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My dad is dying and I don't know what to do...


bosox21

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I just signed up with this site today because I saw all the comments and posts and they seemed very encouraging and helpful.

 

Anyways, I received news yesterday that my dad has liver cancer and more specifically, cholangiocarcinoma. He had been in the hospital for two weeks prior to yesterday but this came as a complete shock because doctors previously said he just needed a few minor surgeries to fix a minor problem. No official prognosis has been given yet, but from what I can gather from my sister, who is also a doctor, and from things I have been reading, it looks like he has less than 6 months to live since the tumor is inoperable. I am completely devastated. I am now a senior in college and am contemplating withdrawing from school to be with my dad and help my mom at home. We have no relatives in the U.S and my sister works 4 hours away. My mom and sister however want me to stay in school since they do not think I could do much at home except watch my dad slowly deteriorate. To me, not graduating on time is not a big deal in this situation and my dad probably has little time left. I am completely torn on what to do. Thoughts?

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I usually post on relationships here, but saw your post and figured I would chime in.

 

First, accept my condolences as I have been where you are right now. I lost my mother when she was 45 years old and I was 25 when she died from a year of suffering with pancreatic cancer. I literally watched my poor mom suffer and die. I helped her the first six months and then my grandmother took over last six months because it was killing me.

 

If you need anything, send me a IM since I will not check back here, okay? Take care of you and your family!!! Please!!!

 

I really have NO real advice except can you ask your college to make an exception for you so you can graduate? Not sure how close you are to your father, but if you are you need to spend what little time you have with him!!!! Even if you were not that close you still need to be there with him.

 

Please accept my sorrows and I know it will be tough on you and your family.

 

I will add this: I was involved with a woman for two years that I loved dearly and losing her over a break up was much harder than losing my mom. Only because my Mom's death was final! I was able to accept it more, but it still hurts and 13 years later I miss my mother!!!!!! She always had the right answer no matter what.

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I can't say I've been in your position, or that I have an answer, but the way I would look at it is this....

 

Unfortunately, the fact of the matter is (from what you've said), that you're father is going to die, and you can't change that regardless of what you do. You can, however, complete you education and make a life for yourself, that you can do, and leaving that now will have lasting affects, while simply being with your father will really only give you a few months satisfaction.

 

It really depends on how you look at life in general, nobody can make that decision for you.

 

It does depend, though, on how your school deals with this sort of thing. If they just let you take a break and then continue where you left off, then go be with your dad. But, if they will throw out your credits or something, then that's something you have to consider.

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I was vague before about the problem. I am very close with my dad but he also wants me to stay in school. I would really like to leave and be at home but my parents would be extremely angry at me. I can also finish this semester and take next semester off, but I cannot do anything right now except sit around and think of my dad.

 

My school would throw away the credits from this semester and I would just have to start over again when I returned.

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I was vague before about the problem. I am very close with my dad but he also wants me to stay in school. I would really like to leave and be at home but my parents would be extremely angry at me. I can also finish this semester and take next semester off, but I cannot do anything right now except sit around and think of my dad.

 

My school would throw away the credits from this semester and I would just have to start over again when I returned.

 

 

Dude, it's your dad man! You're young and schools are very understanding when it comes to this. Return once this is all sorted out and you have a clearer head. You'll never regret delaying school a bit.

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First of all, I'm really sorry to hear about your father. That's really devestating. I think ultimately you should do whatever YOU want to do, in regards to school. He's your dad, if you want to take the semester off to spend it with him, go ahead! That's what I would do. School can wait, one semester is no big deal and if there's no problem at school with it, then you should definitely go with your dad. If your parents are angry at you for wanting to drop the semester, explain to them that it's no big deal and that you can do it over again when you return. Family is more important, and given your situation, you should really feel no shame in withdrawing from school to be with them. Of course it would be a whole other story if your school wasn't forgiving with this, would there be any academic penalty if you dropped the semester?

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You are the only one who can make this decision. None of us are in your shoes. My mother died while I was in school and I stayed in school as a way of coping. I do that to take my mind off of things. But...you are not me. So think about it and let your heart make the decision for you. School will always be there, and it is very important, but your father will not be there forever and he is your dad.

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If your father wants you to stay in school I think you should, unless you can talk to him and convince him otherwise. Ignoring his wishes and postponing school may cause him guilt and upset him (which obviously is not your intention I know). I think you need to decide what you think would be best for you and then talk to your father and come to a compromise. I can understand that you want to spend time with him but at the same time he doesn't want to feel like a burden, or that he has ruined your chances in school.

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So sorry for your pain. Are you very far from home? If you are close enough to home, I would stay in school and spend every spare moment with your dad. If you are far from home, I'd take the advice given elsewhere here to try to finish out the current semester, then take the next off, depending upon your father's status. Yes, your education is important...but you can finish that another time. If this is the end of your time with your father, I would take as much of it as you can. Cannot even tell you what I would give for just one more single moment with my dad...

 

It is, however, ultimately your decision. All the rest of us can do is offer you our opinions based upon our own experiences and share with you our feelings...

 

My father died when I was 24, and my brother was 14. It was sudden, he died of a heart attack on the side of the road while out riding his bicycle. My father was literally there one day, gone the next. The last 17 years have been hard; I think of him nearly every day. The pain has diminished, it's true, but it's still there. Our dad knew how we felt about him, knew how much we loved him, and we knew how much he loved us. But there were still so many things left unsaid, so many things I wish I could have shared with him. And honestly? I wish so much that I had had the opportunity to say goodbye to him. I have tears in my eyes typing this.

 

It is ultimately your decision, since it is your life, and as with any decision, there are multiple considerations... In some ways you are lucky to know ahead of time what is coming - because it gives you time to make amends, to say things that you may regret not saying, and to have an opportunity to say goodbye. In some ways, I was lucky NOT to know ahead of time - because I don't remember my father weak and bedridden, because I didn't watch him suffer for weeks or months or years on end, because we didn't experience the emotions that people go through when they know the end is near (fear, anger, sorrow, etc.).

 

So yes, ultimately it's your decision. I remember my dad being hearty and strong, full of life and laughter. I watched my grandfather die of colon cancer over a period of 6 months and my last memories of him are of a shell of a man who barely remembered who we were, in such a drugged stupor that he spent the last month of his life in a dream state, out of touch with reality.

 

I don't envy your decision and I feel for you...whatever you decide, don't regret it. You will make the right decision for you and for your father no matter WHAT you decide. Good luck

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