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My father had Leukemia...could I have PTSD?

Druhl88
Posts: 1
Joined: Jul 2015

Hi everyone. I apologize if this isn't the appropriate board to post this in, but I'm in need of some advice. I guess I should give a little background. How do I sum up the last 20 years of my life? Here it goes. My father was diagnosed with leukemia when I was 6 years old. It was an awkward age...too young to fully understand but old enough to know something wasnt right with my "daddy." It was a tough few years. I watched my once stocky father lose his thick wavy hair, only to look as old and as weak as my grandfather. I went through a lot. My grandfather, who helped take care of me while my father was sick, ended up passing away. My father became involved with the leukemia society and I became close with a little girl who was close to my age and being treated. She passed away. I felt such a huge void in my life at such a young age. BUT, my dad beat it. He's still here, has ran over 20 marathons and is as healthy as can be. Throughout my life I have dealt with anxiety attacks (more so when I was a teen) and eating disorder issues. I overcame those. I'm now 27, getting married, and STILL am angry and upset over my fathers illness. No matter how "good" life is I still cannot move on. I cry instantly thinking of it. I cry when I see others dealing with it. When I was in college I thought interning with the leukemia society would help. Maybe if I felt like I was "making a difference" and helping raise funds to find a cure it would help me move on. It didn't. But I remember reading an article about children with PTSD who have cancer patient parents. It stuck out to me. Has anyone dealt with this? Or maybe your children experienced it? I feel ungrateful. I feel I should be happy my dad is walking me down the aisle in a few months, and I am. But I am still incredibly sad. 

 

AML_Momma
Posts: 2
Joined: Jul 2015

You lost a big part of your childhood. You also lost the father you knew, and got a new one as he emerged on the other side of Leukemia...not to mention the loss of 2 people you were close too. Absolutely you could have PTSD. I am glad your father pulled through. I would suggest counseling to help you deal with those losses and learn to live again. My son is battling Leukemia right now. I will likely end up in counseling no matter his outcome. If he beats it, I will always be afraid it could come back. I don't know how to relax. I will need help learning to adjust to our "new"  life. And God forbid he not make it. I will need a crap ton of counseling.

Zappymom12's picture
Zappymom12
Posts: 8
Joined: Oct 2015

Of course you do!  Be kind to yourself.  Love the child within you.  I am in counseling.  Boy, did I need it.  I've been dealing with family health problems since I was a little over two years old.  My mother was in a horrific car accident.  My brother and I were put in different homes until my mother could return home and care for us.  She was in one of those old body casts that were very hard.  My father had to work to support us and we had just moved to Alaska. I helped care for my baby brother once my mother was home.  Later, my father had PTSD.  We didn't have a name for it back then.  I'm sure he had other mood disorders as well from Viet Nam.  I married and my husband was ill from 1999.  My son had two lung surguries, one daughter had mental health problems, another had problems with her legs, my husband health deteriated to the point of cancer.  He has so many problems it would be difficult to list.  Be kind to yourself.  Imagine there is a child in front of you.  Its you! Wouldn't you love and protect him?  Exactly...

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