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Melanoma, Grief and Feeling Lost

whitneyc1980
Posts: 1
Joined: Sep 2013

I don't even know where to start. This is my first post and with so much that I have been holding onto, it's hard to know where to start letting go. My dad was diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic melanoma on may 27th. He died on August 19th. He had been experiencing back pain, it became unbearable and resulted in a trip to the ER. His T8 and T9 were cracked and "eaten away" as one of the doctors put it. Six months ago he was carrying my 4 year old son around like a sack of potatoes and doing yard work. it was discovered he had metastasis to his brain, lungs, spleen, liver and bones. He became paralyzed. The doctors were just as horrified as we were, several of them cried.  He came home after a surgery and 15 days of whole brain radiation... And died in my arms 3 weeks later. He had just turned 60. There is so much I want to talk about. My mom thinks I have ptsd. I think she may be right. I think about the moment he died all the time. I knew in that moment that he was okay and he was comfortable and present and not afraid. All my logical senses tell me I did everything right. But I can't ge the sound oft his last breaths to leave me. I can't help but wonder ifs he really heard me telling him I loved him. I feel like I am underwater and I have no idea which way is up. My dad was my best friend. I was his care giver 24-7 for the last 2 weeks of his life and I feel so grateful that I got to do that. But I am deeply disturbed by this experience, particulRly the ferocity of the melanoma and the speed at which it irreversibly scarred my family- and I don't know if I am even dealing with it. I feel numb and angry and apathetic at the same time and I have to remind myself every day that he is gone. I feel lost. Thank you for reading.

huffman6djgirl
Posts: 23
Joined: May 2009

You should be proud of yourself for being such a loving and wonderful caregiver, and most of all DAUGHTER. Everything you are feeling is normal. I am a melanoma survivor, as well as a daughter that has lost my father, to cancer. I too was there when he passed. It has been 11 years since he has passed, and I am grateful I was there with him when he went to meet our father in heaven. It does get easier, this I know, but you must give it time. Someday, you will be able to think of him and smile. Sending you many prayers, and to your family.

grandmafay's picture
grandmafay
Posts: 1613
Joined: Aug 2009

First, I am so sorry for your loss. I know those words don't really help, but I haven't found any that do. I cared for my husband for6 years  before he lost his battle with colon cancer. He was 63. Not a lot older than your father. Grieving is hard work, and it is very possible you have some PTSD. You might want to see a grief counselor or join a grief group. Hospice can often help you find one. Even if we have faith and believe they are in a better place without pain, as I do, we want them here with us. No, we don't want them to be in pain, but we miss them. It takes a lot of time for the hurt to mellow. I don't think it ever goes away, but time does help. Your grief is fairly new. Each of us must find our own way in our own time to grieve. Don't hesitate to find help. Know, too, that many of us here have also lost loved ones. You are not alone. Come here whenever you want support or even want to vent. Take care of yourself now. Fay

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