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I'm have been the main caregiver for both my parents

dee725
Posts: 4
Joined: Mar 2011

I'm have been the main caregiver for both my parents. I took care of my mother years ago until 8yrs ago when she had died. The first year my mother was in the hospital for most of it. I went to school, found a full time job (that I loved very much) which I held for 13yrs until the company closed in 2008. Within that time I gotten married, became guardian of my Goddaughter and had a child of my own. In 2001, we had sold our house so I could take care of my mother, while working which was 15min away. Once my Mother had past, we stood with my Father so he wouldn't be alone. Then 3 1/2 years ago, my Father suffered a stroke. He lost his independence that day. My Father just celebrated his 80th 2 months before. It was very difficult for me considering my dad was always there to help with the kids if I worked late, prepared dinner and was my babysitter. Well, here we are, my dads turning 84 in July if GOD lets us have him. He suffered 2 more strokes. Just took him into the hospital 2 weeks ago and now I found out he has stage 4 cancer. I requested his pathology report which states he has stomach cancer which metastatize to his liver, small intestine with a cyst on his lung. My father doesn't any treatment. When I get him up he sits up for maybe 2 hrs the most then he wants back in bed. He has been sleeping for most of his time since I had brought him home. When he was discharged for the hospital they ordered Physical and Occuptional Therapy. Don't sure how long I will have him with us, but I'm making sure his last days or months are happy. This may sound wrong, but I can not talk him into any treatment. I want my kids who are 12 and 15 now remember the good, and fun times and not the vomiting from treatments. My father has been very miserable since he had the stroke and I feel he has had enough. Hoping that I stay strong enough for my kids because my son worships my dad and my daughter does whatever she can to do things for him. I know that I could have put my father into a nursing home years ago, but felt if I was able to take care of Mom why can't I do it for my Dad. How does a child go on without having her parents around. My parents and I have done lots together and have been Best Friends. They made me who I am today. So, why do I feel so empty and like I'm letting him down. I know I haven't so why do I feel this way. I don't regret any of these years that I took care of them. I can only wish that next week when we go to see the onocologist, he tells me 3-6 months and that he will not be in any pain. My father has had enough and I think he longs to be with my Mother and Grandparents.

AKAngel's picture
AKAngel
Posts: 74
Joined: Mar 2010

You are dealing with something that many people will never face. You are not alone. I understand what it means to accept when a parent doesn't want treatment. My mother may have lived for another 6 months or more, if she wanted to constantly travel and try every type of treatment options out there. But she knew she'd had enough. She was just on the cusp of being 62. I too felt like I should argue harder for her to live, but then I had to take a step back and realize that I was arguing for my need of her, and not really for her needs. Unfortunately, pain can be right til the end, and with your father's history of strokes, he may not even be able to tell you when he's in pain. About the last week of her life, my mom lost the ability to communicate except in the most basic ways, and it was hard for me to want to keep giving her medicine because she could no longer voice consent of taking it. But our hospice nurse explained that just because she couldn't voice her pain, or her need of medicine to lessen it, didn't mean she wasn't in pain. Be prepared for some really hard times, and know that all here on the board are willing listeners and great advice givers. Prayers for your house, and your heart.

Tina Blondek's picture
Tina Blondek
Posts: 1560
Joined: Nov 2009

Hello AKAngel
So happy to see you posting again. I did not see too much of you after your mom passed. We have both been grieving this past year. I have been able to deal with my dad's passing pretty well. My mom and brother...not as well. I have a strong Christian faith. I know my dad and your mom are both in a much better place. They were both so sick from the cancer, the treatments, the pain meds, the side effects. Absolutely no quality of life. They had both had more than enough. Their passing actually was a blessing. I know and believe that we will see our parents again. Jesus made us this promise, and he always keeps his promises. Glad to see you here giving your advice. Take care and keep in touch.
Tina in Va

dee725
Posts: 4
Joined: Mar 2011

AKAngel, Thank you for your prayers and advice. I'm real scare at what the future holds for him but reading these boards they are helping. I have never really done anything like this before and it feels good knowing that I'm not alone.

Tina Blondek's picture
Tina Blondek
Posts: 1560
Joined: Nov 2009

Hello Dee and welcome to our support discussion board family. I was a caregiver for my dad. He lost his battle with EC/mets to the liver, age 71. He passed last March. I can see your dad's point. From what I have learned, and if I could do things differently for my dad, I would not have had him do anymore chemo once the cancer went to his liver. He and we had a horrible 3 months. My dad no longer had any quality of life. He was constantly suffering, in pain, bad side effect from pain meds. What is the point? There is none. We had to stop being selfish, and give him our blessing to go on, leave this miserable life on earth, and move onto the Kingdom of God. Sounds like this is the same way your dad is feeling. He does long to be with your mom and his parents. Your dad is going with his gut feeling....he knows when enough is enough...now it is your turn to accept this and go with your gut feeling. You and I will see our dad's again. Keep in touch.
Tina in Va

dee725
Posts: 4
Joined: Mar 2011

Tina, thanks for you words. Like I told AKAngel these words help me to know that I'm not alone. Thanks again and I will be keeping in touch.

tc_sis
Posts: 22
Joined: Feb 2011

Dee, You are not alone at all! One of the many things that I have learned while looking around the boards is that although our stories all vary that somehow they are all the same. I look at people who are desperate for answers with a new diagnosis, those who are fighting to find every available treatment and have seen some sucess, and on and on.Then I see those who get to where we are.It seems that we are all more alike at every stage along the way. Similar emotions not wanting to give up but not wanting to continue to see the suffering of this one that we love so much. Wanting to protect everyone involved from the heartache at hand. I just wish you peace and understanding as all of this unfolds...

Connie

tanker sgv's picture
tanker sgv
Posts: 128
Joined: Nov 2010

I know the feeling. Its been 5 months scince i lost my mom and i am just now dealing with her passing. I too have lost my grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles. What i wasnt prepared for was when my mom passed it felt as though my whole family had died again. Now its just my brother and my aunt that i have left. So the best advice i can give u is its okay to feel alone or lost but work through those emotions. Our parents and grandparents are the ones from whom we seek wisdom and guidence, without them we are forced to walk alone and our problems will be up to us to resolve. i am not sure what else to say but if you have any questions please feel free to send me a message. also there is a poem on my expressions page that i read every time i feel alone give it a look , i hope it will help

3Mana
Posts: 829
Joined: Aug 2010

Dee,
Sometimes life sucks especially when our lives are affected by someone with cancer. I'm sorry about your mom. Losing her had to be hard as I lost mine in 89 and I still miss her so much. And sounds like you've given up so much to take care of your dad. I can understand how you feel and I also understand his not wanting treatment. He's lived a long life and why should he be sick from chemo when it only buys time. It's good for your kids to remember the happy times with their grandpa. I know when my mom died my dad who also had cancer was so lonesome even though we kept him busy. I used to go visit her crypt quite often, but when my dad died the following year I felt a sense of relief & calm because they are now together.
My husband of 46 years passed away just a year ago on Mar. 25th from cancer. Actually from a rare side effect of AVASTIN. So I've dealt alot with cancer in my life.
Please enjoy the days with your dad & let him know how much he means to you.
Keep in touch Dee! Carole

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