Father with Cancer

Updated on December 08, 2008
C.K. asks from York, PA
15 answers

My father was recently diagnosed with esophogus (SP?) cancer and it spread to the liver. HE has been very sick and taking chemo since May...he actually started it the week I deliverd my son. I am having a hard time dealing with the fact that he may not make it and not knowing if he will be around to see my kids grow up. I am an only child and have a VERY small family. I am just so sad that he is missing and may miss out on so much with my kids. He has looked forward to being with them and teaching them all he knows about fishing, drawing, nature and much nore.
I just don't know how to cope with this situation. I never realized how hard it is to watch somone you love so much in sooooooo much pain.
Thanks so much!

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.M.

answers from Philadelphia on

I am so sorry this is happening to you, especially while you are pregnant and with the holidays around the corner. Invest in a compact camcorder and start recording. No matter whar happens, you child will be able to know their grandpa's voice and laugh (you can even include some life lessons) and they can replay them anytime.

More Answers

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

E.F.

answers from Pittsburgh on

C.,

My heart is breaking for you. My dad means the world to me, and I can't imagine how sad you must be right now. It is hard having to be strong for those older than you AND younger than you, and it especially sucks when you can't even go cry to your parents for support.

I don't know how your dad is emotionally with all of this, but if he's in a good place, you might ask him to write letters to your kids (maybe to open on birthdays or Christmas) with the things he wants them to know. Or make videos, or something like that. It would be really special if they had ones to open until they turned 18, or something like that. I don't know exactly how you would approach it (especially since it isn't clear whether he is going to get better), but if it looks like he might not, that would be a beautiful thing for your kids to have as they get older.

Hugs to you, and your dad. I truly hope he improves.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.M.

answers from Pittsburgh on

I am sorry C..
Enjoy every minute you can, the best you can. Be it here or other your father will always be with you.

I lost my mom @4, my dad at 22 when he died of a complication to he surgery to remove the cancer, and my soulmate/husband 2+ years ago.

Losing our loved ones sucks. Trust in God and ask for his help to guide you through this journey. And may you have peace.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.C.

answers from Philadelphia on

I am so sorry to hear about your father. I know that it is a tough situation, my father has liver cancer (amongst other things) and it is very hard to swallow. I am very close with my family and my father is one of my best friends. My father has gone through two bouts of chemo and is currently in remission. The only advice I can give you is to treasure what time you have and hope for the best. I know that doesn't sound easy, it certainly wansn't for me at first but I prayed a lot and I talk to my dad every morning. I don't usually miss a call but if I do, he calls me. I found out he had to go on another round of chemo right before I gave birth to my son last year. Just try to spend as much time with him as you can and I don't know your religious affliation but a lot of times a little faith and some prayer can go a long way.
If you need someone to talk to feel free to email me or message me. I will keep your family in my prayers. Just try and keep your head up and stay positive. My email is [email protected]____.com

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

D.P.

answers from Pittsburgh on

Hi C.,
I did send you a private message earlier. We have very similar experiences.
Two things I wanted to add for you:

1. Check out www.eccafe.org A site dedicated to esophageal cancer. Lots of great info and HOPE to be found there.

2. When my stepfather was going through treatment for EC, and later, when he was under hospice care, I had a very good friend tell me (almost COMMAND ME) to take the time to have a conversation with my stepdad, and very specifically to relate just how much he meant to me and express my love and appreciation face to face. I cannot tell you the peace that this conversation has brought me over the last few years. Smart friend and lucky me!
We should all live like that and express those thoughts to those so near and dear to us, every day.
God Bless,
Denise P.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

N.B.

answers from Pittsburgh on

C., I am very sorry to hear about your father. My own father was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in 2000 -- he ended up having to have an esophagectomy. I joined a esophageal cancer listserv and it helped me tremendously! I also was able to locate based on users recommendations a terrific surgeon for him in Philadelphia. Dr. Ernest Rosato is one of the best if you dad is anywhere near Philly. My heart is with you during this difficult and sad time. Don't loose hope. Try to enjoy what each day brings - everything is a gift.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.C.

answers from Philadelphia on

Dear Chistine

Sorry to hear about your Dad. Three and half months ago my husband lost his sister to cancer. The way we are coping with this is through alot of prayer and bringing JESUS into our pain. I personally seek comfort in my relationship with JESUS and my communion with Him in His word. Can I encourage you to seek His presence and remember how much Jesus loves you He feels your pain and the pain your father is going through too.

Enjoy this precious time that you have with him. If he belongs to a church asked to have someone visit with him and pray for him. Put some praise and worship music on for him. You can down load pastor Joe's messages from calvary chapel on philadelphia on an ipod, cd for him to listen to.

