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I am new to this site, although not at all new to talking about cancer. I work for Macmillan and have spent the last 3 and a half years talking about cancer, seeing two of my friends lose their Mums to the disease, but it still hasn't prepared me for what has happened in the last few months.
Last year in July I was taking part in the London to Paris bike ride. I got the news then that my Dad had prostate cancer. A month later we found that it had spread to the bones all over and was a very aggressive form. He has been taking hormone pills but we found out today that they are not working and now they are thinking about chemo. He is a 72 year old diabetic with high blood pressure so I'm not really sure how wll he will cope with that!
The week before Christmas just gone, with all of this adjustment to be made, we found out that my Mum had breast cancer and on 23rd December she had a mastectomy. She is taking hormone tablets now and seems fine but it is always such a worry.
Today has been very tough. Last weekend it was my best friend's wedding and it made me sad to think that my Dad will probably not get the chance to walk me down the aisle. I am desperate for a family even though I don't have a partner...and I know he will make a brilliant Grandad to my children (he dotes on my niece who adores him!) but it hurts so much to think that he won't even meet them.
I am trying to stay strong for my Mum. I'm the practical one in the family that keeps things together in times of need, but actually at the moment all I want to do is shut myself away and cry. Work makes it easier as I know I am doing something worthwhile, but I don't want to bother people in the office as I know that they have heard stories a lot worse than mine and they all have plenty to deal with.
Sorry for my ramble. I've not really been able to get this all out as I am just powering through all the time, but I felt today like if I didn't write this all down I would burst!
I have to say at this point that I don't work on the helpline or in services at Macmillan...otherwise I would probably be coping a lot better ;-)
Thanks for reading. xx
Hello. I know exactly what you are going through.My husband has had AML since Jan 2010-he is 61.In Dec he was told it was terminal.in Jan this year my Dad who is 76 had an op for bowel cancer. Thank God he is slowly recovering.I do not know how I have got through all this so far.I used to have private crying spells every day but it is now down to a couple of times a week. I feel sad nearly all the time. though. But somehow like you I have remained strong and practical. I realise now this is a good thing. I have not had support from family or friends or any one else which has made me very bitter and angry. Therefore, this strength, which I didnt know I had, has kept me going.I am crying at this moment because I really fear the future. I am a lot older then you but feelings never age so in that way we have something in common.
Thank you for responding to my post...I found great comfort in knowing that there was someone out there reading my thoughts and understanding them. I am sad to hear that you haven't had any support from family, friends or anyone else. Do you think this is because they are worried they will say the wrong thing or that they can't think of words to say that will make you feel better? I always used to try and think of things to say to make people feel better, but I realise now that these words don't exist. Sometimes its enough just having people there and I think that perhaps you should try and get this message to your friends. I can understand that you are angry but maybe there is somethign you can do to turn it round?
Have you tried calling the Macmillan helpline? The people there are very good to talk to. It's good that your Dad is recovering. My Nana had bowel cancer when she was 75 and lived until she was 98!
I can imagine how scared you are about the future, but you know, the future is such an unknown thing anyway. You could hear the words that he only has X number of months to live and he could live 5 more years...or he could get ran over by a double secker bus tomorrow! Sorry if that sounds morbid...I didn't mean it to, I just would hate to think that you are just living the days waiting when you could be enjoying the time you have together. That is certainly what I intend to do with my Dad. Every week I will go and visit and every month I will take him out somewhere to have fresh air and fun. I'll buy him puzzle books to keep his brain working and recite jokes and stories to him to make him laugh out loud.
As you can see my mood is up a little today. I have random crying spells like you but am managing to keep my chin up at work and keep busy! Tomorrow we are organising a big fundraising event at the York Racecourse so my mind will be kept occupied there. Let's hope the rain stays off!
Take care and big hugs. xx
Cannot imagine how you are feeling at the minute, but never say sorry for writing what's on your mind at this difficult time. Everybody needs an outlet, and if writing is your way then to me this is a good place to do it.
I'm sure your colleagues have heard stories, but like the charity we both work for states, together we are all Macmillan and that means we all support one another too! I'm sure they would be there for you. So ramble, blog away... because people are listening.
I'm in this situation too. Dad diagnosed with brain cancer at the end of last year and mum with pancreatic cancer in January. Last summer we were a normal, happy family. There must be lots of other people out there like us, I suppose xx
I feel for you all.It must be sohard to have 2 parents with cancer.Make sure you take care of yourselves too xx
We've probably all heard about memory boxes for children when a parent is dying - I don't think theres an age limit. How about starting one with your Dad and talking to him about those things on your mind, like a future wedding and grandchildren. Maybe then when the time comes, he'll feel a little bit closer, maybe because you can enjoy some of his suggestions - maybe a hymn he likes or even ask him, what he imagines saying to you before you walk down the aisle. I know its not for everyone, but its probably going through his mind too.
all the very best
I love the idea of doing that. Thanks everyone for their support. We had some more bad news today from the doctor that the cancer has spread further and the medication isn't working. The problem is that my Dad prefers not to know how bad things are otherwise he would just give up. So he carries on unaware most of the time whilst my Mum bears the burdon and then passes it to me. I don't know why because I seem to be the "weakest link" at the moment...but don't want to tell her that I'm not coping because then she won't feel like she can come to me again. And I need to be strong and support her.
I feel so pathetic at the moment. I can't quite pull myself together. I know I am exhausted from work and luckily I have a week off next week to spend with the family which will be nice. I just don't know how I am going to get through the next week - I want to cry all the time and am acting very out of character. Roll on Friday night! xx
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