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Forgive Me


Leslie

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Forgive me for this post. I really wish I could be strong and positive tonight but I can't...I pretty much haven't stopped crying tonight. I feel like maybe if I write it down, I can get some relief.

My dad is just not doing well. The fatigue is overwhelming. His appetite is not great. And he is getting weaker. He's been using a wheelchair whenever he goes out of the house. Today, my mom finally bought one for him. His blood test shows that his CEA level has increased from 74 to 406. While I know that only scans can show whether the cancer has progressed, I also know that elevated CEA levels are not a good sign. He will be scanned next week--and I'm pretty sure that if the cancer has progressed we will move on to Tarceva. But this will mean that we have moved on to our 3rd line of treatment in less than 6 months.

My parents are the most important people in my life. To see what cancer is doing to our family just breaks my heart. Most of all, the thought of losing my dad makes me feel like I will suffocate. I am simply terrified to not have him here. My dad is the most gentle soul. He has a wonderful sense of humor. The world--my world-- is a far more beautiful and interesting place with him here. My dad makes everyone around him feel good about themselves. He has the most incredible way of helping people develop their ideas about the world, about themselves...he is a gifted teacher, a compassionate friend, an incredible spouse, and the most wonderful father. And I just can't bear the thought of being without him.

We are living our worst nightmare. My dad can barely talk on the phone--or else he starts coughing uncontrollably. But I find I just need to hear his voice for a minute. Because he is still here.

I am really not sure how do deal with this incredible pain. I have always been someone who can express my emotions. But this saddness is overwhelming.

I apologize for the long post. I just needed to write it down and spend a moment where I know people will understand.

All the very best,

Leslie

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Leslie and Adrian:

I've been following all of your posts and profile updates daily. If I could share some of whatever strength I still have with your dad, I would surely do it. There's plenty out there for both of us, for all of us -- we just have to find a way.

My fond Aloha,

Ned

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Big hugs going out to you and your dad. He sounds like a wonderful man. I love the way you desribe him. You are so not alone in this nighmare. Many are at your side to hold you up when you can't do it alone. I know how you feel when one of the most inportant people in your life is suffering. Most days I feel like like I can't catch my breath and other times I feel like I am drowning. Your father is a gentle soul and the cancer can't take that away. My thoughts are going out to you.

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I am so sorry that your Dad is not doing well right now. Your Dad and family has had such strength through all of this and I know you will continue to do so. The right treatment for your Dad could be the next one. There seem to be quite a few people here that go through several lines before they find the one that works. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Shelley

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You do not have anything to apologize for. THe fear is known to so many of us about this part of life and this disease. We understand. Sendin Hugs and prayers for peace and strength this AM..

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Leslie,

I feel your pain and am so sorry you have to watch one of the most important people in your life suffer. I feel the same about my parents. I will say a prayer for your dad to find relief and to find the right treatment to work.

Hugs,

Mendy

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I'm so sorry for your pain. My heart was breaking just reading your post, because I know what it feels like to be so trapped in this nightmare and feel so helpless. I could and I think I did, write words very similar to those...

I am hoping things get better for your dad..and they can, don't lose your HOPE....and I wish there was something more I could say to help you as you go thru this too.

Keep talking, or posting here, whenever you need to release all that is inside...it does help- alittle- and you will need all the strength and support you can get.

To think of everything, from dx. to every symptom- to "what next", is so overwhelming- and suffocating...it's a huge mountain and whatever is on the other side is uncertain....too much to take in all at once for anyone....take it in little moments. take it in a little at a time, live in the right now and take and do what you can in little steps. One moment, one day at a time..

Before you know it you will be on top of the mountain and the other side might just yield better and brighter days ahead.

I am hoping and praying just that for your you and your dad.

Hang in there. We continue to be here for you.

(((hug)))

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God, I just hate this disease so much!

Leslie, I am so sorry for what you're going through. My mom was my very best friend and confidant, and when she died, there were tiny little glimpses of when I thought I'd be okay, because she was finally PAIN FREE, but when I start to think about living the rest of my life without her--possibly fifty years or more--it feels like someone is choking me. And it has been almost 20 months since she died. I don't anticipate feeling better about this--nor do I WANT to--for a long time. My mom was such a beautiful person and I do not understand why she had to suffer so much throughout her life. And it is killing me inside.

What I CAN tell you is the one thing that eases my pain just a bit to help me get through each day, is the very intense feeling that my mom has wrapped herself around me and is protecting me all day, every day. I lost my dad to LC in '99 and I didn't feel this intense feeling after his loss. I am an only child and I have all of my mom's things, so I cherish them; I wear her clothes and jewelry, I lose myself in the things she wrote, even if it was just her checkbook register. I allow myself to cry whenever I feel the need. The pain is immense, but I look at it as a gift of how much we loved each other. If I didn't have this pain I would be empty inside.

