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I Need to Vent and Get Some Advice

Posts: 1
Joined: Nov 2009

Back in June of this year my Dad was diagnosed with Small Cell Lung Cancer. He and my mom live in Arizona. He has been going through rounds of chemo and thank goodness they haven't done anything except make him tired. He is being so courageous by not asking for any help from anyone except if he feels he truly needs it.

As soon as my half-brother found out, his friends helped to get him a plane ticket to go out to Arizona. I was very upset as I felt I should be the one going, but I didn't have the money or the resources to go as my oldest son was just graduating from high school. I know it killed my Dad not being able to be here for that. He would have been very proud of his grandson.

Throughout his treatment the cancer has gone from his lungs, to his bones, and just yesterday we found out it is now in his spine. He is starting radiation today as the doctors have told him the chemo doesn't go deep enough to reach it in the spine. The doctors have stayed right on top of his treatment and his symptoms, but I feel so usless being 2,500 plus miles away in Michigan. I talk to him at least once a week and I can hear in his voice that he's not doing well, but he says he's not ready to have me there yet. I want to spend quality time with my Dad while I still can even if it is just going to doctor appointments and things. At least I am with him, but he doesn't see it that way. I don't want to go when he is bedridden and in hospice. I want to be there at that point to help. Even if it is just to sit with him I feel the need to be with him.

My husband and I are separated and he has been no support whatsoever in any of this. All I get is "I'm sorry" and "I don't know what to say". He won't come be with me to hold me while I cry and get out my frustrations. He says he can't handle my outbursts. He doesn't know what it is like to lose a parent as both of his are still healthy.

I don't know much about how fast small cell lung cancer spreads other than it is a very agressive cancer, but treatable according to my Dad. I feel like there is something he's not telling me and won't until he absolutely has to.

How do I handle things if my brother decides to go back out there even though he had a month with Dad after he was diagnosed and I'm not allowed to go? Do I go anyway and take my chances? Any help or input would be appreciated.

Thanks for reading this.

cobra1122's picture
Posts: 244
Joined: Jul 2009

char52266, I read your poat and understand some of your anxeity, but first take a deep breath and relax. It sounds like Your father is gatting the treatments that can be given. I live in Arizona also, and if you read my bio you'll understand that I do know alittle of what you and your father are going thro.

As in my bio, I have both NSCLC and SCLS (non-small cell in one lung and small cell in the other) plus multiple other health issues and my cancer has spread to other parts of my body. But there is only so much that can be done, my children and grandchildren have learned that they can help me best with positive support, attitude and Prayer.
It is not something that they can truly make better for me in any other way. They cant fly out here very much,, so we keep in touch by phone and the fact that they have a positive attitude does take a small burden off me, I dont want them to worry over things we cant control.
Your right in wanting to spend time with him and hopefully you will, create lasting memories, and sharing time together.

BUT, I have been given many diagnosises as far as how long I have and they have all been wrong, Yes I am on Hospice, but I have been for 9 months now and for my wife and I it has been a God send in many respects because they take care of alot of things so we no longer have to worry about them and can focus on our life today.
I say our Life today, because no one can tell what tomorrow brings. I refuse to worry about what I cant control, and I cant live tomorrow today. My wife and children have learned that they can only deal with today. Tomorrow will be here soon enough.
As far as you not being allowed, I dont know if that is the case or that your dad may be trying to protect you. But I let my kids make their ownn mind in that respect, if they come they come with positive spirits, I dont judge if they dont. My daughter is haveing a real hard time so she doesnt come out as much and I understand. But let if you go be your decision and be willing to deal with what ever is the outcome. Your dad needs your positive attitude and support even if you dont agree.

Our Prayers and Best Wishes to Your Dad, you and your family,
Dan and Margi Harmon

Posts: 16
Joined: May 2009

Hi. My name is Kellie and I live in Arizona, too. I lost my dad to nsclc 2 years ago. My advice is this: Your dad is trying to protect you. He doesn't want you to feel that you have to go. Let him know that you want to come out for a visit and that you are going to come out for a visit, period. Stay positive, and have a good time with him. If you decide Not to visit, you will regret it later. So, I say go for it. Also, you indicated that you feel that there is something that your dad is not telling you. I want you to know something: the word "treatable" is not the same as the word "curable". When my dad went through it, he was stage 4 lung cancer at diagnosis. They made it clear to him that they can "treat" it with radiation and chemo, but it would not "cure" it. The treatment was intended to shrink the tumors (lungs,bones, spine, adreanal glands, liver), and buy him time and comfort. He took the radiation, but turned down the chemo. My heart really goes out to you. I have been where you are, and it is very hard. Try to educate yourself as much as possible about this type of cancer. Go see him. He may say not to come, because he is your dad and doesn't want to burden you. But he probably would love it if you did go see him. Your gut is telling you to anyway, and you should listen to your gut. Good luck with all of this. I will keep you in my thoughts. Please post back what you decide to do. This website is great when you need support. Take care of yourself.

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