Hey everyone. I’ve read through every cancer forum there is about a million times before I finally decided to post my own experience. I’m not sure if anyone’s gonna respond, but I really hope someone does. My father (Age 54) was diagnosed with Stage IV Colon Cancer that had metastasized to his abdominal lymph nodes and liver about two weeks ago. Prior to that, he had been having vague symptoms ranging from fever to abdominal pain as well as a chronic cough. Seeing as we are going through a pandemic, my father was especially paranoid about catching COVID as he has heart problems. He has always been a bit of a hypochondriac, too, so my family and I brushed off his symptoms and blamed it on anxiety. At that point, my relationship with my father became extremely strained for multiple reasons. Needless to say, I wasn’t there for him when he was experiencing said symptoms and I feel extremely guilty for it. A month passed before he started experiencing sudden weight loss and fatigue. His abdominal pain got worse and he lost his appetite. He finally decided to go to the doctor and have some tests done. His ultrasound didn’t reveal much, but his blood work was concerning as his tumor markers were extremely elevated and he was experiencing signs of obstructive jaundice. He had a CT scan done and it was about 2 or 3 days until we got the results and he was diagnosed with Stage IV Colon Cancer. Since then, he’s had 2 stents placed in his bile duct in an attempt to cure his jaundice so he can start receiving Chemotherapy. The two days after his stents were placed were good. He regained his appetite and was a lot more energetic, but he had a severe stomachache one night and he’s been feeling extremely exhausted ever since. Lately, he’s been sleeping all day, only waking up to eat and take his medicines before going back to bed. He complains about feeling uncomfortable even though he’s experienced no pain since his stomachache. He says that that something just feels off. I’m trying to stay strong hopeful for him. I really want his jaundice to improve and to believe that he’ll be able to receive palliative chemotherapy so he can stick around for longer, but I keep coming across these “end of life” signs online and I’m scared because I think my dad is starting to show some of these signs. His constant sleeping and bedridden state concerns me, and the fact that he’s eating very little also has me worried. I’ve read through countless journals about my dad’s illness, so I know the prognosis and that’s what has me even more worried. I don’t know what to do anymore. Should I come to terms with the possibility that my father is dying soon, or should I remain hopeful so he can keep fighting? Is it too soon to feel this hopeless? I know I’m not ready for him to leave me. His illness has brought me so much closer to him over those past couple of weeks. I’m also his main caregiver and it pains me to see him so weak. Am I losing him? Feel free to share if you’ve been in a similar situation or had a similar experience.
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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.