HELP...where to start? How?

kelgov Member Posts: 2
edited March 2014 in Emotional Support #1
My father, 75, has had kidney cancer and recurrent bladdre cancer. A few weeks ago he was diagnosed with MDS (bone marrow cancer. It showed up at a "low grade" but his blood counts are dropping despite Procrit. It looks as though things are progressing rapidly. An MD friend of the family suggested to me that we have 6 - 12 months tops. The thing is neither my father or mother have been told this. I don't know where to begin. Will it make his depression worse? If all of his affairs are in order do they really NEED to know? His affairs are in order on paper perhaps, but what about mother? And I have an adult brother who cane barely care for himself due to some mental issues. His care after they are gone has never been discussed. My parents are in complete denial. I am scared of what is happening and what will happen and how to handle it all. I want my mother to live with us but she migh not agree and feel she needs to care for my brother and stay with him. (He is in hs 30's and quite capable to work etc. if he took care of himself and took meds...)

It's just overwhelming. I admire all of you that care for others. I have started a notebook of Dad's treatments and will try and get to every Dr. appt with him ( I have small kids, so it's not easy). I'm just not ready!


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  • jsabol
    jsabol Member Posts: 1,145 Member
    My thoughts are with you. My dad had metastatic colon cancer (to liver and lung) just as my mother's dementia began to make itself evident. I remember the panic I felt as I talked with him, he felt everything would work out, whatever THAT meant. I live a distance from them, with a family of my own, and an older sister who is also prone to periods of instability. First, take a deep breath and figure out where you can get some support...someone to listen, problem solve. Does your father's oncologist ever work with families or have someone on staff who does? If he's part of a medical center, there are social workers who may help. Keep asking and trying to define the issues. I found it hard not to feel panicky for them, but, in a way, my dad was did work out. He started on hospice at home, and the staff were supportive to him and my mom. He then moved to a nursing/rehab center when he became bedbound, and continued hospice there. They were invaluable. Maybe you could ask your father's oncologist if/when your dad may qualify for hospice. (I'm also a nurse, with home care and long term care experience, which was really helpful). My mom decided to stay in the assisted living facility next door to my dad's nursing home while he was on hospice care there for a few weeks, and she has remained there following his passing. So, know that help is out there, and best of luck to you. J