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My heart goes out to you in your valiant struggle. My Dad passed away from this illness in 2007, but I have read that many have lived and continue to live as new treatments appear.
Please try not to imagine what it will be like for your family. I remember the last Christmas with my Dad and we were in the hospital, no gifts, no tree, no lights- but, we had each other, my Dad, my mom and I. He had a meal prepared for him from the hospital staff, and my mom and I had turkey sandwiches we’d made. She had baked the same cake we’d always had at Christmas and it was accompanied by some sparkling non-alcoholic wine. We couldn’t have had a better meal if we’d been eating at a five star restaurant.
We were together, with all the trappings of this life pared away. Snow was falling that evening, across the river we saw the Christmas trees alight from my Dad’s window. My mom and I got the opportunity to give my Dad his final Christmas card with our love written in it, word by tearful word. And, you know what, it was our most precious Christmas ever.
Duke, none of us know the moment we are called home. If we’re lucky, we have the opportunity to live each second to it’s fullest. We have the opportunity to make memories for ourselves and for our loved ones. If we’re especially fortunate, we have the chance to tell our loved ones exactly how we feel about them, how much we love them, how much of a difference they have made to us. I can tell you that those memories are what keep me going, day after day. I live to honour my Dad and I hope that when I get to hug him again, that those who remain here, honour me with kindness and are encouraged to go on with beautiful memories as well.
Please don’t worry about your family. Maybe if you can think about special things, simple things, that you can all do to love each other this very second; to celebrate each and every second- even if it is just a simple celebration… those are the things that illuminate our hearts when darkness sometimes settles in, and those are the things that keep us going and moving towards the light.
I send you and your family the warmest wishes and the Brightest Blessings. God Bless you, Duke!
Sending you a hug on the “angelversary” of your dear sister. May the memories you hold in your heart, keep you warm and safe in the knowledge that you both had each other to love.
God Bless you,
Please accept my sincere condolences on the passing of your dear aunt Lori. I can tell she was well loved by you and that she will always have a special place in your heart. I lost my Dad to this illness seven years ago and I know that even though my eyes can no longer see him, in my heart he is always there.
God Bless you,
Hi Caring Wife,
My heart goes out to you; I lost my Dad to this illness seven years ago and both my mom and I felt as if his life was stolen, that death came like a thief in the night. What I can tell you is that those days we spent supporting him were a blessing to us.
I say that because we had the honour of walking my Dad back home. It was his journey, but we walked it too and at the time, we were just on “autopilot”, not thinking, just doing. I only broke down once in front of my Dad and it was when he told me it was OK to cry. Now there are many more resources for this illness than there were back then- so, please reach out and get some support for yourself too.
Cherish every moment you have with your love. Even the sad moments are opportunities for you to lift his heart and in so doing, you will lift yours knowing you are helping him by loving him unconditionally and standing by him when it counts.
God Bless you both,
Missing my Papa
My heart aches for you! I lost my Dear Dad on January 13th, 2007 at 12:15 pm. It is a day that will forever be etched in my heart. How fortunate are we that we’ve had such extraordinary lives touch ours? I know that you will carry your Dan with you forever and I also am certain that you made a profound difference to him and along with your children and his family and friends, filled his life with blessings. The sadness never completely leaves us, but I hope that in time your sadness will find a small corner of your heart, but that the rest of your heart be filled with wonderful memories of the life you had together and that the gift of this life can inspire you to live on in his honour.
Keeping you, your family, and of course Dan in my thoughts and prayers.
Welcome to the site and congratulations on your wonderful milestone! I am so happy that you were able to have some significant treatment options early on and it sounds like you are doing well. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers that you continue to stay well and that your scan in February brings you the best news possible. I am certain you will become an inspiration to many of the newly diagnosed members on this site. I lost my Dad after an 8 week battle in 2007, so I wish for you what was not possible for him and does my heart good to know you are doing so well. I am rooting for you!
I am so sorry you are all going through this difficult time. I can’t give you much advice on treatment options as my Dad was only able to receive palliative chemo., however, I can give some advice from a caregiver’s perspective.
