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Anger-child of last stage cancer patient

Dawn7711
Posts: 1
Joined: Mar 2013

My Step Father, who is my "Father", was diagnosed March 2012 with pancreas cancer.  He was ugly in his abuse of everyone and really let my Mom have the full extent.  My Dad died from a car crash when I was 11 and this man has been a father to a large blended family of 13 kids.  He has always been critical and never perfect, but loving.  At first the Doctors said they would not put him on chemo since it was too late.  They later changed their minds and he went through several rounds of chemo and radiation.  His abuse was much less during those treatments but recently, he was told that there was nothing more they could do for him and stopped all treatment.  His anger has once again spiked and has become very abusive, again.

 

To top all of this off, my Mother had knee replacement surgery this last week and now we have two that we are having to act as caregivers for.  Upon returning from the hospital yesterday, the core group of siblings met to discuss how the care would be divided up.  Dad was at the table and just lit into me after teasing my sister.  I was devistated.  I had just given up my trip to see and hold a grandchild that had been born last August to help out with Mom's complications with her medicines.  I was sucking it up and dealing with postponing my trip (this was the day before I was to get on the plane so it was last minute) and really felt his anger hard.  A bottle of wine later and talking with the brother that stayed with Dad last night, I am once again "sucking it up" and preparing to do my shift this afternoon and days through the week.  Mom comes home from the hospital today and we are extremely fortunate to have a few that can step up to help, but there are some sibs that my angry father won't have over for whatever slight he perceives, imagined or real, and one or two that my Mother doesn't trust (former drug addict and caught taking things without asking). 

I am so glad I took the time to do some research and found this site.  I will pass it along to the sibs that are helping out with the folks.  fyi, Dad could pass any day, any time, is 84 and Mom is 81.  I will try to use the deflection tools that i have to use for my job in dealing with angry people and not internalize, but this is so much harder than imagined.  Ok, time to get ready for my shift and finish taking care of things at home.

Dawn7711

Deborah J Cornwall's picture
Deborah J Cornwall
Posts: 32
Joined: Feb 2013

Dawn, thanks for sharing your story. It's a hard one. In some ways, it sounds as though some of the anger is just your father's constitution, but none of us knows how we would react if told there were no more options left. You're doing a good job in trying to understand, as hard as that is.

It is a blessing that you have so many siblings and that you're able to talk among them to share the caregiving at least to some degree. Perhaps there are ways to have the siblings that your father is rejecting do things that will save you time and energy in activities outside the house (like food shopping or something). I urge you to take time for yourself every day--even if it's only a half hour--to do something that nourishes your spirit and reminds you of life away from the cancer. It's the kind of focus that can keep you calm and continuing to give during the hardest parts of the caregiving.

Best wishes to you and your siblings. May your coping behavior and sense of peace hold out in the knowledge that you will become stronger as a result of having given so much to him in his last days.

Debbie

Deborah J Cornwall's picture
Deborah J Cornwall
Posts: 32
Joined: Feb 2013

Dawn, thanks for sharing your story. It's a hard one. In some ways, it sounds as though some of the anger is just your father's constitution, but none of us knows how we would react if told there were no more options left. You're doing a good job in trying to understand, as hard as that is.

It is a blessing that you have so many siblings and that you're able to talk among them to share the caregiving at least to some degree. Perhaps there are ways to have the siblings that your father is rejecting do things that will save you time and energy in activities outside the house (like food shopping or something). I urge you to take time for yourself every day--even if it's only a half hour--to do something that nourishes your spirit and reminds you of life away from the cancer. It's the kind of focus that can keep you calm and continuing to give during the hardest parts of the caregiving.

Best wishes to you and your siblings. May your coping behavior and sense of peace hold out in the knowledge that you will become stronger as a result of having given so much to him in his last days.

Debbie

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