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Having trouble coping with my dad's liver cancer diagnosis.

Dannielle
Posts: 11
Joined: Sep 2012

My dad is 62 years old and recently diagnosed with liver cancer. I am 34 years old and my dad is the best father I could ask for. I don't know how to process this... eventually I will not be able to pick up the phone and talk to him or see him on holidays. I have no kids yet and so they will never know him and I feel guilty about never giving him that experience. He was a marine and so I always saw him as this strong tough person who could make it through anything. To see that same person cry and say he is not ready for his life to end and then see him preparing to leave this earth hurts me so badly. It is a pain I have never experienced before and I don't know what to do with it. I hate cancer and what it is doing to our family and so many other families. I just was always on the outside looking in and now I know first hand. I don't know how to comfort my dad or what the right thing to say is... is there a right thing to say? I feel so overwhelmed with this roller coaster of emotions. I wake up everyday thinking I was having a nightmare and then realize that this isn't going away. I get up for him though, appreciating every second I have and I am with him even if I feel like curling up in a ball and shutting the world out. How do you survive emotionally? I just want to scream sometimes... all the time really!!

moonchaser
Posts: 1
Joined: Oct 2012

Hi Dannielle, I'm so sorry to hear about your dad's diagnosis. Has your family looked into different treatment options? My father was diagnosed with liver cancer a couple of weeks ago. The fact that we didn't know about all the different treatment options available made the diagnosis frightening. But fortunately liver cancer treatment has progressed immensely in recent years and there are as many effective treatment options as there are types of cancers now!

What seemed like a death sentence 2 weeks ago has turned into an opportunity to cure this disease. Modern medicine is full of miracles these days. I hope the prognosis is looking a little more hopeful now. Even with advanced stage cancer treatments like radio frequency ablation and targeted chemo can reduce multiple tumors down to small enough a size to qualify a patient for liver resection surgery or a liver transplant, both of which can be literally cures for primary or metastatic liver cancer .

Good luck in your seach and I hope modern medicine has some good solutions to cure your dad. Never give up hope!!

barrtrail
Posts: 1
Joined: Nov 2012

Thanks for mentioning treatment options. My wife of 35 years was diagnosed 10 days ago with stage IV metastasized unresectable liver cancer (from breast cancer). There is so much to learn and so little time. I'm a little mad at our oncologist who offered only one treatment (abraxane/paclitaxil chemo), and like dummies, we didn't at the time have enough background to ask intelligent questions. We're learning slowly and set up a second opinion, so hopefully we'll get some options there.

My wife went through chemo two years ago for breast cancer. Any ideas on options would be appreciated. Also on how to get a doctor to be more communicative.

midnight22
Posts: 17
Joined: Dec 2012

How is your dad doing?

midnight22
Posts: 17
Joined: Dec 2012

Hi, sorry to hear about your dad. How is he doing? My mom has primary liver cancer also.

midnight22
Posts: 17
Joined: Dec 2012

Hi, sorry to hear about your dad. How is he doing? My mom has primary liver cancer also.

Suzieste
Posts: 3
Joined: May 2012

Hi Dannielle I just read your message and it is like I write the words you write.i am facing the exact situation right now and it is like nightmare.my father was diagnosed with liver cancer a year ago and all my life had changed.i can't see my dad from that time the way I saw him all my life.the news for his condition are not good i choose not to tell him all the truth I trying everyday to deal with it I am alone to deal with it because I didn't tell the truth to my mother even ,and my thoughts are exact the same with yours.that I didn't gave him a grand child though I am married 5 years and so many other things everyday that hurts.my life is a real nightmare the last year and most is my soul.i am 32 and my father 63 years old so young both of us to living this situation.if you want someone to talk I want you to know that I ' ll be glad to talk with you and I want you to know that a woman so far from you ,cause I am living to Greece,is feeling and thinking and living the same times with you.we must be strong,although I don't know how!!!

Jenna2680
Posts: 3
Joined: Nov 2012

Hi Danielle. I feel your pain. My dad, 61, also was diagnosed with HCC. There are treatmet options. My dad is undergoing y90 trestment which is a form of radiation that is injected directly into the liver. This has given us hope!!! My dad has terrible cirrhosis from hep c and he still has enough liver function left to get this treatment. Find out if this is available to your dad. It buys time when transplant isn't an option. Where are you located? We are in Chicago. My dad is being treated at Rush which has amazing technology. Many hospitals across the country offer this treatment. Please fight and stay positive. My dad also has esophageal cancer and he just had Colon cancer removed this summer. These are all primary cancers!!! The poor guy just retired after working so hard his whole life, and now this happens. It just isn't fair at all. I am close in age to you, at 32. I have a 1 1/2 yesr old and I'm 6 months pregnant. My dad is now living with us because he had a long stint in the hospital after a life threatening complication from cirrhosis that almost killed him. I'm an only child and we lost my mom to cancer when I was 17. My dad is all I have left as I will fight for him ever step of the way. There are days where I just break down and cry because I think I can't handle anymore, but then I think there's someone out there who has it worse than I do. So I keep praying and fighting with him. Please contact me if you har any questions about treatment. Get second opinions, don't let someone tell you there aren't options because there are. Good luck to you!

Val27
Posts: 19
Joined: Dec 2012

I understand your pain.  my mom with just dx with HCC this past Nov. She is 76 yrs old.  Did not have any risk factors has ver large mass in rt lobe a smaller ones in the left. It has also spread to her bone.  My father passed away when was 5, she has been my everything. My best friend.  i feel so helpless, I cant help her as bad as I want to.  She is currently having radiation for her back pain, then will start Nexavar.  The doctor also has her on flex seed oil and milk thistle.  Ive read about Nexavar and it scares me.  Prayer helps me a lot, will keep you in m prayers. 

Melp
Posts: 2
Joined: Jan 2013

Hi Dannielle

Its so sad and hard to hear someone put your exact feeling and thinking into words. It is awful to think others out there are experiencing this same rollercaoster of emotions, helplessness and just plain anger.

Only today I spoke with my mums oncolongist with regards to her cancer. We were both given the devasting news that chemo can no longer help and all that can be done now is pain relief. 

On behalf of Dad and for myself, as well I spoke with her Dr. alone, as she did not want to know a prognosis (which if I was in her shoes I wouldnt want to know either). Boy it was like a blow to the heart when he said my mum only had weeks to live.I mean we have been living with this cancer for 6 months but it still doesnt prepare you for the reality of a final countdown. 

Hardest was to tell my Dad, whos has been with my mum for 41 years, he is her yin to her yang. Like you I am 34 and my mum is 59.

Whats harder is my mum is such a brave person. She never says if theres pain of if shes not feeling well. She always wants to protect us, but I just wish she'd let us in so we can share with her. I have no idea what she is thinking or how she is coping because she puts on such a brave face and doesnt want us to worry, but that is getting harder for me, sometimes I just wish she'd share a little so I can cry with her and try to be her protector.

I just dont know what to feel anymore, I have been searching the web to find more information on what is to e expected in this final stage and I guess it wasnt facts and information I was seeking, it was emotional support from those going through the same.

I hope your Dad is doing better and I hope you are too. Thankyou for sharing your blog as it has in its little way helped me, I wish you all the best of luck.

Melx

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