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My dad has brain cancer

Posts: 1
Joined: Sep 2013

Hi, my Dad was diagonsed with a brain tumor Spring 2012. He had surgery, radiation and chemo therpay. He was clear for a couple months until the tumor was back and had spread to other parts of his brain. He is currently on some other kind of treatment.

I don't know too much, because I find it hard to talk about and I don't communicate with my parents the way I think I should. I actually find it extremely hard to talk to my dad at all, even about normal everyday things. Whenever I see him, I just can't think about anything except that he is dying. When I do talk to him, I tend to snap and angrily walk away. I know this bad and extremely unfair to him.

I'm not sure why I'm behaving so immaturely. Lately, I've been crying a lot about it and have bad dreams, but I don't talk to my famiily about the situation. I try to pretend it's not happening and actually refuse to discuss it when others bring it up. I tell myself I'm being strong for my mother and younger brother, but I know I'm just not handling the situation well. I know I'm not being a good daughter, but I'm scared and I don't know how to deal.  I'm just wondering if anyone went through this or if they could help me handle this better, so I can be there for my dad because that's the most important thing to me. I want my dad to know I'm there for him. I know I sound selfish and immature, and that's why I'm looking for advice. Thanks.

Posts: 3
Joined: Sep 2013

Hi Lizzie!

You have no idea how many have the same feelings.  I watched with horror as my neice had the same feelings. I tried so hard to show her that she was missing out on the last opportunities to share with her mother.

  Your dad has limited time.  You have the opportunity to create wonderful memories.  If you choose not to you will remember only what you've described above.  

When my sister lay dying of brain cancer, I decided that every time I entered her space, I would show her the best that I could be.  My depression vanished.  She smiled when she saw me, and it made her day better. Once I realized that my behavior would make her day better or worse depending on my choices, I chose to make Her days better.  I stopped my childish behavior and became strong for her.  She had enough to deal with.  I'd guess the same goes for your dad.

The point is, we will all die.  If it were you in that bed, how would you want others to behave?  You have the power to make this a very positive time for you and your whole family.

Chat with your dad about every thing you can think of.  Rub his feet, joke around.  Make him laugh.  Smile without trying.  You will remember the love in your heart forever, I promise.

Best of luck to all of you.


Posts: 2
Joined: Sep 2013

Hi Lizzie you need to know that you are not alone.  I am the mom of three little girls and my mom was diagnosed three years ago.  When I found out I didn't think I would ever stop crying.  I had nightmares I was miserable, angry, sad, scared you name it I went through it.  I felt I couldn't talk to other people about it because Ididn't want people to feel sorry for me and truthfully talking about it made it too real.  Where I live in Canada we have Gilda's House which is a place where everyone who is dealing with cancer can go and talk to other people in the same situation.  Try and find some place like that, look up cancer help or ask you doctor of a support group for children of cancer patients.  Cancersupport groups are amazing - they are unlike any other support group you could imagine.  It sounds like you're internalizing a lot of your grief  and it's coming out in other ways.  No one should ever have to deal with something like this alone. Good luck and take care of yourself!

Mary N.
Posts: 100
Joined: Jun 2013

No you are not alone in your reaction to your dad's illness.  I like the advice of Fritzmom because it is wonderful to talk about what you are going through.  May others are also going through it and it helps to talk with others.  You and your father and probably the who family are experiencing grief.  Life has changed.  One normal thing we go through in grief is anger and confusiion and wanting things to be different and on and on.  I know you love your father and I know what you are experiencing is hard.  Hunt for counseling or a group.  Blessings.

Posts: 9
Joined: Sep 2013

I know exactly how you feel, my father has been diagnosed with brain tumor as well his treatment started last week. I know how hard it is to accept the fact that your father is running out of time. The time that we heard about his tumor me and my sister cried our eyes out. We spent hours sitting on the pavement out side the hospital crying our eyes out but then I realised that he doesn't deserve this I wiped my tears, put on a smile and went inside.

It's not easy and it doesn't seem real, I too at times find myself wondering if it's just a bad dream but sadly it's not. All you can do now is smile for your dad. Give him the best memories of you. I cook for my dad daily because I know how much he loves my food. I used to cook rarely, hardly once a week, so just find something that he loves something that makes him smile. You should know that it's okay to argue with him even now because that would make him forget everything, make him feel normal like everythings the way it was but make sure to make up for it afterwards. 

The reason you find yourself behaving this way is because you're probably asking yourself 'Why him of all people/Why us?' There are many of us out there who are in a similar situation and we all find it hard to accept it. You're just acting out because your mind is not accepting this and you can't talk to your family about it because they are equally worried. There are plenty of people here who will help you through this and I too got some pretty good advices from here, if you need to know anything just let me know, you can send me a private message as well if you like. 

For now look for things that will make your father laugh, have some father daughter time (dad and I usually have a good laugh out of teasing others)
Start a project with him just do anything that will keep him occupied, trust me the most horrifying thing for him right now is the thought of not being able to know if you guys will be okay when he's not around. 
I'm praying for both of you.


Posts: 11
Joined: Oct 2013

you may be angry at him as youre worried he,s going to leave you but cancer isnt achoice it just sucks so even if you cant stop some of your behaviour maybe just give him hug and let him know you love him.my daughter could prob give better advice as her mum passed away 9 weeks ago and she questions her actions constantly but the reality is you cant turn back time just try not to have regrets hope your dad gets through this tough time.

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