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Posts: 553
Joined: Mar 2006

Hi everyone,

Hope you are having a nice Memorial Day weekend. I have been pretty depressed. I guess I just wish I could have some joy in my life again. Since my dad's diagnosis, I feel that I haven't been the same. It's always in the back of my mind. I have a beautiful baby and a great husband. This should be the happiest time in my life but it isn't. How do I get that joy back? It comes and goes sometimes, but even during those moments of joy, the fact that my dad has this cancer is always lingering. I do better when my dad is feeling well. It seems like lately, he has been looking more tired and has lost weight. He says he feels good besides some neuropathy, but I don't believe he is telling me the truth because he knows how worried I get. I really think he is overworking himself. He came over to my house to work on my garden and wouldn't really let us help him. That's just how he is. He is so stubborn. I really don't know how he finds the strength to do so much. He does more than I do in a day. But I do notice that he is tired afterwards.

I guess I should have expected him to start feeling weaker and weaker with each chemo treatment (he's had 6 so far). Is it normal for him to start getting more tired and weak? Also, why is he having weight loss even though he is eating? He was actually gaining weight until this week. I'm just scared. I don't know how much longer he will have to be on chemo. He is stage IV, and from what I have heard and read, most people at this stage have to be on chemo for the rest of their lives with some breaks in between even if they are in remission. I don't think my father can handle being on chemo forever. It is really getting me depressed. Even despite being on anti-depressants, I can't seem to shake this depression. I don't know what to do. I just am so afraid. I don't want to lose my father. He means so much to me and I really want my daughter to remember him when she is older, but I don't know if that will happen. Anyway, I don't mean to bring any of you down. I guess I just really needed to express my feelings. Sorry for going on and on with this.

Posts: 1560
Joined: May 2006

Dear Lee,

I don't think that you need to feel sorry for expressing your feelings. You have a right for these feelings. They are not unusual.

I feel truly sorry for what your father, you, and your family are going through. I am taking care of my mother who has stage IIB and Alzeimer's type dimentia. I truly sympathise with your feelings.

I think that your feelings are not unusual and you need to allow them to be and feel them. If you do this, it will help you in this process. If you run away from them, it will be even more difficult. I think that if you feel like crying, you need to cry, if you feel like talking to somebody about this, then you need to talk, whatever feels is right and you need to go into your feelings as deep as you can.

Maybe you could all go on the trip - somewhere locally for few days, all your family. This will give you a chance to really spend time with your father and have some memory from the trip. While he relatively feels good, it might be good idea for all of you to remember him in this state. And just take 1 day at a time.

Dear Lee,

I know it is very hard to do, I don't know how I am going to do it myself (I don't have any other family member besides my mother), but we will have to accept what happens. We have no other choice. We can and should help our parents to fight this desease but we also should try to come to terms with what happens. We have no control over things.

When my mother was diagnosed in February of this year, I was just horrified. The surgery was successful, they removed the mass from the colon and from the bladder where it spread. Lymph nodes were not affected. She did 2 weeks of chemotherapy in the form of the pill Xeloda and her liver functions went up. She stopped and had CT scan. The scan shows few millimeters nodules in her liver and lungs which per the oncologist and radiologist are stable and not of the concern. It does not make any sense to me, they are of concern to me. The oncologist told me that even healthy people without cancer diagnosis may have this, and only time will tell. She now started 2nd round of Xeloda. We shall see what happens after 2 weeks of this. My mother does not know about her diagnosis and I am her conservator which means that I making all decisions for her. It is very difficult for me. However, I feel that I am now starting coming to terms with what is happening. I only can do what I can do.

Doctors and medicine can only do what they can do. Everything else in the hands of God. We can not change anything. We have to do our best and let God do the rest.

We can cry on each other shoulder if you like. Anything I can do to help you - just e-mail me.

My thoughts and prayers for your father, you and your family.


Posts: 137
Joined: Mar 2004

I wish there was something totally wise and prophetic I could say that would make your worries float away. You seem so totally overwhelmed by your dad's illness that it's hard for you to think straight anymore. I think you might want to try and step back for a moment, and not attempt to look too far into the future. Your dad's diagnosis is certainly serious, but there are many people on this list who will tell you that they were stage four and have beaten the beast. Most all of us get very tired during chemo. The stuff is poison, and takes its toll on the body while working to kill the cancer. I'm not sure that it's true that he'll be on chemo for the rest of his life. If the treatment is successful he'll go off it. I think it's good that your dad is trying to stay as active as he can. I love to garden, my mind and spirit go to a special place where I can relax and feel the tension dissolve. Maybe it does the same for him.
Lastly, I'd like to tell you that when I came down with my cancer and for the first time in my life facing my mortality heads on, my perspective started to change. I Stopped looking nto the future so much and began to appreciate life every single day good or bad. I appreciated my loved ones more, and tried my best to 'stop and smell the roses', as they say.Your dad's illness is a kind of wake up call, a lesson, a reminder that we none of us live forever, our world can be turned totally upside down in a split second, and we have to learn to enjoy the passion of it all on a daily basis. We don't have a whole lot of control of our future, it does what it wants to do. Otherwise another day will have gone by where you weren't able to share your love with your husband, baby, dad, the world around you. Sorry if I got carried away here. Reading your post made me feel sad that the enormity of all this is taking such a toll on you. They don't call cancer the 'beast' for no reason at all. Enjoy the holiday! Eat a hot dog, grill steak on the barbie (or a boca berger if you're vegan), and try to have a little fun. ..... Carl

