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My father, who when I young made it known not only to the family, but the world that he was a schizophrenic, and an emotionally abusive person. Nonetheless, growing up he was my best friend. After my parents got divorced when I was about 8, my dad stopped coming around and our conversations got less and less. We saw each other only on holidays, and other than that he always claimed that he was "too busy" to my sister and I. When I turned 16 he moved from Detroit to Virginia beach. I talked and saw him even less. Then when I was 18 he moved again to Las Vegas. He didn't even come to my high school graduation. Since then we have talked almost weekly, but again never saw each other. I was busy with school and moving around the globe to even think twice.

In December I moved in with my boyfriend who lives in the Netherlands. My father had been sick before I left and I had asked him over and over again if he wanted me to stay and come take care of him. He basically pushed me out of the door. On new Years 2010, I called my mother to tell her Happy New Year from accross the ocean.. and I got "Oh yeah, call your father.. he had surgery last week. He had stage four kidney cancer, but don't worry they took his kidney out". Not only did no one call me to tell me all this was happening, but apparently my family had known about this for a couple weeks and neglected to tell me.

When I called my Dad he demanded that I come to Las Vegas and take care of him. I told him that was practically ridiculous at this point seeing as the earliest I could return was in a couple weeks, and I was already headed home in about 2 and a half months. I felt so proud of myself for sticking up for myself at that point.. I mean yes, he had cancer, but they took it out and he will be alright. This is a huge inconvenience right now, but he will feel better in a couple of weeks and by the time I get to him.. he won't even need me anymore. My dad was furious with me.. and so was my family.

At the end of February, my mom contacted me and told me that she was so scared for my father because he had the kidney cancer, which had traveled to his lungs and now his bones. She said that she didn't know how long he had to live and that she was super afraid. This caught me off guard. Apparently he had had the bone and lung cancer when I told him no to coming home. I looked like a complete * * * * * .. and I felt amazingly guilty and horrible that I could have done something so horrible to someone who wasn't sure how long they were going to live.

At the beginning of April I headed out to Las Vegas to come stay with my father, and it was worse than what I expected. My father, who was once about 200+ lbs was now 145lbs at 6'1". He looked like a skeleton. He was also extremely pale and his skin had a weird texture to it. He had literally no energy and basically no strength. I did not know this man. He was not what or who I thought my father was. He was scary. I spent my whole first night crying in bed.

My father took me to the doctor with him in the first couple days I was there. His doctor told me and him that he didn't exactly know how long my father had to live, and that he was just fighting to buy him time. I couldn't believe how drastically my father's spirits fell after that. Everything went from "When this is all over..." to "When I am gone.." and "If I am still around...".

Since I've been here I have been spending all my time trying to take care of him and do the things he wants to do, provided that he has energy. My father is grumpy and arrogant as he has always been, but now, somehow.. it just makes me feel horrible for him. After signing wills and opening bank accounts and hearing about my fathers last wishes, I just want to sit down and cry for a couple weeks.

I am 20 years old.. and he is 54. Why does this have to happen? We are both too young for this kind of stuff. I cannot stand to see someone wasting away in front of me.. especially when I feel like I have no one to back me up or even be there for me. I am separated from my friends and family by not only time zones.. but distance and emotions too.

I want to lean on people and let them help me.. but how can someone make this all better? This is horrible! How can I even try to be happy when my own father is wasting away in front of me?

The only way that I have found to make myself calm and centered is to rip my own self apart. Find all the flaws in myself and break them up. I do not like this person that I am right now, but what else can I do?


What can I do to distract myself before I lose not only all of my relationships, but my own sanity as well?


Thanks for any and all help you can offer.

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The only thing I can tell you is to make you peace with him no matter how grumpy and miserable he is now, because you may not have another chance. Anything you want to say, say it now. Tell him how much you love him at every opportunity. I am sorry you have to go through this.

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Just like Victoria66 said, tell him how much you love him at every chance.


I also went through something like this, but with my mom and I was 27. And along with making peace with him, lean on your family and let them lean on you for support. Be around them as much as you can, look after each others needs as you try to get through all of this. Ex. take turns sitting with your father while your mom gets a break for a few hours, run down the street and bring back a snack for everyone. Your family is your biggest support right now. If you build up your relationships with them now, you will have great support and comfort later. I could not have gotten through even 1 day without the love, support and encouragement of my family when my mom did eventually pass.


I have much empathy for you right now and my heart is breaking for what you are going through. If you need to message someone and want to message me, feel free.

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I agree with the above posters. I have never been through your situation, but I lost my dad very suddenly almost 2 years ago. We didn't have the closest relationship, and that's something I seriously regret after his passing. From this perspective, I would absolutely suggest doing what you can to become closer to him and your other family members as well. I think it will bring you a lot of closure in the long run.

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