My father has been brilliantly battling colon cancer for almost 4 years. The doctor knows this will be his demise, but as long as he's responding to treatments, they recommend he continue fighting even though his quality of life has greatly decreased in the past 6 months. I have wonderful friends and family, but none have ever been the primary caregiver for someone who has been in a situation like this. I've pretty much put my life on hold for him. He's not ready to give up and it seems the qualities about him that I love so much, are driving me insane. I don't want to lose him, but I hate seeing him like this and if it's not going to get any better, I just want it to end soon. I'm ready to start dating again and start my life. I know I'm a horrible person for even thinking about this, but it feels like I have been grieving his death privately for 4 years now, and I'm ready for the inevitable. I have cherished every minute we've had, I have journals of memories he's shared with me, I laugh with him, we have become closer in the past 4 years than I ever thought possible. I guess I just need some words of encouragement from someone who's been in this position before. I don't want to wish this all away, and maybe I'm just having a bad week, but I want for both of us to be healthy and happy, I'm constantly told he will never be healthy and it's getting so hard. I know I should just be thankful for having this "borrowed time" with him, I'm just having a hard time after 4 years. Thanks in advance for any words you have.
Re: I need some advice from someone with experience
I don't think you should be so hard on yourself for the feelings you are experiencing. It is not easy seeing someone you love gradually getting sicker and weaker before your very eyes. Sometimes it is almost unbearable.
You have been doing all the right things, getting closer, collecting memories but it must have been exhausting. Do you have some time for yourself? Are you looking after yourself, eating properly, sleeping well, etc? It is very important for you to nurture yourself. Do you get a break from time to time, to go out with friends or visit other family members? As the main caregiver, can you ask for more help from your family?
Your Dad is lucky to have had you by his side during this difficult journey and I am sure he appreciates you so much. When his time is right, he will most likely stop fighting. There is no knowing when that will be but, in the meantime, it is most important that you take care of yourself.
Do keep us posted,
Husband dx July 2003, advanced rectal cancer stage 111C; myself dx July 2006 indolent lymphoma; husband dx February 2010, stage 2 prostate cancer.
The Following User Says Thank You to Nassau one For This Useful Post: scaredformydad (05-24-2011)