Many have said that there is no clear path for this illness, what works for one person, may not for another. Some have miraculously beaten the odds. Keep in mind that each one of us is different and responds differently to treatments, so if your dad is not successful with a protocol that has worked for someone else, try not to get discouraged. There are options that he can try and he has not exhausted all of them. I firmly believe where there is breath, there is hope, so please hang in there.
As for being strong- this is a tough one- many told me (including the doctor) that I had to be strong for my Dad; an impossibility for someone losing her best friend. So, when I needed to, I would rage. I had a friend I’d call and many times I’d scream into the phone, so angry at the injustice of it all. When I could, I would cry my eyes out because I ached for my Dad’s pain. I was afraid this emotion would have a discouraging effect on him, so my one hour tearful commute always ended one block before my parent’s house where I’d Visene my eyes, use a nasal spray and would plaster foundation on my face to disguise that I’d been crying. For the most part I faked my strength in front of my Dad, but there were times of tenderness when we both cried and those are beautiful memories that I cherish.
Kristin, treasure every moment! When my Dad wasn’t looking I’d be staring at him, memorizing the lines on his face, I’d pay special attention to the sound of his voice, I’d try to make him laugh, I’d try to steal more embraces because I was afraid that those moments would be coming to an end. Every moment you have with your father is precious, whether it is a moment of happiness, or a moment of regret at the situation. It is a great blessing and honour for a child to be able to give back to their parent and pain is the price we pay for love.
Try not to second guess yourselves, make sure you can get as much information as possible and use this site often as there are many wonderfully wise and caring folks on here who support for no other reason than they really care. I found this site four months after my Dad passed away and I wish I had found it sooner. Come here as often as you like and say what you need to, there will always be a virtual embrace waiting for you.
One last thing, and I’m not suggesting this because I think your father’s situation is dire, but you might want to consider as part of your journalling, a book on father/ daughter conversations. It gives some really good examples of questions that turn into discussions that can be healing for many different reasons. The book is “Conversations with My Father: A Keepsake Journal for Celebrating a Lifetime of Stories (AARP)” and can be found though Amazon.
I’ll end by telling you that your father, you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. These situations are in God’s hands and he won’t drop us.
I’m sorry to read what your dad is going through. I can’t give much advice on chemo with a feeding tube. My Dad’s only option was palliative chemo. However, don’t forget that if he is healing from his stent, it may be possible to give him IV nutrition as an option. My Dad also went through bouts of vomiting and at times hiccuping and it was heartbreaking that he couldn’t keep food down. I can relate to what you are going through and am keeping you and he as well as the rest of the family in my thoughts and prayers. You will find this to be a wonderfully supportive and caring community and no doubt that other posters can give you invaluable advice.
I am sorry to hear that your husband’s cancer returned. I can’t offer much in the way of advice because my Dad was diagnosed at extensive metastasis. It sounds to me that you have not exhausted all options yet, so that is very positive. A second opinion may be beneficial as you weigh the different options. Keeping you and your husband in my thoughts and prayers.
I too am sorry that you are in a position that you had to find this site, but glad that you did. You will find much support here from both those who are going through this illness personally, and from those who support a loved one facing this illness.
My dear Dad also was diagnosed with this illness and while he is no longer with us on this plane, what I learned is that everyone’s story is different. Miracles are still possible and as long as there is breath, there is hope.
You and your father are at the beginning of this journey and as some of the others have said, it’s a good idea to take along a pad of paper or a tape recorder so that you can play back the advice you hear.
Sloan Kettering is an excellent facility and based on your post, I already know that the love and concern you feel for your father will be the best medicine he can have. I will keep you and your father as well as the rest of the family in my prayers so that he receives the best care possible and that you are all supported during this challenging time. I know this is extremely difficult to face as a daughter, when your father’s life is threatened, but know that your support of him will carry him and you will see how much of an honour and blessing it is to have the opportunity to care for your dad in his time of need.
I am sorry your father is going through all this. I wonder if IV would be an option, as Lainy mentioned. My Dad was on IV liquids that sustained him for a while. Hoping that he can get some much needed assistance with this. You all are in my thoughts and prayers.