I know that the only person that can help you in this difficult journey is Jesus. I will be praying for you and your family. Sit alone with Jesus and let Him minister to your heart as you read His word. Blessings to you and your family. C.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

B.T.

answers from Scranton on

C.,
First, my heart goes out to you. I lost my Dad 2 years ago when he was 66 from Frontotemporal Dementia. One of the hardest things for me was watching his health deteriorate and knowing that there was nothing I could do to help him because there is no cure or medications for FTD.
Keep your spirits up and enjoy every moment that you do have, even if he is in pain or very sick. We actually lived out of state but managed to move back home to be closer to him and my Mom. My Dad spent the last year of his life in a nursing home and I made an effort to get there almost every day, to feed him, to talk with him, to walk with him. It's really just all about making memories where you can and living every moment with them.
As for my girls, my oldest was 3 when he died and my middle child was 1 and I was pregnant with my third. My oldest still remembers going to the nursing home with me as often as I could take her... she would sit on his bed, watch Sponge Bob, and eat KFC- it was like her little routine. And we'd wheel her around the nursing home on his lap in his wheelchair. These memories she still carries with her to this day (she's 5 now).
Believe me, I know how hard it is to watch someone you love in pain. But I also know that you can make lemonade out of the lemons you've been given. I've cried countless times but I found that savoring those moments, in whatever condition my dad was in at the time, are the times that I carry with me now.
Hugs to you and I hope this helps... and if you ever need emotional support or just to talk, let me know...
B.
My

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.K.

answers from Philadelphia on

C.,

I am so sorry to hear about your fathers health. It is hard to watch someone you care about going through so much pain. I had a very dear friend of mine pass away from the same kind of cancer. One thing I would suggest you do is video tape your kids playing and having fun. Take the video to your dad so he can watch it while he has his chemo treatments. It will give him something to do while he is undergoing treatment and boost his spirits. You don't have to have the kids say anything specifically to their grandfather. He will enjoy just watching them play and be themselves. I do this a lot with our son and send the videos to his grandparents. They are short little clips but maybe you can do something a little longer.
Your dad may not be up for taking the kids fishing but you can bring the fishing fun to your dad. I know toy stores sell fishing games with reels and magnetic fish. I think Melissa & Doug sells something like that. Take it over to your dads place and the kids will have a great time using their imagination and spending time with grandpa.
It is hard to loose someone, I know all too well. We will say a prayer for you and your family. Take care.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

T.M.

answers from Philadelphia on

I wanted to say that i am so sorry. My father in law has been diagnosed with lung cancer (spread to liver and lymph nodes) and idopathic pulmonary fibrosis. I just wanted to let you know that you are not alone. I love him like my own father and it is a terrible thing to have to go through. Please know that there are always people to talk to when you need to. I wish you a happy holidays and you are in my thoughts.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.K.

answers from Reading on

First, I want to say how sorry I am that you are going through this very difficult situation. My first son was born in April (9 years ago) and 4 months later I lost my mother to cancer...diagnosed on a Monday and died the very next day, Tuesday! At first I thought how unfair that we didn't have a chance to really say good-bye. In 2005, my father-in-law (like a father to me) was diagnosed with cancer and passed away 1 year later. Again, I felt like we were cheated again! My only advice to you is to spend as much time with your father now. Take pictures, ask questions about everything you want to know about him, video your children with him and enjoy the time that you have. We really should be doing this with all our loved ones because you never really know when it will be "their time." Your father may not be able to take the kids fishing but he can tell stories of fishing. These memories will last a lifetime. I truly wish you and your family the best. My prayers will be with you!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.B.

answers from Harrisburg on

I'm sorry to hear about your father. My husband's father was lost when hubby was 29, and it was very sudden. I'm not sure which is worse, losing someone without warning or watching someone slowly go. My grandmother slowly went away and it was torture, but in a way, we had time to grieve, say some things that we needed to say. She even gave me advice in the hospital about my oldest son and potty training before she went into a coma. I kick myself to this day for not taking that advice because I was a young, single parent and thought I knew best. Well, Gramma knew best! But for my husband, he never had the chance to say goodbye, talk about some things he wished he would have talked about before and gave him a hug. We're in the military life so we lived far away. He felt the same as you. His father died on our oldest son's birthday party at age 12. Because my husband adopted Jason, he didn't get a chance to know his new grandfather too well and our other son wasn't quite 4, but only saw him a few times. My husband kept asking me how our children, and any future children, would ever know their grandfather. How will they know the wonderful parts about him? How do you answer that? It was so hard to see him in such pain over his loss.

