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Old 02-21-2008, 08:03 PM   #1
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telly2 HB User
new here and hope to get some support

hi everyone, I will tell you a bit about myself. I am a 34 yr old married mom of 3 {ages 17, 4 and 2} my father was recently diagnosed with stage IV melanoma, thus meaning his life is in the last stage. I live in the same house as him and will be the sole caregiver for him as his condition worsens. right now he is still relatively normal in his day to day care, but when this gets worse not only is it going to effect me but my young family. My children are all very close to him and it will be devistating to see him fade.

My mother passed away 17 yrs ago to cancer as well, but at that time my oldest was too young to understand {9 months old when she passed} I know what I am in for, but my worst fear is for them, they are so young to see the horrors that are to come. We have not yet told my oldest for many reasons {but that is whole other thread for the parenting board}

so the reason I am here is some advice on how others young one in a similar situation have handled this. I am terrified for them. He has always been a pillar in thier lives.

Thank you for any advice you might have

 
Old 02-22-2008, 08:22 AM   #2
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Re: new here and hope to get some support

My children were 11 and 14 when my father was diagnosed with liver cancer. We knew that it was probably terminal. Since I was going through a divorce, I moved to the same town so that the children could spend time with him. Although he did well for a time, he finally passed away about 2 and a half years after the diagnosis. Both of my son's were aware of the situation. Your 17 year old is old enough to understand, but the 2 and 4 y/o's are not. As a matter of fact, the older one could probably help.
Also, contact hospice. I was my mother's caregiver when she was also diagnosed with cancer (this was after my father's death) and I had hospice nurses in during the day when I had to be at my business. I couldn't close my store, and I had no one to help run it, so I had no choice. Hospice was wonderful. They helped both my mother and also me to cope with her illness.
It is very hard to watch a person go downhill and know that you can only offer some comfort but you can't prolong their life.
I assume that your father is aware of his condition. What are his wishes? Are there things that he wants to do now before he can't?
The best thing you can do for yourself, your father and your family is to take things day by day. Ask for any help you can get. If your father has friends, ask them to spend some time with him. If you are involved with your church or Synagogue, ask your clergy person what help is available to you. Don't go it alone, you need all the help you can get. Take care. Judith

 
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Old 02-22-2008, 08:45 AM   #3
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Re: new here and hope to get some support

Hello telly,

Nerfmom offered good advice here, so please take heed.

My daughter was 10 when my mother passed and as we are catholic, I explained to her that God has a higher purpose for her.

The younger children are, the more resilient they will be; I guess it has to due with their innocence.

Take care.

Phoenix

 
Old 02-22-2008, 08:49 AM   #4
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telly2 HB User
Re: new here and hope to get some support

I don't know what his Dr.'s have told him,I just know from reasurch that his time is limited, I know a hospital is not where he wants to go, so I know it will all be happening at home as it was for my mom.

As for the teen, i will be telling her eventually, but right now is not a good time. I personally want to speak to His dr."s first, thus a couple of months before his next appointment with the oncologist, barring no furthur complications before then. He has stage IV melanoma of the lung and who knows where else they are only following the lung as far as I know, thus i need to speak to the Dr.'s.

And Thank you for your responce

 
Old 02-22-2008, 09:29 AM   #5
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daughter issues HB User
Re: new here and hope to get some support

Telly, my daughters were 10 yrs old and 2 yrs old when my mom passed. My 10 yr old took it hard. My 2 yr old was quite resilient. I explained to her what happened, and that Grandma was now an angel. She does miss her, but it wasn't as hard on her as I thought it would be. I let her talk about Grandma, even encouraging her to remember the things that they did together. I was advised to be honest with both my daughters, and explain things in an age appropriate way for them so that they will understand.

Nerfmom has some very good advice that will be very beneficial for yourself, your children and your father.

Take care.

 
Old 02-25-2008, 03:54 AM   #6
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Re: new here and hope to get some support

I'm sorry for all that I've read on this thread. I think the best way to approach death with children is to be honest about it. I agree with the others that the younger they are, the easier it seems to be for them. You know your children better than anyone, so just go with what your heart tells you. And please, don't forget to take time for yourself, you will need it to shoulder all that is coming your way. I will keep a warm thought for you and your family.

 
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