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How Do I Cope?

deneenb
Posts: 130
Joined: Jun 2004

Good Morning,

My Dad, 62 years old, has been dealing with stage IV for 3 years. He has done exceptionally well until recently when it seemed like everything started to go wrong.

Last week he was hospitalized and they drained 20 lbs of fluid from his abdominal area. Apparently there is cancer in the omentum now and it is "weeping" this fluid. We have been told that "his time is short". My father appears to be handling this news suprisingly well. I on the other hand am not. I have been very strong all along and thought I would be able to handle it when this time came. But I can't. I cry constantly and I can't keep my focus on anything for very long. I feel anxious all of the time, I can't sleep or eat. How do you handle something like this?

usakat's picture
usakat
Posts: 625
Joined: Jul 2006

Good Morning to you too -

Just like your dad, when it was suggested that my mom "get her affairs in order," she was amazingly strong, and incredibly accepting of her circumstances. She handled herself with inspiring grace and beauty. In contrast, I fell apart. I remember the night her surgeon told me she would probably die from her cancer I laid on my living room floor and sobbed like never before - and I prayed.

Thankfully my mom snubbed her nose at her uncompassionate surgeon, endured harsh sessions of chemo-rad and survived. It's now more than two years later and my mom is enjoying good health. I wish the same for your dad.

I understand what you're going through. You are confronting one of the toughest, most stressful times in a person's life. How do you get through it? One day at a time, one foot in front of the other. And by all means, with love and compassion for your dad. Tell him you love him and appreciate him at every opportunity.

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross said, "Those who learned to know death, rather than to fear and fight it, become our teachers about life."

My thoughts and prayers are with you, your dad, and the rest of your family.

Katie

mindy10
Posts: 183
Joined: Jul 2005

Hi, im so sorry you have to go through this, there is really no easy way to handle this. Just let yourself cry whenever you want. Spend as much time with your dad as you can. My dad did well for over a year and then his lungs started to fill up with fluid and that was the begining of the end. I lost my dad to colon cancer last June and it was the worse thing I ever went though. You will get through it but it is not easy. A year later I still cant beleive he is gone. If you ever need to talk feel free to send me a message through this site. Mindy

robinvan's picture
robinvan
Posts: 1014
Joined: May 2007

Hi Deneenb...
Sometimes lament and tears are the healthiest ways we can cope. There are times when we need to be strong and in control but there also needs to be times when we can let go, be vulnerable, and fall apart.
Here's a short prayer from Theo van Domburg-Mans. I posted it privately to someone in this group a few days ago. Maybe others will find it helpful too.

May I, please,
weep for a bit
in your arms,
like a child
looking for comfort,
would you please,
hold me fast,
until my faltering feet
are able
to carry me again?

Don't be afraid,
don't look for words,
let's be silent,
I've been talked to
and listened to
so much...
I feel empty.

Just let me
weep for a bit,
afford me a chance to give free course,
to my unshed tears,
clasp me
in your arms,
press my head
on to your heart,
until I,
tired with weeping,
relieved,
am able
to proceed again.

Peace and Blessings... Rob; in Vancouver
"A Cancer Journal" www.rob-pollock.blogspot.com

LOUSWIFT
Posts: 372
Joined: Aug 2006

Sorry about your Dad but it isn't over yet. I am younger than your Dad but have two great daughters. I know when my time comes it will be hard for them. They love me I'm sure as your Dad loves you. But now is not the time to crumble. That time can come later. Your Dad needs you to be strong for him as he is trying to be strong for you. If my daughters fell apart it would make me their "protector" feel like I have failed them. It would make it many times harder to deal what may be coming. It doesn't mean you don't care, it means you care so much that your Dad will know that he has done all he could to make you strong and capable even without him. I would take great comfort and pride in that and smile even though I must leave my family. Just speaking as a Dad with colon cancer and someone who lost his Dad many years ago.

themis01
Posts: 168
Joined: Feb 2005

Deneen,
My mom had the same thing and she made it for a while after they found the fluid. To cope you should spend all the time with your dad that you can and let him express himself in any way he wants to. Also tell him how great he is! It is so tough but time helps. I am still learning to cope after a year. Email me anytime.

Erika

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