All that being said, there is NO way to prepare for a loved one's death. I've been there countless times with close family, and the pain is like scratching the same scab off over and over again so it never completely heals. I suppose that, even though I am known to be an eternal pessimist, when it came to my family, I never EVER gave up hope that they would get better. So I truly believe that there is LOTS of hope for your dad to get better and continue making this world a better place. I know it's hard to keep a chin up now, and I know that pit in your stomach that you feel every moment of every day, waiting for the phone to ring. But this place is the best place to be right now, where people understand and will not judge you. We will do our best to hold you up right now. I personally can't guarantee that I'll do the best job of that because of where I am right now in my grief, but I can guarantee that I will respond to you and help the best I can.

You don't need to apologize for expressing your feelings. That's why this site is here.

All the best,

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I am so sorry to read about what you are going through. I have been there. It is so incredibly difficult. I found the only thing that gave me peace was just being there with my dad and talking with him. It's just so painful and hard. I understand. I'm sending you positive thoughts and hope that Tarceva, if it comes to that, will make a big difference. Hugs. Michele

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Friends,

Thank you so much for your kind messages. They have literally helped keep me steady these past few very challenging days. Your wisdom and your compassion mean so much to me.

I am trying hard to take it one moment at a time. Some moments are better than others. What a difficult journey this is.

I am truly moved by your thoughtfulness.

Thank you.

Leslie

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Hi Leslie,

I too have been following your Dad's story. I can completely relate to everything you are saying. I think of my mom in much the same way you describe your dad and I know that suffocating feeling of helplessness. I know what it is like to spend hours researching, trying to figure out what to do. Never give up hope. It is there and it is what keeps us going from day to day. There is always hope and I continue to pray that your dad gets the right treatment to get things back on track. I know this is so very hard to go through. I pray for your entire family during this time.

Jill

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Hi Leslie. I felt some sense of relief when I read your post. I didn't feel so alone. My sister is going through the same thing your Dad is right now. I live about 4 hours from her, so I call her a couple of times a day..but lately, I can barely understand what she is saying.She is on oxygen and is so short of breath. Her cancer is in her bronchi tubes and has blocked some of her breathing. She is very weak also, and finally allowed her husband to put her in a wheelchair to walk down to the X-Ray room in the hospital. She had coughed so hard that she pulled a muscle.

I came in to work today and started crying. I could not stop. I think we hold it in for so long and it has to come out.

Anyway, just wanted you to know that I know how helpless you feel and I will say a special prayer for your family tonight.

Love,

Bobby

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Hi Leslie-

I know I am a little late here but I hope these words find you. 8 years ago I could have been the one writing them. I empathize completely with what you are going through and know there is not any way I can make that better.

Just know that in some way there is some beauty that will come from all of this craziness. Seeing it now is impossible but someday the light will shine strong on you and you will feel the blessing right along side the curse.

Sometimes, this disease takes you to the scariest place imaginable right before it brings a much needed sigh of relief. Your dad can get better and my hope is that he will.

As far as your feelings go, try to embrace them fully. The biggest and scariest of them are those that need your light the most and often the ones we turn our backs on for fear they will overtake us. We are stronger than fear! and in fact the more we resist them the more they stick around.

For a long time I was afraid to be anything other than chipper and positive when I was around my mom, like i had to be strong enough for both of us and then one day I just couldn't deal with it anymore and broke down right in front of her. It actually helped us both. When I could show softness she could show support and while her health was bad she was still my mom and needed to offer me comfort the way that moms do. Me playing super women did not help either of us.

I pray that you will allow your dad to be your dad and share with him how scared you are, trust me, you aren't hiding anything from him he doesn't already know and letting him see you being his little girl and needing him for something instead of him needing ya'll might help him find a reason to be strong too.

Prayers and Countless Blessings are coming your way.

Melissa

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Oh Leslie,

I am so, so sorry to read your post. I hate to use the cliche, "I know how you feel," but I do. I know where you are right now, with your emotions, as I have been there too. Please know that we are here for you, and we are saying prayers for peace, both for you and for your dad.

Mom was just saying yesterday, "You know, I have often thought what really good has come of your dad's cancer," and before I could look at her in disbelief. she went on to say how we as a family are closer, bonded, more faithful to God, and on top of it all...better friends.

Stay strong.

Blessings,

Jen

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