 month old daughter) and I just have a bad feeling. TELL ME EVERYTHING WILL BE ALRIGHT. AVEENA

marywest's picture
marywest
Posts: 135
Joined: Sep 2009

From my experience losing my mom to cancer she let us know she was getting tired of the fight and pain. There are six of us kids and we couldn't accept it, we wouldnt' accept it. She started giving personal things away also, I felt inside she did that cause she wanted each of us kids to have special things. Your father might be getting tired inside, that battle is very difficult and could be wearing him down. I want to tell you everything will be ok, all I can do is encourage you to tell him how much you love him. I dont' know what your facing as far as legal issues, passport etc, I wonder if some how they can speed it up if you tell them about your fathers health. Your mom s trying to be as strong as possible, she doesn't want to see you crying or scared inside so she will be as positive as she can. She is very lucky to have a beautiful family and daughter like you. Your mom does have alot of pain, how can she not. Aveena lets beleive God right now for making a way for you to get home, I am praying something will help speed the process of passports. but in the meantime continue loving and saying everything you always wanted to, to him and your mother. This is so hard on you, I know it, I know there is nothing in the world right now for you than to be there. I wont' stop praying and beliving with you, ok, I'm here for you. I hope there is someone to talk to about speeding up the process, tell them how urgent it is. Let me know what you find out.

marywest's picture
marywest
Posts: 135
Joined: Sep 2009

I had to see a pain management doctor when I finished my chemo. The chemo destroyed all the nerve endings on my legs, and left me in exteem pain. She prescribed me pain and nausea medication, oh my gosh I felt like she saved my life. If your father is in pain by all means seek a pain doctor so he can be comfortable. My doctor had to talk me into taking it, she really stressed about being pain free and comfortable. You can check about alternate methods. Thats why it took me two weeks before I saw my pain doctor, I was seeking other choices. About having a second opinion, you have nothing to lose. I think I would need to have his diagnosis comfirmed in my mind if it were my father. like grandma fay said, her husband wanted to buy more time to love his family. Having them alive even one extra day is worth it. There is no price for someones life for just a day. When we first hear news like that, our mind races and we get scared. Be lifting it to God and he will show you without a shadow of a doubt. Walk with him because he is your strength, we are always weak, but he's our strength and we just move. Will be praying and beleiving with you. God Bless, will support you all the way. Mary

aveenam
Posts: 11
Joined: Nov 2009

GRANDMA FAY, MARY WEST
Thank you for all advise and hopefully the grief and guilt I feel will subside. Dad had extreme pains on Thursday 17th Decemeber and was taken to hospitaland given drips and pain medicine I left India via Ethopia as soon as I knew, even though mum said he is stable. I reached South Africa Friday at 2:30pm to find out he passed away peacefully taking the last breath at 9:30am. I never got there on time no matter how hard I tried. It hurts so much. Evryone says to take peace that he is not in pain and that it would have gotten worse. He also did what he wanted that week, gave his belongings except one ring he still had on to give my son which he died with, he went to a photo studio to take photos with mum, had a religious prayer (sort of last rites of passage)and told his family an dfriends good bye BUT I DID NOT GET TO SEE HIM OR TALK TO HIM OR BE THERE FOR HIM OR TELL HIM I LOVE HIM OR HOLD HIM...
I am trying to be strong for mum who has lost her soul mate but it hurts and I feel empty inside. I am consumed with emotions of grief, guilt, anger, frustration...All advise seems futile and ignored. I am trying to deal with it best I can scared not to fall into any depression. Someone suggested speaking to a "LADY THAT SPEAKS TO THE DEAD" even... Now I am really reaching out.

grandmafay's picture
grandmafay
Posts: 1622
Joined: Aug 2009

I am so sorry for your loss. First, I want to say that you have a right to your feelings. All you mention are shared by many of us here and are a part of grieving. It sounds as if even if your father was not cured, he was healed. Knowing that doesn't change the hurt, at least not yet. Knowing our loved ones are no longer in pain doesn't stop us from feeling their loss. Our minds can tell us that, but our hearts are still broken.

Now, having said you have a right to your feelings, I would encourage you to let go of the guilt. You did the best you could. No one, not even you, should expect more. Your father knew you were coming. He knew that you loved him. I'm sure he knew that you would be a comfort to your mother, just as my husband knew that our sons would be there for me. I would also encourage you to let yourself grieve. Don't try to be too strong. It's ok to cry with your mom and talk with her about how you feel. That may even make her feel better. After all, she is your mother. Mothers like to help their children. I appreciated that our sons expressed their grief and cried with me. I know they are strong, but they too have a great loss and need to grieve.

Please, take care of yourself. Fay

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