How long does it take for people to put their first blog on? I have sat here week after week trying to work out what to say and how to ask things.
I am hoping that I could get some good advise on how I can help my dad and find out how he is really feeling.
My Dad has been diagnosed with cancer - they say that the primary is most likely the bladder and only a couple of weeks after he was diagnosed they discovered it has spread to the bones. He is starting chemo this week with the aim of reducing the size of the bone cancer and giving him a bit more time...
I live over 1500kms away so it isn't easy to see him as often as I would like but I try to talk to him every couple of days. I usually get to speak to him once a week when he is on his own, I find that this is a great time because he tells me his fears and wishes, something that is really hard for him to do (he is a man that usually keeps his thoughts to himself).
My mum is being amazing, she takes him to all his appointments and keeps his "pharmacy" in order. They have been married almost 50 years so their bond is increadible. I have a sister that lives near mum and dad and she helps them so much with support, meals etc...
I survived my cancer of the thyroid over 13 years ago, mine had spread to my calcium glands and all the lymph nodes except one. I had my thryoid removed and radio treatment and was given the all clear a few years later.
My fight was different, I was very lucky that it was picked up (total fluke, had my baby at the GP's and she said "what is that lump?") and that my cancer was a relatively slow progressing cancer. Dads is very agressive and...he is my dad! Strange how I could deal with my own cancer better than I can with my dads!
I would love to hear peoples thoughts on how chemo makes you feel, the right things to say without sounding patronizing, how to help both mum and dad, really any advise that can be given would be appreciated.
It must be hard living so far away from your dad with his diagnosis. Distance and being an onlooker as such are difficult. I think when we are the ones directly affected it is easier in some ways. In that we dont experience that helplessness feeling. :)
It is great that your dad can talk to you so intimately, not everyone can or has someone they can do that with - so for the both of you its fantastic. I know in essence it doesnt change anything but i think it makes the road a little smoother.
Is hard to say how chemo would be affecting your dad as different sorts have different effects and then of course everyone reacts differently. What might help you there is if you find out what sort of chemo drugs he is having and then you could research their effects etc...
I think you are probably helping your mum and dad as much as you can from a distance. Just being there for them and being available to talk to is a huge help. 🙂
I think that your Dad will be grateful that he has you to talk to as you have been through something similar and maybe therefore believes that you will understand.He may not want to worry your Mum any more than she already is so may want to off load on you a little.
Like Julie says, chemo is different fro everyone, so just let him let you know how he is feeling.
Hang in there, Samex
Thanks Samex and Julie,
Dad has blown me away with what he tells me on the phone and I feel lucky that he talks to me the way he does. My last in depth talk with him last week was really hard, he finished the conversation with "I need to tell your mum and the rest of our family this too but they won't listen, they just cry!" It was really hard to sound like I was strong but I think I pulled it off for him. I just wish I could give him a big hug whenever he needs one...or maybe when I need one from him!
I really don't like the sound of Chemo, I hope that he gets through it relatively well (I don't know if that was the right word!). I wish that he could have the radio treatment that I had, it was so much quicker and in many ways easier to cope with especially with minimal side affects- I had no side affects except weight loss & tiredness but the weightloss was from the diet that they had me on prior to the treatment and the tiredness was from both the diet plus the removal of my thyroid for 8 weeks prior to the treatment!
Thanks again for your comments, I really appreciate that you can share your experience with me. It helps me like you wouldn't believe...
I can share with you my experience with treatment. I had chemotherapy which was ok and i felt quite good. I had some problems with vomiting but i just mentioned that to my onco bloke and he would change medication and that was fixed. The nausea only lasted a couple of days for me. Radiotherpy i hated and i am left with quite a few side effects from that and the monoclonal therapy i had also. So, it is different for everyone. 🙂 Your dad just needs to keep talking to his onco bloke. You could tell your dad about the cancer council help line 13 11 20. It sounds as if he wants to talk which is fantastic. Great that he has you although hard on you at times i am sure. You can access the helpline also if you feel the need. Dont be a martyr and try and do this on your own. we all need to be able to talk and offload at times. :)
Oh, i think "relatively well" is a good term to use for cancer treatment! It is not a picnic nor a walk in the park but it helps us to survive so we do it.
Thanks, I have read a lot of posts and sit in awe of how strong everyone is.
I really appreciate hearing your experience. I didn't realise that they can change meds to help alliviate some of the side affects. How naive I feel.
I guess I was really lucky with my treatment...although mine was over 13 years ago, and besides loosing so much weight and being so tired, that was it...I wish everyone could have my side effects and go into remission.
Again, thank you for your reply and I wish you all the very best. :)
You are not naive, you are someone who is seeking out answers to things you dont know and thats fantastic! I got tired from radio too, although i am finding that is worse post treatment than during. Apparently i was exceptional during my treatment as i havent suffered the side effects that most people do. I think the key to getting through this is communication ... you just need to find the right people to communicate with. Those onco blokes are pretty clever people, i think. :)
Thank you so much!
I will try to touch base with dads Onco' - dads doctors and all of the staff have been fantastic, I think I will see what other information they can give me...
Cancer Council NSW would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we live and work.We would also like to pay respect to elders past and present and extend that respect to all other Aboriginal people.