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6 Months

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As I've written in some of my previous posts my dad was diagnosed with lung cancer this Summer. Despite his doctors "best efforts" it spread and about a week ago he was given 6 months to live and he only told me today. I don't know what to do with myself right now. My dad and I have never had a good relationship. As much as I have said I hate him in the past the thought of not having him kills me. I don't know what to do right now because I feel like if I do anything I'm going to fall apart. I don't want it to be like this. I don't want him to die and I especially don't want him to die while we're like this. I don't know what I'm asking for right now. I don't know anything. Less than 2 months ago I had my dad and now I'm being told that he's not going to make it to my graduation. I just want him to be at my graduation. This is absolutly ridiculous and I don't know what to do.

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My advice is to spend the time you have remaining with him making your relationship become what you wanted it to be. Try to make the best of the time you have left. I lost my grandfather to illness and although we had a great relationship, I felt I wasn't there at the end and I regret it a lot now. Don't do that whatever you do. Don't have any regrets.

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i'm so sorry to hear this, but don't give up hope. I truly think the will to live alone can keep some people living longer.

My cousin was given two months and made it well over a year.

My advice to you would be to spend as much quality time with him as possible. If you can, mend your relationship. You'll thank yourself later on.

What a tough thing to go through. =\

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I'm sorry you have to be dealing with this blackandgold... : (


but I can say, you are fortunate for the warning...even though 6 months is so relatively short, you have the chance to show your dad how much you love him! Even if your relationship has not been perfect, he is your dad...I would take this time to give him the chance to be all that he can be in these last months, love him with all your being...then you can have no regrets. My boyfriend passed away last month, what I wouldn't have given for another six months...to me, that sounds like an abundance of time now...life is short, make the most of it!


sending lots of love to you,


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There's nothing like the spectre of death to cause one to come to grips with all sorts of unfinished business -- and the fact that we no longer have forever to mend all the broken fences and piece together the fragments that are shattered.


I don't know how badly broken your relationship is, but from the sound of your post, there is a great lot of conflict and ambivalence you have about your father. As was the case with me. I can really recognize my very own emotions in your post -- I had a spectacularly bad relationship with my father, every decade filled with a slightly different (and increasingly worse) brand of alienation. Yet despite all this adversarial and estranging history, there were times when he did come through to counsel me -- and times when in fact, I found myself back as a very little girl when I believed he knew everything and could save me from anything. In the beginning, this is how I felt about my daddy, that he and only he could protect me from harm. This all changed when HE became the harm, and betrayed my trust...but the love, as twisted as it was, as badly as it all came out, never flickered out. I think we loved eachother through the hate -- so you could say we loved eachother but INTENSELY DISLIKED EACHOTHER (though I felt a great deal of hate, particularly when I was living under his roof). The problem being here that love is almost useless unless there is also like to be felt as well -- that is, the warmth and joy.


It is going to be very hard to show love towards someone that you don't like right now, so please be very realistic and kind to yourself. You cannot fix 18 years of disharmony overnight (and by overnight, I mean even 6 months), and make him into the father you wish you had, or even moreso, make yourself into the loving and appreciated daughter you have always wanted to be. Even if you wished to make a complete 180 and see this thing redeemed, it would also have to take 2 to tango. Meaning that he would have to be a participant as well. And that is not up to you, even if you show extra care and patience and forgiveness now (which I recommend).


When my father was diagnosed with cancer 2 years ago, he was not given as much time, as his was already metastasized and moving fast. I knew I had a couple of months, tops -- and all the wreckage and sorrow and grief of things that would never be came up. The fear of his leaving me, abandoning me in the most ultimate way was before me. This would be a parting of ways that would never, ever be reversed now. I felt so finite, life felt so finite. I just wanted to rewind and start all over again, just to make it right. So it's only natural that you will have all sorts of mish-mashed, complex vying emotions at this time. IT'S OKAY, I ASSURE YOU!


And don't make yourself the sole one to fix it either, because as I said, a bad relationship takes two to fix, and in the case of my dad, cancer didn't change his overall MO, it didn't change the way he dealt with me, which in turn made me feel like I had to be a saint. You can't be a saint just because he's dying, it doesn't work that way. My father said to me that if I had anything I wanted to talk about with him before he went, to get off my chest, I should...I think this was his best effort in a moment of seeing that it was really our last chance. And all I could think of was, "Where the hell should I start?" And I started with one thing only that had been a real source of contention with us, and guess what? He said he was finished discussing that, he had been right, I was wrong and could I pick something else? Some things don't change and are not within our power to make right. That is going to be the hardest thing here to accept, even more than his death itself.


But here is what I suggest: I don't know what your communication is like right now, but tell him that you want him to be present for your graduation. Tell him that you love him even though you both know there is this whole history, but that for all the ways you feel you have missed eachother in this life, you are going to miss him at important times in your life. That you will will him there in spirit in your future, but that you want him to visualize being at your graduation.


When someone has a goal, their prognosis does often shoot up. If he wants it badly enough, he might just make it. So don't expect it, but do TELL HIM this is what you want.


Finally, start saying the things to him that you would regret not saying once he's gone. It's so strange, but death approaching forced me to say to my father "I love you" and to kiss him on the cheek, something I hadn't done for 3 decades or so. It felt awkward, it felt surreal, it felt full of mixed feelings that I didn't like feeling at all...but I knew that if I never said certain things to him, especially the last time he let me see him on his deathbed, I would feel deep unresolve later. I said them purely and simply to say them, almost as an insurance policy, as weird as that sounds. I said them because I thought if I ever forgave him completely one day, I would have wanted to say these things to his face and now was my only chance. So in a way, it was like I put on my highest wishes for our completion together on this plane, for the sake of the future. My future.


So, push yourself as far as you can go -- in that, if you can do something to show your care and concern, and appreciation for him, do it, even if it majorly pushes your comfort envelope. But also realize you cannot love unconditionally just because of his mortality marching forward, you are still human and some things may be left unfinished with him in this current dynamic arrangement of your lives. You can and will revisit it all, in your own time, when he is a spirit you call forth in years to come.


For now, be kind to both of you, as much as you can, and tell him how important he is, no matter what things have been like. And extend your own hand as far as he's willing to reach, hopefully both conjuring up strongly the image of you tossing your cap on that day with him to see it. The mind is so powerful, he may be there yet.

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wonderful response!


i realized in hindsight, my post might have not been the most well thought out. i'm not saying isix months is enough time to fix all of these unresolved issues, but that you can still share whatever love it is you feel towards your father with him, even if there are complex issues at hand! hope my post didn't seem unthoughtful~


much love to you.

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