I am a 46-year-old female whose 71-year-old father was just diagnosed with Stage IV Metastic Lung Cancer. I am the oldest of three girls and my dad got remarried and I have two half sisters, so really the oldest of 5 girls.
My dad and I have always been close and everyone has always called me the "favorite". My dad is an alcoholic who no longer drinks but use to be very physically abusive to my mother and all the other women he was involved with drinking.
My dad asked me to stay with him when he found out he had cancer. I live abot 25 miles away but my kids are grown. My youngest (18) is still at home and my oldest has my two grandbabies.
I understand my dad is probably scared and angry that he's dying but he's been a total nasty ******* to me the past few days. He's been cussing me and gripping about everything. I am handling everything from cooking, cleaning, driving him to appointments, scheduling appointments, paying bills, dealing with medicade, buying groceries, etc. I don't have a car so i'm been using his staying with him during the week and coming home to see my family on Friday and Saturday then going back.
He's now told me he doesn't want his car to be gone and he tries to tell me when I can shower, basically just boss me around.
My husband, my kids, my sibilings, etc. tell me to tell my dad to kiss my butt, and do all this crap himself if he's gonna talk to me and treat me the way he has. I've gotten to where I just want to cry everyday and I want to go home. My dad has already signed the title of his car to me and I've made a copy of it because if I do leave him, he will try to take the car away. I made a copy of it and I'm making a copy of the keys. It's an old car only worth about $300 but I need a car and feel like I've done enough and taken enough abuse that I deserve the car.
I hate to leave my dad but I don't want to end up hating him and I need to take care of me first. I feel like I'm that little girl whose back in that scary place when he use to beat my mom all the time. Any advice from anyone?
Last edited by Administrator; 10-30-2011 at 10:47 AM.
Re: My dad is dying with lung cancer and being a jerk
I'm sorry your dad has cancer. It is very hard dealing with cancer. My dad was like this as well. It took a while, but I finally figured it out. He was so used to being in control of his life and then he had to depend on others. He was a proud and stubborn man. So anything he could cling to that felt like he had some control, he'd grab on. For example, he would tell me to travel a particular route when I knew where I was going. All the anger he let out was anger at the cancer and knowing his life was ending and that it would not be pleasant.
Understanding this helped me deal with him and make him feel like he was still important. Your situation may be worse. Dad and I had a saying "ODAT" - one day at a time.
p.s. IMO you have given too much time to your father. All week? There are visiting nursing services you can contact, or set him up with a social worker. Someone else who can help him do the majority of what you are doing. Because the main women in his life he treated bad, you are the main woman now. He needs to remember that you are his daughter and to treat you as such.
If you open the door even a little bit - the devil will fling it open. Keep it closed with prayer.
Last edited by sawbuck44; 11-15-2011 at 02:18 PM.
Reason: added p.s.
Re: My dad is dying with lung cancer and being a jerk
First of all, I have to wonder just how you are doing all that you are doing! The fact that you are, in effect, running two different households at the same time, is mind-bogling. But, let me ask you this: exactly what does your husband think of this arrangement, and having only a "week-end wife?"
Although I can fully understand your desire to want to care for your father at the end of his life, you have a life as well. You have a husband, children, grandbabies, and a home of your own. Life is best when life is in balance - yours doesn't sound very balanced, and I'm suspecting if it stays this way for long, you will encounter some very real problems, emotionally as well as physically.
Does your father absolutely need to have you there in his home 24 hrs Monday - Friday?
Making appointments and dealing with Medicaid are things you can do via phone or email - from your own home. Taking your father to his appointments can be done when convenient to you as well. And there are times you can "bunch" appointments, depending on his strength and stamina. Say, a doctor's appointment mid-morning, a haircut early afternoon, and a dentist's appointment mid-afternoon. If your making the appointments, you set the days/times.
As far as cooking, how about spending one day a week, say Monday, cooking a bunch of different meals that can then be frozen? Then, throughout the week, your father can reheat these items for himself for dinners/lunches. (Breakfasts are usually pretty easy)
I would also recommend to have a cleaning service - if it can be afforded - come in once a month to do cleaning. Then, once or twice a week, you can stop in and do some surface cleaning and straightening and perhaps some laundry.
There might be some concern about leaving him alone, but there are companies now such as Life Alert. I don't believe they charge all that much, and can leave you with a great deal of peace of mind.
I do agree with Sawbuck in that your father is dealing with a good deal of fear for the end of his life and the fact that he is having to give up his independence. However, I know when you have always been close to a parent, you don't want to feel as though you are abandoning them when they need you the most. However, if you were a little less there, he may come to appreciate the times you are there.
I would also contact a local hospital, and find out if they know of any organizations such as hospice that have volunteers that will come and visit him. Also, connect with your father's neighbors. Find out if any of them would mind checking in on him, or if you might be able to exchange phone numbers with them. You might be very surprised to find out just how helpful people can be in this situation! And sometimes, just having some one come over and visit him for an hour or so might take the edge off. It might just tell him that somebody out there still cares.
I would really suggest you get yourself out of the habit of actually staying at your father's home. You are a married woman with your own home. Caring for your father is an honorable thing, yes. You have the power to limit the time spent there and not jeapordize the care your father receives.