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Surrendering to Cancer


LBP

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My uncle has been battling pancreatic cancer... Over the last couple of days, he has made it clear that he doesn't want to fight anymore, and that he's willing to accept death as the solution to this problem. It's hard, as my mother (his sister, and they were closest among their family) is slugging through stage III ovarian cancer at the same time that he has chosen to succumb. It is understandable; he has been in a sustained struggle, and has suffered through a number of failed surgeries... He'll leave behind two beautiful daughters and a wonderful wife. I don't know what to do. It has been a hard series of months. More than anything, I want to help my mom; she's a loner; it feels like there's nothing I *can* do.

 

It's more than that... My father spends his time taking drugs and cackling at jokes that I don't understand. My extended family is distant. I'm trapped in some unpleasant limbo between the perfect world that I'd envisioned as an undergrad and this sudden onslaught of misfortune. I thought I had it figured it out as recently as a few years ago. Then everything went to hell. Now I'm trapped in this bubble, this no-man's land. I keep trying to substantiate the situation, but things fail to add up. I know that life isn't fair; I never expected it to be; it never has been. But I had faith in my own abilities. Suddenly, that hasn't been enough. I'm stumbling. I don't have the will power. It wasn't always like this.

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o man. im terribly sorry for this situation. recnt years ive lost a number of family members to cancer. its very hard to endure the suffering.

 

if he says he wants to go then understand that its probably that time. make no regrets and visit often. may god bless you all in this time of need.

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hey LPB,

I'm so sorry for what's been happening in your life right now : /

I've lost close friends and family to cancer and it's not easy so I can relate in some way. Maybe it would help you relieve some stress to talk to someone or speak with a professional. I know some hospitals, especially in their oncology department, have a counselor where family members can go and talk to them about their problems. If you're in school too, I'm sure they offer free counseling to students. If it would help you, try to look into that. I wish you the best.

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It's more than that... My father spends his time taking drugs and cackling at jokes that I don't understand. My extended family is distant. I'm trapped in some unpleasant limbo between the perfect world that I'd envisioned as an undergrad and this sudden onslaught of misfortune. I thought I had it figured it out as recently as a few years ago. Then everything went to hell. Now I'm trapped in this bubble, this no-man's land. I keep trying to substantiate the situation, but things fail to add up. I know that life isn't fair; I never expected it to be; it never has been. But I had faith in my own abilities. Suddenly, that hasn't been enough. I'm stumbling. I don't have the will power. It wasn't always like this.

 

Once you updated your post I could really relate. I lost my mother while I was a sophomore in college. My father is/was emotionally unavailable and my extended family doesn't think of me.

 

Don't be so hard on yourself doing this time of grieving! Honestly, I was glad to be in college because I felt that was where my most supportive network was. I talked to a counselor and a teacher who both really helped. Use your college resources! I didn't do as well in my studies as I would have liked to have done since the world no longer "made sense to me" but that is the past and I know I can do better now. What I am trying to say is it's ok to stumble during this time. You will get through it.

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Life does go thru cycles... I am older than you, and for some reason in my life it seems every 7 years i have a bad spell!

 

I went thru a similar time a while back when my mother had a stroke, then a heart attack, then more strokes etc. I had just thru a sad breakup too, so I just felt that i had been kicked when I was down.

 

Sometimes there are just these periods in life, but the good news is that eventually they do pass. You just have to remember that it won't last forever, and things will come back around. Just like bad times can suddenly hit you, things can suddenly change for the better too.

 

So just try to not turn it into an existential crisis. Yes, we all are mortal and times can be hard, but there are also many wonderful and exciting things that life can offer, and once you are past the hurdle of your uncle's passing, You and your mother can begin the process of healing.

 

Try to be kind to yourself and factor in some fun times and don't feel guilty about that. Dedicate some time each day and each week to doing something that gives you pleasure, so that you don't succumb to darkness that a long illness in the family can bring. It is the cycle of life, and if your uncle has accepted this, respect his wishes and try to enjoy him as much as you can while around and bring little joys into his life (bring him things he likes to do/eat and just talk about him rather than being gloomy around him). Let him enjoy the life he has left as best as possible, and you will be glad you served as a point of light rather than gloom in his life.

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