I am so sorry for the loss of your husband and I can understand how that turns a family upside down, experiencing the loss of my own Dear Dad almost six years ago.
I’m glad you have your own appointment to see a therapist and perhaps from that you’ll gain valuable insight into helping your son. Teenagers are so connected to the internet now, do you think he might be open to some web resources, if he’s not comfortable with a face-to-face session? These links may be worth exploring- http://www.opentohope.com/?s=loss+of+a+parent&x=0&y=0&gclid=CIGCn9WV8rMCFYw-MgodShAALA; http://www.beliefnet.com/Health/Health-Support/Grief-and-Loss/2000/05/Grieving-The-Death-Of-A-Parent.aspx.
The second link is from a Christian perspective. I wondered if there is any clergy member you could confide in- at the time of my Dad’s death I was very angry at God, but as time went on I started to see how every moment of life is a miracle, even those moments filled with the sadness of this illness. I can honestly say that my Dad’s illness and subsequent death helped rebuild my faith, so this is another option.
Lastly, could your son get involved with something that would help someone else- something like Big Brothers or a Homeless Shelter, even a Habitat for Humanity type of thing. This would be a way for him to channel his pain and help another- it transforms ourselves and others when we can transform our sadness.
Keeping you all in my thoughts and prayers,
I agree with the other respondents- you need to strongly advoctate for yourself with this type of cancer. Doctors expect patients to call and you may as well find out the time frame they have in mind to review your case, so that you can pursue other options if it is too lengthy of a wait. I like the idea of contacting the Dr. at Sloan Kettering. With my Dad I contacted a well known Canadian Oncologist, Dr. Robert Buckman (who has unfortunately passed away) and I did so through his contact email on his hospital website. It was enough for him to eventually get in touch with me and discuss my Dad’s treatment and do the same with my Dad’s Oncologist. So, if you have some names and their contact emails, it wouldn’t hurt to get the word out through the web- that way you may’ve increased your medical support team with the click of just a few buttons.
You’re in my thoughts and prayers, God Bless.
Missing UNovember 28, 2012 at 5:10 pm in reply to: One step forward – two steps back. Discouraging news. #66880
Bob and Nancy,
I’m sending out prayers for Jeff and for you both as well. How fortunate to have discovered now that the regimen he was on was not working in order to try something else. Some of the other respondents seem to mention some other combinations, so there sound as if there are possibilities! Hang in there and you’ll all be in my thoughts and prayers.
This is a difficult time for many of us who’ve lost a loved one. Right around this time six years ago, my Dad was hospitalized for the last time. Just today as I was driving home and seeing the neighbourhood houses with their Christmas lights on, I couldn’t believe we’d spend another Christmas without him.
Yet we are spending another Christmas without him. It isn’t just about his death, it’s about the way he died, so quickly with this insidious illness that stole him away from us with only eight weeks worth of warning. During that time, we were still hoping for a cure that was never to be. In the blink of an eye, his life was extinguished and with that, our lives too. Or at least the lives that we led back then.
So, while this message starts sadly, I want to let you know that it is possible to rebuild a new life and use that sadness to comfort another. In the time my Dad’s been gone, my mother and I have tried to live on in his honour- for the most part, the visible things have been to donate to charity and we now sponsor six kids from World Vision. When there are opportunities to show kindness to another, we do. Many times we do this for ourselves and for the recipient, but for the most part, we do it for Him, so that he lives on through these acts of kindness that were so much a part of him.
Friends, this Christmas, I’d love to say to you that time heals our hearts, but it only partially heals them. The other part is up to us. The loss of my Dad will never be totally healed, but the enormous hole he has left is being filled by the drop with these things I force myself to do in order to continue his legacy.
For all of you who’ve lost a loved one, I wish you peace of heart and spirit. I wish that somehow you can transform your pain into love of another. Even if you have to pretend to be strong, your strength will fortify another. That’s what it’s all about- we need to hold each other up, because sometimes only those who’ve fallen are fit for the task.
Brightest Blessings as you remember your dear loved ones this Christmas season. God Bless You All.