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dad is dying and doesn't want help!


Guest ni

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my father is 53 and got NSCLC last year. The doctors have said that he has 3 months at the most. He is in bed most of the time and needs help to go to the toilet. Mum has not been sleeping more than 2/3 hours for a few months and recently had an operation herself. The other day, she fell down in the bathroom when she took him. I am 25 and got married ayear and some back. He doesn't want a nurse so I suggested I move in to help out. But he doesn't want me to!

He's become really suspicious of everyone and still smoking and drinking and it seems like the illnesss has brought out the worst in him. I love him terribly but I love mum too and don't know how to help them. He says that relationships are better when people don't live together and he's bringing up fights we had years back. And I just don't know... Am i so horrible a person that my father does not want me around at a time like this?? Has anyone else faced anything like this?

My husband, who is god's gift to me, says that it's because he is a proud man and does not want to take our help. But doesn't one feel that with outsiders? And until a year back, I was his favourite!

And he doesn't seem to care about mum any more either. I know he is angry, but it's like all the love has disappeared.

Is this what life comes to in the end? :cry:

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This has got to be the worst thing in the world that ANY ONE has to go through. Care givers and loved ones a like. The emotions are like a roller coaster, so treat it like one. When you start going up the hill just prepare your self for the ride back down. And scream!!! That was the best advice I ever got, when you feel like screaming, do it. Go off and find somewhere to be alone and scream like a mad woman/man.

Mom was the same way at first. She didn't want to admitt that she needed help, when I suggested moving in, she flipped. She didn't see any reason in the world for me to be there. I just gave her time and when I felt like it was the right time. When I knew that she needed me the most, I just showed up and didn't go home. I didn't bring clothes, and I didn't tell her that I was staying I just did. Then when I helped her, she didn't have to admitt that she needed it. It just WAS. I would tell her that since I was there, and it was easier for me to do, what ever it was she was tring to do, let me do it.

I guess you could say I just tricked her. I didn't give her the chance to tell me no. I'm sure your father loves you. I can't imagine what it would be like to be our parents. To be facing our own mortality. Whoa, what a thought.

Ok... enough is enough huh? :roll: Just hang in there and keep us posted. All of these wonderful people will be here for you, anytime.

Renee

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I am so sorry you are going through this. When things get really stressed with my husband I just take control and tell him "This is what we are going to do!" He gets angry for awhile but then accepts it and even though he won't admit it - I think he is glad to see me taking control.

God bless you and give you the strength you need to do what must be done.

Peg

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Your dad is terrified of this awful disease and doesn't know how to ask for help (he's male and probably hasn't asked for much help in the past, seeing help as his role). So he strikes out in anger at everything, even those he loves. Bear with him, and try to help where you can. I agree that you need a friend/confidante that you can talk with and get your feelings heard. Sorry you have to go through this. Just know that he loves you, even though he cannot show it right now. It is also coorrect that sometime you just have to do things without asking. I feed my wife every 2 hours during the day to keep down the nausea from her chemo. I never ask if she wants it; I just give it to her. She fortunately has not fought me on it. I also take her out -- I tell her what I have planned and we do it unless she just gets very sick or says strongly, No. Also, when loved ones are on heavy medication, as I suspect your dad is, they don't think through things as clearly. My prayers are with you. Don

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I guess your Dad needs sometime to absorb what's going on. All you can do is be there when he needs you. When my husband first became ill, I was determined to shoulder the burden myself. My oldest son was going through a painful divorce, my other son is young (21) and had only been married a couple of months. On the day of his biopsy we were getting ready to go to the hospital and I heard the front door open and there was our youngest son. He simply said: What time to we have to be at the hospital? I couldn't have gotten through the day without him. Maybe you can get around your father by putting emphasis on the fact that your MOM needs you so he won't feel like your there taking "care" of him. Remember, fathers always feel like they need to take care of their little girls - not the opposite way around.

