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How to talk to my father who has Brain Tumor

rrees
Posts: 1
Joined: Dec 2011

My Dad was diagnosed with a brain tumour. That was about 6 months ago . Its terminal inoperable . Radiotherapy was the only option without it he had 3 months with they projected 18.

I cannot imagine how he feels. He is in the UK and I in Canada. I flew home to support him. I was able to be there for 3 weeks. It was good to feel like I was doing something. I was able to get all of the support mechanisms in place (UK has a good medical support system).

Fast forward to today. Im back in Canada . My Dad has had a follow up Scan and the tumor has reduced. Its now a two year prognosis.

My dilemma is how to talk to him. We talk about all sorts of things - normal stuff ... I want to be strong for him. But what I want to tell him how I feel how scared I am off losing him. He has been the man I want to be, the man I look up to.

I feel that sharing my stuff would just be selfish on my part.

How have you dealt with this ?

jimwins's picture
jimwins
Posts: 1970
Joined: Aug 2011

Hello rrees,

Welcome to this site - you'll find very caring and supportive
people here and lots of hope! I've not been in your situation and
hopefully someone who has will chime in soon.

There are many people on this site who have greatly exceeded
the "crystal ball" prognosis they received, so your dad could
very well go beyond the “two year” prognosis. A lot can happen
in two years in terms of research and discovery with cancer so
there is reason for hope and positives here.

Being “strong” doesn’t necessarily mean being devoid of emotion
and self expression. Great strength can come from working through
your emotions/fears and expressing yourself.

Death is such a difficult topic of discussion for most of us.
Our society tends to avoid it and we really aren’t very educated about it.
It is an inevitable reality of life.

It sounds like you have a good relationship with your father
so I'd say talk to your father candidly. Maybe he has things he'd like to
discuss with you but is also afraid. You can share in your fears
and hopefully work through them together.

That’s my “two cents”. I wish the best for both of you. Please
feel free to come here and share. You can cry, rant, rave, and laugh
with us (yeah, we do laugh on occasion). You'll find this a very supportive
and non-judgemental place.

Hugs and positive thoughts,

Jim
DX: DLBL 4/2011, Chemo completed 10/2011, currently in remission. :)
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Tethys41's picture
Tethys41
Posts: 1053
Joined: Sep 2010

Rrees,
This is a difficult subject. Above all, I think you need to do what your father wants, and the only way to do that is to ask. Ask him if he wants to hear about your feelings. If he does not, find someone else in which to confide. My husband expected me to take care of his feelings when I was dealing with cancer. When I was struggling,during my third hospital stay, and just trying to walk the halls of the hospital with my IV pole for some exercise and change of scenery, my husband said to me, "I feel so defeated." I told him he needed to talk to someone else about that. I know you are used to going to your dad for support, but now is the time he needs support from you. Better to give that support in the way he wants to receive it.

Hondo's picture
Hondo
Posts: 5601
Joined: Apr 2009

I have NPC Cancer and find people always have problems talking to me about my cancer. I am not sure why this is as I have no problems talking about it, I know it was there and hope and prayer it is gone and never come back. But when I needed people the most to talk to me during treatment no one knew what to say.

Just be straight with him he knows he has cancer and let him know each time you call how much you love him for all the things he did for you in life. If you believe in God pray with him before you hang-up the phone, this is what menthe so much to me.

Wishing you both the best in life
Hondo

shannonbobannon's picture
shannonbobannon
Posts: 24
Joined: Dec 2011

Honestly, my dad doesn't have brain cancer, but cancer somewhere that they can not find. We don't know what stage it's in or anything. The way I've found when talking to my dad is having like my mom in the room. I don't talk to him much about it unless it's the day he has had his chemotherapy, but someone is always in the room. I try not to mention it in front of him, simply because if I think about it I start to cry. You have to be strong and it's easier for you to cry about it because your dad can't see you doing it. When you call, talk to him about it and make sure you don't have any sadness in your voice. The hardest thing for him is probably hearing you with sadness in your voice, especially because you are so far away from each other. My dad always tells me not to be sad about his cancer because this is something he is going to beat, and that he's not going to let it get the best of him.

Stay strong and just be there as much as you can for him,
Shannon

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