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Need advice, go on holiday or not

Posts: 2
Joined: May 2013

Hey everyone.

I am from Australia and my dad 4 weeks ago was diagnosed with cancer. It is in his neck and 3 weeks ago they removed a large growth. In 3 weeks time he starts Radio/Chemo. Aparently there is a good chance it will make him quite sick.

I am his Primary care giver, there is also my sister who just started to speak to my dad again after many years.

I have booked a trip to Europe 9 months ago with my girlfriend, but the time I leave he will be halfway through his treatment. I am of course leaning towards canceling the holiday but both my dad and my sister still want me to go. If i dont go it will upset my dad very much and he will blame himself no matter what I say. My sister says she will do whatever she needs to take care of him.

Still it just feels so wrong. As much as I want to go it seems like I should be with him. But he is not in a good way emotionally. He is quite a sad person he has had a hard life. And if I do cancel and he blames himself I worry that would be worse than going.

I hope this does not come across as selfish I really just want to do the right thing. If anyone can offer any advice that would be great.

Thanks :)

grandmafay's picture
Posts: 1639
Joined: Aug 2009

You already know that you are the only one who can make this decision. As a mother,  I too would be encouraging you to go and would want you to go. If possible, you might want to put off the decision until you see just how sick your dad will get on chemo.  Some people have fewer side effect than others. It would be a shame to cancel the trip and then discover that your dad's side effects are not severe. You do need to do what you need to do, though. You are the only one who can decide what is right for you. I'm sorry that you find yourself dealing with this, and have found the boards none of us wanted to be a part of. Take care of yourself, too. If you don't take care of you, you can't help others. Fay

Posts: 484
Joined: Apr 2013

My husband was diagnosed in December 2012 with stage II colon cancer.  I had plans in early March to visit my best friend in Orlando, FL for 3 days.  I had purchased trip insurance so I was willing to wait until the last moment in case I needed to cancel.  I did go (it was during his week off of chemo) and I felt guilty even though he really wanted me to go.  I was worried the entire time about how I would be able to get home quickly if I needed to.  I also did not sleep very well so it wasn't a restful trip for me.  I just came to the conclusion that those days are probably gone.  Once you get a cancer diagnosis, you never really can stop worrying.

You are going quite a distance, did you purchase travel insurance?  If you did, I would recommend waiting to see how he tolerates his treatment.  If you do go, you will have to rely on your sister to do everything and be fine with that decision.


alice124's picture
Posts: 897
Joined: Mar 2012

Just happened to run across your post and wanted to add my two cents here. Perhaps your going on the trip will allow your dad and sister to reconnect and makeup for time lost. It will also give her a taste of primary caregiver life and help her to appreciate all you do the rest of the time. It's only you who can choose, but wanted to add that sometimes things happen for a reason. . .

Posts: 1849
Joined: Aug 2010

I can only tell you that my husband had head and neck cancer, did chemo and radiation, and is still alive and kicking three years later and would have been more than upset if one of his daughters had missed a trip of a lifetime because of his treatments.

Your father has your sister to help take care of him and you never know what the future will bring: perhaps it will be your sister who takes a break, gets sick, can't take care of your father's needs after your return from Europe and you will step up and be the primary caregiver.

If you were MY daughter and I had cancer/treatments, I would kick your tail all the way to the airport and personally strap you into your seatbelt on the plane to make sure you went.

Buy yourself and your dad phones or devices that will allow you to take pictures of yourself and send to him every day of your trip - call him every morning and every night before he goes to bed - take your trip!  It is 2013 and you can stay in constant contact with him if you and he choose but I'm betting he tells you to stop calling and go have fun!

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