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Pa surgery/my nightmare

Posts: 33
Joined: Jun 2005

My pa was dx with rectal cancer June 2005. He went through a series of scans followed with 5 weeks of chemo and radiation. He is now finished and scheduled for surgery this Thursday. I have been so angry at my husband and siblings lately. I am very depressed too. I did not know why until last night. I had a nighmare that my pa never made it through his surgery. I felt very real saddness and anger in my sleep. My feeling were very real. I then woke up and my entire day today has been very emotional for me. I believe that is why I have been feeling so irritable lately. My pa came over last night for a bite to eat. It was so weird becouse i was at a lost for words. I had nothing to say to him, it was horrible! My pa had alot to say about the White Sox though. He said he was cheering them on until they got greedy, now he hopes they loose. ( We are Chicagoans )

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Posts: 708
Joined: May 2004

Nice to hear from you. Every feeling you have is completely normal!! I agree, talking to the others might reveal they have similar fears. Cancer is a terrible beast, but I feel it may be worse for the caregivers - so hard to sit back and watch feeling helpless. YOU ARE NOT - every dinner brake and just "normal" time with our loved ones gives us so MUCH strength adn hope.

Just spend time with your pa and listen about baseball and life.... tell him how important he is to you and that you love him.

My husband has such a hard time with my cancer. But he is my rock. I try to remind him, but he forgets very easily.

Sadness and anger are completely NORMAL!! Give yourself a break and just continue to be the loving and nuturing person you obviously are!!

I hope your pa's surgery is great without any complications!!!! May the cancer be gone!!

Gotta tell you, I am from New England, but live in Houston. I went to college in Wisconsin and love Chicago... I think I want the White Sox to win because it has been SOOOOO long for them, but I feel kinda guily about it living in Houston. So I'm still undecided - I'll have to figure it out by tomorrow.

Stay well, jana

chynabear's picture
Posts: 483
Joined: Jul 2005

Pia, you are going to find that you will experience a wide variety of emotions. Anger, sadness, regret, hope, guilt, happiness, etc. As already said, what you are feeling is normal.

Let me tell you, before I even had the actual diagnosis, I had myself six-feet-under. My biggest fear was not waking up from surgery. Then, afraid that they would just sew me back up and say there was nothing they could do for me.

Cancer is a very scary thing to go through. Your dream just represents how very real your fear is. It voices those fears that we sometimes can't quite get ourselves to say out loud for fear that they may actually come true.

Don't forget; it is often easier to lash out at those who are closest to us when we are angry. I was terrible to my mother-in-law and she did nothing except provide the best care she could give me. Bless her heart, she understood and after we discussed it we have had a much stronger bond.

It helps if you can talk about these things. If not with your family, don't hesitate to say it here. No matter how hard it is to say; or how bad you think it is, nobody here is going to judge and quite likely to feel the same way.

You are a great person for being so caring about your father.

Remember, all we can do is do our best. Past that it is not in our hands.

Take care,


Posts: 719
Joined: Feb 2005

Hi - I am so sorry that you are in this situation..waiting and wondering and feeling all of the emotions and weight. I am glad that you could notice your own emotions and even think clearly enough to pinpoint what has been going on....many wouldn't have.
My first reaction with reading your post was "and all the king's horses and all the king's men, couldn't put Humpty Dumpty back together again." Not at all meaning that you could not help your dad; just that we cannot do all that we wish to. And, no matter what our feeling are towards a parent, thinking about losing them is incredibly heart-wrenching. Sometimes it comes out in irritability instead of an expression of the true fear we feel. I really applaud you and I hope that you can feel comfortable with your fears. This is a really hard time for all of you; I am sure that your dad is very fearful also of not being here for you as well.
Maybe you can let your husband in on your range of emotions; and maybe you can ask your siblings for help -- or at least let them know that you are sad and cannot handle it alone. It seems as if your father relies on you a lot and you may feel a lot of pressure to be strong for him while tryng to get a handle on your own thoughts.
I wish him a very successful surgery; but right now, I wish you a peaceful weekend. All the best to you and only good thoughts coming your way - Maura

HisJoy's picture
Posts: 115
Joined: Feb 2005

Wondering if it's the time of year or the weather or something, but I've been awfully emotional lately, too. I guess it's natural, but it's quite unusual for me. I think I have cried and been a bit weepy maybe 3 times since my dx in January - not sure what causes it.

Have you considered talking to a therapist who specializes in this type of situation? Social worker? Or just TALK to your family to let them know where you are emotionally. Once we intellectually recognize the emotions, it's easier to not allow them to take over our behavior. I don't know what I'd do without my pastor, who has been SO helpful, loyal, supportive. Ya gotta have SOMEONE to whom you can discuss these things.

Best wishes,

kangatoo's picture
Posts: 2115
Joined: Feb 2004

Hi Pia. I suspect that your Pa is "keeping it all together" for the sake of his family, you included. He seems to be the type of person that is trying to project to you that he is dealing with all this reasonably well although deep down he may not be. In other words he is a very courageous man who wants to "protect" you and the family from his own fears, trying not to burden you.As for showing anger to your hubby and kids I am sure that they understand your feelings of worry at this time. I agree that you must talk to your family, especially your hubby.Your anger towards him is probably more out if frustraion than anything..and that anger/frustration is normal. Talk to hubby...I am sure he realises why you go off the deep end. Then the both of you can talk to your kids. You too need support, but sometimes you have to ask for it. Many people find talking about cancer hard to deal with, hubbies and kids are no exception. Jen and I both sat down and talked to our kids..we told them the whole deal, the possible prognosis of my surgery and..the possibility of any complications. Communication, no matter how hard,is the only way to try to help you deal with this crap..and communication is one of the most difficult things to do with family and friends.
We wish your pa all the best. Keep contact with us here..we have all been there and understand your pain.
huggs, Ross and Jen

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