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25 and stressed

peachycream
Posts: 33
Joined: Apr 2010

My dad has esophageal cancer (it started in the stomach and came up) T3N1M0 and isn't a candidate for surgery because he had a massive stroke 6 years ago, has had seizures, and has sleep apnea. He was treated at MD Anderson for 6 weeks chemo/radiation, and we have been home for 6 weeks. We go back Sunday for a week of tests to find out how it worked. I have two brothers but they are married with families and don't help. This has actually tore my family apart, as my brothers are trying to control my mother and her finances, even though she has a job and has done fine since my dad's stroke. I cared for him during his stroke, took him to therapy, etc. when I was so young. I was able to finish college after he had a decent recovery (can walk fine, cook, etc. but does not have his speech), and I was just looking into a new job and moving from this small town with no jobs, to the city about 45 mins away (I live in Mississippi). Well, this came and destroyed our lives. He was doing so good and now this... My mom is a wreck and can't do anything. She is very ditzy and I have always had to organize his medicine and such. He was very sick once we got home (extremely high fever, low blood pressure from chemo, not eating) and of course it was all on me. I have been fine and have been so strong, but the fear is starting to get to me. I'm terrified of him not getting better. I can't watch him die. I'm also terrified that I will never be able to move on with my life. I have been stuck for so many years... but even if some other family were willing to help, I couldn't leave him. I'm the only one who takes good care of him, talks to him, treat him the same and everything. The rest of the family sort of ignores him since he has speech trouble.

It's just so hard. Everything. And then there is never any good news from people with this type. I stayed up all last night just crying. Sad for him. Sad for our life. I just needed to vent. :(

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

I'm a country girl, too, and sometimes I wonder if we aren't doing what people have done forever. Somebody in the family steps up and takes care of dad or mom when they get bad sick, and we do what must be done because it's the right thing to do. I am sorry that you're having to shoulder so much by yourself, but you will be glad to have no regrets, knowing you did your imperfect best.

When this is over and you're back looking for a new job again (and this will happen!), you will do it with your dad supporting you, and things will be fine. Out in the working world, many many women have been through what you are going through now, and they respect it. You never really lose your dad. Mine died years ago, and I still talk to him sometimes.

I know what you mean about feeling terrified that your dad will get worse and worse. After a year and a half of fighting, my mom is having lots of symptoms that the cancer is spreading fast. The reality is sinking in that this is it. Sad for us, sad for them, but what are you gonna do?

zinniemay's picture
zinniemay
Posts: 534
Joined: Mar 2009

I was my daddy's girl, But I lived 700 miles away and had young children, My dad had Esophageai cancer, he passed in 1994. I wish more than anything I could have been there for him. But it was not in the cards. My mother dead in 2006 of Colon cancer. I was not there for her she lived 800 miles away. Now my husband of 36 years has Esophageal cancer that mets to liung, I will be there for him.
But my hope is that you know that My dad never left me, I have such good memories of him, and my mom. They are always with me. Soemtimes I will see my adult children to things , I will say you do that like your grandpa did. My Son wears his baseball cap the same way as my dad. So there are moments where my dad and mom are right there with me. When I am telling or teachiing my children what my parents taugh me.
I wish you a better today.

Tina Blondek's picture
Tina Blondek
Posts: 1561
Joined: Nov 2009

Hey PeachyCream
So sorry for you. It is not fair, but it is just the way it has turned out for you. Thank God for you, or both your parents would be lost. Give yourself a well deserved pat on the back. Sounds to me like you need a little down time just for yourself. I am sure that you can leave your mom and dad for an hour or so at least one day a week. I am also thinking that now would be a good time to look into hospice care, or a visiting home healthcare nurse. You need help....now! How about some help from neighbors, or your church? You can also call the American Cancer Society and see what they suggest. Your mom and dad need you, but they do not need you if you are worn out, exhausted, and unable to function! Take a deep breath, count to ten, and start over. I will be thinking of you and praying for all of you! Keep in touch.
Tina

peachycream
Posts: 33
Joined: Apr 2010

Thanks. I just had a rough week! I was extremely stressed and upset with the upcoming tests and such (will be back in Houston Monday the 19 until the end of the week for tests to find out how the treatment went). I'm better now... just worried still. We do have home health, but the nurse only comes once a week.

I know there is pretty much zero hope that he can be in a long remission or cured without surgery, so I'm dreading the road we are facing...

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