Posts: 183
Joined: Jul 2005

Hi, you know Im here for you. I know what you mean about being depressed. I was out at a cookout with my daughter today and I felt good but then two seconds later I realized I will be seeing my dad tomorrow and I got depressed. He is really hallucinating right now. I wish I could tell you how not to be depressed but its a natural thing to go through when a loved one is sick. The weight loss I think is from the chemo. My dad lost 15 pounds everytime he was on chemo and he ate like a pig. He also will get tired with the more chemo they put in him. Hang in there. Mindy

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StacyGleaso's picture
Posts: 1249
Joined: Mar 2003

I don't know if this will help or not, but here is how I NOW view things...

Instead of waiting for the "perfect" day to take the kids somewhere, or wait until the housework is done to do something fun and out of the ordinaly, DO IT NOW! THIS is life. If we wait for the perfect time to do something, that day may never come. And what will you miss out in the meantime? You miss a lazy day on a swing watching the kids play, or the birds sing, or the wind blow. We are all SO preoccupied with getting everything perfect to do one thing or another, that we fail to realize that time is passing us by. Each moment you are here, is precious. You don't need to conquer the world, the mound of laundry or a heap of dishes in order to slack off once in a while. We often forget that in the course of "fighting the fight" we are burning up time with worry and concern. This is not a dress rehearsal. We didn't sign up for cancer or the fight that comes with it. But don't miss the life around you while letting the battle consume you.

This is the time you build and cherish the moments your dad has with your new baby. He needs to help with your gardening and housework to make himself feel that regardless of the cancer, he is a person. He doesn't want to be a spectator in this thing called life. We are all scared at one time or another. Perfectly natural. But don't let it force you to miss the "right now" in your life.

Each day further from diagnosis becomes a little bit easier. I promise.

Take care, and chin up little nipper!


nanuk's picture
Posts: 1362
Joined: Dec 2003

he will get weaker with increasing treatments, but look at the bright side; he is getting fresh air, sunshine and exercise..all good for him and bad for the cancer. Chemo vcan cause weight loss-possibly he feels better with the weight loss.
whatever the truth, worrying won't change the outcome, so why not present a positive side to your dad? Live in the moment-lthat's all any of us have. Bud

KathiM's picture
Posts: 8077
Joined: Aug 2005

Hear! Hear!, Bud!
Worrying...which is VERY human....doesn't changes anything but ruin a lovely day...
I know, easier said than done...but the old saying "a bird in the hand", if you change it to say "a DAY in the hand"...take each day, enjoy it...tomorrow will take care of itself.
Hugs, Kathi

kangatoo's picture
Posts: 2115
Joined: Feb 2004

Hi Pink. I don't know how often Jen told me to take things easy while I was on chemo. There was so much to do while having a new house built and to tell you the truth even tho I knew keeping active made me so fatigued and tired I did find some comfort at least "trying" to do things...kinda took my mind off how bad things felt. Of course sometimes I did nothing. I wonder if your dad is just trying to keep himself occupied and at the same time show you that he can still help a little. I know that you see him very tired and want him to slow down...only natural. My doctor always told me to "do what I feel like doing".....that was the way I approached life on chemo. Don't get too depressed gal...keep a watchfull eye on him but also understand that he wants to feel usefull. That is my way of looking at his actions.
Ross and Jen

Posts: 156
Joined: Mar 2006

hi pink,
do know that you and your father are in my thoughts and prayers. the tirdness and weight loss are all a part of the process but i know how difficult it must be to watch. let him do what he can it is probaly very therepeutic for him. keep your head up.

lfondots63's picture
Posts: 822
Joined: Jan 2006

Hi Lee,

Like the others said, please come to us to vent if you need to. What your feeling is natural. We all understand. About your dad. He will know what he can and can't do. Sometimes I tend to do to much but with 4 kids it is hard. The weight loss is probably from the chemo. Maybe see if he would like to start drinking protein drinks to build his strength back up. Eating healthy helps too. Lot of veggies and fruits. Sometimes food just doesn't sound good on chemo. Maybe ask him how he is eating and give him some of our tips? Take care and HUGS. We all understand and I'm sending good vibes for you today.


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