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Old 12-15-2003, 02:21 PM   #1
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madison55 HB User
how do you cope?

Hi everyone,
My dad has mesothelioma, cancer of the lining of the lungs. He has had 3 chemo treatments so far and has done well with them. He has some pretty good days and some bad days when he doesn't feel as well. He is quite depressed about his condition and is sad. He doesn't act like my Dad any more. He doesn't say much anymore and just sits with his head down. I know that this depression is to be expected, but I don't know how to handle it. There are so many ups and downs. You never know what to expect from day to day or even hour to hour. This is all rather new to me (he was diagnosed at the end of Oct.) and I'm having a hard time dealing with his sadness and uncertainty. Does anyone have any words of wisdom for me to help me through this? It is so awful what cancer does to people and their families.

Thanks,
Madison

 
Old 12-15-2003, 05:19 PM   #2
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Re: how do you cope?

Hi Madison and so sorry to hear about your Dad I can't say that I know what you're going through because I don't, but I will pray for you and your Dad, as well as the rest of the family. Do you mind me asking what caused it?

I'm not sure if you or your Dad is spiritual but I will guarantee you that the only thing that got me to quit smoking cold turkey is prayer. I didn't pray for the longest because i never wanted to quit (I don't even go to church on Sundays but I do believe in God and have faith), but then one day I thought - what will it hurt for me to ask the Lord to just take my desires for smoking away, etc... and rest assured he did. Call it a miracle - I just all it prayer. So the best thing I can think of to do for you and your Dad is pray. Pray that he lives each day to the fullest and let your Dad know that you love him and miss his cheerfulness.

I just stopped and said a prayer for you and your Dad. My prayers will continue to be with you.

Laurie

 
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Old 12-15-2003, 05:48 PM   #3
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Re: how do you cope?

Hi Laurie,

Thanks so much for your reply. Mesothelioma is caused from exposure to asbestos. As I understand it from my reading, the asbestos can lie dormant in the lung lining for 20-40 years, in some cases up to 50 years before manifesting as cancer of the lung lining. My Dad quit smoking 40 years ago so it wasn't from smoking.

I pray daily for him and for courage and strength for me. I thank you deeply for your prayer.

Sincerely,
Madison

 
Old 12-15-2003, 06:04 PM   #4
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Re: how do you cope?

Bless his heart. Such a shame - I'm sure it was working with it over the years that caused it - is there any compensation he can get from prior employers or anything to help with advanced technology or ?

Is there anything they can do or ? What type of life is he looking at and is he in a lot of pain?

Your most welcome - prayers will always be here for ya
Laurie

 
Old 12-20-2003, 01:02 PM   #5
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Re: how do you cope?

Quote:
Originally Posted by madison55
Hi everyone,
My dad has mesothelioma, cancer of the lining of the lungs. He has had 3 chemo treatments so far and has done well with them. He has some pretty good days and some bad days when he doesn't feel as well. He is quite depressed about his condition and is sad. He doesn't act like my Dad any more. He doesn't say much anymore and just sits with his head down. I know that this depression is to be expected, but I don't know how to handle it. There are so many ups and downs. You never know what to expect from day to day or even hour to hour. This is all rather new to me (he was diagnosed at the end of Oct.) and I'm having a hard time dealing with his sadness and uncertainty. Does anyone have any words of wisdom for me to help me through this? It is so awful what cancer does to people and their families.

Thanks,
Madison
Hello. My father also had Mesothelioma, but actually died of liver cancer on November 10th 2003. I don't really think that your question has to do with the type of cancer, but more how do you handle yourself when someone could or is about to die. So this is why I've decided to reply to you. I'm still experiencing the pain of my father passing and the thoughts that I have now I think will benefit you. It will be for you to decide in some degree how much you think you can take. How much you think you are strong enough for. Since your father is somewhat responding to treatment then theres hope, but unfortunately from my understanding not a ton of hope. My best advice to you is talk to him. Don't hold back on approaching subjects. Ask him about his fears, share yours. Talk about death and what you both believe will happen after death. Take about hopes. People that believe they could or will die soon are often afraid of death. Mostly because they are not ready. His depression aside, from dying, could be that he's feeling very alone. I know that in death you are, but until then you don't have to be. Talk to him about things that he had part in that have been good memories for you. Let him know that he is loved even if you feel he already should know. Don't wait until it's too late. Act rather than react. Even if each moment doesn't go as you hope it will, if he should die at least you know you tried and did everything possible to reach him and love him. At least you know he heard your thoughts and feelings. If he becomes untreatable and begins to die then ask yourself this....should I be there in the end. If you feel it is important to be there for him in his last moments decide ahead of time whether you should look away or not. I mention this because I didn't look away and now each day I see his last minutes. They are very difficult and I'm still struggling with the images. My main point is, this is not a time to hold back! This is not a time to act strong and not face things with him! This is a time to be more open than ever. Don't leave yourself with regrets!!!! Regrets can be just as painful and with death can never be changed. For your own sanity you are doing the right thing. Reach out to others. Some may not help you in the way you need it so just keep reaching out. There may not always be answers out there for the types of things we experience, but there is always support if we look hard enough for it. If you have trouble approaching these subjects with your dad...tell him that you are scared and that you really need him right now. Then talk to him about the way you feel. Ask "his" advice on how to get through this.

