How do you cope?

14 Posts | Page(s): 1 2  Next 

How do you cope?

by ZoeyDream on Tue Sep 08, 2015 05:03 PM

Quote | Reply

Hello all. I am having a hard time and I truly appreciate you reading this. My dad passed away a little over 3 months ago from pancreatic cancer. I am his only child and was his sole caregiver. He had been diagnosed 11/2012 and was blessed to qualify for the Whipple surgery which, along with assorted chemos, afforded him 2.5 years. In that time, he had many good days and his positive attitude bouyed both he and I. Sadly, the last 2 months of his life were extremely hard. He did receive hospice care for the last week of his life and died peacefully in my home. I am just having such a hard time dealing with the grief. I was 30 weeks pregnant when he died and it is so hard knowing he will never meet his grandson. There was so much I dealt with leading up to and after his death and now that things have calmed down, the grief just keeps sinking in deeper and deeper. I am so glad that he is no longer in pain, but as I am sure you know, this is so difficult. Having him in my home at the end was a blessing but I am also somewhat haunted by all that I did and saw. The end was so hard. My question for you all is how do you deal with the grief? I have a grief counseling appt coming up so perhaps that will help. I also have begun attending Quaker meetings, which are really deepening my connection with God. Still, I know this will take time but I feel that this loss will always be with me. It was traumatizing in a lot of ways. I guess it has not been that long really. How do you cope? Did therapy help? Do these forums help? Do you just take it day by day? Have you done something to honor your loved one and has that helped? Thank you again.

RE: How do you cope?

by howell58 on Tue Sep 08, 2015 10:25 PM

Quote | Reply

Zoey

So sorry to hear about your Dad. I lost my father to cancer 11 years ago.  He was diagnosed and gone within 6 months.

For the past 8 years, my husband has been battling a very rare cancer. There is no positive treatment for it, other than surgery.  It has come back 6 times over the 8 years and it is here once again, with metastasis.  Now that surgery is off the table because of the metastasis, he has undergone a special chemo treatment to try to slow down its growth.

Everyone deals with grief differently. I miss my Dad, especially with what I am going thru with my husband, as he would have been great support for us. My husband's situation of course effects my life even greater, and our two kids still haven't finished school. So every day I live with anxiety over how I will be able to go on and support myself and kids.

I don't go to church, but I do alot of praying.  I was never a big believer in church attendance and have my own personal connection with God.  I also HAVE TO look at everything I am blessed with and be thankful for it. I also know there are people is worse situations than me.

Cancer is brutal, it is unpredictable, unfair and has no boundaries. No one can hide from it.  It changes and effects our lives, our daily living our emotions, financial situations etc.  Those are the things we can't control.  What we can control is how we live our lives.  So, why let cancer ruin your spirit, your happiness, your blessings?    I think its all about what we have while we are here on earth together that matters most. 

Try to think of those wonderful memories with your Dad. You are super lucky to have had him in your life.  I'm sure he sees his grandon, and if you look hard enough, I'm sure you may see a part of your Dad in him.

Your Dad wouldn't want you to be sad.  He would want you to celebrate this new blessing in your life and carry on.

I wish you all the best and hope that your heart will heal soon!

Sue

RE: How do you cope?

by PunkyD on Wed Sep 09, 2015 12:25 PM

Quote | Reply

Dear Zoey,

I am so sorry about the loss of your Dad.  I also lost a parent to Pancreatic Cancer (My Mom, 2 years ago).  My Mom was also lucky enough to have it detected early, qualify for surgery (though not the whipple), and have also about 2.5 years of quality life before it's recurrence. The fact that you are an only child, was his sole caregiver, and are young definitely makes your coping more difficult (I am one of 4 girls, with all granchildren born and knew my Mom, and My father was the main caregiver). It is very understandable that you are having such a hard time coping.  It is still so fresh.  I was totally immersed in my grief the entire first year. I actually wanted to remember everything that I had experienced in taking care of my Mom, afraid to forget her, the good and the bad.

I am so sorry that your father did not meet his grandson.  Really, I am. I cannot put myself in your shoes there.

It sounds like you are doing everything you can to help yourself cope. Give yourself as much time as you need. Coming on this site and telling my story, and helping others helped me. I prayed daily, and thought about my Mom a lot. And yes, take it day by day. I made a collage of my Mom, which I have on my fridge. I try to do a lot of good deeds in her honor. I try to imagine that she is looking down on me, in no pain, and watching. It took me an entire year to internalize that she was gone. Hard to believe. Everyone is very different, and again, it is still very fresh for you, but I can say now after two years, that I am coping much better.

Sending you strength,

Punky 

RE: How do you cope?

by ZoeyDream on Wed Sep 09, 2015 02:31 PM

Quote | Reply

Dear Sue,

Thank you so much for your reply. I truly hope that the chemo your husband is on will help slow things down and improve his quality of life. I really appreciate what you said about Dad not wanting me to linger with the sadness. That is very true. Thank you for sharing your experience. It must be devastating for you to see your husband dealing with this cancer. It sounds like you and your family are extremely strong. I hope that you will all find continued strength and peace together. Thank you again for your message.

RE: How do you cope?

by ZoeyDream on Wed Sep 09, 2015 03:59 PM

Quote | Reply

Hi Punky,

Thank you so much for your message. It was so appreciated. I am very sorry you lost your mom. Our paths have been quite similar. It is sad to say but I find that comforting in some ways. I think you are right about the site being therapeutic. This is sort of like the new form of support group. I love your collage idea. I play music and make art on occasion but since Dad's diagnosis I have been pretty blocked. As this continues to sink in I am sure different parts of it all will need to be released, so perhaps I will find that creative voice again. Thank you again for your sensitive and thoughtful reply. Much love.