Anyone else out there HATE to hear it when doctors give you a time limit? Many people have asked me "how long" my husband has. I have never asked the doctor that, he has never offered to tell us. I have always thought he has as long as he has and just because 10 guys down the road lived a month and 10 guys up the road lived a year, that doesn't mean my husband will live either a month or a year. Maybe HE will be the miracle that lives a decade!!! Never give up hope!

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Good reply Candy,

I can't add anymore to what these FABULOUS folks have said! They're right, and no what happens this roller coaster ride tests us all. Give your dad alittle time, maybe acting normally (before cancer) and then gradually "sneaking" your way into the care-giver role for your parents. Or use the preface of helping out your mom, Or do what I did...

My dad NEVER asks for help, he is very proud and wasn't a very open person. I just told him point blank,

"I love you, you old man! :lol: and I don't know how you feel but I am scared to death! I feel helpless and I haven't the cure for cancer and I go out of my mind worrying about you (and mom) SO the only thing I can do is research, help with the doctors and help and LOVE you in everyway I can. Let me do this, not for you, but for ME! Let me have this to do or I might fo out of my mind!!"

Seemed to work. THat was 6 months ago and he actually depends on me now.

Whatever comes of it, just love him, and dont forget to love yourself too.

Take care and keep in touch!!! We all are thinking of yoU!

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Dear Ni,

These guys' responses are down-to-earth and heartfelt...I just want you to know that I'm thinking of you and mom and dad and praying that your love and strength will guide you in the path you need. Sounds as if mom REALLY does need you, perhaps as much as dad. Don't depend on the doctor's "timeline" too much....we never know when our time here is up, but you will want to feel good about yourself and memories when your finally face your father's mortality. Take good care of yourself, too.

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Ni,

I just wanted to add that the cancer combined with the drugs can also make the person say things and do things out of character. A nurse made me realize that the steriods and drugs can cause this. It is so hard but know in your heart that it is the cancer and not the relationship.

God bless you and your family.

Laurie

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thanks for all the support...the latest is that dad has agreed to keep a nurse and we're looking.

Dad sleeps a lot...he sleeps all day and gets up in the evening. The doctors are saying that it could be the lesion in the brain or it could be depression...I was wondering if anyone else knows something about this. The other thing is that he does not complain of any pain as such. Is he just covering up? Because I thought that there is some pain in the last stage?

What makes things harder sometimes is that in our country, counselling or peer support are not so popular as concepts. And it's hard to find anyone to talk to. Most of my friends seem to switch off a bit - like this is something they don't really want to deal with. Is that something any of you have faced?

sorry for going on. This is really the only place I can talk like this.

Thanks all you guys out there. And hope today goes well for you.

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Ni,

In THIS country there is a stigma attached to lung cancer, still. In the city I am in there are no L/C specific support groups either and my friends ask how my dad is and give me that "I'm so sorry" pitty-face. So I know what you mean. COme here. Ask Us. You are part of this family now.

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Ni,

(((hugs))), most of the people I write to who have loved ones with cancer, have noticed personallity changes during the end stages ... I know my mother did... that could be part of what has caused your dad to say some of the things he has.

Have the doctors given him something for depression? Is he on hospice care? His sleep could be cause just because he is tired... it is part of the process...

I have had one friend who's loved one had little or no pain as his cancer had spread to the brain, each case is different.

I have a website http://c.d.luce.home.att.net where I have end of life information and links... also other information. If you don't have hospice care for your dad, I would reccomend it... there are links for hospice info also.

Always,

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People really don't know what to say to Hugh and I. Sometimes, because they don't know what to say, they avoid talking to us. Maybe Hugh reminds them that it can happen to them. It's an uncomfortable thought. When I run into people who I know, I often see that they are scared silly with just the thought of having to make conversation with me. Often they will avoid the subject of Hugh entirely. That's okay, I am ashamed to say that I was one of them a few months ago and had much the same reaction to people with cancer so I can relate and then whip myself for ever being that way. One of the most refreshing visits we had was a few weeks ago when some friends of ours popped in whom we hadn't seen since Hugh was diagnosed. She walked in, threw her coat down and started asking Hugh all about his treatment, how long would it be, how was it given, how did he feel, when would he be done. She had a million questions, directed at Hugh and he gladly answered all of them. Talking about it actually made Hugh feel better and it put us all at ease and we eventually moved on to other things and had a wonderful visit. Later I called her and told her how perfect she had been - at last someone who didn't act like Hugh's illness was a taboo. She said she had been nervous but that she thought it would be ridiculous to come and pretend he wasn't sick. I will take a lesson from her!