The first thing we learned after years of struggle was my husband needed to take care of himself emotionally first. So I tell you, please take care of yourself. You can't take care of others well if you're not nurturing yourself. Give yourself the chance to mourn and feel. Say and do the things that you need to with your father.

If your father is able to, ask if he'd be willing to video tape, or just talk about, the things he'd want his grandchildren to know. I was the only one that my grandmother told family stories to and today, I still share them with my brother. Stories can be a wonderful thing to pass down.

Family traditions are another thing. My grandmother gave us many simple traditions for holidays, so every holiday there's a touch of gramma and I make sure to tell everyone about them. I have things in the house from my grandmother that I remind my kids who it came from. My only daughter has my grandmother's two middle names. She's 4 and I told her the story of her name just the other day, that her first and middle names came from her great gramma's two middle names. She said, "I love that story!"

I reminded my husband that these children carry his grandfather's blood and his last name. Last name means allot in his family, whether some have married or not. I also told him that Pop raised him, so the values that hubby gives his children is also from Grampa. He's there!

It hurts hubby sometimes to talk about his dad, but I'll bring him up and talk about funny things he'd say or do, and his mannerisms. This will prompt hubby to correct me or to add more stories. He and his dad fished allot! So when he took his boys fishing, it was like fishing with his dad again. They'd talk about grampa and their fishing days.

Today, the older boys feel they know him very well, just by stories and pictures. The younger kids will as well.

I know this is very hard for you. Try writing a journal about your own memories, so you can share them with your children down the road.

I recently lost my own father. He went through his second round of cancer, among many other things. We hadn't talked in years because he was basically an evil person, so my situation is totally different! But I was still sad when he passed. For me it was what I missed, what I should have had. But there are still a few good memories from him. He did have a couple good things that my half-sister and I will laugh about. I don't talk about him with my kids, because my older boys know allot of the bad from him. It still hurts, but I feel more pain when I hear someone else is hurting from a loss of someone who was actually a good father. I'm glad you have good memories and cherish those. Hold those by passing them on to your children. Big hugs to you!

K. B
mom to 5 including triplets

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/HarrisburgPAChat
Chat and events, within 2 hour radius

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.R.

answers from Philadelphia on

Hi C., Let me first say-cancer doesnt mean your done. My Dad was diagnosed with colon cancer 9/03. He had surgery on 10/31, and was able to walk me down the aisle on 12/6. He made it almost 4 yrs from the time he was diagnosed. He took chemo and was literally wiped out. During his fighting, it had spread to liver and pancreas. My Mom died from breast cancer when I was 6 and he was both my Mom and Dad. I too have a very small family but have 1 older brother who I am in no way close with. I always pictured him walking my daughter who was 3 when he was diagnosed down the aisle along with her Dad. It sucks and I feel very alone. BUT- he could fight it for years and possible beat it. He was in Iowa and I am in NJ so every visit I made out there I totally treasured and just hoped it wasnt the last time I saw him. My little girl was a little over 2 when he passed. My older was almost 7. He would speak on the phone with my older 1 and send little pics for her. Idream of him often-like they are meetings-real. I know he is with me. It is hard to watch them when they are hurting and you cant do anything to stop it. I was lucky enough to be there with my brother and my Fathers wife in his last days and he passed at home in his bed. You have to be strong, you have your 2 children. I sure as hell wanted to die when he passed but, I have a 2 great girls and an awesome husband. He passed 6/25/07. His pics are up on our frig, and we talk about him like he is still here. Just remember, he's still here and still fighting. Treasure that. I'm sorry to keep on and on but I do that. If you need to talk ever, just email. Stay strong-Remember-as long as your willing to share stories and pics of your Dad with your kids, they will feel like they know him.
Take care,
K.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.T.

answers from Pittsburgh on

I am sorry your father is so ill. I'll pray for him and your family. Have you looked into a support group? Talking with other people in similar circumstances can be helpful.

One thing I've learned from my own circumstances is to gain control of grief and not let it take over. For me that was concentrating on the good things that I had and not letting the bad rule my day. I also tried hard not to focus on what might happen in the future - it was too painful to think about and there was a chance that things could turn out okay. I'm not saying to minimize your father's illness or your feelings for him. Let yourself cry when you need to, but then think about the good things your father has brought to your life. Enjoy time with your children and your husband. Take some time for yourself to do something you enjoy and that you find relaxing. Find a way to balance out your emotions.

If your father feels up to it, maybe he can keep a written journal or a video journal of things he wants to pass along to your children. Wishing you all the best.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions

Related Searches