My 70 year old father has been fighting colorectal cancer with secondary liver cancer. The docter's informed him Wednesday that he is near the end with only 2 weeks to a month. My family and I are very scared and don't know what we can do to help him.
Hi Darmed ~ So sorry that you have to face the pain of losing such a special person in your life.
Having lost my little brother and my mom only 9 months apart the best thing you can do for your dad is to be with him, talk to him and assure him that all of you will be okay and that he will too.
It is scary but not as scary when you are able to help him through this final journey of his life.
If he is still alert enough, talk to him and share your most favorite memories you have made together and how you will always hold them in your heart. If your mom is still alive assure him that you will look after her when he is no longer there and how you will all continue to love and be near one another.
When the time grows nearer let him know that it's okay for him to go giving him permission to go will help him go with no worries.
The best thing you can do is bring love to him and to let him see that you and those he loves will be okay and are thankful for all he has given to you to hold onto until you meet again.
I know it's not easy but as difficult as it is, spending this time with your father will be a final gift you can give to him and yourself.
If he is able to, ask him what he would like to do each day.....if he wants to take a trip to the beach bring him, if he wants to hear some special music play it for him......if he wants something special to eat or drink make that happen too.
I wish you peace and strength during this time.....give your dad some extra hugs or watch a special movie with him that he may like or an episode of Judge Judy.
May this time bring peace to you and your family as you help your dad through his final days.
((((HUGS))))) ~ Ivory
Last edited by Ivorygirl; 04-12-2013 at 04:11 PM.
The Following User Says Thank You to Ivorygirl For This Useful Post: darmed (04-15-2013)
I have just gone through something similar, although in my case I lost both my parents 30 days apart.
I completely agree with the previous poster, sharing time with him and doting on him is both the sweetest and most comforting thing you could do...for both of you.
Depending on his level of function and comfort, I would open up the drapes and let the sun shine in, perhaps keeping fresh flowers and the smell of something baking in the house ( there are even candles that will make your house smell great. If he is up to sitting up, you could go through pictures, or if he can, make an audio recording that you can keep forever. Ask all the questions you have, and assure him that you will be OK.
I would prepare him his favorite foods, play his favorite music, and do everything you can to provide comfort to both you and your father.
I lost my mother after she fell down and broke her neck in the backyard. She never recovered, and I never got to talk to her. I did however spend my days at her side, rubbing her with lotion, painted her nails and kept her hair washed and brushed, and just talking to her. I know she knew I was there, but could not speak.
My dad died exactly 30 days later, from a broken heart. His last two weeks were spent in Hospice, where he stopped eating, drinking and slipped off one morning to be with my mother. If I could just get one more day with them, I would hold them close and never let go.
The last days of a persons life are precious, and I would just drop everything to be with him. As long as he knows he is loved, and you get to say the things you always should have, you both will have peace.
There is nothing easy about loosing our beloved parents, but being fully aware and present for him is the most special gift you can give both of you,
I wish you the best, and please know you can always come here for some understanding and support,
The Following User Says Thank You to growagourd For This Useful Post: darmed (04-15-2013)
Sorry to hear about what you're going through. although i don't have a set of guidelines for you, this is what I did when my father, too, was struggling with cancer before he passed.
He only had a few more weeks, months, to live, maybe, but instead he ended up being admitted to the hospital with flu-like symptoms, slowly deteriorated, developed sepsis, and died two weeks later. From my personal experience and those of the doctors that cared for him, this was a blessing since he was not in any pain, as is always the case with Stage IV pancreatic cancer patients.
I remember feeling confused and angry about him dying, and on one instance recall asking him "What am I going to do without you?!" Generally speaking, accepting the immanent death of a loved one isn't easy, at all. But if you can get over the fact that they're soon going to die, you'll have the opportunity for closure.
During my fathers last three days of his life, the immediate family gathered around him, and under my supervision, was allowed to visit him in pairs of couples and/or individually, to talk to him and tell him whatever needed to be said. This was during his first day in hospice where he was still conscious, but unable to interact with us verbally or otherwise. All he did was cry. Later on that night we gathered around with dad just an earshot away and told old family jokes. We laughed, and he smiled.
The next two days dad was less responsive. The last and final day my dads appearance had changed completely. His breathing was labored, almost artificial and shallow. His skin was very pale and jaundiced, his fingernails purple. The nurses said that death was immanent and that he was hanging on, waiting for someone: me. In my country of origin, when a family member is dying, you don't just hold their hands, you prop them up, seat behind them in bed with your arms wrapped around to support the torso - a final embrace. My father was the one out of his siblings that held his father as he passed, and expected the same for him.
We scoot dad over in bed and I lay next to him with both my arms wrapped my around him and rubbed his head. I whispered in his ear that it was OK to go now and that I would take care of mom. I told him not to be scared and that I loved him tremendously and that although he wasn't famous or rich, he was the greatest man I had ever known. I pressed his beaten and withered body to comfort him, just like I used to when I was a kid and kissed him goodbye. He took a few short shallow breaths and reposed.
And even know that he is gone, his memory will forever be engraved in my memory, and his absence on my heart. Not a day goes on that I don't think about my dad, not even an hour. I mostly think about how bitter I am that he was robbed of so much at so young an age: he was 55, my mom 49, I am 25, my wife 22. I despise the fact my children will not have the chance to be guided by a saintly man. Most importantly, I despise the fact that he will not be there to tell me when I'm right and wrong, in short, be a dad.
I hope it helps understand what's going to happen.