 
Old 12-21-2003, 12:13 PM   #6
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madison55 HB User
Re: how do you cope?

Dear Angel 74C,
Thank you for your thoughtful reply. You have some good advice and I will remember it. I am so sorry to hear that you recently lost your father. I send my deepest sympathy.
If you don't mind I'd like to ask a couple of questions.
Was your father in much pain with the mesothelioma and did he have full body sweats? My father is having the body sweats and they seem to make him feel so bad. If you have any other info that you'd like to share with me, please feel free to do so. I'm looking for any and all information and support that I can find.
Thanks again,
Madison

 
Old 12-22-2003, 07:50 AM   #7
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Re: how do you cope?

Hi Angel74C
Thank you for your thoughtful reply. Your post shows lots of insight into dealing with this terrible illness.

I am so sorry to hear that your father passed recently. I send my deepest sympathy to you.

Since you father did have mesothelioma, I have a couple of questions for you. If you don't want to answer, that's fine, I understand. I'm just looking for all information that I can get. 1. How long did your father live with the diagnosis of mesothelioma? 2. Did he ever have these "full body sweats" that just drenched him? When my father has these, it makes him feel so terrible. 3. How was his pain?

Thank you again for your information.

Blessings,
Madison

 
Old 07-11-2005, 09:20 PM   #8
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numberone HB User
Re: how do you cope?-Please read

So sorry. I am going to be candid. Forgive me...

My dad got Mesothelioma at age 74, It was 50 years after exposure to asbestos. He never drank or smoked.

We thought it was fluid build up from congestive heart problems but the diagnosis was Mesothelioma.

We were told 4 months to 3 years. He lived another 18 months. The last two were not of high quality.

Fluid builds up inside that pleural lining of the lungs. It has to be drained. My dad opted for a serious and painful procedure like caulking. It was horrible-but we believe it gave him more time.

We opted out of chemo. Why? Because to date I know of no survivor of this cancer. Some may live a year to two longer. But from diagnosis- time is short.

We chose not to have the discomfort of chemo.

Our mistakes:
Not telling him how ill he was to protect him.
Not getting counseling
Not saying our goodbyes when we should have
Not seeing him, in my case, enough as I lived 2 hours away by plane and worked.

Our joy:
The chemo free time
Keeping him at home
Bringing in hospice and learning how to cope from them
Going for grief counseling

Based on the circumstances, you can collect funds. You DO NOT NEED A LAWYER. All you need is to ******** the forms. Or have someone you trust who is a lawyer do it for a nominal flat fee, not 30%!!!.

I loved my dad deeply and the pain is still there, but replaced somewhat by what he taught me and how much of him is in me. I cry as I write.

I wish I could promise a miracle..All I can say having been there is that in the time you spend --say what you need to. Laugh. Enjoy. Once the heavy pain medications are needed-it is hard to tell what is understood.

Prepare for someone to help him with dignity when he cannot help himself. My dad abhorred the adult 'diapers'. We had to prepare the bed especially for his condition.

The pain medications later induced a bit of dementia and he was so afraid of death. But family was with him. At home hospice continued with Morphine patches. He clung to life in pain until my mom told him he could let go.

You cope by giving him what you can. By educating yourself in being with a terminally ill loved one.

If you are spiritual, you pray for comfort and peace.

 
Old 06-15-2007, 04:49 AM   #9
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Re: how do you cope?

I am sorry to hear the sadness that engulfed us all with loved ones being diagnosed with this terrible disease. My husband has been diagnosed recently and the changes in his health is incredible. It is so frustrating trying to do something and see how you can help but really there is nothing much you can do. It is painful..., Right now, we are enjoying what we've got left as a family with him around as we don't know what it will be like the next day.. We just have to take each day as it comes...I just pray that God will give us all the strength to carry on..May you will be able to find solace where friends and family and even extended friends (like us) talk about their worries, grief and so on.....Just by talking about them you will find that one day you won't be grieving anymore but will be celebrating the life you had with your father and it will bring smile to your face.
To us who's still suffering, a prayer will do...

 
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