We are thinking of you and praying for you and your family!

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Hi Ni...I also have had the same experiences with people, some in my own family. I do think people are uncomfortable with it. You know its really strange unless you have been where we are, no one can understand the devastation. I am more comfortable talking with the great people on these boards than anyone else. I can tell right away if someone is really concerned or just asking to make themselves feel better. It bothered me at first, but I really dont care anymore. We all have to much to worry about. I just distance myself from them people. Youre not alone......cathy

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  • 1 month later...

I came across this interesting post while looking for any messages dealing with depression. I sort of feel silly researching means of dealing with depression when one considers the fact that it is a logical adjunct of a diagnosis of SCLC. I mean, why wouldn't a person be depressed? Antidepressant drugs are meant to relieve the depression which exists for no apparent reason. Right?

Obviously, that's not right. My wife was diagnosed with SCLC, and has gone into a state of deep depression. A person who was once attentive to the needs of others has now become aggressive in asserting her own wants. But not in a good way. Rather, in a sort of "I'm the one who's dying here, and I'll do whatever I want" kind of way.

I was diagnosed with MS several years back, and my ataxia has become progressively worse. I've had a few falls around the house and at work, several of which put be in the ER. In response to this my wife insisted I get to bed early and nap a lot, even if I wasn't tired. When people came over she would ask them to speak softly, since I was trying to sleep.

Now she sleeps with the bedroom TV on loud and her light on. She smokes even more than before, as though thumbing her nose at fate. I can see her trying to drive away her family and friends. Her daughters are as attentive as they can be, but even they have hinted to me that they think they simply irritate her by being around.

My wife is a an insightful and intelligent person. She worked for almost four decades as a clinical social worker, specializing in family conflict and marital therapy. She knows her antidepressant and anti-anxiety drugs. She is now taking Prozac and Valium, but will not go to any kind of therapeutic group.

It's a challenge to help someone who doesn't want your help, and who insists on pushing you away. But I think of Kubler-Ross' stages of dying, and I reflect on the fact that my wife is experiencing a great deal of anger and resentment toward anyone and anything. She's angry that she'll be losing what she holds dear, and she resents the ministrations of those whose every act only serves to remind her that she's dying..

It's a challenge, but I love my wife, and I will find a way to care for her. Though I may not be a religious man I do regard one tenet of human existence as an absolute, that people must care fore each other.

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Hang in there, mainecoon. I think you are right -- a lot of depression and anger there, and rightfully so. "Why me?" The age old question with no satisfactory answer. Just keep loving her and you will know what you need to do for her on this rocky road of lung cancer. It's tough enough fighting the beast, but doubly tough when you have to fight her too. May you find the love and support you need to keep hanging in there. Don

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My dad went thru several weeks in the beginning where he was like that too. He continued to smoke and began to yell at my mom all the time. Whenever she tried to help he'd yell at her for that too. She was in a fog and didn't know what to do, so she left him alone with himself and turned to us, confided in us, and we were there for her. I hope your kids are there for you too. After alot of talking and convincing him that it WAS worth the fight, and honestly, later almost dying in the hospital in December...Dad "woke up". He stopped smoking - just like that. He became positive (instead of being a realist / borderline pessimist) and he has tremendous strength and HOPE now. I guess maybe since he didn't die in December, he believes in miracles. OR maybe I'm a relentless control-freak who pestered the hell out of him to FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT! :wink: Who knows. The anger / the hopelessness...it sucks, but it's normal. Those who love them just have to keep trying. Hang in there. Praying and positive thoughts for you both.

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