Hey, i'm a teen and about a week before my second foot surgery my dad told me and my sisters some shocking news. His cancer was back, but this time it was terminal.
He first had it when i was around 2 so i don't actually remember it, but now it's back and i'm finding it hard to cope.
When he told me at first i felt as if my whole world was crashing down around me, everything was happening so fast and i had no control over it. then came the numbness; i didn't feel anything more the next few weeks, it was like there was this huge gaping hole where my emotions should be. this week it's just hit me all of a sudden, its as if I've finally processed the fact he will die soon. the doctors have given him 1 year, 2 at the max. i'll be 16...too young to loose my dad. my youngest sister would be 4...she won't even remember him well.
My whole life is spiraling out of control, i can't focus in lessons. this week has been horrible; i've been crying at lunch and none of my friends know how to help. i haven't told my teachers, i'm not sure whether to tell them or not.
I feel so isolated; little things that used to matter don't anymore. I don't feel like chatting about the latest earings, or why it's not fair that so and so's mum won't buy her tickets to see a band live. life isn't fair...i know that now.
It makes me feel emotions so indescribable to think about the future, to think of a time without dad. to think of the day i have to attend his funeral. i feel like i'm loosing my way. my dad won't be here to see me enter med school, to see me get married. he'll never see his grandkids, or walk me down the isle.
I guess i just want to know how to cope. how do i go around doing normal things when inside i'm on an emotional rollercoster, a tsunami of sadness, uncertainty, frustration...
Does it get any easier? Will i be able to hear the word 'cancer' in lessons without bursting into tears?
Re: Dad's cancer
hi, I'm so sorry to hear about your father, that has got to be so hard to deal with. I think you should make an appt w/ your school counselor and talk to him/her and they will probably handle talking to your teachers if you don' want to.
It would probably be a good idea to see a counselor outside of school as well, if you can. This is a LOT of stuff for someone at your age to handle so having someone else to talk to is a good idea. I know it seems weird but I think once you do it and get started you will get into it and feel a little better and he/she will help you learn how to deal with things.
Please let me know how you are getting along, ok? thinking of you, Cathy
Re: Dad's cancer
Thanks, i've been thinking about going to see a counselor but sometimes i get a bit skeptical as to whether it will work. Two of my friends still think i'm making it up, even though they saw him take his medication. Why would someone make up something so sickening? do they really think that low of me? At least it's helped me figure out who's really my friend...
i'll keep you posted, thank you for replying, i wasn't sure if anyone would.
Re: Dad's cancer
Hi that's terrible folks thinking you aren't telling the truth. You could always try the counselor route and then if it didn't work for you, but at least give it a try, you never know :).
At least you are reaching out here that is a great start. Just don't keep it bottled up. Cathy
Re: Dad's cancer
I went through almost the same thing, when I was 15, my dad's cancer came back, one day he got rushed to the hospital while I was in school, and he never left. He died 2 months later, right after my 16th birthday and right before christmas and his birthday. It was the most depressing thing in the world. When we first were told he was going to die, I burst out crying in class, whenever some gave me a hug I wanted to cry, if I started to tell someone I burst out crying and it was like my tears would never run out. Eventually, you don't become "okay" with it, but in a sense you do. It'll still be the worst thing ever but you stop crying so much over the drop of a pin.
I'm not sure if your dad will be in the hospital or at home, but simply be there with him and love him are my biggest suggestions. Hold his hand, cuddle if you can, talk to him, hug him, kiss him, watch movies or football with him, reminisce (he might start to forget things at a certain point though), get him ice or drinks or food if he needs it. I held my dad's hand when was pooping (in his hospital bed in one of those tub things they use). Just spend as much time with him as possible. Take pictures of him and with him- I took a couple and I'm constantly looking at them and so glad I took them. Even take videos if you can- I watch videos of my dad all the time.
Another suggestion..make a memory box. In mine I have my dad's cologne he wore, a couple of his shirts, birthday cards from him, pictures, etcetc.
Everything I'm telling you will help you cope, even though it might sound crazy.
It sucks worse than anything and I know you feel like absolute ****, but I promise you can get through this, your stronger than you think and don't be afraid to be a mess. It's okay, I promise.
Re: Dad's cancer
thanks Alexis, i appreciate your words. my dad is at the hospital tomorrow for the results of his latest tests. i hope they're good s last time his count was raised and it looked as if this drug he's on at the minute was stopping working. fingers crossed for good news.
Should i tell my teachers about this? My head of year doesn't know about my dad and his cancer yet
Re: Dad's cancer
awe you poor baby. Cancer is such a cruel desease. I am 22 and my mum died of cancer 2 years ago, i was 17 when she was diagnosed and she was given 3 months to live but she lasted 3 years. I remember going through what your going through. i felt lost, and no one knew how to talk to me. everyone copes differently and no one can tell you how to cope but maybe hearing experiences would help?
I was in the middle of a lesson at college when i found out. i burst into tears and was sent out. I told my teachers straight away and i think that was a good move because they would know why i was upset and why my head isnt in the game completely.
Im the youngest in my family but my older sister, my step dad and my mum were all not coping so i felt i had to put on a brave face to support them all. i forced all my feelings to the back of my head to the point where sometimes i even forgot she had cancer.
When she passed away i had mixed feelings, i felt devistated my mum wasnt there anymore and wasnt able to come to my wedding a few months later. angry she was stolen away from me, relieved she was no longer in pain and guilty for feeling relieved. I made the mistake of seeing my mums body in the hospital, although she looked alot more peaceable that is the image i have in my head and i cant seem to get it out. i would rather remember her before she got cancer for the fantastic mum she was.
i can understand your anxiety about what is to come and attending your dads funeral but its a good way of saying goodbye and only nice things will be said about him and stories of his life. its not something to be scared of it will remind you of him in a good way so you can keep hold of your memories of him forever. he can be gone in person but can never be gone from your memories
It probably wont hit you straight away. i remember someone nocking at the door about 2 weeks after mum died and i genuinly thought it was mum at the door. and i cried myself to sleep every night for a year. You never forget losing someone so close but it does get easier!!! time is a great healer! and you wont tend to remember him with cancer and in pain. you will remember the times that he read you stories to get you to go to sleep. the times he carried you on his shoulders so you could see everything, it will take a long time and you will always feel sad he isnt around and little reminders will bring a tear to your eye like a song he loved or a place you visited comes on the tv.
I have coped my keeping myself busy. working hard and preserving the memory of my mum well alive.
I hope this helps hun
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