My Story

slzcaregiver Member Posts: 12

Hi all,

Just joined the forums today, looking for some help with questions (posted elsewhere). Long and short of it. My father has been diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer with bone metastasis. He is 71. I am 45, and the only daughter in the family. Parents divorced when I was a baby. Lost my wonderful step-father 9 years ago (9 months after my only child was born) to liver cancer. Never had the greatest relationship with my bio-dad, and cut him out of my life for about 8 years. Re-established contact about 4 years ago. 

He has had his share of health problems prior to this - heart issues mainly. Was hospitalized in February this year for a pain in his hip, and the fact that he couldn't get out of bed. This is when they discovered the cancer in the pelvic bone. They boipsied it, and discovered the lung cancer. He was a long-time smoker too. He has basically alienated many of his family and friends. My uncle (his half-brother) has taken him in after he lost his last place to live and had nowhere else to go. The diagnosis was confirmed in March of this year, the day after I found out that my mentor and long-time boss had passed away from metastatic breast cancer. So I was reeling from her loss, and my Dad's Dx. 

My uncle and aunt work full time. I am lucky that I work from home and for a very understanding company. I have been shuttling him to and from his many doctor appointments and treatments. He is NOT tolerating the chemo well. So though the doctors say he could live another 2 years, I'd really be surprised if he makes it another 6 months. He has had 3 chemo treatments, and has been hospitalized for 3 - 5 days after each of the last two. He's just going downhill so quickly.

People who know my history with my dad ask why I'm doing so much for him. Basically, there are a couple of reasons. One, nobody else is going to, and two, everybody deserves to know they are loved, and that they have at least one person in their corner. Someone on their side that has their back. Someone who cares. They tell me not to get too close to him again, because I'm only going to get hurt in the end. I want to know how I can get hurt just by giving my love, time, and attention to someone who I know is going to die? Yes, he hurt me in the past, by not being there, and by not being honest. I am very practical about everything that's going on, I have intellectualized what I know is going to happen, but worry that I won't really be able to turn to anyone to help me grieve when he passes. 

Thanks for reading.


  • Noellesmom
    Noellesmom Member Posts: 1,859 Member
    First of all

    You can always come here to grieve.  I am sure your friends and family will step up when the time comes.

    However, be careful with how long you think you might be needed. Cancer care has improved life spans significantly. I hope you can build a support network.  It may be as simple as being sure you have several different people you can call when you are upset or when you need to have a cup of coffee and breathe.

    Caregiving is an exhausting roller coaster ride. Be sure to take care of yourself.

    My husband was given a 23 percent chance of survival seven years ago.  He survived the cancer but the treatments are killing him slowly. Understand cancer is a difficult illness for the patient and the caregiver.

    Again, please take good care of yourself.