Hi there all, my name is Emma and I am 18 years old I am writing today for advice or perhaps some guidance. Recently, we found out my dad has stage three bowel cancer, he has had it removed and is currently recovering at home. The news has completely destroyed the dynamics of our family, my mum puts on a brave facade and attempts to act stoic but in reality she is breaking down, feeling sad and defeated, she hates being home and tries to keep herself occupied as she is preoccupied with the thought of my dad dying (even though we haven't been told it is terminal). I feel hopeless that I am sitting here and unable to do anything to help my mother mentally. I do my best to help around the house, I cook, I clean, I take my sister to and from school and run my mum's errands because it's the only way I know how to help out. My dad on the other hand is recovering, he seems very down about the news and I often walk in on him looking at photos of my sister and I and family holiday's. My Dad has planned his funeral thoroughly and to be honest it has been really confronting. I understand this may be comforting and reassuring for him but it's terrifying my sister and I because we haven't even started chemo yet, we are scared because we don't want to accept that it could be a reality. I am currently looking after my dad while he recovers from surgery but I am concerned because my dad isn't eating, he seems really flat and deflated (as expected) and he is constantly fatigued and cold. Again, I feel useless. I too am acting strong for my family I only cry in my own privacy because the thought of it hits me when I am alone, I have put my life on hold, postponed holidays and outings to ensure I am here to support both my mum and dad. Another thing that is scaring me is I have dreams of my dad dying, the other night I dreamt I was holding his ashes and it petrified me, I don't even want to sleep. How did you all cope? my sister and I are so young we don't want to lose our dad before our lives have truly begun.
Thank you for sharing your story it is comforting knowing other people feel the same way and have similar experiences - I wish it didn't have to be that way. I am really sorry about your dad, I wish you all the best.
i think you’ve done an amazing job so far but it’s a lot to deal and process - if you don’t feel comfortable talking with family - perhaps see if there’s a therapist available that you could talk to? If you’re still at school - it might be worth seeing if they have options available.
Stage 3 isn’t a death warrant though still extremely serious - it’s hard to consider it but are there things that are important to you and your family? Doing movie nights? Or eating dinner together?? If you can - try and focus on these so that your dad can have a bit of normality. But really - take care of yourself first and try to have a bit of a life outside of this - even if it’s a casual job or focusing on school. Not only does it give you other things to think about but it gives you other stuff besides cancer to talk with to your dad and family 🙂
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