RE: How do you cope?

by Lizabeth1999 on Wed Sep 09, 2015 06:32 PM

Quote | Reply

ZoeyDream,

So sorry for your loss.  I lost my husband to laryngeal cancer almost five years ago.  I cannot even honestly or sufficiently describe how painful it was.  And yes, the things that you witness as a caregiver can be pretty difficult to stomach, particularly when someone you love so deeply is suffering that extensively.  I do look back and wonder how I even functioned.

But to more specifically answer your question.....time is a healer.  Grieving is a process and it is not a linear process.  Some days feel tolerable and others are gutwrenching.  But you are on a journey my friend.  As hokey as it sounds, things happen for a reason and you are all the more wiser and better for it.

I did join a bereavement group, and as much as it wasn't really "my type of deal" it helped me immensely.  I believe it made me get in touch with things that may have been easier to put on a back burner.  I really wanted to "process" the grief as best I could so I didn't have to feel that lousy any longer than necessary.  You meet people who understand what you are going through and can talk it through because they get it.  As helpful and comforting as my mom was, she still hadn't experienced the loss of a spouse.  I will also say that about 3 months in it really kicked my butt, as it finally hit me that I was never going to see him again.  You are at that timeframe now......the immediate relief of knowing the person is no longer suffering is supplanted by the immense loss.

Now I lost my dad a month ago.  All I can say is seek out anything you think will be helpful....read books on grieving (if you can concentrate), see a therapist, join a bereavement group (most local hospices have them), go to church.....whatever you think can bring you some peace....go for it.  Again, so sorry for your loss.  

RE: How do you cope?

by GailAnn on Wed Sep 09, 2015 10:36 PM

Quote | Reply

Zoey, I wish I could wave a magic wand and make everything better but I can't.  Your father is so proud of everythng you have done for him.  He is at peace now.  You must move on and count your blessings.  Help others as well as yourself.  I know your pain.  My father passed 4 years ago and I am an only child.  He raised me alone since I was 3 years old.  My mom wanted the single life...  It was hurtful growing up because other children would ask if my mother died or why she did not want me.  That is a hard question for a child to answer...  Now I am in a place very unfamiliar.  I had colon cancer and had a foot of my colon remove in 2013.  During 2014 the cancer spread to a rare and untreatable cancer called parationeal carcanotomis (sp).  I have gone through 6 awful treatments of chemo (dr says to buy time)  Well, I don't want any more of this time!  On my last visit to him he said he wanted me to do chemo until the end of the year.  I have and open mind and I am very much aware how some of the dr's function.  Every month my insurance and or medicare pays him $15,000.00.  I am so thankful for the benefits but I have had almost every day with some type of pain.  I decided to stop the chemo.  I am tryin to get to feeling better but I know it will take a while or perhaps I will just go downhill.  I refuse to live in pain!  Again Zoey, count your blessings and much happiness to you, your hubby and son!

RE: How do you cope?

by trace45 on Thu Sep 10, 2015 09:43 AM

Quote | Reply

Dear Zoey, 

I am so sorry for your loss. I lost my dad last month. He was diagnosed with cancer in his esphogus and within 6 weeks passed away. I feel lost. I stayed with him for the last two and a half weeks and had a dad and daughter night the night before he passed away. Which I am so thankful for. It is so raw and hurts so much. I keep thinking I should have done more but it's too late. I don't know where to go from here. I still have my mum, she lives two hours away. She's coping better than I am. I'm back at work so my day is busy but as soon as I get in the car I feel sad and lost. How do you get over that feeling? I know it's only been two weeks but it's so hard to cope knowing he is no longer there. 

Tracey

RE: How do you cope?

by dee7aum on Thu Sep 10, 2015 12:43 PM

Quote | Reply
Dear Zoey, My sympathies for your loss. The perplexities of Life are such that the passing of a beloved is something that profoundly alters one's life schematic. The grief broadens into a deeper understanding and appreciation of the sanctity for all Life. I am a stage IV NSCLC patient and I've lost a couple of family members to cancer and also HIV. This pain in my heart does not leave, but by going into it, and experiencing it, it seems to flatten out. It is difficult to describe multi-layered emotions. I wish you blessings and peace. This life is an enigma. We must have an attitude of gratitude in being here at all Diane

RE: How do you cope?

by GrannyG on Thu Sep 10, 2015 01:55 PM

Quote | Reply

Dear Zoey,

Please accept my condolences on your father's passing after a hard road.

With my granny now in palliative care, the pastoral carer working in the centre brought to attention a very important detail which I find relevant in my situation and hopefully helpful to you as well. 

When we are struggling to cope with something in our lives it can often be attributed to an underlying problem with that particular issue. In other words, there could be something you and your father were dealing with that you never quite felt satisfied with. 

The pastoral carer mentioned in particular the theme of asking for forgiveness. This powerful tool allows many things to the one asking forgiveness, including that of resolve. 

Ever since it has been brought up (a few hours ago), I have been wracking my brains for something that I experienced with my granny that I need to ask her forgiveness for, but the things that come to mind seem trivial. However talking to my mum (granny's daughter) about this, seemed to really clear some issues my mum didn't even really realise they had. Although my granny is not very responsive, it's about the effort the one asking for forgiveness makes and the resolve in one's own conscious. 

Hopefully this can help you in some way.

Your father is watching down on you and listening to everything you have to say to him

14 Posts | Page(s): 1 2  Next 
Subscribe to this message board discussion

Latest Messages

View More

We care about your feedback. Let us know how we can improve your CancerCompass experience.