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Father Diagnosed with Stage IV Colon Cancer

dburnham
Posts: 1
Joined: Dec 2011

I hope I am posting in the right category. I just found out last evening that my father, age 61, has been diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer which has metastesized to his liver and lungs. They are doing a brain scan today to see if it has reached that far.

I don't know what to do. My parents live in the Orlando area and I am in Ft. Lauderdale (3 hours away). Despite the short distance between us, I have never been close to my parents other than the occassional phone call on the holidays.

Both my mother and father has expressed they don't want to see anyone right know. My father, a lot like myself, doesn't want anyone see him in his current state of mind. And my mother has the mindset that she needs to do this her way.

I have told them both they don't need to do this alone and I am here for them. Is this common. Should I respect their wishes and keep my distance until they ask for help and just continue to let them both know I am here for them or should I immediately get in my car and go anyways.

Cpnqueen
Posts: 29
Joined: Nov 2011

When my husband was diagnosed 2 months ago with stage 4 stomach cancer, I pretty much told everyone not to crowd me. I know they are there and I appreciate everything. I basically tell 1 family member on both sides and let them spread the word. I answer emails & texts but try to avoid the phone since it always ends in tears. I also have to do things my way in a sense. It is the only real way I can deal with things. I am sure your mom knows you are able and ready to come help at any time she is just trying to deal with this new situation in her own way. Keep calling and talking and letting both of your parents know when you want to visit and that you can be there at any time. It is such a hard adjustment, for everyone.

grandmafay's picture
grandmafay
Posts: 1629
Joined: Aug 2009

Our sons were with me after my husband's first surgery when we were told that his colon cancer had spread to his liver. Treatable, not curable, life shortening. Those were the words we all remember. They called their wives, and we circled the wagons, so to speak. I don't know what I would have done without everyone's support. That said, I also need time alone to process my pain. Since the surgery took place a little over an hour from home and where one son lives, I was staying at his home. He didn't really understand when I decided to go home and commute back and forth to the hospital after a couple of days, but I really needed that. I was grieving the life we had planned, I was scared, and I needed to find my way in my own way. Don't stay away too long, however. Communicate often. Let your parents know that you are also processing this news. My husband lived for 6 more years. Longer than anyone expected. Not long enough. Our family chose to pull together. During that time we became even closer. Your parents will need to know you are there and that you love them. Maybe you can take advantage of the season, to make a visit in a couple of weeks. Take care, Fay

ddpekks's picture
ddpekks
Posts: 162
Joined: Sep 2011

and we welcome you here. Come often, share your pain, your joy, or vent till your heart's content. That's what we are here for. This site saved my sanity.

As for your Mom & Dad, I agree with what the others have said. Since my husband's dx w/colorectal cancer, our kids & best friend have been there when we need them most. They sat with me through the surgery, they met me when we came home from hospital and they have given me breaks since. Been a year now and he was just dx w/ mets liver, lung & prostate. I know that I can call any one of them and they will drop their lives and come running.

But, they don't crowd me. They call frequently and when I hint that I'm not in the mood (because I don't feel like crying again), they quickly give their love and say good bye. It's enough to know that they are there, willing and able. Now, if I felt for one minute that I was depriving them, I could not stand that. We have talked about it out right. We have made it clear that we must all respect each others needs. It has worked for us.

There is a cancer specific forum for colon/rectal cancer on "Discussion Boards". I learned an awful lot from that site because these people have been there and done that and they tell it like it is. Check it out and keep us posted.

Hugs
Deb

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